/ Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

by Makena W.

There are an abundance of sights, sounds and smells to experience throughout Walt Disney World.  What I find intriguing is the captivating background music that you unconsciously are drawn to that then seems to stick with you.  My definition of background music is a piece of music that isn’t the center of attention when played, people might consider Grim Grinning Ghosts or A Pirate’s Life For Me as background songs, but I do not because the focus is around the words and the song itself, unlike the transition from Fantasyland to Main Street or the Swiss Family Robinson tree house (See how I snuck two in already?) Some of my favorites are played in attractions and shows. Here are just a few:

Ellen’s Energy Adventure
For some reason I have always been drawn to this piece of music.  It really echoes Ellen’s experience by sounding very adventurous and curious.  The trumpet crescendos add to the suspense and the trills from the flutes and clarinets and other wind instruments during the quitter parts of the piece are brilliant. The crash cymbals keep you on your toes.  Sadly, I can sing along to this piece, even though it doesn’t have words.  (It sounds something like: Do-doo-do do-do-do-do-do-dooooo!  Doo-DO-doo-doooo, do-doo do-do-do-Do-Do-DO-DOO!)  Believe it or not, this is the song I listen to on repeat when working on my blogs, along with one or two others.  I remember hearing it for the first time and, when the piece finished, I had to replay it because I was so drawn to it.

This is surprisingly a very recognizable soundtrack.  It literally SOUNDS like the places you visit.  When you are over the golf course, the music is quieter than when you are zipping around mountains.  Also, the way the music begins with the slow dramatic crescendo gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. That portion is what you hear as you are being lifted from the ground.  It’s a very amazing piece to listen to when running or doing something ordinary and it makes it so much more interesting and fun.

Opening of Fantasmic
Okay, so this is what Lou would call a “go-with-me-here”.  People might argue that this shouldn’t count as a background music favorite because it is in a show.  But, as I mentioned before, my definition of background music is “a piece of music that isn’t the center of attention when played”.  Your attention is focused on what is happening on the water and stage, not the orchestrated piece.  This score is a lot of fun and great to hum along to.

Test Track Queue Music
This music is very distinguished and recognizable.  Instead of using instruments like snare drums and trumpets, they use the unique sounds of drills, cars accelerating, and wrenched banging on rims.  The only down side to this is the volume of the piece.  It is very loud and can get irritating when you are waiting in an hour line.  I personally have gotten headaches from this in Epcot, but I still love it.  It is only heard in the queue line for Test Track, not on the actual ride.

Doom Buggy Boarding Music
The Haunted Mansion has a lot of different scores for one attraction.  Of course, there is “Grim Grinning Ghosts”, but there is also the queue music, entering the preshow, exiting the preshow, exiting the ride, and more.  My favorite is when you are boarding your doom buggy.  The use of chimes and the fact that it sounds like the wind is blowing in the music adds to the creepiness.  An instrument that I can’t seem to identify (maybe a clarinet?) holds long notes throughout most of the piece.   I just adore how a simple piece like this really establishes the mood of the attraction and adds a layer of creativity.

Next time you go to the parks, listen all around you for sounds maybe you have never picked up before.  There are SO many more than the ones I have mentioned, like the Expedition Everest gift shop and Stitch’s queue line.  A variety of these songs can be found on the Four Parks, One World CD sold on the Disney Website and in the parks.  I own this CD and I listen to it all the time.  I even run to some of the songs!  When you are waiting to experience Walt Disney World attractions, what music catches your ear?

This week’s “Where in the World?” is a little bit difficult.  Can you figure it out?

See ya REAL soon!
~Makena W.



11 thoughts on “Disney Background Music You Can’t Seem To Forget”

  1. Katie says:

    Love this! This would make a great Top 10 With Lou and Tim!

  2. Jim O says:

    I am all about the music in WDW! I couldn’t even image visiting the parks without music playing in the background.

  3. Tony E says:

    Is it part of Price Eric’s Castle in New Fantasyland?

  4. Brian D says:

    I love all these songs. I wish I knew of a place I could get songs like this or other attraction music!

  5. DisneyDaddy says:

    Epcot music is the best! I can listen to the Innoventions loop for hours.

  6. Caitlin Corsello says:

    What a great post, I don’t even know which music to pick as my favorite! One piece of music that sticks out in my mind is the sound of drums being played in the background in Adventureland.

  7. makena says:

    Katie: I would love to hear that show!

    Jim: I can’t either! it really adds to the magical feeling.

    Tony: We will find out next week!

    Brian D: Disney should put a bunch of them on iTunes. There is a CD titled “Four Parks, One World” that has a few of these songs.

    DisneyDaddy: I love the futuristic feel!

    Caitlin: Thank you so much! I remember the drums to. That ALMOST made my list, but you have to make the cutoff somewhere!

    Thanks for all the comments!

  8. I love ALL of the selections you chose! It may be cliche, but the track that brings a surefire smile to my face is the music played on Main Street, USA. It pretty much makes me want to skip all the way to Cinderella Castle (which I would probably do if I could better navigate through the crowds)!

  9. Blake says:

    Oh my goodness the Test Track music… the ride broke down one time when we were in line, so we were stuck in the same spot of the queue for about 45 minutes and had to hear that music over and over… we surely will not forget that tune anytime soon!

    Fantasmic’s music is one of my favorites as well. I agree that they should put more BGM on CDs and iTunes, it would sell really well! I was glad to find Main Street’s music… apparently it’s from a CD called “The Whistler and His Dog,” go figure!

  10. Victoria says:

    I’m with DisneyDaddy. The Innoventions loop is the best. My husband even made part of it into a ringtone for my phone. 🙂

  11. Jason Breslin says:

    I love the queue music for Space Mountain. I also love the music for what was once Mickey’s Toontown Fair because I was able to recognize all of the cartoon music including Donald Duck’s Theme, Steamboat Willie, Casey at the Bat, Campin’ Out, Goofy’s Theme, and Minnie’s Yoo Hoo. Also the queue music for Splash Mountain because I love hearing old-timey music. I also love the music at DHS by the Sorcerer’s Hat with all of the classic movie themes and Broadway overtures, being a Broadway nerd and all. There’s more that I cannot remember off the top of my head right now.