If you’ve visited Disney California Adventure and stopped in at Oswald’s on Buena Vista Street, you might have overheard an old-time radio broadcast. Maybe a quick snippet of music, or perhaps a few lines of dialogue from what seems to be a news report? It’s not in your face, but when you listen closely, there is definitely something interesting going on.
Sound familiar? Then congratulations – you’re one of the observant Guests who’s joined the audience for Scary Symphony, a radio play with accompanying music, ads, and more, all created to add to the atmosphere of the Park’s Buena Vista Street area.
Scary Symphony was written by Imagineer and Senior Show Writer Dave Fisher, who has written scripts for attractions at Disney Parks around the world. It was a fun way to revisit the beginning of his career, he says, because one of his very first projects was writing a rock’n’roll radio show for Tokyo Disneyland’s Bebop Hop Shop. For Buena Vista Street, he wanted something that evoked the ‘20s and ‘30s – the result is a nine-minute radio drama with a funny twist, performed in studio by a cast of voice actors. The inspiration? Think Orson Welles’ famous “War of the Worlds” broadcast, given a very Disney (and very funny) twist.
The radio broadcast is such a delight (especially for Disney aficionados) that it was given a showcase at last month’s D23 Expo, performed live by the original cast. If you missed out, you can still catch Scary Symphony playing all day every day at Oswald’s. Dave says that the Imagineers are considering adding the broadcast to a few other shops on Buena Vista Street, as well.
From stained glass windows on Main Street, U.S.A. to Hidden Mickeys, layers of detail are added to the Disney Parks; although most Guests might never notice them, these are the touches that help make the Disney Parks rich and magical places. So next time you find yourself at Disney California Adventure, why not spend a little time by the radio, enjoying an old-school drama of the type that Walt Disney might have listened to as a young man? Be sure to keep an ear out for that Disney twist.
And to hear it for yourself and get a behind the scenes peek at the production, check out this Disney Parks video: