KISSIMMEE, Fla. – On Oct. 3, members of the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra played their last gig together at Hollywood Studios in Disney World.
It was the last performance after more than three decades at the Grand Floridian Resort, where they entertained guests since 1988. But this holiday season, the gang is back on stage only at a different venue.
“Before you would call our orchestra Grand and now, I would call our orchestra jolly ‘cause we are the Jolly Creek Society Orchestra,” Davy Jones, a trumpet player, and interim band leader said about their new opportunity to bring some smiles at the Jolly Creek Festival and Marketplace in Kissimmee.
“After losing our position at Disney, we were so fortunate to be offered this because now we can play together again. We get to pursue our livelihood and all our friends get to come out and see us,” Jones said.
Jones, who has been with the orchestra since day one, recalled how special and significant their time at the Grand Floridian was.
“Over those years, all of us in the band got to make friends with all the guests that came through. Seeing a lot of them come back the next year with their kids and then later with their grandkids,” he said.
Now they’re looking forward to creating new memories with guests who’ll be enjoying the Jolly Creek Festival.
“It’s turned out to be a wonderful thing for us and we can’t thank the staff here at Jolly Creek enough,” Davy said. “Music is life. And it’s our life, it’s what we think of when we wake up in the morning.”
Jones said the orchestra couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity to do what they love again on stage.
“We’re all lifelong musicians, this is what we do for a living, this is our passion,” he said. “Making music with people you care about and that’s what our band is-is a group of friends that has been able to hang together after the Disney job so we’re just happy for it all.”
The festival was created to keep live entertainment alive during these uncertain times for the industry. Jolly Creek has contracts with more than six Central Florida entertainment acts and production companies.
“They have reached out to the entertainment community, almost all the employees here are from Disney, Universal, different theaters,” Jones said.
From now through Jan. 1, the orchestra will be delighting guests in a winter wonderland setting every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A portion of the proceeds will go to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
Guests are required to wear face-coverings throughout the festival and are expected to maintain social distance.
For information on tickets and pricing, click here.