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BREAKING: Disney is Firing The Grand Floridian Orchestra on October 3rd

It’s with a heavy heart that we share the news of The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra being fired from the Walt Disney World Resort. After having played at the resort since its grand opening, the band was furloughed during the COVID-19 shutdown and ultimately brought back as “The Disney Society Orchestra”, a fill-in for the Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage show during equity performer negotiations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. However, the band has since announced that their last day of work will be Saturday, October 3. They will no longer play at any location in Walt Disney World.

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The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra as seen on the modified bandstand that was created for them after they were moved downstairs at the resort’s lobby with the opening of Enchanted Rose.

The announcement came from the band’s own Facebook page:

The following message was issued by the band:

“It’s hard to find the words but, sadly, our days at the Grand Floridian are over. In fact, as of Oct 3, 2020, our days at WDW will come to an end as well.The company brought us out of furlough, changed our name to “The Disney Society Orchestra,” closed us out of the GF to play a show of Disney themed show tunes at the Theater of the Stars in Hollywood Studios. We’ve been playing 9 shows a day, 7 days a week since Aug 2nd. The music is a far cry from the closely knit harmonies & sounds we became known for at the GF but. the guys are real pros and they sound great! Well… Two weeks ago we got notice that the theater is going dark and our last day of work will be Saturday, Oct 3, 2020. As we all know, these are very uncertain times and can’t say what will happen from one day to the next. So after 32 years of playing together and playing music we love… we’re done. We are so thankful for the opportunity to play in a beautiful setting for the hotel guests and friends we have met & made over the years. We’ll never forget you and how wonderful you’ve made us feel. We will miss you!Thank you-thank you- thank you!”

As mentioned in the heartbreaking caption, the band has been playing for 32 years at Walt Disney World. While this is probably just the first entertainment group to be formally canned post-COVID, it will likely be one of the greatest losses. The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra has been performing at the hotel since its opening day and is part of the very fabric of the resort. I’ve often overlooked the shortcomings of the grand as a “real” luxury hotel and the pricing that comes with it because of things like the piano player and live band in the lobby. How Disney can fathom charging for what they do for this hotel a night while cutting such things is a joke. One room likely pays for an entire day of band performances. 

The bandstand was lost for a seating area that is rarely used inside the overpriced Enchanted Rose—a bar themed to a European fairytale in a hotel called the Grand Floridian. If this is the direction the hotel is going, then Disney has made another IP-oriented, idiotic decision in a long string of such choices.

If you’re feeling nostalgic for this incredible band, here’s a clip of them playing at their original location on the second floor of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort:

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit wdwnt.travel.

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John W. Ford, Jr.
John W. Ford, Jr.
1 month ago

This latest cost cutting move by Disney is absolutely reprehensible. I’ve stayed at this hotel countless times since it opened, having logged the equivalent of several months worth of time staying at the resort and the band was truly one of the great hallmarks of the resort, a facet that made it truly special and majestic every time one walked into the lobby when they were playing. It further made it all the more worthwhile to stay in a room in the main building so that one could look and listen to the band as they played in the evenings… Read more »

Christopher Sharp
Christopher Sharp
29 days ago

John, I could not agree more–this is exactly how I feel after countless stays–esp regarding the 2014 “wreckovation…”–very well said. I fell in love with my wife with that band playing in the background–we honeymooned there etc Disney is making it harder and harder to revisit memories–they are hindrance to nostalgia at this point. Current management is like a zombie ant version of what made Disney great–the husk is still there–but the innards that made it magical are being destroyed at an ever accelerating pace. Current management is a disgrace, unfit to hold the water of the great men and… Read more »

Russ k
Russ k
29 days ago

Disney has lost their direction. They no longer care about the people that dole out their earned money. Customer service has deteriorated over the years. We cancelled our vacation to DW in December due to extremely high ticket prices that would not be backed up with a dream trip that did not back the price up with the value.

barrett nichols
barrett nichols
1 month ago

They just don’t appreciate what makes the place special some times.

Christopher Cirino
Christopher Cirino
1 month ago

I have a 2 week trip booked at the end of October I am canceling every dining reservation I have there and it was about 4 meals way to go Disney ,you are just not the company you used to be and this will be my last WDWtrip for a very long time possibly ever.

