Posts Tagged ‘AtMousePhere’

Disney California Adventure AtMousePhere Part 2

by on September 7, 2016

This is the final area music blog for AtMousePhere! If you’ve been wondering what’s next, we are going to start covering the music of some of the specific attractions of Walt Disney World and Disneyland. If you have any recommendations on where to start, comment below!

If you haven’t read Part 1 of the Disney California Adventure AtMousePhere, we covered the music of Buena Vista Street, Hollywood Land, A Bug’s Land, and Pacific Wharf. Today we cover the final lands, exploring the music of the current incarnations of Grizzly Peak (and the Airfield), Paradise Pier (and Park), and Cars Land!

Grizzly River Run (2)Grizzly Peak

Grizzly Peak used to consist of a smaller footprint in DCA. However, in 2015 the Condor Flats name was retired and Grizzly Peak inherited the land, renaming it “Grizzly Peak Airfield.” As a result, there are two separate areas of music – one surrounding the area by Soarin’ and one surrounding the area of Grizzly River Run.

Grizzly Peak Airfield’s music is very sweeping and large. It’s music you’d want to have at your disposal when looking over a land like Yellowstone, Yosemite, or the Grand Canyon.

Not all of the music you’ll hear here is soundtrack-based. Quite a few of the pieces are strict compositions. For example, composer Tim Janis’ album American Horizons provides fodder for at least three pieces, including “The Rocky Mountains,” “Hillside Meadow,” and “Summer’s Glory.” Two other Janis albums can also be heard: A Quiet Shore and Coastal America. Patrick Doyle has also contributed music from his album Impressions of America like “The Great Plains.”

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Disney California Adventure AtMousePhere: Part 1

by on May 5, 2016


Copyright ClaireNat 2016

Back in July of 2014, I started this blog series called “AtMousePhere,” covering the background music of the Disney Parks. I mentioned way back in my first post:

Maybe you’ve never really paid attention to the atmospheric soundtrack, but that music subliminally creeps into your psyche and gears you up for wherever your feet take you!

That sentiment has been in existence ever since Disneyland first opened in 1955, and it continued across the country in Orlando. But most recently in the United States, it has simply moved across the Esplanade into Disney’s “newest” US park, Disney California Adventure.

DCA encountered some initial criticism back in its first form by critics and guests alike. However, with some tweaking and overhauling here and there, it has developed into one of Disney’s finest parks, containing some pretty fantastic music!

We’ll split the park in two and discover the music of the unique lands! (Note: we’ll be covering its current incarnation only.)

Buena Vista Street

Copyright ClaireNat2016Main Street, U.S.A. and Sunset Boulevard are two great examples of background music that reflects the time period that Imagineers were trying to emanate. Buena Vista Street certainly fits the mold of its predecessors, for sure. Since the area is supposed to recall the era when Walt Disney first traveled to California, the music consists of jazz and Big Band that would have been heard in the 1920s and 1930s!

Some of the artists that you hear are current bands playing those hits. They are the Crazy Rhythm Hot Society Orchestra, Don Neely’s Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, the music of Dean Mora’s orchestras, and the Palm Court Theater Orchestra. (You can find some – but not all – of the music on iTunes or Amazon, or you can find it on their websites.)

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Disneyland AtMousePhere

by on March 24, 2016

disneylandtrainWelcome back to the AtMousePhere series, where we take a look at some of the great background music of the Disney Parks! After thoroughly exhausting the background music of Walt Disney World, we’re hopping across the country to the Disneyland Resort.

It is well known that Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom are very similar in nature. In the background music, there are similarities and differences. We’re going to do a land-by-land roundup of the background music today. I’ll include a handy-dandy link to our Magic Kingdom AtMousePhere posts, just in case you missed it a few years back. So put on your favorite piece of Disneyland music, and let’s take a tour around Walt’s park!

Disneyland Entrance

The Esplanade that divides Disneyland and Disney California Adventure offers a nice variety of movie and park tunes that put guests squarely in the Disneyland mood. They are really great arrangements and orchestrations, too! Some are repeats of the entrance to the Magic Kindgom, but not all of them.

