A Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World – Fantasyland

By Keith Mahne

We continue our Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World with a lovely walk through of vintage Fantasyland. We’ll hear the sounds of the Mickey Mouse Revue, the music that used to play around Cinderella Castle, take a ride on the Skyway and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and so much more! If you’re ready to travel back to old Fantasyland, here we go…

Part 9: Fantasyland

(If you haven’t had a chance to listen to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7 and Part 8 of our musical journey of vintage Walt Disney World, please check them out before continuing. Also, be sure to pause the Disney Avenue Music Player in the top left-hand corner of this page if you are on a desktop computer.)

 

 
 
 
 
Here are Foxx’s notes on the creation of Track 9 – Fantasyland:
 
 
 

9) Fantasyland

The concept for the Fantasyland track is that it is the “Intermezzo” section of the project, and is characterized by many short, sharp bursts of music in rapid succession.

The Fantasyland track is prefaced with a brief section of the start of Mickey Mouse Revue, as the orchestra tunes up. The Mickey Mouse Revue is missing a proper segment in this track – although the music is quite charming and originally appeared after Peter Pan, it proved too redundant to have a medley of Disney music inside a track that was already a medley of Disney music. Still, it’s good to have some sot of representation of it in the collection. Every Magic Kingdom attraction has some sort of representation in the second version of the Musical Souvenir, no matter how small.

The “Fantasyland Overture” segment which follows is identical to a track recorded in 1956 for “People and Places: Disneyland USA” by Oliver Wallace, although it circulates in a collection of Buddy Baker cues and appears to have been recorded in the 1970s. The two versions are indistinguishable, so I used the 1956 recording which has a much richer sound thanks to its official restoration as part of the isolated soundtrack to “People and Places” on DVD.

Cinderella Castle – just like Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, Magic Kingdom’s castle originally played music, although it has since been turned very low. Since I had no strong memory of this music, I asked early WDW music expert Michael Sweeney, who directed me to find a “radio version” of A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes, from Cinderella, meaning that this version of the track would be music and vocal only, without sound effects. I ended up finding this on a 60s era Cinderella soundtrack record at a local record shop (DL-4007). Once I transferred this track, added ambience and echo, the sense of déjà vu was impossible to deny.

Confirmation, and a close approximation of WED’s original edit of the track, came from a YouTube video uploaded by user “John Greenstreet” from 1982, in which the Illene Wood vocal can be heard quite clearly.

King Stephan’s Banquet Hall – the Banquet Hall loop is part of the Mike Cozart collection, and is quite a unique accomplishment on Jack Wagner’s part. Consisting of medieval arrangements, including a few Disney songs, it’s another indicator of the beautiful and often strange choices made by WED in putting together the park. The door opening sound effect is from user “jkaas28” on Freesound.org, and the restaurant interior ambience comes from “John Sipos” on the same site. Long before the space was given over the princesses and parties, King Stephan’s was a beautiful, affordable restaurant draped in candlelit hushed elegance.

Skyway Chalet – Returning readers will recall that in 2012 I had not really any clue about the authentic Skyway sounds and presented some “Matterhorn Music” as a best guess. One of my big goals was to gain a clear picture of the “Swiss” music and how the various tracks fit into the history of the park.

While I can’t claim to have all of the answers, I do have more than I used to, and enough to present a far clearer outline than I had before.

There are exactly four authentic “Swiss” Wagner loops that still exist, all of differing vintages. The earliest is a 40 minute loop recorded by Mike Lee in 1991, which he recalls as being the earliest, original Pinocchio Village Haus loop. It’s quite leisurely and entirely instrumental, and the pace and length implies to me that it’s from 1971 or very close to it.

The next is the Matterhorn queue music from 1978, which uses music from the 1971 Haus loop as well as music which probably had played at the Matterhorn in Walt’s era, recorded by the Disneyland Yodeler Fred Burri.

The third item is a 60 minute loop of Swiss music created by Wagner for New Fantasyland and TDL in 1983. This loop is characterized by kicking off with a selection called “Snow White Medley”, performed by the Magic Kingdom’s Polka Band, released on the Jack Wagner produced “A Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom”. It then combines material from the ’71 Village Haus loop as well as new material with a heavy emphasis on yodeling. This 1983 loop continues to play at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland today as the general “Fantasyland West” loop.

The fourth loop is a ten minute piece which is associated with the Skyway Chalet specifically. It’s merely tracks two through five of the 1983 loop. The “Snow White” medley does not begin the track, and it descends from the same vintage source as the early MK Main Street loops, the 1973 Frontierland loop, and more. I believe it is authentic, although truncated.

