What is Streetmosphere? It dates back to 1977 when a street theater company (SAK Theatre) dreamt up the idea, and gave it a name. SAK was headed up by a three directors, C. McNair Wilson, Terry Olson, and Herbie Hansen (who went on to become one of the Streetmosphere performers at MGM Studios). They had about 60 actors performing at 30 renaissance festivals each year. The actors didn’t have a theater or stage, they would perform “on the street” for the entertainment of those who happened to be in the area! Disney has Streetmosphere performers in all of their parks to enhance the lands and make them feel more realistic.
Take Sunset Boulevard as an example. It’s a street stuck in time in the 40s in Hollywood. The buildings, music, and interiors of the gift shops are all themed to that time. However, the land will feel more realistic if you look down the street and see an old 40s car driving towards you with a famous movie star, aspiring actress, or director in it! These characters will do a short performance on the street, or just interact with guests. You’ll feel even more immersed in the land, and it’s something that makes Disney stand out from other theme parks around the world.
So now, let’s get to the list of the best Streetmosphere in each Disney World park!
The Citizens of Hollywood
Go forth, go fabulous at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The Citizens of Hollywood are a group of performers who make their way up and down Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard at various times per day. The represent “the Hollywood that never was, and always will be”. These eccentric performers do various sketches and games during the day and they’re guaranteed to make you laugh! They often find ways to involve guests from the crowd in their skits – whether it be giving them a topic, becoming the next Hollywood bachelorette, or just to chat!
Today in Hollywood you’ll see 6-7 Citizens a day. The full troupe consists of almost 20 performers, made up of starlets, directors, screenwriters, “wannabes”, talent agents, policemen, gossip columnists, and more! For more about the Citizens, head to this article.
Green Army Drummers
Andy’s coming! Toy Story Land brings one of the most popular Pixar movies to life. When you step into the land, you’re shrunken down to the size of the toy. You’ll see a thermos and lunchbox that makes a restaurant, Babybel cheeses as stools, and bendy straws as lights. But, this land wouldn’t be complete without the Green Army Men! Throughout the day, be on the lookout for the Green Army Drum Corps in Toy Story Land! This talented band of drummers is sure to entertain guests of all ages with their high-energy performances and awe-inspiring drum sequences.
At certain times of day, Sarge will also come out. The Green Army Men march across the land, and end up over by Alien Swirling Saucers. They may play the drums, play with hula hoops and large crayons, or teach guests how to limbo!
Jambo from Africa! While most of us are familiar with the rides and shows in Africa at Animal Kingdom, you may not think of the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe as a must-see. But, these performers are some of the best. Gather around these impressive musicians in authentic dress as they dance, drum and thrill the crowd. They’re a high-energy band that will have you clapping and dancing along. They also invite guests to join them and learn one of their easier dances!
Pandora lets guests join Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) for the transformational experience of a lifetime—with unforgettable expeditions, floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest, winged mountain banshees and more. The Pandora Utility Suit showcases natural wonders in dramatic fashion. Under the control of its pilot—a Pandora Conservation Initiative scientist—this 10-foot-tall mechanical suit roams the Mo’ara Valley to study fauna, collect plant samples and explore the rough terrain. While the suit traverses the land, its pilot will interact with guests, discuss the otherworldly landscape and share details about conservation efforts in Pandora.
Zip-a-Dee Doo Dah! The Dapper Dans are a barbershop quartet who make their way around Main Street USA performing a variety of songs. You can spot them by their colorful pinstripe suits, straw hats, and spats and taps. This 4-man group performs a scintillating selection of Acappella American standards and Disney classics, including Yankee Doodle Dandy, Strolling Through the Park, Mr. Sandman, If You’re Happy and You Know It, and Zip-a-Dee Doo Dah. They certainly add to the picture-perfect feel of Main Street USA.
Dressed in charming costumes from a bygone era, these 12 dandy dancers ride in a turn-of-the-20th-century trolley car. When it stops, they croon tunes like “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” “Walkin’ Right Down the Middle of Main Street, U.S.A.” and “The Trolley Song”—and show off some nifty choreography. You can catch their show on multiple locations on Main Street all-day – just look for the Trolley!
Citizens of Main Street
Just like the Citizens of Hollywood, Main Street USA has Citizens of their own. You’ll see a variety of local town residents walking around including women suffragists (Hildegard Olivia Harding and Beatrice Starr are two of our favorites), Will Helpya the town mayor, Fire Chief Smokey Miller, town historian Noah Lott, choir director Victoria Trumpetto, and many more! You might even be lucky enough to catch a musical performance!
Casey’s Corner Pianist
As you walk down Main Street U.S.A., a musical surprise awaits – a pianist! Each day, a spectacular pianist plays outside of Casey’s Corner featuring ragtime tunes and other familiar Disney songs. This is a special touch of Main Street that brings out the feeling of a picture-perfect town. One of the pianists, Jim Omohundro, has been performing for 32 years. He loves to get younger guests involved in the show, and even asks kids to help him play the last note of each song!
JAMMitors in Future World West
As you walk through Future World, suddenly you see a group of Disney custodians with trash cans. They pull out brooms, drum sticks, and tin cans and start playing the drums with them! This lively group will catch you by surprise, and you won’t want to stop listening! With the Epcot construction, their location can vary however they typically can be found by the garden on the backside of Spaceship Earth.
So there you have it! These are just a few of our favorite Streetmosphere performers in Walt Disney World. These performances are a great time to relax and be entertained before rushing off to your next Fastpass or dining reservation!