“Strolling through the shady lanes, with your baby mine…”
I’ve talked a lot about how much the live bands and entertainment inform the atmosphere and place-setting in Disney parks. But as much as I LOVE the live entertainment, there’s another important piece of the musical environment puzzle, which is the repeated series of songs or “loops” that are relayed through the sound system of the parks. This music can immediately establish exactly *where* and *when* you are.
The music of Main Street (which I believe is the same or similar at both Disneyland Park and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort), gives you that romanticized turn of the century feeling with music ranging from themes from Pixar’s UP to American songbook standards to music from Hello, Dolly (also featured in Pixar’s Wall-E). Some of the songs are also ones sung by The Dapper Dans.
But move through the entrance of Frontierland by contrast and you’ll immediately be greeted by strains of a country banjo playing western themed music putting you smack-dab in the Old West. Move further ahead in Disneyland and you’ll hear that banjo suddenly playing in a more jazz style to let you know you’re now in New Orleans Square!
Cross parks over to Disney California Adventure and you’ll enter Buena Vista Street, which prior to its renovation was the touristy destination of Sunshine Plaza featuring tunes by The Beach Boys, Jan & Dean and others that immediately planted you on the West Coast in The Golden State. But now, with Buena Vista Street theming in full force, you instead hear a music loop of 1920’s and 30’s standards, placing you firmly in the time and setting of this locale.
But head past the Carthay Circle Restaurant towards Cars Land and you’ll soon hear music appropriate to the “Mother Road” and her denizens with songs themed to Pixar’s Cars and the glory of the automobile and California’s car culture.
And then of course seasonal musical offerings at Christmastime in the various Lands will tell you exactly what time of year it is!
It’s just another of the subtle details that help establish you inside the story when you are at a Disney park – and is yet another way to experience the magic.
Do you have a favorite atmosphere music loop in a Disney park?