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News Goodbye to The Grand Floridian Society Orchestra

tirian

Well-Known Member
Oh my gosh I feel this on a real level. The first time we went to ohana and the poly I thought "oh my goodness this is incredible!" We were among families that looked happy, albeit sun kissed, hair still wet from their showers and fresh cologne and perfume filled the space. It felt like a real Polynesian get away. We enjoyed our cocktails while we waited and enjoyed the view over the grounds. The meal was one of the best I've had anywhere, much less at Disney. Maybe because it was a total spur of the moment trip (back when you could do that at Disney) where we went in with zero expectations. Before bloggers and vloggers and pinterest. Before EVERY SECOND had to be filled with something. Whatever it was it made us so excited to go back. It was a few years (9 to be exact) but we had this place built up so much in our heads. We'd bragged on and on to my mom about it because she's a beach freak. I thought this would be the closest to a Pacific island vacay she would get (and be totally ok with!). It was so far from the opposite. Just like you said, miserable, sweaty people, kids that just needed time and space to decompress. The food was lackluster and that's being kind. My husband had been so excited to try the lapu lapu!! He gets it and takes a refreshing loooong swig only to discover it was straight alcohol. The mixer had never been added. And it was leaking from the bottom. We would have asked for assistance but we literally could not find out waiter. Our food came out in such a rush that we couldn't ask for seconds or even ask to see the waiter. We watched him serve a table of atleast 15 on top of several other tables. We didn't even see him to pay. I've never been lucky enough to stay at poly or GF since that's where we are talking about, but I have been lucky enough to visit them and I always felt like I was the heir to an oil fortune walking in those resorts. Like I must have done something right to be there. But that's because of those touches, like the band filling the hotel with music while you shop, enjoy a cocktail, or wait for your table for dinner. When you start getting rid of those things, coupled with some rooms that, at last I saw, I just can't say that having the monorail makes it worth what they charge. I could be in the minority!! But I can shop at any resort including the values. One of my most vivid memories of my last trip is walking out after dinner, doing a little dance with my kids as we said goodbye to Disney and headed to our cabins for our last night. I just feel like this was a little more personal feeling. Sure the parking fees and ticketed events out the wahoo that cut back on park hours suck. But this, this just felt personal. 😭
I’m glad I’m not the only person with golden memories of how those resorts used to be! :cool:
 

SirWillow

Well-Known Member
DHS: - Daily Parade
- Mulch Sweat & Shears live band with equity host.
- double the cast of citizens of Hollywood
- Hollywood public works streetmosphere.

MK - night parade
- saxophone quartet
-pirate tutorial
-giggle gang & jugglers
- push trashcan
- banjo brothers & bob
- fantasyland historians
-Merlin show
- muppets history

DAK - daily parade
- band in Africa
- jugglers in dino land
- lucky the dino
- acrobats in Asia

Epcot -
- All entertainment in future world except for jammitors. From dreamfinder, jugglers in wonders of life, statues by fountain, muppet labs etc. there have been a number of past entertainment in future world.
- world showcase players (there used to be 2 casts, one in England, one in Italy).
- off kilter
- mo rockin
- Magician in pub
- Fife & drum
- candy art in Japan.

Some things overlap and some things were replaced with non-equity performers or seasonal entertainment. But that’s the list I could think of from memory.

Pretty good list, but there are a few missing:

All parks: opening ceremony (MK's is a pitiful one, the others are all gone)

DAK- Rivers of Light
South American panpipe band (used to play by the BBQ place)
the macaw flight has been cut back in a big way
talking palm tree

Epcot:
Future World also had a family strength team (I forget their name)
Sergio in Italy
Beatles Tribute band that used to be in UK (I believe there is a new one, but not the same)
Taiko Drums in Japan

there are also a few I'm not sure about. Such as, are the acrobats still in China?

