Disney Theme Park Songs: The TOP-10 Best and Worst?


Ken S

New Member
I tried to search for a similar topic, but couldn't find much. However, if this kind of discussion already excists, let me know (and delete this)!

For many years I have tried to figure out why I like some songs and hate others. If anyone of you figure out some kind of pattern (music theory?) among these lists of mine, please DO share your thoughts with me. Of course I’d also like to see other people’s listings, too!

I usually explain my favourites with the same characteristics: having a strong yet simple melody, distinct orchestration and philosophical, witty message with lyrics that do not give in to the too-sugary “when you wish upon a star” style. Of the last-mentioned, in my opinion Disneyland’s “Believe… There’s Magic in the Stars” fireworks show started a trend of narration and song lyrics that are simply irritating when heard year after year in new shows and new songs. Granted, “your dreams come true” is a nice positive philosophy – but heard repeatedly in nearly every Disney product (whether it’s a movie, tv show, theme park attraction or nighttime spectacular) it is just irritating. While melodically speaking my favourites may repeat themselves, message-wise and lyrics-wise I don’t see much of a repeating pattern here.

So, honestly, tell me am I just fooling myself with these favourites of mine (which I, now for the very first time, listed in order of excellence).

My TOP-10 Favourite Disney Theme Park Songs

1. Feel the Love – The Legend of Mythica (Tokyo DisneySea)
(Alan Silvestri / Glen Ballard / Steven B. Davison / Carolyn Dawn Gardner)

2. Compass of Your Heart – Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage (Tokyo DisneySea)
(Alan Menken / Glenn Slater)

3. Animagique – Animagique (Walt Disney Studios, Paris)
(Peter Lurye)

4. Dancin’ (A Catchy Rhythm) – La Parade du Monde Merveilleux Disney (Disneyland Paris)
(Jay Smith / Vasile Sirli)

5. Chante, cést Noël - Parade de Noël (Disneyland Paris)
(Jay Smith / Vasile Sirli)

6. All Around the World – La Parade Disney ImagiNations (Disneyland Paris)
(Jay Smith / Vasile Sirli)

7. Golden Dream – The American Adventure (Epcot, Walt Disney World)
(Robert Moline / Randy Bright)

8. We Go On – Reflections of Earth (Epcot, Walt Disney World)
(Gavin Greenaway / Don Dorsey)

9. Spotlight on a Dream (The “Suite of Dreams” Version) – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
(Carmen? Miller / Gordon Goodwin / Including “Thanks to the Academy” by Gregory? Smith)

10. Grim Grinning Ghosts – The Haunted Mansion (Disneyland, California)
(Norman “Buddy” Baker / F. Xavier Atencio)
My very first exposure to theme parks and theme park music (in the age 8); without this song I probably wouldn’t have fallen in love with theme park music.

…And then
The TOP-10 Disney Theme Park Songs That I HATE
(because of bad lyrics, horrible singers, “noisy” melody-less music, etc)

1. Share a Dream Come True – Walt Disney World’s “100 Years of Magic” Celebration
(Ira Antelis / Cheryl Berman)

2. Come Away with Me – Disney’s Eureka, a California Parade (Disney’s California Adventure)
(Sunny Hilden / Bruce Healey)

3. The first officially released mixes of Disneyland’s Splash Mountain songs.
The attraction features some excellent instrumental music but the original official song mixes were – and still are – pure horror!

4. Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand – Epcot’s Millennium Celebration
(Ira Antelis / Cheryl Berman)

5. It’s Halloween Lo-Ween (Disneyland Paris)
(Jay Smith / Vasile Sirli)

6. La-Di-Da Carnaval (Disneyland Paris)
(Jay Smith / Vasile Sirli)

7. Halloween-Halloween (Disneyland Paris)
(Jay Smith / Vasile Sirli)

8. 10th Anniversary Song (Disneyland Paris)
(Peter Lurye) I can’t believe that the creator of Animagique song really wrote this!

9. Just Like We Dreamed It – La Parade des Rêves Disney (Disneyland Paris)
(Sunny Hilden)

10. Magic Journeys – Magic Journeys (Epcot 1982 / Disneyland 1984)
(Richard M. Sherman / Robert B. Sherman)
Not that I would hate-hate this, but I’m not fond of it either. Maybe the song works much better with the 3D movie (I’ve never seen it), but as a listening experience it is... just... too odd.

…So, any thoughts?

I'd really like to see similar listings from you people!

:) KEN
 

Ken S

New Member
For some reason I also wanted this here:

My TOP-10 Favourite Disney Theme Park Attraction/Show Scores

1. Ellen’s Energy Adventure (Epcot, Bruce Broughton)

2. Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage (Tokyo DisneySea, Alan Menken)

3. Space Mountain – de la Terre à la Lune (1992 Disneyland Paris, Steve Bramson)

4. Remember… Dreams Come True (2005, Disneyland, Gregory Smith)

5. Fantasmic! (Disneyland, Bruce Healey)

6. The Haunted Mansion (1969 original score by Norman “Buddy” Baker)

7. Phantom Manor (From Baker’s original material adapted by John Debney)

8. Pirates of the Caribbean (1967 original score by George Bruns)

9. Indiana Jones Adventure (both attractions, John Williams / Richard Bellis)

10. Snow White’s Scary Adventures attractions (Disneyland ‘83, Paris ’92, WDW ’94)
(Leigh Harline / Frank Churchill / Paul J. Smith)
I know there’s not much music – and that it hasn’t probably been even rerecorded – but I love this simplistic yet powerful music whole anyway!

