If there is one thing I always connect with Disneyland and the other theme parks, it is the music. It is how I get to experience the magic of all the parks without having to hop on a plane or train. I don’t really say this but thank you YouTube because that is where I find and listen to most of the music. I do have an iTunes playlist but when I’m at home, it’s mainly YouTube.
Anyway. Today I wanted to share with you some of my favourite pieces of music and songs to come from Disneyland (past and present).
So, let’s get started.
Grim Grinning Ghosts – The Haunted Mansion
I think what I love the most about this theme and song is that it starts off being very creepy but lightens up when it gets to the main ‘grim grinning ghosts’ lyrics. It still retains the creepiness and ghost-like undertones but it’s sung in a way that doesn’t make it too scary. X Atencio who did a lot of the original songs for Disneyland was very clever in that respect because he managed to get the blend right and come up with a classic track that is universally loved in the Disney community.
Yo Ho Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me – Pirates of the Caribbean
If there is one Disneyland theme I love the most, it is Pirates of the Caribbean. Although the original attraction didn’t open in Disneyland until 1967, it has become such an iconic song and one that, along with the attraction in general, helped to spawn the popular film franchise. The one thing I love about this song is that no matter where I am when I listen to it, I am instantly enveloped by the atmosphere of the attraction (although Disneyland Paris not Disneyland). I also love the mix of voices in the lyrics as it brings an added depth and wider perspective to the Pirate world.
Married Life – Main Street USA Loop
So the Married Life theme is part of Michael Giacchino’s score from PIXAR’s Up, which when running alongside its corresponding scenes, is arguably one of the most stunning and emotive piece of animation ever. It’s such a brilliant score that I’m not surprised Disneyland decided to rework it a little for their Main Street USA loop. This version definitely evokes the Victorian/turn of the century feel you get when walking down or just even thinking about Main Street USA and it has such a cheerful, light tone (remarkably different to aspects of the original track) that instantly throws you into this very easy-going, slow-moving history and way of life that Disneyland wants to you discover and experience. I could listen to this and the longer Main Street USA loop all day.
The Boudin Bakery Score – Disneyland California Adventure
Right so this is a more recent piece of music from Disneyland because it comes from the Boudin Bakery which is an actual shop in Disneyland California Adventure. From what I’ve gathered, the bakery is one of San Francisco’s oldest and current companies and in Disneyland they have a tour hosted by Rosie O’Donnell and Colin Mochrie which explains and showcases the company’s history. I heard this piece of music on the Disneyland Legacy Collection and I’m not entirely sure what attracts me to it. I know this will sound basic but I just like the general orchestration and the mix of instruments. That’s it.
Suitcase and a Dream: Red Car News Boys – Disneyland California Adventure
Last but not least, is probably one of my favourite tracks that I came across on the Disneyland Legacy Collection. From what I know, it is a segment from a bigger performance of streetmosphere in California Adventure that takes place on Buena Vista Street. To me, performances like this bring the whole Disney atmosphere to life, especially when you’re in areas like Buena Vista street and Main Street USA. It enhances the story and this particular segment strikes me as being very important to the Disneyland theme as a whole. It’s referencing Walt Disney, Mickey Mouse and the beginning of the main Disney story. It is also a shout out to Newsies which is great to see! Focusing on this song in particular, the lyrics are what make it! They’re so Disney and inspirational that I always find myself listening to it when I have a low-motivational day.
It don’t matter if you’re rich or broke. It don’t matter if you’ve given up hope. All you need is a little drive to make your dreams begin to come alive
I feel the need to include the whole show too because then you can hear the song in its original context.
One day, I hope a small show like this will come to the Walt Disney Studios, or even Main Street USA at Disneyland Paris because I have a feeling it would go down a storm. It also needs more streetmosphere in general anyway.
And that is that. I know there are more pieces of music that I’ve missed off and not mentioned but maybe that’s a blog post for another day. For now, this set of five is it.
For all of you Disney parks fans out there, what are some of your favourite scores and soundtracks?
What do you think of my choices?
Thanks for reading, listening and have a brazzle dazzle day!