Should Disney Theme Park Music Be Released on iTunes?

Club 33

Playlist Author
I'm new around here; but I thought I'd start off with an interesting question that has come accross my mind a few times.

Should Disney Park Music Be Put on iTunes (or equivilent)?

Now I am not asking everyone to guess if it will be put on iTunes. There have been hints by Randy Thornton and others as to making Theme Park music/out of print albums available "to anyone, anywhere" later this year. With the close of the Wonderland Music Systems (which have appearantly stopped recieving new supplies), the strongest rumor has been that the collection will appear on iTunes. And of course, Disney and Apple have partnered together multiple times (the most recent being just yesterday)- so it is no large stretch of the imagination that such a thing could happen.

But should it? Yes, it would certainly be convienient. For those who can't make it out to the park very often or at all, it would be an easy way to get some of that music. However, there is always DelivEARS.

Another Pro is that this would allow more (and more obscure) releases; without the need to produce physical CDs in order to release a new album, more content could be released, such as the Wonderland tracks.

So what's the downside? Well, only one that a Disney fan could appreciate. The Disney Theme Park Soundtracks are special. You can't* just go out to your local Tower Records and buy them. Buying Disney Theme Park CDs is, for some of us, part of the experience. It's the modern version of buying records and playing them. There's a certain magic to it thats an extension of the Theme Park experience itself, no matter where you are. But that changes (somewhat) when its just a point and click download away.

*Yes, I know. There was a nationally released 50th CD available from such retailers as and others. Also, the 50th Musical History of Disneyland Set (a discounted and abridged version, I might add, not musically but it still wasn't the same as the version released at the parks). Plus, many of the records are available at Disney Direct or one of several unoffical sites that sell theme park merchandise. Also, many of the artists that play at the Disney Theme Parks sell CDs at the park that are also available at regular record stores and even on iTunes.

So what do I think? Well I'd like to see Disney Theme Park music on iTunes, for all the reasons I mentioned. But there could be some who feel differently, so I wanted to post the question.

Was that long enough for my first post ;)? Okay, your turn...

Dr. Know

I'm all in favor of any new mechanism that could lead to the legal release of more park music, particularly if it allows for the distribution of more obscure cues from bygone attractions that would otherwise fail to see the light of day (the kind of material available through the old Disney Forever system).

My only problem with the iTunes store is that too much compression is used in the audio tracks -- yes, I know that 128 kbps using AAC encoding is the equivalent of 192 kbps mp3 -- but in this day and age, with 80 gig iPods available, files recorded at a higher bitrate that take up a little more room should be made available. The difference in sound is particularly noticeable in instrumental tracks, which tend to be the ones that interest me the most.

So a mixed response to your question.

The Trout

Should it? Like the good doctor, I agree that any official method of distribution is good and a step in the right direction, I ALSO agree that the compression of the files on iTunes just doesn't float my boat. I mean, MP3s are fine if I'm dealing with fan-recorded bootlegs, but official sound files straight from Disney? Give me lossless or give me death.

Well, okay, death might be pushing it. But you get the gist. ;)
I would love it if Disney officially released all the music from the vault in way that EVERYONE has access.

Once that's done, let's talk about everything from the Disney Video Vault :D


New Member
The other downside, and the reason a lot of the music isn't available, is the artist's contracts.

Disney doesn't own the full rights to all of the park music. For example, my friend composed sections of the Main Street Electrical Parade. While his contract states that they can use the music inside the parks in perpituity, when they sell it, in any format, they have to pay him royalties. With all of the different artists involved, I doubt the music will be available online anytime soon.

As a side note, my friend offered Disney a chance to buy him out to avoid periodic royalty checks. They couldn't (or wouldn't) as there wasn't money in the budget for it, even if they'd save money in the long run. Ah, accounting...


A official online Disney store that sold lossless rips without DRM is probably the only way I'd buy something online. I'm not installing itunes.

Don't know if its possible - but if the world could buy music from the store, that would be even better, that way we can get music from Japan easy (and vise versa).
I agree with most of you. If iTunes sold songs in lossless formats instead of acc, then I'd be in favor. For now, however, I prefer the ease of a cd and it's lack of the annoying drm.


Could someone educate me on the itunes situation?

I don't really use it, but would like to understand what exactly do they do to the music? some of you have spoken of the compression, the quality, DRM (what is that exactly?), and so on- how exactly is that done on itunes?



I think iTunes downloads are great. the compression is plenty good enough for the casual listener. I'd sure prefer getting the aac file over a wma file you get from other stores. And an iTunes release generally constitutes a version of an actual CD release. If you're intent on getting CD quality, which for certain disney stuff i can be too i'll admit, the fact that there's a cd available on itunes probably means you can buy it as a CD. I doubt disney would start making exclusive iTunes releases with special tracks everyone would be clamoring for.

