After 43 years, Stan Freese is retiring from Disney today. Stan began his career in the Walt Disney World band for the resort’s opening in 1971 and he became their first band leader! He soon moved to Disneyland where he led the Disneyland band and even fronted his own Disneyland big band at Carnation Plaza Gardens. Stan is retiring today as the director of talent booking for Disneyland.
I’m so grateful to Stan, not only for his friendship and all that he’s done for me over the years, for which I’m so grateful, but also for his support of Mouse Clubhouse! He’s responsible for a number of the interviews you see on here, and has been so kind to let me record some of his own stories, despite that there’s no way I can share some of them with you until he’s loooong retired from Disney! 🙂 You can read Stan’s interview here.
One of the things I love about Stan is his attitude – he’s just fun! I’m sharing a video below from a day where Stan and I were wandering around Disneyland, visiting some of the groups he hired, and we went over to the historic Tomorrowland Terrace stage, and the next thing I know, Stan pulls out a harmonica and is up on the stage with the band. And the crowd loved it! It’s such a wonderful memory for me, too!
Stan is truly responsible for helping to shape Disney entertainment as we know it today, and Shani & I wish him all the best in this new adventure in his life!