Walt Disney World Issues Statement Regarding The Grand Floridian Orchestra’s Final Performance

In a shock to many, it was announced on Saturday that Walt Disney World was effectively letting go of The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra after a series of changes, and ultimately, the COVID-19 shutdown. Their last show will be as the “The Disney Society Orchestra” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on October 3. Over the weekend, fans everywhere voiced their deep disappointment on social media as the fan-favorite band said their goodbyes after 32 years.

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In light of this, in an email from Geoffrey Kiser, Executive Correspondence Specialist for Walt Disney World Resort, Disney has a shared a statement regarding the firing of the orchestra:

As you may know., we are always evaluating and refining our offerings and creating new ideas to build upon Disney stories. This philosophy is in keeping with Walt Disney’s vision for continuing to grow and evolve, giving Guests a mixture of familiar and new experiences with each visit. In alignment with this philosophy, we have made the decision to end the limited-time run of the Disney Society Orchestra and Friends this fall with their last performance being on Saturday October 3, 2020. We apologize for any disappointment that this may cause you and please be assured that we have shared all of your feedback with the appropriate Executive Leadership Teams.

Geoffrey Kiser, Executive Correspondence Specialist for Walt Disney World Resort

While this is probably just the first entertainment group at Walt Disney World to be formally canned post-COVID, it will likely be one of the greatest losses. 

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.

  1. “Limited-time run”, 32 years it pretty limited. Disney PR is a joke.Guess Splash Mountain will be finishing their limited-time run soon too.

  2. That language tries to soften the blow, by making the indirect assertation they are just ending at hollywood studios. i have a week stay in november. if the band isnt there. im cancelling.

  3. They’re good at making meaningless, watered down responses. I am so sick of having the “Walt said Disney would never be finished” /”Walt’s vision continuing to evolve…” BS thrown in my face every time they make a terrible decision to change something that nobody agrees with.

  4. Nobody cares about the loss of the show at Hollywood studios. People care about the loss of the orchestra at the Grand Floridian. Once again tone deaf Disney tries to dodge and deflect in a failed but fruitless attempt to cover up their cost cutting at the expense of eviscerating the guest experience at their supposed flagship resort.

  5. This decision is just beyond disappointing. The Grand Floridian is no longer Grand in my opinion. Their playing there made it special – unique – an experience. Now – it’s just a hotel, an expensive one. Leadership at Disney needs to understand that they are slowly ruining what makes Disney – Disney.

  6. This philosophy is in keeping with Walt Disney’s vision for continuing to grow and evolve, giving Guests ………….”. please Mr wdw executive, Dont use Walt’s name in justifying your cruel corporate motives. Walt is rolling in his grave (or rather his ash urn) on what his company has become these days. !!

  7. Based on the many comments I’ve read from guests, it’s not about ending the Disney Society Orchestra and Friends, per se, but the loss of the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra. The statement by Geoffrey Kiser was classic “corporate speak” that didn’t address the guests actual issue – Grand Floridian Society Orchestra – and didn’t really say anything other than, “If we wanted your opinion, we’d first give it to you and then we’d beat it out of you”.

    If the company doesn’t have anything more meaningful to say than this, they shouldn’t say anything at all.

  8. Yeah right they are not staying true to Walt Disney they are just stopping everything and cutting everything

    You only have to ask the staff they have laid off

  9. Literally SICK. Sorry I know disney is taking a hit (thanks to covid) But this one hurts. Its something we treasure. It IS GRAND FLORIDAN. They make the resort special. Where will they get work? Just so so sad

  10. And the tailspin into mediocrity and underwhelming experiences continues, I’m said to say, as a former employee and huge fan of the company. At least I can go check out the nighttime parade at the magic kingdom, or Push, or Streetmosphere, or mulch, sweat and shears, or off kilter, or the yeti, or splash mtn, or the great movie ride, or wishes, or illuminations, or an efficient monorail, droids in galaxy edge, or looking for the paintbrush on TSI, or pleasure island, or alien encounter, or go take in the spirit and inventiveness of epcot, or wonders of life, or alot of other entertainers at epcot, or discovery island, see unique bus livery, disney quest, world showcase players…..oh, oops…..can’t do any of those either….but, hey, as long is there is a new popcorn bucket, shopping Plaza with stores I ha e at home and massive hotels that looks like a Marriott in suburban Rochester, who needs unique experiences?

