/ Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Most have heard and made the declaration that “all good things must come to an end.”  Of course, I agree that many good things do arrive at their inevitable conclusion; nevertheless, I also firmly believe that there are some profoundly wonderful things that transcend time.  It is fair to say that writing the More to the World post series has been one of the good things in my life.  Indeed, it has been a pleasure and privilege to create and share each one.  Be that as it may, I believe it has reached its natural conclusion.  Therefore, this will be the final installment in the yearlong series.  Unlike the finite nature of some things (like this series) there are others that exist forever.  A perfect example of just such a wonderful and everlasting thing is music, which happens to be a principle focus in this More to the World post.

Music is a gift that permeates virtually every aspect of life.  It rises above culture, race, gender, and age.  It has the power to generate great joy, encourage celebration, set a mood, sooth the human soul, and alter one’s frame of mind.  The music of Walt Disney World® (WDW®) accomplishes all those things, and perhaps even more. Disney Imagineers are known for their ingenious use of music to enhance the overall experience of every visitor to Resort. These immensely creative master planners and developers understand that the well-planned use of music is integral to their ability to successfully provide visitors to WDW® with profoundly pleasurable and uniquely memorable experiences. They know that the rhythms, tones and/or lyrics of music produce spontaneous as well as contagious responses capable of triggering the brain to mark special moments in time. At WDW®, visitors can expect to encounter music almost continually throughout the entire Resort property. After all, at the “happiest place on earth”, beautiful happenings, tender moments, exhilarating fun, mesmerizing sights and/or spine-chilling thrills are meant to be unforgettable, and they are at WDW®.

In this post, it is my challenge to persuade the music-loving WDW® skeptic that there is More to the World for them than they might imagine.  Indeed, there are numerous opportunities to enjoy music throughout the property.  Many of them occur in attractions, stage shows, restaurants, and etcetera.  Perhaps something(s) on the following lists will strike a chord prompting a visit to the harmoniously wonderful world of Disney. Let’s take a closer look.

 

Included With Admission

Synchronized Music Attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, Epcot®, and Magic Kingdom® Park:

  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios® Fantasmic! is an imaginative fireworks and water spectacular featuring Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice along with villains, heroes and songs from Disney films.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios® Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith is an indoor rollercoaster that boasts a 32,000 watt state-of-the-art sound system and soundtrack of Aerosmith songs.
  • Epcot® Future World – Fountain of Nations is a large-scale water fountain located in Innoventions Plaza that “dances” in sync with music from Disney movies.
  • Epcot® Future World – Soarin’® is a breathtaking “hang-gliding” attraction that uses a 180-degree IMAX projection dome with a film that is enhanced by a masterful musical score. Illuminations
  • Epcot® World Showcase IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is a three part spectacular lights and fireworks show presented from the center of the World Showcase Lagoon.
  • Magic Kingdom® Park Mickey’s PhilharMagic® is a 3D animated movie/concert experience supported by memorable Disney songs.
  • Magic Kingdom® Park Main Street Electrical Parade is an after dark procession that features gliding floats clad entirely in tiny colored, glowing lights and ridden on by Disney characters and dancers.
  • Magic Kingdom® Park Wishes Nighttime Spectacular is an elaborate fireworks and special effects show cast over Cinderella Castle, narrated by Disney characters and supported by famous Disney songs.

Special Productions from Disney’s Animal Kingdom®, Magic Kingdom® Park, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios® :

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme ParkFinding Nemo-The Musical is a 40-minute stage show that utilizes animation, theatrical puppetry, and live performers to present the captivating story of Nemo, the clown fish, from the award-winning Disney·Pixar classic feature film.Beauty and the Beast
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios®Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage is a spectacular 40-minute open-air Broadway-style musical production of the award-winning animated classic fairytale film.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios®The American Idol® Experience is a realistic replication of the world famous live, vocal competition in which you can audition, perhaps perform, or be a part of the audience.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios®Voyage of the Little Mermaid is a heartwarming, elaborate and elegant Broadway-style musical production of the enchanting tale of Belle and the Beast from the Disney classic.
  • Magic Kingdom® Park Country Bear Jamboree is a country western musical revue featuring hillbilly (animatronic) bears singing a medley of foot-stomping songs.

