There’s A Great Big…Lack of New Music

At the D23 Epcot 30th event in 2012, there was a segment featuring the classic music we have come to cherish. Veggie Fruit Fruit, Tomorrow’s Child, Golden Dream, Universe of Energy, and more were all discussed in great detail about how significant they were into the creation of the park we have all come to know and love. When the Sherman Brothers received a window on Main Street, they were presented with a medley of their tunes, including There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Miracles from Molecules, and others.

From those two things alone, it makes me yearn for more original park music. Now, in the past few years we have had some fantastic tunes, like the fantastic Finding Nemo the Musical written by the Lopez duo, but nothing for rides. All the songs we have come to know and love are from classic attractions, some still in existence (like the Carousel of Progress) and some even becoming part of the pop culture lexicon (like Yo Ho A Pirate’s Life For Me), but those are all from a Disney Parks era that has passed.

When Epcot first opened, as many know, it was original music central, with Bob Moline writing most of the classic songs us Disney fans play on repeat. Even earlier than that, the 1950s and 1960s at Disneyland had the premiere of, among others, Grim Grinning Ghosts. It was a quintessential part of the Disney experience, hearing new music in these places that are a break from reality.

While I did thoroughly enjoy Golden Dreams from the Whoopi Goldberg film from circa 2001 DCA and in 2007 when the O’Canada movie was redone at Epcot, I was incredibly happy to see that they kept to song, but updated it for a new audience. Unfortunately, for me, it isn’t enough. The major problem is the recent “Characters Only” mentality has led to only film based attractions being added to the parks, which doesn’t allow for new music to be added. You can’t make a Frozen ride, then add in a song that wasn’t featured in the film whatsoever. Little girls dressed as Elsa will be at Guest Relations before you can sing the chorus to Let It Go.

That is Disney’s biggest problem. It is as if they feel like, in the stateside parks, they aren’t confident in the public enough to embrace a brand new concept without some character placement. Case and Point: while we received Carsland and New Fantasyland, Hong Kong Disneyland received the cool bear mine train coaster and Mystic Manor, both brand new ideas with no known characters featured in them. I really wonder though if this lack of confidence comes from 2001 DCA, specifically Superstar Limo. Did the lack of characters and Cold War-sized backlash make the Imagineers shiver in their boots and make them never want to create an original idea ever again?

If I had one wish for the Parks, it really would be for more music. I want the original tunes to be added to the park. The parades help fill the crack in my heart, as every new parade equals a new song (most of the time), making me super excited for the Festival of Fantasy parade heading to WDW next month. Here is the Epcot medley from the Encore! Cast concert a few years back that I love oh so much. I would really love to know your thoughts on the subject, although I know this topic is much discussed, so be sure to let me know in the comments.