Monday, May 5, 2008

Music from the Parks

Anyone who visits a Disney theme park will be touched by music. Whether consciously or subconsciously. They may not even know that they are hearing half of the music that reaches their ears. The music is a large part of getting lost in another time and place. It sets the mood and the guests' expectations.

In addition to the place-making background music, we hear catchy tunes in various attractions that we find ourselves humming for the rest of the day. We return from vacation with words from "One Little Spark" or "It's a Small World" running through our thoughts.

Disney has capitalized on their creations over the years by releasing this music in various records, CDs, cassette tapes, 8-tracks, and now digital downloads. They have been releasing albums with theme park music for decades. I cannot find an official list anywhere, but I know there were Disneyland releases as early as the 1960s, if not earlier. A good resource for this would be the book The Golden Age of Walt Disney Records 1933 - 1988. This book is a price guide, but seems to be a fairly complete listing. If anyone has a copy of this, I would love to know when the first Disneyland albums were released.

My first encounter with officially released music was the 1992 set The Music of Disney: A Legacy in Song. This three-CD collection included seven tracks from the theme parks. I hadn't realized before then that this music was available for me to listen to at home. At that point, I was hooked. Since then, I have religiously picked up CDs each time I visit the parks, and eBay has become a great friend in adding older releases to my collection. My CD and record collection today includes about 60 items. Most of these are Walt Disney World releases, although a do have a few from Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.

In several posts to follow, we will be exploring this collection. We will see how the releases themselves have transformed over the years, as well as how the releases have reflected changes in the Florida resort. We will also look at a few books to get some more information about music from the parks.

1 comment:

D.O.C. said...


This is nice collection. I have been at it for a few years but still lack some of the older park music collections. I was hoping to buy the new park CD this past trip but could find it nowhere. I love the park music and the area BGM.