Visiting Hollywood Studios but not a fan of the amusement rides? I’ve got a solution for you: Live actors mingling with guests throughout the park. Yes, walking (and even driving) about; interacting with you. We make it a point every visit to seek them out and enjoy their shenanigans, um I mean, their shows.
The Citizens of Hollywood
The Citizens of Hollywood, or Streetmosphere characters as they are otherwise known, are characters that perform every day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can usually find them on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. The characters range from aspiring actors to directors and even to police officers. They perform a variety of skits that generally have us rolling with laughter and are a great source of family-friendly entertainment. The skits are always different because the crowd they are interacting with constantly changes.
A Brief History: Streetmosphere has been a part of Hollywood Studios since its opening day in May 1989. The entire idea of Streetmosphere was created by C. McNair Wilson, who would later become an Imagineer at Disney. Wilson was one of the directors of a street theater company, SAK Theatre, which performed at renaissance festivals throughout the country. In 1982 Disney Imagineers asked the group to perform in the Italy pavilion in Epcot. They were quickly extended to performing in the United Kingdom pavilion and then Future World. By 1985, they were performing 45 shows-a-day in Epcot in four different locations. That year they were brought into the plans for the upcoming Hollywood Studios Park as part of the planned 2-hour Backstage Tour show. Once Disney decided to go in another direction, Wilson still was inspired to make SAK part of this expansion. Wilson presented a collection of 40 characters that would make the guests feel like they were actually in Hollywood. The Disney executives were won over and presented Wilson with a budget for 23 characters.
In the beginning, Streetmosphere had 20 characters and 32 actors who were commissioned to become Citizens of Hollywood from 1947. Wilson urged them to never break character, no matter what. Guests overwhelmingly loved the Streetmosphere characters. In fact, many park guests that were seasonal pass holders (A pass that allows unlimited park visits during the slow times of the year) were upgrading to Annual Passes. Their popularity has kept them as a park constant over the twenty five years of Hollywood Studios operation. The characters may change, but the entertainment value is still the same; a wildly hilarious time.
Mulch Sweat n’ Shears
While the Citizens of Hollywood are patrolling the front of the park, over on the Streets of America you will find the hottest 5 member band on Disney property; Mulch Sweat n’ Shears. Mulch is a family of landscapers who also happen to be an amazing cover band. They consist of: Morris Mulch, band manager and front man (occasionally Mia Mulch is filling in); Axe Mulch, guitar; Sticks Mulch, drums; Buzz Sweat, Keyboards; and Hedge Shears, bass. Their story is that they snuck onto Disney property with the hopes of landing a big record deal and becoming famous. Mulch’s shows are always entertaining and filled with rock anthems we all know and love, such as Jump, 1985, and Another One Bites the Dust. They are very interactive with the crowd, even pulling some members into the act! I’m always torn between wanting to be up front playing cowbell with them and being my shy self, dancing behind my husband.
The Lowdown: Mulch Sweat n’ Shears first appeared in Hollywood Studios on October 8, 2004 and just celebrated their 10th anniversary of making guests happy. They perform their 30 minute show seven days a week. When not located on the Streets of America with their truck, you can find them on the stage in front of the Sorcerer’s Hat. Regular special event performances are on the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve, where you can find them rocking out along to the fireworks show and stage pyrotechnics. It has been my past experience that these night time shows do get crowded, so plan on getting there early if you want to get a spot close to the stage.
Mulch has also performed at special events such as ESPN weekend, Star Wars weekends, Rock N’ Glow, the Rock your Summer Side event, and most recently the Frozen Summer Fun promotion. They have gone on stage under the names of Scare Supply (for the Monster’s University Homecoming), Bernie Briquette and Brimstone (Villains Unleashed), and The Icemen of the North (Frozen Summer Fun). No matter what the name, it is still one rockin’ good time!
At the time of print, the Disney website shows Mulch performing at 4:30, 5:30, 6:30, & 7:30pm daily. Be sure to check your time guide for that day’s performance times because you don’t want to miss it!