What is it about a melody that instantly transports you to another world- too another time and place that you probably had either long forgotten or never thought of at all? Why can a couple of notes like the theme from “Jaws” make us a little skiddish when swimming in the Ocean? The same feelings I get with any music I hear seem to be multiplied when I am in Walt Disney World. I thought I would share with you some of my favorite music, Disney and Non-Disney, and let you in on why it affects me- enjoy!
Since I am a Disney gal, let’s start with the Disney music that grabs a hold me and won’t let go. First, my absolute favorite spot in all of WDW to listen to music is the Innoventions Plaza at Epcot. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Fountain of Nations music as well- but it’s the futuristic tones and melodies that play among that spot that literally gives me goose bumps, every time I pass there. I would listen to Mouseworld Radio in WI, and hear that music and with just a moment of my eyes closed, I could see and feel myself walking past the Fountain, among the palm trees, with Spaceship Earth in my shadow. I eventually got the music for my IPod, and listened to it on the drive to FL, and played it during our epic garage sale in May. Even when rushing through here on my way to a ride or to meet someone, I still take the time to pause and listen to a couple of minutes to it to get my fix.
Also found in Epcot, is The Land Pavilion, where the soft and soothing tunes seem to dance off the hot air balloons that hang there. The minute I walk in and hear it, I feel at peace and relaxed. It’s one of the reasons why I love eating here so much- the music is so comforting and warm to me that it makes me feel quite happy and generally, at peace with everything going on in my life. Yes, you may find that odd- but that is why I moved here. I wanted to be able to come to these places of peace and feel what I felt on vacations- just more on a year round basis now. If you have never stopped to listen, I encourage you to do so. Now I know that with more people in there, and especially loud tour groups clapping and singing, you won’t hear it as clearly. Early in the morning or late in the evening, and at any off eating time, that is when you can hear it the best.
In that same area is, of course, is my “Soarin” ride. I feel this has the BEST queue music on Property- how can I not like it when it has themes from Apollo 13, Father of the Bride, and The Rocketeer? Standing in that line, Fastpass or not, I feel like the music could lift me up and off the ground. The light and ethereal sounds make it feel as if you have walked into a holy place- I don’t think most people get the feel of it because they are too busy worrying about their place in line or the excitement of the ride overshadows the music. Again, make sure to listen while you wait. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and just listen.
Switching Parks, let’s talk Magic Kingdom music. My absolute favorite music in MK is located on the high seas- where they pillage and plunder and don’t give a hoot- drink up me hearties yo ho! Yes, it’s the music from the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride… the minute I step into that area and hear the soundtrack from the movies, I feel excited and happy. The extreme build up of the score seems to build your excitement more as you walk to the entrance of the ride itself. Once in line, the eerie sounds of Pirates plotting and the echoes of ride music is what makes this attraction such a favorite among many. Once you are on, even the “Yo Ho Yo Ho A Pirates Life For Me” catches you singing along and even humming it a bit after you have left the ride. Whatever mood I am in, the minute I step onto this ride, I feel better and the magic just takes over.
On the other side of MK is the music that drifts out of Tomorrow Land. I love the space age sounds, and I feel is quite relaxing to hear while eating at Cosmic Rays or riding the TTA. There is something about the melody that makes my brain flip a switch and just calm itself and enjoy the atmosphere. Maybe I am odd that way, but I am betting that a lot of you out there are like me- otherwise, why do we like going there so much? (Ok besides the food, the rides, the Characters, the entertainment…)
At Studios I find myself in only certain areas getting that “feeling.” Outside the Great Movie Ride I have been hearing a lot of “Avatar” playing lately- love that music, so that relaxes me while enjoying a good bench nearby. Walking into the Star Wars area, I always think of Star Wars Weekends the minute I hear the theme. Vader’s theme always makes me smile, because of my interaction with him years ago at SWW. The entire Star Tours ride background music and noise is exciting and helps me forget the outside world for awhile while I fly to distant places. I know that sounds lame, but again, who wouldn’t want to forget their troubles for awhile?
