Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life
We all love our Disney music. The happy library of globally famous Disney songs serve many purposes, whether passing the time on the way to Florida, providing some pleasant study music, waking us up, or simply listening for the sole sake of listening.
I was over the moon when I found out the recent updates to Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Official Albums were going to be available online as MP3 songs. This meant that I didn’t have to wait until my next Disney trip to get my hands on it—I could listen to it the day it came out! Perhaps more importantly, it also meant I didn’t have to re-buy the entire album. I already own a previous version, so the digital format allowed me to only buy the songs I didn’t have yet. Score!
This endeavor of updating my Disney playlist on iTunes led to some revelatory discoveries: as I glanced at the list at the bottom of the page labeled “People who listened to this also bought…,” I did a double-take and was immediately excited at what I saw. It was a whole collection of other fun music from the parks! For a long, long time, many of the park attractions and shows were given their own album, but each was only sold as a physical CD that could only be found at Disney destinations. None of it was online. But now it is! I remember checking many times over the years to no avail, so I’m not completely sure WHEN all of this other music became available online (most on both iTunes and Amazon MP3), but sometime it did, and I’m glad for it.
The following attractions are available in all their glory on their very own iTunes albums, with full ride-throughs. The audio includes not only extended versions of the attractions’ theme songs, but also their fun dialogue and sound effects that the Imagineers have scattered into things. It should be noted that these are longer than the respective tracks that represent these attractions on the WDW Official Album.
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Country Bear Jamboree
- The Haunted Mansion
Additionally, quite a few shows can be found in their entirety on online platforms. They include:
- Disney’s Electrical Parade
- Epcot Candlelight Processional
- Finding Nemo: The Musical
Oddly, California Adventure is represented thoroughly with four online albums all to its own. One is simply titled “Disney’s California Adventure.” Released soon after the park’s opening, it includes many soundbites that no longer inhabit the park following its massive re-imagining, like Superstar Limo and a long-gone parade. Another DCA album is devoted solely to Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular. It gives us a tease of what is to come on Broadway come spring 2014! Lastly, two albums dubbed Circle Sessions give us a relaxing glimpse into the Carthay Circle restaurant and lounge from the newly opened Buena Vista Street. They are perfect to put on right before bedtime. (It’s worth noting that the Circle Sessions are among a very short list of albums in this blog—if not the only albums in this blog—that are available for listening on Spotify. So if all you desire is some computer background music, no need to shell out the cash for a purchase! Just open up Spotify!)
Some favorites are decidedly absent from digital music markets, only being available from physical CDs sold just in the parks. They all have great albums… but you have to go to Florida or California to find them. Hopefully they’ll make the leap online soon, but for the time being you shouldn’t waste your time looking for:
- Magic Kingdom Event Party Music (featuring Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Dream Along with Mickey, and the now-extinct Pirate & Princess Parties)
- Holiday Wishes
- Festival of the Lion King
- Cars Land (though the individual track for Radiator Springs Racers is on the Disneyland Official Album)
However, some tracks you might think are unavailable, but in reality they’re there—you just have to do some digging to find them! Some of the music played throughout the parks isn’t actually Disney music. Disney plays it, yes, but the songs weren’t produced by Disney and therefore aren’t featured on Disney albums, but rather the original albums Disney got the music from in the first place. My favorite of these is The Whistler and His Dog by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, featuring a ton of Main Street music… the best!! A great source for similar finds is ParkTunes.com.
Another solution if Disney doesn’t sell your favorite background music or if its original album is unavailable is to find a sound-alike. Search for the style or song name and scroll through the results. You might be surprised at what you find. A search for “Turkey in the Straw folk” gained me a fun ditty that takes me right to Fort Wilderness in my mind, and a similar search for “Muppet Show orchestra” found an excellent sound-alike for the background music played near Muppet*Vision 3D at Hollywood Studios!
Disney seems to be aware of fans’ increasing hunger for park music. MP3 versions of park music have never had a greater surplus than they do now, and the recent updates to the Official Albums have the highest amount of background music (as opposed to attraction music) than any other versions before them. It’s great to see Disney identifying what the public wants and responding accordingly. What’s your favorite music to listen to from the parks?
Blake is a college student focusing on Creative Writing and Media Studies. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @blakeonline, or at BlakeOnline.com.