Doug Landreth
Doug Landreth
1 month ago

So sad. Just saw the post of them being forced out. So very sad and disappointing act of the Disney company. While I could never afford to stay at the Grand Floridian, no visit to WDW was complete without spending some time in the lobby enjoying your talents. The other day my brother and I were discussing how awful it must have felt for them to be moved to Hollywood Studios to play paired down in size and have to play music so below their skill. Thankful for the many hours of entertainment they gave me. I wish them all… Read more »

Anonomouse
Anonomouse
1 month ago

I can’t wait until the next Parks Center to see how Pete can justify this just like he did when the Executives salary went back to normal.

Hannah
Hannah
1 month ago

Such sad news :(
This is heartbreaking!!

Kat
Kat
1 month ago

Disney Parks is going straight down the tubes.

Penny S
Penny S
1 month ago

Grrrrrrr…..so many decisions they are making are disappointing me. I’ve been going to Disney since 1972 and watched them remove the magic. I still visit on my own terms making my own magic. This great musical group will be a huge loss.

RebeccaMcK
RebeccaMcK
1 month ago

Thanks for showing them playing that song, which is likely something else we won’t ever hear again on Disney property. I’m sorry to hear they’ve been let go and I won’t be there to see them before they’re gone. I had looked forward to maybe seeing them in that small show at DHS in November but apparently that is ending too. Good luck to them and here’s hoping they will all find success again very soon elsewhere.

Fritz
Fritz
1 month ago

I am very sad to see them go. I have always felt that GF is a bit overpriced for the atmosphere but the “band” definitely made it classier. Kudos to the musicians for choosing that life and I wish them well.

Katie
Katie
1 month ago

Citizens of Hollywood and YeeHaw Bob are probably next. The Disney Magic is tarnishing fast…

Bill Dischinger
Bill Dischinger
1 month ago

Disney is slowly losing its way. Yes, times are very tough, and tough decisions need to be made financially, but what has made Disney Disney for so many years has been little things, little details, little extras like this. Disney is more than a theme park, more than a resort, it is all engulfing, all encompassing customer service and feel good. Getting rid of these little details puts them into the league of Universal with lower intensity rides.

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

Charging for parking is my pet peeve about Disney. Completely unnecessary cost.

All
All
1 month ago

“ One room likely pays for an entire day of band performances.” Exactly! It is so expensive to stay there and there are hardly any amenities! They just keep cutting things.

Dana M
Dana M
1 month ago

The orchestra gave the Grand Floridian it’s luxury appeal, which is fast slipping away. What a terrible decision. I always planned to stay there again, but I won’t be now. I’m so sad for the orchestra and hope they end up playing together somewhere. When I did stay there twice, they really elevated the atmosphere and added a sense of magic. I hoped this wouldn’t happen when they added the lackluster Enchanted Rose. This is a bummer.

Christa
Christa
29 days ago
Reply to  Dana M

I agree that Enchanted Rose is lackluster. I never could find the connection between Victorian Grand Floridian and French Baroque castle. While not eating or drinking there, I did pop in on my last trip. The floor was so intensely sticky everywhere! It was like a cheap dive bar back home! Couldn’t somebody mop that up properly and show some pride in the establishment?

Ken
Ken
1 month ago

For me, the live entertainment has always been a integral part of the Disney experience. Whether it be the Citizens of Hollywood, Yeehaw Bob or the great live entertainment in the World Showcase, I always carry special memories of the live entertainers. I know difficult decisions have to be made with COVID19, but the cast members preserve the magic at WDW. This is sad news indeed.

Crysta
Crysta
1 month ago

Tom, you are absolutely right. Enough with the IP. I like their IP, but Disney is making some MAJOR bad choices. STOP KILLING THE NOSTALGIA

Kendra
Kendra
1 month ago

How sad!! I’d like to know the reason for the cut. This was a bad decision. Now our young children won’t get to hear classic songs from American culture when we visit.

Trent
Trent
1 month ago

It doesn’t get any more Disney than this.

Steven Pluff
Steven Pluff
1 month ago

Sad news. First Mizner’s Lounge refurb into the Enchanted Rose and now the orchestra is gone. What’s next? I didn’t like it when they got rid of the British Invasion at the UK Pavilion, too.

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