The music that gets my heart singing and my toes tapping at Disney’s Animal Kingdom would have to be the shows- the Lion King and Finding Nemo: the Musical. The first time I saw The Lion King, I was hooked. I loved the music, and how it made me feel so alive. I almost felt like I was in church listening to them sing their souls out- after hearing it a home on my IPod, I have it memorized, and find it very difficult to not sing along now. It is such a beautiful show, if you haven’t seen it, you must! Also Finding Nemo: The Musical takes me into my youngest daughter’s shoes during that show. She relates to Nemo and his fin, and I see it through her eyes as Nemo tries to make his Dad see he can do anything any other kid can do. The music here brings on a different emotion- one of thankfulness that my daughter has persevered and didn’t pass away from her Cancer- its sometimes a hard show to even watch because it brings tears every time. Yes, music can be that powerful if you just let it.
I also love the music from Fantasmic, Illuminations, and Wishes. But my favorite of these is Wishes, due to the fact that is wraps up everything I feel about my imagination, the wonder of the park, and Disney as a whole. And of lately, the music from the “Memories, Magic, and Me” show is amazing and heart warming- the minute I hear Walt Disney’s voice during it, a lump forms in my throat. It’s something to hear his voice while standing in HIS dream- AH mazing!
Most of my favorite Disney songs are special because they left a mark on my life. “You’ll Be In My Heart” from Tarzan is what I sang to my very pregnant tummy in the year 2000 while I awaited the birth of my daughter Emily. “Baby Mine” from Dumbo is what I sang to my pregnant belly in 1993 waiting for my daughter, Kyra, to be born. “Little Wonders” from Meet the Robinsons was the theme to our June 2009 Vacation- still can’t hear it without getting goose bumps. “This is Home” from the Narnia movies, was our theme for moving from WI to FL. “Candle on the Water” was a song I frequented during Emily’s cancer treatments. “Three Cabelleros” is a song that reminds me of my friend Shelly and I singing out loud, VERY loud, when we ride that attraction. “When Somebody Loved Me” from Toy Story 2 is Jessie’s song- never a dry eye when we hear that because that is truly our Emily’s song. “Best of Friends” from Fox and the Hound is what Kyra and I sang when she was growing up- another tear jerker when I hear it now.
Maybe this blog will bore you because you don’t hear music like I do, but when I hear it, I truly feel it. If it’s not Disney music, then it’s a song from the 80’s. A love ballad will come on from Def Leppard and I will think about the people that I was with when I first heard them on the radio- do you remember Nick hearing “Pour Some Sugar on Me” at Music Camp? My best friend, Kathy, and I watched “Short Circuit” together in High School and I fell In love with my all time favorite song- “Who’s Johnny” by El Debarge. I STILL listen to that song at 37- love it!! I was that girl, in her bedroom, laying on her bed, and belting out “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” at the top of her lungs after my heart had been broken- are you with me ladies, were you like that too? Even Phil Collins music gets to me now- I can hear the first few notes and be completely distracted because I will think of where I was the last time I heard it, or the first time I ever did. The same goes for Worship music- yes, I listen to Def Leppard and Newsboys- and I can hear “I Can Only Imagine” while driving in my car, and want to lift my hand in praise, tears in my eyes, and in that second feel Heaven so close that nothing else feels realer in that moment. These days if I hear “Lean on Me” I start to tear up because my best friend, Kelly, and I used to sing it together over the many years of my time in Appleton- wow, I miss you girl.
I truly believe that whether you have a love for Disney music or another kind, that it is extremely healthy to sing your lungs out- feeling good or bad. I encourage you today to roll down your windows, blast your favorite song, and sing like you have never sung before. Feel the music, let it shape your day for the better, and remember how it makes you smile. Have a great day everyone!!