From the beginning of my Disney Story, I’ve been drawn to the music of the parks.
While you’re visiting, there is something magical about purposefully chosen area music to further immerse you in themed lands or amplify the feeling as you soar over California. I can’t help but notice the care taken to match the Christmas party music to the surrounding lands.
When you’re back home, hearing a song that you recognize from the parks can instantly bring back a flood of wonderful vacation memories, can’t it? I always say (“jokingly” – but you know the saying, “many a true word is spoken in jest”…) that the soundtrack for Soarin is nearly as effective as a mood stabilizer or blood pressure medication would be for me.
Many years ago, it was incredibly difficult to find park music. You could (and I did) choose to spend souvenir budget money on official CDs, but that was the extent of it. Occasionally, a park-based song would find its way onto one of the Disney Classics CDs. Then as the internet changed into a place of mass socialization, it became a bit easier – but there were lots of grey areas on legality and rights – not to mention that some of the available audio was just nearly unlistenable (in quality) to most of us 😉
Thankfully, it’s 2014. And today, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite places to find park music from home. Stay tuned, I’m working on my list of favorite tracks…
- d-cot.com‘s jukebox – This is a lesser-known site, but one of my favorites for one reason: I can select what I want. Sometimes, I really want to listen to the entirety of the illuminations soundtrack while working at night. Or I’m in the mood for some old Toontown favorites. I love this one so much I pay the subscription fee in order to have unlimited favorites and access to the mobile jukebox.
- Sorcerer Radio has been my go-to since Disney parks music first began appearing on live365.com, the original location of most (if not all?) of the streaming audio. SRSounds.com now offers several options for listening, and they have aged gracefully. This is one of many stations that has a schedule, so you can tune in during your favorite park’s hour or wind down with select songs during “Bedtime Disney”.
- Mouse World Radio is another with great staying power. Now with several stations to choose from
(if one isn’t playing your favorite at a given time), this one has also grown nicely over many years. At any given time, you can find either area music or full ride-throughs on one of the MW channels. The station is also affiliated with the WDW News Today podcast, which I enjoy 🙂
There are other streaming options, but sometimes you still want even more control. Spotify, Amazon, and Disney Music Store to the rescue! Spotify is mostly useless except for movie soundtracks, but if you want one of those you’re almost always covered – usually with deluxe editions, karaoke tracks, etc. They’re also a great source for DisneyMania, Princess songs, Disney Jr songs, etc. But now I’ve gotten away from the parks!
- The Circle Sessions is an amazing album from the Carthay Circle Theater/Restaurant in Disney’s California Adventure. A friend recommended it to me even before we went to Disneyland, and she was absolutely right in doing so.
- Music from the ever-popular Haunted Mansion attraction is available, even beyond the usual “Grim Grinning Ghosts”. Side note: Barenaked Ladies’ version of that song is the best 😉
- For more variety, we absolutely love the official parks albums from Walt Disney World and Disneyland (both updated last year), as well as the California Adventure album
- Lastly, one of the only readily-available nighttime spectacular soundtracks is at least a great one – Wishes.
If you can track down (available on Amazon, but not for a reasonable price :)) the “Walt Disney World Millennium Celebration” it’s perhaps my absolute favorite once-available souvenir album.
Do you ever listen to parks music at home? What’s your go-to source?