Disney Fires Grand Floridian Society Orchestra After 32 Years

After 32 years of playing together, Disney is firing the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra. In a post to social media, the Orchestra gave a sad farewell, noting that their last day playing together will be October 3, 2020.

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!
The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra

As noted in the farewell, The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra was transferred over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to play as The Disney Society Orchestra. In our review of the show, we said that they were the highlight of the new show, which will be ending with their departure on October 3rd. The statement said that the theater is going dark, so it’s unlikely that Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage will be returning immediately.

The slow demise of the Orchestra came with the construction of the Enchanted Rose “Beauty and the Beast” bar. The Orchestra was displaced from their traditional space on the second floor of Disney’s Grand Floridian down to the first floor, before eventually being put into a corner before the pandemic shut down Disney World. They would never play at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort again.

When the parks reopened, there was a dispute with the Actors’ Equity union that left all of the stages around Disney World vacant. Eventually, Disney would put a temporary show where the Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage production would normally play.

The new show at Hollywood Studios was poorly put together, but there was no doubt that the Orchestra was the highlight. Even the orchestra said that it was a “far cry from the closely knit harmonies & sounds we became known for”.

So, Disney has decided that the Orchestra has a week left to play at Disney World. They will be sorely missed.

Mike
Mike is the owner and writer for BlogMickey.com. Visiting the parks daily allows him to keep up with the latest Disney news, reviews, and photos from around the Disney Parks. You can reach him at [email protected]

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9 COMMENTS

  1. The big band sound is history and an attraction in itself. Grand Floridian might as well change its name, it’s not Grand. I would buy cd’s of the group but I have never seen them produced for sale. We have always gone and spent time with the music shopping. I will not go in the future, this is a shame And we are stockholders!!!

  2. Disney is replacing all its timeless treasures with things that build “characters”. This is a perfect example. So is Maelstrom and Living Seas. Terribly terribly sad!

  3. I saw elsewhere that if you message them through their facebook page, they actually do have CDs for purchase. Just search for them by name.

  4. To say “fired” seems harsh, and more than a little clickbait, just like saying the poor 28,0000 who are getting layed of are being fired. Fired implies they did something wrong and got walked out the door, you don’t get fired and then get to come to work for the next two weeks. They did not do anything wrong, the sadly are in one of the hardest hit professions in this state. I don’t know of any musicians in the state who have been able to perform in months, no venues.

    That being said, I am heartbroken to hear this news, I loved these guys, and was able to bring friends and family that thought they knew Disney for this nice not so hidden treat they never knew about.
    It was always the nice touches like them that has made Disney special, nobody this, it is uniquely Disney. Unfortunately Disney is losing a lot of its unique touches, it is the reality of the state of things right now. Everything is different and will be for some time to come.
    They have to stem the losses somewhere, some resorts will not open until next year, occupancy rates stay consistently below 30% statewide. That is operating at a loss.
    It will take time for things to come anywhere close to a semblance of normalcy, but they will. It is just going to take some time.
    I hate it, but it is the way things are right now.

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