Music includes:

  • “You Got a Friend in Me” (from Toy Story)
  • “Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee” (from Pinocchio)
  • “Under the Sea” (from The Little Mermaid)
  • “California Girls” (the Beach Boys version, instrumental)
  • “Hooray for Hollywood”
  • “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me)”
  • “Smile, Darn Ya, Smile” (A Merrie Melodies tune from 1931 that was used in Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
  • “it’s a small world”
  • “March of the Cards” (from Alice in Wonderland)
  • The theme from Star Wars (…all of them)
  • The theme from “The Muppet Show”

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Animal Kingdom AtMousePhere: The Music of DinoLand U.S.A.

by on January 18, 2016

And here we are! After almost two years of Walt Disney World AtMousePhere, we have come to our final post. We’ve done four parks and 22 articles, and it’s been a lot of fun to dig into the rich history and deep connections the music creates in the parks.

Photo courtesy Brian McNichols

Photo courtesy Brian McNichols

To wrap up our series, we are going to take a look at perhaps the most divisive area of the Animal Kingdom, DinoLand U.S.A. Some people enjoy its kitchiness, and others can’t stand how much it contrasts to the rest of the park. I don’t spend all that much time in this area, but can appreciate the backstory. (It’s meant to be tacky!)

The music of DinoLand U.S.A. contains a lot of pop and rock music, which can be heard generally around The Boneyard play area and Restaurantosaurus. The music is based around dinosaurs and extinction (remember, the original name of the Dinosaur attraction was “Countdown to Extinction”), and some of it will definitely be recognizable.

Listen carefully, and you can hear that it supposed to be akin to an underground radio station, taken over by a couple of the interns who work at the Dino Institute nicknamed “Digger” and “Bonehead.”

Photo courtesy Disney

Photo courtesy Disney

Here’s a nice list, if you’re curious:

  • “Dancing with the Dinosaur” by Steven Curtis Chapman
  • “Ugga Bugga” by Barnes and Barnes
  • “I’m A Little Dinosaur” by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
  • “Watch Out” by Barnes and Barnes
  • “If I Had a Dinosaur” by Raffi
  • “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M.
  • “Sweet Dinosaur of Mine” by Barnes and Barnes
  • “Brontosaurus” by Cheap Trick
  • “Walk the Dinosaur” by Was (Not Was)
  • “Godzilla” by Blue Oyster Cult
  • “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  • “Grazing In The Grass” by Friends of Distinction (part of the chorus is “Can you dig it?”)

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Animal Kingdom AtMousePhere: The Music of Asia

by on November 29, 2015

Photo Courtesy Brian McNichols

Photo Courtesy Brian McNichols

There are many sections of Disney’s Animal Kingdom where music is blissfully absent. Because the Animal Kingdom is such a large theme park, it would be hard to fill in every single space with music and not be a huge bother to people and animals, so the engineers didn’t even try!

I am thankful for that. In a park like the Animal Kingdom, natural sounds should be allowed to dominate. When going from one attraction to another, the music tends to get softer (or mute completely) the further from an attraction, restaurant, or village you go.

Copyright 2010 Claire NatIn the Asia section of the Animal Kingdom, one word can describe the music: authentic. This isn’t music from Japan or China in Epcot transferred over (although there are other areas in the Animal Kingdom where music is taken from other parks). This music takes us into the other areas of Asia through instrumentation and rhythms – places like Nepal, Bangladesh, and India.

The fictional town in Animal Kingdom’s Asia, called Anandapur, is more spread out than the neighboring Animal Kingdom village of Harambe. The songs that you hear are much quieter and blend in more than Harambe’s pop sound.

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Animal Kingdom AtMousePhere: The Music of Africa

by on November 18, 2015

Photo Courtesy Brian McNichols

Photo Courtesy Brian McNichols

In our second segment of music from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we go to the section of the park that revolves around Africa. This area includes a village called Harambe and the attractions Kilimanjaro Safaris and Festival of the Lion King.