    1. Yeah – can’t wait to get back to EPCOT to check out what Future Corps is doing…. Oops – guess that got axed almost 20 years ago! I’ll have to stay home and watch YouTube instead: https://youtu.be/hKDI7X4tVu0
      Thanks Disney corporate bean counters that are destroying the inspiration kids and everyone used to get from LIVE acts.

  11. What a weird job title- ‘executive correspondence specialist’? Does it really mean secretary to important people in English?

  12. Disney is soon going to have to learn that the experience is more important that the bottom line. What has made Disney a great experience in the past has been groups like this as well as many of the other small groups and individual performers. That is where the depth of the experience comes in and is a primary source of the Disney Magic. The magic will go away if the only thing Disney Leadership cares about is dollars. I am speaking both as an Annual Passholder AND a stock holder.

  13. I have only stayed at the Grand Floridian once but have been there for afternoon tea and other meals several times. I will absolutely miss this wonderful orchestra. It introduced this type of band style to children. What a shame they are letting them go.

  14. “We need you guys to move your desk again. Move it down to storage B. Oh, that’s my swingline stapler, let me just grab that from you.”

  15. I’ve been staying at the Grand Floridian for more than a decade. The Orchestra was an important part of the experience. I remember listening to the orchestra with my parents and siblings when I was a kid. I can’t imagine walking into the GF’s lobby and not hearing the orchestra’s beautiful Disney melodies.

    Too bad Disney doesn’t care about tradition and nostalgia anymore. They hide their true intentions behind Walt Disney’s pure and innovative philosophy.

    I also feel terrible for all the talented men that will lose their jobs. These wonderful performers have been loyal to the company for more than 30 years.
    Where is your loyalty Disney?

    These terrible news are making me reconsider my WDW lodging choice.

  16. It’s going to get way worse before it gets better. Lots of folks will lose jobs over the coming months, especially entertainment cast. When the new budget year hits in a couple months it will get ugly with the cuts I’m sure. With Chapek running helm you’ll see a ton of entertainment cuts, he’s been pretty upfront for years about his disdain for it so don’t be shocked when he uses the COVID mess and low revenue as an excuse to cut cut cut.

  17. Man. That’s not even well written. They are going to grow and evolve by cutting back and firing people. BS.

  18. What a dumb statement. They know what the guests are upset about is the loss of the orchestra from the The Grand Floridian, but they put out a statement as though we’re all upset about a show at DHS that was a limited time offering. What did they think they’d achieve by putting out this statement? That we’d all just go “oh, ok, it was a limited time offering”? If they’re going to put out stupid and disrespectful statements they should have just stayed quiet. At least fake a little respect towards CMs who have worked for you for 32 years and who were the main feature of any stay at your flagship hotel.

  19. As others have mentioned, this statement is a lame attempt by Disney to downplay the incredible 32-year long performance run that brought such joy to GF guests and visitors by referencing just the rebranded and diminished short term role at Hollywood Studios.

    Would love to see the Executive Correspondence Specialist justify his/her position in front of the efficiency experts in “Office Space”.

  20. This is awful. This will just make the Grand, “UnGrand” Terrible, terrible decision. I am a DVC member with the Grand Floridian as my home base. First we had to deal with the bubble and the spoiled NBA brats, now this.

  21. We stayed at the Grand Floridian last year with our adult multiply disabled daughter. We spend a lot of time at the resorts. The orchestra was the main thing that soothed our daughter and we would sit in the lobby and just relax. I can say that we won’t be staying there again because the orchestra made the hotel unique. It will be back to the Polynesian or Saratoga Springs for us . So disappointing, this orchestra went above and beyond to make it a beautiful experience. Disney really needs to get their priorities straight. No way will we pay the rates at the Grand for less of an experience.

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