:) KEN
 
I will second your comment about the emptiness of certain Disney lyrics that, frankly, grate on me. I certainly support the idea of teaching kids (and adults) that they can make their dreams come true, but the fluffy drivel in some of their music (especially parades/fireworks/shows) has started to acquire a cloying note to my ear. It all sounds like, "If you wish real hard, and dream the fondest dreams that your heart wishes, then your heart's wishes really can make your dreams come true!" What? It's like they got a bunch of buzzwords and threw them into a random lyric generator so they lose all inspirational meaning.

To (at least partially) answer your question, I'm not much for top ten lists but off the top of my head here are a few of my favorite songs and loops from WDW, in no particular order, and only some composed for Disney:
1) El Rio del Tiempo (infectious...can't help it...)

2) Epcot Entrance Loop (inspirational)

3) Grim Grinning Ghosts (clever and catchy!)

3) Innoventions Plaza Loop (great to listen to while walking around your neighborhood between trips)

4) Hapa Duniani

5) The DAK soundtrack (great background music for getting some mellow Sunday morning work done)

6) Spaceship Earth

7) I Already Have a Husband by the Balafon Marimba Ensemble (wins the Best Title award, and so much fun to make up your own lyrics to...)

8) Pretty much any of the World Showcase loops

9) the Animal Kingdom loop played in Asia, across from the Flights of Wonder stage (I think it starts with Sabilulungen)

10) I kind of love the Boo-To-You Parade music, if I'm in the right mood.
 

eyore

DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
In no particular order and off the top of my head, my top 10 would include:

Chante c'est Noel
Dancin' a catchy Rhythm,
Pirate Cove loop
WDW Frontierland Loop
DLRP Discoveryland loop

Others I would have to think about.


Can't think of any I really don't like.
Alas, I'm one that loves the fluffy stuff. To me it's still part of the magic and a reason I keep going. I can get the "real world" for the rest of the year at home.
 
No offense meant to the fluff-lovers :) I'm not a fan of the "real world" either--I just prefer the international-at-home escapism of the world showcase loops...

I really do need to listen to more of the music from the other parks. I've only ever been to the World.
 

monorail91

Member
It crosses a fine line between horribly cheesy and truly magical but I cannot help but be moved to tears every time I hear the Fantasmic! theme song - easily my favorite Disney theme park-specific song. I also adore it's a Small World, preferably the instrumental area music version. Not too much music I hate hate, but I am familiar only with Disneyland / California Adventure so my bubble is fairly limited.
 

eyore

DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
I think there may be two things here. The music and the experience.
I have found stuff I though ghastly when I first heard it (again, limited bubble as far as parks go - mines DLRP) but, actually hearing it there made a huge difference plus knowing the reason behind it.
I remember hearing "You got a friend in me" while watching the morning Toy Story parade (before seeing the movie so it came "cold") and thinking both just were not Disney - then I saw the movie shortly after and everything fell into place.
You'll notice that those I listed are all from Paris (yes, the WDW Frontierland has a number of the tracks playing in DLRP).
Maybe we need to make two lists. One for stuff we have experienced and one on a basis of just the music. ;)
 

gmeader

Member
…And then
The TOP-10 Disney Theme Park Songs That I HATE
(because of bad lyrics, horrible singers, “noisy” melody-less music, etc)

10. Magic Journeys – Magic Journeys (Epcot 1982 / Disneyland 1984)

(Richard M. Sherman / Robert B. Sherman)
Not that I would hate-hate this, but I’m not fond of it either. Maybe the song works much better with the 3D movie (I’ve never seen it), but as a listening experience it is... just... too odd.

…So, any thoughts?

:) KEN

As is the case with most soundtracks the combination of music and image made this song much better when seen with the film (for me anyway).
 
1. "It All Started With a Mouse"- Brock Walsh (Originally heard in the "Viva Magic!" 15th Anniversary Castle Show at Tokyo Disneyland, later heard durng the Re-Dedication ceremony for Disneyland's 48th birthday in 2003
2. "Disneyland Is Your Land/Disney World Is Your World" - Robert Moline
3. "The Great Outdoors" - George Wilkins
4. "Dream Our Dreams" Healy"Childs/Snow
5. "Bear Band Seremade" - George Bruns
6. "Canada,You're A Lifetime Journey" (Moline) ORIGINAL
7. "Listen To The Land" (Robert Moline, and the only song to date he wrote for Disney that he also sang on
8. "The Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room"
9. Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life For Me)
10. "It's A Small World"
(tie) "One Little Spark"
 

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