5 Best Street Performers at Walt Disney World
Entering the gateway to Magic Kingdom for the first time is an experience best described as sensual overload. At the very same moment, your eyes are drawn upwards to the iconic train station. Your ears become aware of the distant music that is pulling you closer towards the gate. The touch of your finger tip grants you access. A Little do you know that street performers might be awaiting you!
Engaging all the senses is what makes a Disney Parks experience so unique. Part of what makes the enticing atmosphere so iconic is the addition of atmospheric performers throughout the Resort! Keeping the spirit of whimsy and surprise alive, atmospheric street performers are one Walt-created experience still alive today!
Atmospheric Performances are…What?
I’m not talking about the stage shows or nighttime spectaculars. A far cry from Festival of the Lion King and Fantasmic!, I’m talking about the performances that you don’t always plan for, but simply encounter as you’re touring the Parks and Resort. Any performance that takes place out in the open that invite guests to gather around to watch is what I’m considering an ‘atmospheric performance’, and these are the best the Resort has to offer!
The Dapper Dans
Starting the list with the classic Main Street USA staples, this barber shop quartet has been delighting and surprising guests for decades at Magic Kingdom! With multiple performances each day, you’ll have plenty of chances to catch their sultry sounds as they serenade the masses.
My favorite part about the Dapper Dans isn’t their super-human ability to maintain perfect pitch without accompaniment, but that they perform a combination of classic and new tunes in each set!
My most favorite memory is watching the Dapper Dans perform the theme from the now-retired Main Street Electrical Parade…featuring real bells played by the Dapper Dans themselves!
Even if you aren’t staying at one of the Resorts that sit along the banks of Crescent Lake, you’re missing out on an evening of pure magic if you forego the chance to visit Disney’s Boardwalk area!
A 5-minute walk from Epcot’s International Gateway, the Boardwalk is the place to go for a post-Illuminations drink, or to grab an ice cream cone on a hot Florida evening! Every day, you can find a Coney Island-style performer take his act to you right on the Boardwalk! Keep a close eye on his tricks…he just might ask you to juggle with him!
Citizens of Hollywood
Hollywood Studio’s current state reminds me of a long-forgotten building that is slowly crumbling to nothingness. Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge in tandem will hopefully revitalize this sad, lonely Park…but all hope is not lost just yet!
Like pieces of shrapnel, the Citizens of Hollywood street performers refuse to unstick themselves from the Park, and they serve as a fantastic reminder of this Park’s glory days! The improv troupe parades out onto Sunset Boulevard each morning and invites us, the guests of Hollywood, to gather round and watch their show!
The British Revolution
This one is a cross between a standing stage show and a pop-up atmospheric performance. I think it is best classified under the latter category. It takes place on most nights in the UK Pavilion in Epcot. The British Revolution is a live rock and roll band that pays homage to classic British music groups like The Who, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and more!
One of my favorite ways to end a day is watching these professional rockers jam out with the guests of Epcot in a head-banging, heart-pounding set! If you’re not singing when Bohemian Rhapsody starts, you are committing the cardinal rock and roll sin!
Tam Tam Drummers
Born and raised in Africa, the talented drummers that play for the crowds in Harambe are as authentic as they come! Nothing says ‘welcome to Africa’ like hearing the sounds of these street performers as you stroll through the park.
Animal Kingdom is, in my opinion, the best themed Park of them all, and the Tam Tam drummers only add to my argument! Playing traditional African celebration and dance beats, see if you can hear the difference in cadence as they switch from samba to rumba in an effortless, rhythmically-driven performance!
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