All good things must come to an end, and here we are. For the very last leg of this playlist, covering California Adventure, I'm going to change up my methodology—rather than meticulously covering every noteworthy attraction in every land, I'm going to pick theme songs for each land and just the standout attractions therein. California Adventure hasn't been around as long as Disneyland and has spent much of that time flailing for purpose; it hasn't had much of a chance to build up a roster of instant memory-making music. On the flipside, songs in praise of California itself aren't exactly rare. So let's see what we wind up with!
Monday, July 17, 2017
Monday, July 10, 2017
We've made it all the way to Part 4 of my “layman's Disneyland playlist” (previous installments can be found here, here, and here). All that's left for the main park is Mickey's Toontown and Tomorrowland. I may or may not also tackle California Adventure, but for now, we're in the home stretch!
Friday, July 7, 2017
adults, we have to talk about Pirates of the Caribbean.
The internet has been losing its collective mind over the past several days concerning the announcement that major changes are planned for Pirates in no fewer than three parks—Paris, Orlando, and our own Anaheim. The one garnering the most attention is a proposed overhaul of the Auction scene, where instead of male pirates auctioning off women as “brides,” including a very sultry (and suspiciously cooperative) redhead, the redhead herself will be a pirate auctioning off inanimate loot such as luxury furniture.
The announcement has garnered two basic flavors of reaction. Long-term fans of Disney theme parks are deep in mourning over the imminent demise of one of the most iconic scenes in the single greatest theme park ride every constructed. On the other hand, many feminists are celebrating the fact that a chronically objectified female character is finally being empowered and made the captain* of her own destiny.
As a long-term fan of Disneyland who is also a feminist, I can see both sides. As I suspect most of my readers are more familiar with (and in accordance with) the theme park fan arguments, I am going to play a bit of devil's advocate and explain the feminist point of view, as well as addressing some of the common complaints from the fans.
Monday, July 3, 2017
The playlist project continues! (Just checking in? First check out Part 1 and Part 2!) Fantasyland is so rich in attractions, and the song choices are so obvious, that it gets an installment all to itself.
Now, “obvious” doesn't mean “automatic.” The dark rides tend to sample pretty liberally from their source materials' soundtracks, and in limiting myself to one song per attraction, I have to do some heavy pruning to pick the best one.
Monday, June 26, 2017
The mission: To assemble the perfect Disneyland playlist, referencing every themed land and major attraction, using only songs and instrumental music that a relative newbie to the hobby would be able to readily find. There's no need to dive into limited-edition multi-disc park soundtracks, the “Disneyland Forever” archives, or the murky depths of torrent streaming.*
Last week, I covered Main Street, USA and Adventureland. This week...the mission continues!
Monday, June 19, 2017
In analyzing the new area loop for the Esplanade last week, I got to thinking about what such a music loop is, and the answer was both obvious and food for further thought: it's a themed playlist. Users of Pandora and similar internet radio services will be familiar with this concept—you choose a set of songs (and/or instrumental pieces) to enhance a mood, illustrate a concept, or otherwise adhere to, well, a theme. Think of the mixtapes of “makeout music” people would put together back in the day when tapes were still a thing. Or a student's “study playlist,” comprising songs that help them concentrate on their academic work.
The theme of the Esplanade music loop is, of course, “The Disneyland Resort.” The objective is to give arriving guests a foretaste of the sorts of attractions the two parks offer. I would say it succeeds (even without any reference to the Haunted Mansion), although first-time guests may not pay much attention or connect the rides they go on later with the snippets of music they heard upon arriving. They will probably at least recognize the tunes, and so the loop sets an appropriate “wonderful world of Disney” atmosphere.
We Disneyland fans, of course, like to create our own playlists honoring the park(s). Of course, ours generally consist of music and even non-musical audio taken directly from the attractions, live entertainment, and other experiences within the parks. We scour released albums and the internet for as much genuine Disneyland music as we can lay our hands on, and arrange it geographically, land by land, to create the perfect, comprehensive collection.
My Disneyland playlist easily occupies a 40-hour work week. Not that I'm bragging.
But suppose you didn't have access to all these specialized theme park albums? Suppose you wanted to create a working Disneyland playlist from the much more commonly found Disney film soundtracks and general genre music? Say, one song per significant attraction, maybe another to bring across the ambiance of each land? It wouldn't be 40 hours long, obviously, but it might occupy a long drive. (Such as the drive to Disneyland? Well, that depends on where you live.)
It needn't be completely devoid of park-specific melodies, as many of the more successful songs have been released on Disney compilation albums. Additionally, many of the individual performers and groups that have been stationed at Disneyland over the years have released recordings, some of which are still available.
For the next few weeks, I'll be sharing my version of such a thing. I've had to break it into segments because this post would be unfathomably long otherwise. So here's Part 1—Main Street and Adventureland.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Pretty short this week, but I've been busy and I'd rather give you something than nothing.
Over a year ago at this point, I did a post focusing on the music loop that plays non-stop in the Disneyland Esplanade. Outside of the winter holiday season, the same one had been in use since the opening of California Adventure, despite numerous changes occurring in both parks that made some tracks irrelevant and invited replacements to hint at the newer attractions.
Well, as of about a week ago, according to reports from my colleagues at Mousebits, the loop has finally been updated! I haven't gotten a chance to hear it yet, but we do have a breakdown of the track list, and in the broad strokes at least, the changes line up with many of my suggestions. Tracks representing attractions which have gone extinct since 2001 have been dropped, and quite a few new ones have been added to illustrate what has debuted in the interim. Beyond that, even many of the melodies that are still relevant have been traded for variations or substitutions. Less than a third of the music from the previous loop remains—a significant transformation!