Club 33

Playlist Author
You know, Club33, I found your question interesting...but I'm a bit confused by your hypothesis. If you're suggesting that buying Disney park music outside of the parks diminishes the park experience, isn't the act of listening to it out of the parks (and out of context) also a violation of your implied sensibilities?

Well no...listening to the music outside of the parks is the whole idea. Otherwise, why buy the CD in the first place. All I'm saying is, for me, buying CDs at the park is part of the experience, and there's also that anticipation of going home and listening to it.

But the main issue here seems to be quality and DRM. Personally, I've never had any issues with the quality of iTunes files. I think the general public would be of the same opinion. As to the DRM, yes, its a pain, but you can always burn it to a CDR, which effectively puts you where you would be if you had bought the actual CD.

Another thing no one has mentioned is price; CDs on iTunes, because there is no physical CD to make, usually cost lest. Since most 1-Disc Albums sold at the park cost $19.99, and most albums on iTunes cost only $9.99, you would save $10, and therefore be able to buy more music. iTunes, with its ability to purchase individual songs (in most cases) would also allow you to purchase only tracks you wanted, and you could avoid having to buy the same tracks over and over again, as is often the case on the official releases.

So, as was my point originally, there are pros and cons to it. But overall I think most people would find it a benefit to be able to buy Disney Park Music on iTunes, for those of you who prefer the actual CDs for quality or other reasons, you can still always buy the CDs.

By the way, what with Disney's already existing partnership with iTunes, I'd say the chance of a seperate online Disney music store is very very slim, at least for the near future.


I, for one, am dead set against iTunes downloads of Disney music, because even after all this time on the market, iTunes still has not come up with a method of distributing artwork files and therefore all you get for your $9.99 is a generic CDR (unless you have an Ipod) with unidentifiable audio content on it, no way to identify artist, titles and track times let alone credits for who produced, played and created the material. I would hate it if the only way I could collect future Disney music on CD is to have a library of hand-written CDRs next to my professionally produced CD's from the days of real Disney product.

I think it's worth a few extra dollars to get a decent album with artwork in good sound quality, so as far I'm concerned, it's a matter of you get what you pay for. I will not be paying for iTunes files.


I would love to see Disney Theme Park Music for paid download on the web in some form. It wouldn't have to be iTunes. However, it would be awesome if they would offer a huge selection of Disney Theme Park Music (including Obscure selections) for purchase somewhere online.

It could be kind of like the old WDW and DL Forever Kiosks, except on the web, and you could pick and choose how many tracks you wanted at one time. Also, they could have a much larger selection than WDW and DL Forever had. I guess the biggest stumbling block there would be to get rights to sell the music.


I doubt disney would start making exclusive iTunes releases with special tracks everyone would be clamoring for.

Well, ignoring the question wether "everyone clamored for it" there is the release of the Brother Bear 2 soundtrack (including songs and score from the direct to DVD release) which is an "online exclusive" - at least I have only found it as a download on iTunes and from the download store of Walmart. No CD release so far as I can check online. From here the step to an iTunes only release isn't too far.

I personaly see that iTunes as a release option for otherwise not officially available material certainly would be a step ahead from not releasing it at all. Nevertheless I am opposed to it. Firstly for a really selfish reason because I must assume (as happened with the Brother Bear 2 release) that the material will only be available on iTunes US effectively preventing me as an international fan from any access to it (while I can at least order CDs as imports). Secondly I am not willing to pay the amount of money iTunes is asking for inferior quality compared to a CD and then also be restricted in regard what I can do with the song. Either they trust me with not handing it over to friends and skip the DRM or they don't get any money from me - it's that easy.




I, for one, am dead set against iTunes downloads of Disney music, because even after all this time on the market, iTunes still has not come up with a method of distributing artwork files and therefore all you get for your $9.99 is a generic CDR (unless you have an Ipod) with unidentifiable audio content on it, no way to identify artist, titles and track times let alone credits for who produced, played and created the material.

the songs come with all the tracks listed and with the album artwork as well which you can view while listening in itunes... a lot of cds even come with pdf files of the album insert packets so you get any artwork there...


Now, I know that history would dictate that Disney *may* use Apple *if* they decide to make downloadable music available - but I can't help but feeling that's a compromise, a rushed out solution, let someone else build the structure, and we'll just give it the juice.

Personally, I'd much rather see Disney attempt a dedicated download site. Yes there's downsides to this (primarily, Itunes' proven format) but, it just won't feel like the same experience to me buying via apple.

Anybody else think this way?


Derek- You can never be sure about this.When Disney started doing auctions,they worked with E-bay.Now,they have their own auction website. :)