More Behind the Scenes Stories

The Beat Will Go On for Retiring Disneyland Resort Cast Member Stan Freese

Kevin Rafferty, Jr.

by , Communications, WDI

As Disneyland Resort Casting and Booking Director Stan Freese prepares for retirement, he reflects on all that he has been able to accomplish at the Disneyland Resort. From conducting the triumphant percussions of the Disneyland Band to bringing in 500 tubas to simultaneously play holiday music, Stan has set the musical beat of the Disneyland Resort for decades.

Stan’s Disney career began 43 years ago when he became the first Magic Kingdom Park band director at Walt Disney World Resort. From there, Stan went on to lead the Disneyland Band, later taking on roles at Tokyo Disneyland as show director and at Walt Disney World Resort as entertainment producer. Playing an integral part in entertainment and musical offerings for Disney Parks worldwide, Stan feels most grateful for the role he has been able to play here at the Disneyland Resort, expanding and diversifying the resort’s live music offerings.

“I truly enjoy bringing in new, fun concepts and ideas to the resort,” said Stan, a world-renowned tuba soloist who came to the attention of Disney after performing at the White House for President Richard Nixon.

“We give great employment to the finest entertainers and musicians in the country. This translates into the best music and entertainment for our guests,” said Stan. “Our guests deserve the very best and our musicians deserve to perform with the very best.”

Stan is most proud of having created the educational series, Disneyland Resort Salutes the American Band concert — an annual concert series presented by the Disneyland Band that introduces Orange County second-grade students to the history of the American band.

“I was lucky to have fallen into this job — a job that I like, a job that I am good at. I have never had a bad day here; maybe a bad hour, but never a bad day,” said Stan.


  • Stan, You are the man. A true friend of the family. Thank you for all your help with our world class tubas. Your input and suggestions show your wonderful musicianship. We always enjoy your visits to the factory and to our booth at the NAMM Show. We love you Stan!
    Zig, Jack & Mark

  • Stan was always the easiest, most relaxed and a perfect gentleman at all times. He booked me by first gig at Disneyland back in 1982. Marionettes at Disneyland performed by Scott Land at Carnation Plaza. It was fantastic. Thank you DaddyO!

  • Stan, I have appreciated the fine quality of the entertainment for years. But it got even BETTER for me when we ran into the Mariachi Divas at Pacific Wharf in DCA one evening. Why? Because several of the ladies had played for us at one of your parties at Angelo and Vinci’s, AND THEY REMEMBERED US! In a crowd, during a performance, months later! They, like so many of the cast members at the Resort seem to truly enjoy what they are doing. It isn’t “just a job.” I think that is due to you, El Maestro.

  • Congratulations, Stan…it has certainly been a pleasure working with you and I wish you all the best on your retirement. Thank you for everything you’ve done for the Resort. As a fellow “past band performer,” I definitely have an appreciation for the Arts and love that you’ve created many different ways that future generations can participate and enjoy!

    And, of course, I know it’s not a good-bye since I’m sure we’ll be seeing you around! 🙂 Cheers!

  • Thank you for creating the rich musical tapestry that has kept us in rapt amazement for the last decade. Your guiding hand will be sorely missed at the Resort, but you take the blessings of a multitude of Disney music fans with you into your next adventure. Bravissimo, bravissimo, bravissimo!

  • Thank you Stan for creating the “Salutes the American Band” program. My four kids in Irvine Unified all got to experience this great program at the Segerstrom Center for Performing Arts – and one of my daughters had the honor of being on stage with the band as a drum major from Irvine High School. A fantastic way to bring music, and Disney magic, to young children.

Comments are closed.