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The “Citizens” of Hollywood…..Studios

Friday, February 04, 2011

When our family travels to Walt Disney World we typically follow a plan.  Each day we know what park we want to visit, or what non-park activity we wish to experience.  There are very few activities we’ll consider experiencing which will alter our plans for the day.  However, one activity that can throw our daily plan completely out the window is a visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to experience the Citizens of Hollywood.  This collection of actors and actresses that roam Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards delight guests on a daily basis with their incredible skits and antics.  This activity is so much fun we’ll typically wake-up in the morning and spontaneously decide to head over to Hollywood Studios to see this collection of talent. 

Like most attractions at Walt Disney World the Citizens of Hollywood have a rich history behind them.  This group of aspiring actors and actresses has been around since Hollywood Studios opened in 1989.  The idea of streetmosphere was developed by Disney Imagineer C. McNair Wilson.  For a complete recap of how Streetmosphere and the Citizens of Hollywood came to Hollywood Studios check out our ‘History of Streetmospere’ article right here at Studioscentral.com. 

During a visit to Hollywood Studios 4 years ago it hit our family like a ton of bricks.  Why were these characters specifically called the Citizens of Hollywood?  They seemed to travel around the theme park like they owned the place.  Well, they may not own the place, but it is their home, the place where they live, their community.  When guests visit Hollywood Studios they are welcomed each day by the people who live there, The “Citizens” of Hollywood.  They truly are “citizens” and they are meant to act like they are part of the community inside the theme park.  Funny as it sounds; I never made this connection until 4 years ago.  I found myself hitting the side of my head asking “Why didn’t I know this before, you idiot?!” 

The best time to visit Hollywood Studios to experience the Citizens of Hollywood is between 9:00AM and 3:00PM.  This is the time of day they seem to be the most active.  They perform their skits and antics as the day progresses.  You really never know when, where, and who will come out.  Rest assured they will show up and bring their sets and props with them.  One nice benefit of seeing the Citizens of Hollywood is they will typically greet guests as the park opens each day.  They are present along Hollywood Blvd. as guests stream into the park.  They’ll typically try and interact with specific guests as they race to Toy Story Mania or the Tower of Terror.  Another great benefit of these entertainers is they continually interact with guests during their performances.  I don’t mean just speaking with you while you watch, but they’ll pull you from a crowd and make you a part of their skit.  Before you know it you’re in the show.  The outcome of the performance greatly depends on your ability to act and play along with their comedic talent. 

In reality, most of these entertainers are aspiring actors.  They are individuals who have chosen and made a commitment to entertain crowds as a career.  It just so happens they’ve landed a job with Disney who has hired them to entertain the crowds at Hollywood Studios.  The Citizens of Hollywood and streetmosphere is a big part of the entertainment offerings inside Hollywood Studios.  They’ve all been given a stage name which fits their role and personality.  Most of the time they’ll introduce themselves to guests so you can easily identify them in the future.  Stars such as Paige Turner, Alberto Dante, and Vladimir Pooey are just some of the lineup of character you’ll see throughout the day.  For a complete lineup of streetmosphere characters please visit our ‘Citizens of Hollywood Directory’ at Studioscentral.com. 

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun our family has had interacting with the Citizens of Hollywood over the years.  Not only do they provide great entertainment, but they enjoy speaking with guests, taking pictures with families, or simply walking around the park looking for opportunities to interact with visitors.  After all, we are their guests.  The streetmosphere characters help give the theme park life and a unique personality.  They fit right in and they act like the park is their home. 

Whenever you feel the need to be spontaneous at Walt Disney World don’t overlook one of the gems at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  It’s worth a visit to the theme park just for experiencing this talent and entertainment.  Walking up and down Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards you can’t help but get caught up in the excitement and atmosphere the Citizens of Hollywood provides guests on a daily basis.  They feel like they are part of the theme park.  It’s truly why they are called the “Citizens” of “Hollywood…..Studios”. 

Next Up:  Playing Camouflage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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About this column

Aaron DelPrince looks at the various activities you and your family can experience at Walt Disney World


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