Harambe Village (and its market) has a nice variety of music in its area. It doesn’t stick to the norm, but mixes styles that make you feel like you’re in a real African village.

The village was created as a good connection to the savannah that you see in Kilimanjaro Safaris. The idea was that people who lived in the village would be in charge of the savannah and the safari rides. There’s a lot of history shown through the weathered buildings, fort, and canons. But the area music brings out the modern style.

Let’s take a listen!

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Animal Kingdom AtMousePhere: The Music of the Entrance and Oasis

by on October 26, 2015

copyright Disney

copyright Disney

Over the past year-and-a-half AtMousePhere has covered the music of Magic Kingdom park, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Now it’s time to take a look at the newest Walt Disney World park: Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Much of the music for the area (besides Dinoland U.S.A.) really blends well into the area. Through the use of all sorts of instruments, the music composed really envelops you. Unlike other parks, it’s very peaceful.

To start, we will be taking a look at the music heard at the main entrance, as well as the Oasis.

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Epcot AtMousePhere: The Music of World Showcase (Part 2)

by on September 9, 2015

photo courtesy Brian McNichols

photo courtesy Brian McNichols

In Part 1 of my World Showcase music series, I discussed the music from Mexico through The American Adventure. Let’s continue our tour by finishing our clockwise walk around the lagoon.


Japan – like Mexico – isn’t full of familiar tunes thanks to its live shows. The Matsuriza Japanese drum show plays consistently during the day. If you’ve ever been in Epcot on a day they played, you’ve probably heard them clear across the park with their thump thumping. I always enjoy watching them perform – you get so much more out of it watching them play.

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Epcot AtMousePhere: The Music of World Showcase (Part 1)

by on September 2, 2015

I am betting that when I say “Epcot music,” there is a 95% chance you will think of something from Future World. The first music that actually comes to my mind is “Horizons.”

Now why is that? How come the music we relate to this huge theme park is usually only remembered from one half?

Copyright 2014 Claire NatMy guess is that, while most of the music in Future World is original music and can be attributed to the park, the music of World Showcase is mostly taken directly from those countries. You’ll hear Chinese music in China. You’ll hear British music in the United Kingdom. You’ll hear Italian music in Italy.

These pieces that are heard are probably some of the most popular pieces composed for those areas, but they aren’t meant to be associated with a theme park. They’re meant to be listened to while on a relaxing walk, or while sipping expensive coffee in a street cafe, or while sitting in a cushy chair in an orchestra hall.

But in Epcot, do you sometimes imagine yourself on a relaxing walk, or sitting in a street cafe, or sitting in a cushy chair in an orchestra hall? Well, then Epcot’s AtMousePhere has done it’s job. (The music, not the article series.)

Let’s see what we’ll hear as we journey around the lagoon. Since we finished our last article in the eastern part of the park, we’ll be starting our tour in Mexico and work our way clockwise.

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Epcot AtMousePhere: The Music of Future World East

by on August 7, 2015

Matt Stroshane, photographer

Copyright – Disney

In my last AtMousePhere article, we covered the music of Future World West. That area of Epcot has been revised over the years, but much of it still retains its original charm in look, and, in some ways, in music.

However, when we move across the way to Future World East, we come to an area that barely looks like it did back in the 1980s. From the coming and going of the Wonders of Life to the rebranding (and rebuilding) of Horizons/Mission: Space to the conversion of World of Motion into Test Track (and then Test Track’s own refurbishment) to the long-standing Universe of Energy (with modified attraction inside), Future World East has changed in leaps and bounds!

With whole pavilions modifying their purpose, the music has had to change too. We hear more “modern” instrumental arrangements in this area than we do in any other section of Walt Disney World. While most areas use previously composed music from movies or classical compositions, Future World has had to arrange pieces that make people really think about the future, but in less of a sci-fi sense than the futuristic sounds of Tomorrowland.

So let’s open our ears and imagine taking a left after Spaceship Earth!

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