Live Performers:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park (Africa) – Burudika is a lively African band that plays Afro-pop music.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park (Asia) – Chakranadi is the land’s highly skilled and captivating sitar and tabla duo at the “Festival of All Seasons”.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park (Asia) Festival of All Seasons” is a show featuring DJ Anaan and his dancers, who invite you to enjoy a fusion of Punjabi and western pop known as Bhangra music.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park Gi-Tar Dan at Rafiki’s Planet Watch® is an entertaining improvisational guitar-playing singer and storyteller.
  • Downtown Disney® AreaHouse of Blues® is a restaurant and live music club where dishes created by world-renowned chef, Aaron Sanchez are served while world famous musicians and new acts perform the blues, rock ’n’ roll,  R&B, hip hop, Latin, reggae, and more.  In addition, a soulful Sunday Gospel Brunch featuring Southern-style foods and gospel music is a favorite.  Reservations by phone are recommended at (407)934-BLUE.
  • Epcot® Future World JAMMitors at Future World East are “janitors” that utilize a variety of work items as instruments to present a unique percussion street performance.
  • Epcot® World Showcase Mariachi Cobra is a lively band that performs folk music in the Mexico Pavilion.
  • Epcot® World Showcase Matzuriza is a mesmerizingly powerful, age-old form of synchronized drumming and movements being performed by a percussive ensemble at the Japan Pavilion.
  • Epcot® World Showcase Mo’Rockin is a fusion band that mingles pop rock with Middle Eastern sounds during performances that include an extraordinary belly dancer at the Morocco Pavilion.
  • Epcot® World Showcase Off Kilter is kilt-wearing, bagpipe and stringed instrument Celtic-rock band that has been performing at Epcot since 1997.
  • Epcot® World Showcase The British Revolution is a 4-piece British rock band that plays favorite rock and roll, pop ballads, and psychedelic rock from big-name bands like The Beatles and The Who.
  • Epcot® World Showcase Voices of Liberty is a phenomenal a capella group that performs beneath an acoustically perfect dome in the America Pavilion.Dapper Dans
  • Magic Kingdom® Park Casey’s Corner Pianist on Main Street, USA® is a spirited gent, who plays his own selections or your favorites by request.
  • Magic Kingdom® Park Dapper Dans is the Main Street, USA® classic quartet that performs in four-part harmony all decked out in their turn-of-the-century “barbershop” attire.
  • Magic Kingdom® Park Main Street Philharmonic at Main Street, USA® is a marching band that plays ragtime, swing, and classic songs from Disney films.

 

Where to Stay

  • Disney’s All-Star Music Resort is situated in Disney’s All-Star MusicAnimal Kingdom® resort area.   As guests approach this WDW Value Resort, the attention-grabbing music symbols/icons—that artfully cover its buildings’ exteriors—resoundingly invite music lovers of all ages to come and enjoy Disney’s larger-than-life tribute to rhythm.  Though the Resort’s interior design is low-key by comparison, the music theme reverberates throughout and openly honors genres such as country, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, calypso, and Broadway-style show tunes.  In addition to its captivating interior and exterior design, the resort boasts two music-themed pools: one in the shape of an enormous guitar and the other in the shape of grand piano.
  • While the aforementioned resort is all about music, there are several other WDW resort hotels that pay homage to genres that correspond with each particular resort’s overall theme.  For example, on select nights, the Scat Cat’s Club at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter hotel showcases jazz singer and pianist, Tom Casey.  Over at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa hotel, visitors/guests are entertained by the Grand Floridian Lobby Society Orchestra, which plays turn-of-the-century traditional, ragtime, and Dixieland jazz at various times throughout the day.  In addition to the orchestra, the Grand Floridian Lobby Pianist can be heard tickling the ivories of a grand piano at varying times daily.

 

Where to Eat

  • Disney’s Polynesian Resort Disney’s Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show features an authentic luau feast and show held in the Luau Cove, which is an open-air theater situated on Bay Lake.  Reservations are required.Hoop De Doo
  • Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review is a dinner show presented in Pioneer Hall.  Guests can expect to be well-fed and have a rousing good time as they are entertained by the Pioneer Hall Players, who will provide plenty of singing, dancing, and good old fashioned comedy.  Reservations are required.
  • Epcot® World Showcase Restaurant Marrakesh located in the Morocco Pavilion is so authentic that guests will feel positively transported by the flavorful Moroccan cuisine as well as the lively music and belly dancing.  Reservations are recommended.
  • Epcot® World Showcase Biergarten Restaurant situated the German Pavilion is home to a realistic representation of a Bavarian village.  There, Oktoberfest celebrations occur daily.  There, guests have the opportunity to enjoy authentic German food as well as polka music and dancing.  Reservations are recommended.

