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Working In Disneyland: Interview with Irish Session Musician Fionn Morrison

Fionn Morrison

Ever wondered what it would be like to land a job doing the thing you love, and it just so happens to be located on the Disneyland Resort in Orlando, Florida? 

Thoughts like this tend to be by-product of relentless procrastination during work or study, however for some lucky people (who also happen to be seriously talented musicians), these far-fetching daydreams have become a reality.

The Circular caught up with Irish musician Fionn Morrison, an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist who works as a musician at the Raglan Road in Disney Springs Florida, to find out more about his unique job.

Firstly, can you tell me a little about where you work and what’s involved?

“I work in Raglan Road in Disney Springs as part of a three-piece band, TradGad. Raglan Road is a restaurant in Disney Springs that pride themselves on genuine Irish experiences. As part of the experience, guests can enjoy authentic Irish food and drink, but more importantly, Irish entertainment. There are 2 main stages that have performances all day and night. The main attraction is the dance show that involves a band and 6 Irish dancers. 

“We have a varied schedule that involves playing the main show and also on the different stages. We play outside on patio for a less formal gig that allows us to interact with the audiences and cater for a more relaxed evening. 

“We play 6 days a week with one day off.”

You are part of ‘TradGad’, a three-piece band that was formed when you first started working in Florida. What type of music do you play and what can you tell me about the band?

“We are an Irish Traditional Music Band called ‘TradGad’. The current resident band at the ever renowned Disney World Irish Bar ‘Raglan Road’ Florida.”

“We perform a concoction of Irish Songs, old and new and create an exciting sound with our uniquely arranged Irish Tunes.”

To many, what you are doing sounds like a dream job. How does an opportunity like that come about?

“The only way to get any gig these days is simply having contacts. I was lucky enough to be playing in temple bar when the musical director of the show came in for food and he heard me play the uilleann pipes. A unique instrument at the best of times, especially in America. He was very excited about having a piper over in America, as it would add a lot to the show. Playing the pipes has helped me a lot in my musical career as it is not a well-played instrument and have been lucky enough to have been given a talent for them. “

One of the most important questions I can ask you is how many theme parks have you had the chance to visit during your time there and is it free?

“I have access to all Disney owned theme parks for free, which is amazing. However, being a resident of Florida, I get a huge discount on u universal studios and any other main theme park in Orlando. Its a great perk and never gets old visiting the parks.”

Its not all fun though, you do perform 6 days a week and the job can be quite demanding both physically and mentally. Can you tell me a little bit about that side of things?

“It can be very taxing on the body playing for so many hours a week. It’s important to look after your body and mental health while out here as it can take control of your life if you don’t go on excursions when ever possible. Downtime is equally as important as keeping busy because there is a lot of playing. Regular physiotherapy is needed to keep your body healthy and in good shape as the show must go on and it being a Disney show, you are not allowed to miss out on a day with no warning. “

What is your favourite aspect of your job and would you recommend it to aspiring musicians back in Ireland?

“My favourite aspect of the job is being able to play music for a living and being able to experiment with my music. Something you don’t get to do when music is your part time job or if you’re not performing regularly. Meeting all types of musicians from all genres help with some ideas as well. The lifestyle isn’t too bad either.”

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