Many guests that come to Disney tend to miss a lot of it. Sure there are the rides, shows, and characters but have you seen the architecture or hidden Mickey’s? Have you read the plaques, signs in the windows, or any of the written items when you wait in line? There is so much more to Disney than just the rides. One thing I think most people go without noticing or looking for is the streetmosphere. All of the four Walt Disney World parks have different streetmosphere that fit into their themes.
When I was little my dad and I would go into Hollywood Studios (then still called MGM) for the extra magic hours in the morning. We would race to Tower of Terror and grab a Fastpass then go wait on Rockin’ Roller Coaster. By the time we got off the roller coaster we’d grab a Fastpass for that, then go use our Fastpass for Tower of Terror. We would go back and forth a few times before we stopped for our frozen lemonade. That is when we would sit on a curb and wait. We knew sooner or later someone was going to pop up somewhere. It never took too long, a movie star or aspiring movie star, police officer, director, or even traffic light mechanics would all seem to just melt out of the crowd moving through the street. The usually set up shop right in the middle of the street and beware: even if you don’t stop to watch you may be a target of their conversation!
In Epcot I remember there used to be these human cranes that you would usually find around Japan. Now in China they have acrobats, in the UK they have a group that put on a play with guests help, Japan plays the drums, and you can what an engraver in Germany.
In Animal Kingdom in Africa you can watch some African drummers over by the Safari. There is also DeVine if you are lucky enough to spot her. She is a human grapevine, much like the human cranes that used to be in Epcot. She makes her entrance through some of the many wooded areas throughout the park. It is really hard to spot her though. Many people walk right by. The best chance is asking Cast Members or looking along the pathways for a group of two or three people with a Cast Member that looks a little out of place.
In Magic Kingdom there is a wide variety of streetmosphere. I remember when I was little I was in Tomorrowland. I wasn’t paying much attention when I went to throw something out in one of the many garbage cans. Imagine my surprise when the garbage can spoke to me. I will never forget what it told me, “You know you have pooh on your shirt?” As a little kid I was horrified. I am not ashamed that it took me a few minutes to catch on to what the clever garbage receptacle was referring to. I was wearing a shirt that had a Pooh Bear on it. The talking trashcan still makes its appearances. There is also a barbershop quartet that performs on Main Street USA, and you can also look for the Mayor on Main Street as well, a band of frontiersman in Frontierland (look for the man with the tuba), and Jack Sparrow teaches young pirates out by Pirates of the Caribbean.
Walt Disney World has excellent rides and shows; there is no questioning that. But guests often miss the little wonders that the Imagineers tried so hard to put in there. A great way to pass time and take a break in the rush of the park is to stop at watch the streetmosphere and who knows: maybe you’ll be part of the show. So have faith and trust that you’ll get to everything you want to see in the park and let Disney sprinkle the pixie dust by surprising you with their streetmosphere!
Jess was born and raised on Long Island, New York but once college began so did her adventures. She’s lived in Florida, Wisconsin, and now South Carolina. Her family is part of the Disney Vacation Club and has been visiting since she was a little girl, and continuously goes every year. Besides being a big Disney fan she has also been a Disney Cast Member working in Magic Kingdom, and she counts it as one of the most magical experiences. She worked with everyone’s favorite elephant Dumbo, Cinderella’s Carousel, and Mickey’s Philharmagic. Jess has also visited Disneyland, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and gone on two Disney Cruises. She has so many great memories from Disney besides running half marathons and 5ks, birthday parties, and family reunions. If asked where she would want to go it is almost always Disney, and when asked why, it is almost always because she can eat awesome gluten free food! And it doesn’t hurt that there is always faith, trust, and pixie dust with magic in the air!