 

Something Extra                                                                                                                                                

  • Downtown Disney® Area – La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil® is a spectacularly entrancing and mystifying production presented by dozens of highly skilled trapeze artists, acrobats, singers, clowns, and jugglers from numerous different countries.  Tickets are required and are available for purchase online or by phone (407) 939-7600.
  • Magic Kingdom® Park Night of Joy Night of Joyis a multi-night, contemporary Christian music festival.  The 2014 Night of Joy concert performances will take place on September 5th and 6th, and will feature the following Christian rock, pop, and gospel superstar performers:  September 5thHillsong United, Chris Tomlin, Matthew West, For King & Country, Mandisa, Building 429, Matt Maher, and The Neverclaim; then, on September 6thCasting Crowns, Mercy Me, Britt Nicole, Israel Houghton & New Bread, Colton Dixon, Rhett Walker, We As Hyman, and 1 Girl Nation.

 

In addition to the aforementioned ways in which a music lover can enjoy good vibrations at WDW®, there are countless attraction theme songs, background numbers, queue line tunes as well as resort, restaurant and in-store music melodies to entertain guests throughout the property.  Indeed, music truly is virtually everywhere at WDW®, and it’s all there for the express purpose of enhancing every guest’s visit or vacation at Walt Disney World® Resort.  In this, my final post in the series, my challenge was to persuade the music-loving WDW® skeptic that there is More to the World for them than they might image.  Here’s hoping the right chord has been struck prompting a skeptic to visit the harmoniously wonderful world of Disney.

Well, “all good things must come to an end”, and with that, the More to the World series concludes.  My “I Have a Craving…” series continues monthly. Speaking of having cravings… Hopefully my craving topics will not take on a crazy theme, as I am excited to share with readers that my husband and I are expecting our first child!  I promise you will not have to read an I Have a Craving for Pickles and Ice Cream post.  I am also pleased to announce that starting this summer I will begin a new series centered on little known aspects of the Disney company, parks, films, history, etcetera.   Be sure to check the blog and/or WDW Radio app for the first installment!

 (Images copyright Disney.)

 Readers, where and or how do you enjoy music while at Walt Disney World®?  Which songs hold the most emotional meaning or memories for you?

 

head shotKendall began visiting Walt Disney World in 1991 with her family and has continued to visit the resort with her husband.  As a child, she and her family filled vacations with challenges such as “How many times can we ride Splash Mountain during SpectroMagic and the fireworks?” (Answer: 7)  Now, after marrying a converted Disney skeptic, she and her husband enjoy challenges such as “How many hours can we eat nonstop at the Food & Wine Festival?” (Answer: 4)

5 Responses to "More to the World for the Music Lover"

  1. Anne says:

    Let me be the first, here in the comment section, to say, “Congratulations, so happy for you and your husband!”

    I will miss the “More to the World” series. They have provided some very interesting reading, even for those of us who are not skeptics. I have shared much of your information with others… especially those in doubt about taking a WDW trip.

    Love the “Craving” posts, and will look forward to your new series.

    Again, “BIG CONGRATS!”

  2. Anne says:

    I was so happy for you and your husband that I forgot that I wanted to answer your question about where and how I enjoy music at WDW.

    All the music played throughout the property is so great. While I like the parades, fireworks, resort lobbies, restaurants, etc., I guess I am most fond of the attraction music, especially Splash Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, the Country Bear Jamboree, Peter Pan’s Flight, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, the Pirates of the Caribbean, Muppet Vision 3D, the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh, The Enchanted Tiki Room, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, The Hall of Presidents, all the Pavilions at Epcot World Showcase, the Fountain of Nations (Epcot), and so many more.

    Now, I’m going to be humming these songs the rest of the night, especially “Imagination”.

  3. Mike says:

    Don’t leave out the volcano pool at the Polynesian has underwater speakers that play Hawaiian music (like you hear in the Great Ceremonial house).

    There are speakers along the wall of the pool alongside the volcano – you can sort of feel the vibration with your hand if you are close. But dunk your head underwater and you will hear it clearly – there is no mistaking it.

    Not sure if any other resorts do that, but definitely the Poly has that music experience.

  4. Kendall Foreman says:

    Anne: Thank you for the congratulations! We are very excited! Also, thank you for your faithful readership; I am so glad you have enjoyed the series and found it useful. Like you, I find it difficult to choose just one favorite piece of music. Although, I can’t believe I failed to mention one of my very favorite pieces in this post. I think the “Celebrate the Magic” Castle projection show is one of the most visually stunning attractions at the Magic Kingdom, and it would not be the same without the incredible score!

    Mike: Great catch. I love the music in the Nanea Pool at the Polynesian! To my knowledge, the only other pool that features underwater music is the Big Blue Pool at the Art of Animation Resort.

  5. Tara says:

    I love all the music at WDW but the two things that immediately come to mind are the background music at the park entrances and “One Little Spark”. Both bring back memories of when I visited the parks as a kid and of trips in more recent years. Listening to them when I’m not at the parks always puts me in a good mood :)

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