The Best Street Entertainment (and Where to Find It) in Walt Disney World

Street entertainment, or ‘streetmosphere’ as the cool kids call it, is a large part of Disney Parks.  While many theme parks have rides and big shows, many forget the small details.  Areas can look beautiful but the environment can be lacking.  Street entertainment can add energy and excitement to areas.  Not only that but some of these shows are wonderful and well worth seeing.

Big Al CBJ MK

Walt Disney World boasts an incredible amount of streetmosphere.  From Hollywood Studios to Magic Kingdom, each park has some unique acts that are well worth seeing.  In this post, I’m going to write about my favorite street acts in each park.  This isn’t a complete list, as street shows are somewhat interchangeable and I haven’t seen every single one.

Before we get to the parks, I guess setting a quick definition of what fits into this category would be smart.  In this instance, I’m essentially counting anything that isn’t set in a theater or gather large crowds.  There also needs to be some live entertainment involved.  Again, there are great shows that won’t be listed because I either haven’t seen them or you like the show more than me.  If I’m missing something, please tell me down below in the comments.  I’d love to know what your favorite street entertainment is!  We’ll go park-by-park, starting with Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom

Chances are that my favorite Magic Kingdom acts are the same as yours.  Most of them reside on Main Street and are quite famous.  We’ll start with the Dapper Dan’s who stroll around the park throughout the day.  This four-man quartet sing songs to fit the setting – a turn-of-the-century small town in America.  The Dapper Dan’s are a Disney rite of passage and well worth seeing.

Casey’s Corner Pianist is less popular than the Dapper Dan’s but no less impressive.  Playing a few ragtime tunes as well as some Disney standards, this pianist is very fun to watch.  I suggest pulling up a chair by Casey’s and enjoying a little piano as the Main Street Vehicles pass by.

Muppets group in window

These last two items are a little bigger than other streetmosphere entertainment items but they’re too good to leave off the list.  The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History is one of the best shows in Disney World and a must-see in Liberty Square.  The Flag Retreat on Main Street at about 4:45 everyday is well worth seeing and a heartwarming exercise.  Another event that completely fits the Main Street setting.

Epcot 

Epcot has no shortage of street entertainment, specifically around World Showcase.  Before we go there I should mention a few items in Future World.  The Muppet Mobile Labs pops up randomly in Epcot and is a joy to watch.  The show is very funny and about 10 minutes long and is right in between the Innoventions buildings.  If you happen upon the show, make sure to stop!

Epcot night neon

This doesn’t fall under live entertainment but I love the Imagination Pavilion fountain and Fountain of Nations.  Watching these either at the end of the night or with a drink in hand during the day surely enhances the Epcot experience.

It’s hard to keep my favorite acts in World Showcase brief but here goes nothing.  Starting in China, the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats are very impressive and a show at a little larger scale.  They perform on the edge of the pavilion (or inside the pavilion if it’s raining).  There are a few acts the Acrobats perform, each showcasing impressive strength, balance and agility.

Voices of Liberty perform in the American Adventure Pavilion before the actual American Adventure attraction.  This a capella group performs a wide range of songs, mostly old American classics.  They are a beautifully talented group and a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle of World Showcase.

Mariachi band Epcot

Serveur Amasant is not a change of pace but is an exciting and comedic acrobat show in the France Pavilion.  Climbing chairs, whistling and bickering make this show really enjoyable and an excellent way to spend a few minutes.

There are several really good bands that play throughout World Showcase.  If you see someone performing as you walk by, stopping is always a good idea.

Hollywood Studios

While this park will have more entertainment in the next few years, there is still some to see right now.  Most of the shows here are bigger productions though that don’t fall under this post’s category.  There’s a Storm Trooper Parade that I don’t really like.

DHS actors car

The one act I do enjoy is Citizens of Hollywood.  These actors drive up and down Sunset Boulevard.  Most of their acts include interacting with guests.  They sing, dance, and joke throughout the day in Hollywood Studios and if you see a crowd gathering on Sunset Boulevard go join them!

Animal Kingdom

Much of what Animal Kingdom thrives on is there atmosphere.  AK feels slightly more organic than other theme parks and that’s due to performers throughout most lands.  Even the entrance of the park boasts artists native to Florida showcasing some of their goods.  The two artists I’ve had the pleasure of encountering (one painter and one made journals) were both a joy to talk to.  This isn’t necessarily entertainment but it does add to the atmosphere of the park.

Harambe dusk sign AK

Harambe showcases entertainment throughout the day.  Most of these acts center around music and are well worth your time.  My favorites include Burudika and the Tam Tam Drummers.  Any of the performers are worth seeing, and Harambe is great to visit at dusk just to see the live shows.

Along those lines, the Discovery Island Carnivale is as good as it gets when it comes to streetmosphere entertainment. The harp player is fascinating to watch and the colors throughout the area augment the experience.

AK harp

Winged Encounters is a fantastic little bird show but is incredibly hard to find.  This takes place on Discovery Island and features some beautiful Macaws.  If you can find it then watch it.  If you can’t find it, you’re not alone!

Animal Kingdom features a subtle nighttime projection show called Tree of Life Awakenings that is absolutely beautiful.  While not exactly streetmosphere, it’s so good that I’d feel bad if I didn’t mention this.  Last of all, there are plenty of little animal exhibits throughout Discovery Island that are beautiful to see.  I guess this is somewhat live entertainment so I’m counting it.

ToL Awakenings Jungle Book AK

As I’ve said, these are a few of my favorite shows but there are tons more.  A good rule of thumb is that if you see something that looks up your alley then stop and watch it.  That attraction that you’re racing off to will still be there in five minutes.  Take the time to enjoy the atmosphere and Disney Parks become even more enjoyable.

What are your favorite street acts at Walt Disney World?  Let me know in the comments!  If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney please subscribe to the blog via email or WordPress and like our social media pages.  You can find all of those things on the right side of this page.  Thank you very much for reading, we appreciate it!

– Andrew

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