It stinks with the cutback. But it's following the pattern, especially with the current climate of cutting costs and reducing hours. I'm sure they won't be the last. At least they did get a couple of months they were called back. Many still haven't been, and likely won't.
 

trojanjustin

Well-Known Member
This sucks but should be pointed out their temporary home at the Studios was a socially distanced outdoor theater. It would be VERY tough to bring them back to the Grand, especially in the new setting on the ground floor, given that the brass instruments all can spread droplets VERY easily.
 

Dagmar

New Member
I agree with all that's been said... all the little extras being slowly taken away, trend of cost cutting, but how this one really hurts etc etc.
My husband and I are both musicians, we always appreciate the live musicians throughout WDW and see our favorite groups every trip, pretty much like Disney groupies.
Maybe Disney and the general public see it as atmosphere or background music, when, in fact, WDW musicians have mad talent (Chad Shoopman trumpet beast formerly of Main Street Philharmonic anyone??) and traditionally seem to be undervalued by most of the general public that walk right on by. Live musicians are increasingly underappreciated pretty much anywhere, but it's a very sad day when Disney can't see their true value. Truly ironic that probably millions of music students have traveled to Disney through the Magic Music Days program.
 

Giss Neric

Well-Known Member
We only feel bad and cherish the moments when they're gone. I admit, I was one of those who don't pay attention to live musicians at all. I always pass by them in GF but my priority is going to Basin than listening to them.
 

raymusiccity

Well-Known Member
Pretty good list, but there are a few missing:

All parks: opening ceremony (MK's is a pitiful one, the others are all gone)

DAK- Rivers of Light
South American panpipe band (used to play by the BBQ place)
the macaw flight has been cut back in a big way
talking palm tree

Epcot:
Future World also had a family strength team (I forget their name)
Sergio in Italy
Beatles Tribute band that used to be in UK (I believe there is a new one, but not the same)
Taiko Drums in Japan

there are also a few I'm not sure about. Such as, are the acrobats still in China?

It stinks with the cutback. But it's following the pattern, especially with the current climate of cutting costs and reducing hours. I'm sure they won't be the last. At least they did get a couple of months they were called back. Many still haven't been, and likely won't.
A very sad state of affairs.. I'm hoping that YeeHaw Bob' will still be rockin' his piano in Port Orleans!
 

Kkar

Member
I agree. This feels like the soul of the GF has been ripped out.
Agree 100%. The GFSO was the "weenie" that drew you in to the lobby. It was the big reveal, both visual and auditory, that made you feel that you had just entered something "Grand". And when you ventured up to the second floor, there was a further reveal of an actual cocktail bar right behind the orchestra! Where else would you ever find something like that?!? Now, sadly, nowhere.

With every visit to the World, we ALWAYS set aside one evening to dress up a bit, enjoy some cocktails at Mizners while listening to the Orchestra, and have a nice dinner at Citrico's. Now, between no Mizners (and yes, we've been to the Enchanted Rose - a complete mismatch for the resort), no orchestra and continually rising prices at the restaurants, we really have no reason to return.

Between dining, drinks, valet, and the occasional purchase in one of the hotel's shops, we always spent hundreds (sometimes thousands if we brought friends) on each visit to the hotel. Disney has finally lost us.
 
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Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Agree 100%. The GFSO was the "weenie" that drew you in to the lobby. It was the big reveal, both visual and auditory, that made you feel that you had just entered something "Grand". And when you ventured up to the second floor, there was a further reveal of an actual cocktail bar right behind the orchestra! Where else would you ever find something like that?!? Now, sadly, nowhere.

With every visit to the World, we ALWAYS set aside one evening to dress up a bit, enjoy some cocktails at Mizners while listening to the Orchestra, and have a nice dinner at Citrico's. Now, between no Mizners (and yes, we've been to the Enchanted Rose - a complete mismatch for the resort), no orchestra and continually rising prices at the restaurants, we really have no reason to return.

Between dining, drinks, valet, and the occasional purchase in one of the hotel's shops, we always spent hundreds (sometimes thousands if we brought friends) on each visit. Disney has finally lost us.
Are you a Florida resident, by chance?
 

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