My guess is that Wagner at one point had different “Swiss” loops of entirely different character playing at Magic Kingdom – the instrumental arrangements in the Village Haus restaurant, and the yodeling and vocal tacks around the Skyway. The record that the “Skyway” vocal tracks come from – a vintage collection called “Bi Eus Im Schwyzerland, Vol 3” – is from the mid-70s, so there may not have been a distinct “Skyway” loop before then. In 1983, he combined material from both of the Magic Kingdom loops with new material top create the 60 minute loop for Disneyland and TDL, and that this 60 minute loop was later brought back over to Magic Kingdom in the early 90s and replaced the vintage loops.

As such, I’m fairly certain that using the tracks from “Bi Eus Im Schwyzerland, Vol. 3” is the most accurate representation of what was originally intended for this area. The clanks of the Skyway bucket exiting the station were recorded in 2014 at Busch Gardens Tampa, where a Skyway by the same manufacturer – Von Roll – is still operating. The Tampa skyway is a few years younger than our 1971 Skyway but the sounds are nearly identical.

It’s A Small World – Buddy Baker recorded a unique ten-minute loop of music for the Florida Small World’s covered loading area in 1971, consisting of one airing of the famous Sherman brothers’ theme alongside “International” standards like Mexican Hat Dance. Michael Sweeney provided this track, which he rebuilt from multiple released recordings.

Peter Pan’s Flight – This is sourced from the Tokyo Disneyland Treasures of Fantasy box set, as Tokyo features an exact clone of the 1971 ride – so exact, in fact, that their “Tinker Bell on a String” effect has never migrated out of the loading area and into the attraction like in Florida. Peter Pan’s Flight is a great example of a unique characteristic of the original Fantasyland tracks: they are all of extreme shortness.

Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel – this source track, from Treasures of Fantasy, is mixed with a number of live in-park recordings to provide the sound of the Village Haus glockenspiel (recorded in 2011) and the original Dumbo spinner ride. Tokyo Disneyland continued to use the 1971 carousel music tracks well into the 2000s.

I spent some time puzzling over the Carrousel bell, finally deciding it sounded most like a rotary telephone ring. I downloaded the sound off YouTube, pitch corrected it to match a 2014 live recording, and dropped it into the track.

Snow Whites Adventures – the original Snow White load area used a brief (less than a minute!) recording of “I’m Wishing”, which was actually recorded for the Mickey Mouse Revue across the street. In the park, there was a long gap of silence following the end of the song, about ten seconds, before it began again. I have omitted the gap in this version. The characteristic “Step out to your left please” announcement migrated to Magic Kingdom’s Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in 1998, where I recorded it using an induction microphone in 2014.

Walt Disney World Band Afternoon Concert is a brief medley also from their self-titled LP. This represents the original Fantasy Faire bandstand next to the Village Haus, which made way for the first Ariel’s Grotto in 1996. From 1971 until the 90s it hosted character shows, concerts, and the other of Magic Kingdom’s original “rising floor” stages.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – this segment is based on a 15 minute version of the queue music in general circulation. This music was probably recorded by WED in 1971 as use for queue BGM, and it was later re-used in both the Columbia Harbour House and the Cape Cod area of Tokyo DisneySea. The music was made available on WDW Forever and an excellent quality reconstruction of the queue loop is thus possible. The version I used here is a slightly muddier version in general circulation which includes the Captain Nemo narration, memorably voiced by Pete Renoudet.

The waterfalls in the distance are two waterfalls found at Animal Kingdom recorded in 2012, mixed together and then pitched to correspond closely to those heard in a reference video provided by Mike Lee. The distinctive underwater whirr of the submarines themselves was sourced directly from this same video.

The original Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride area loop was a recorded by Mike Lee and pitch-corrected by Chris Lyndon. Like many other early Magic Kingdom tracks recorded in 1970 and 1971, this distinctive version had a lot of reverb and echo processed into the track, resulting in a tinny sound that’s unfortunately native to the recording. This original music track was replaced by the Disneyland Mr. Toad choral track during a 1993 refurbishment.

The Mad Tea Party – the music which played in this area from 1971 to 1991 was taken from Disneyland Records release WDL-4015, “Alice in Wonderland: Music from the Score by Camarata Chorus and Orchestra”, as identified by Michael Sweeney.

Although this loop is generally fully accepted as original, I have yet to definitely identify any overhead or area speakers in photographs of the original, roofless version of the attraction. As the speakers which played this music are built into the roof over the ride platform, it was definitely in place by 1972 or 1973 at the latest and removed in 1991. I’ve also heard this loop in use in the early 80s at Disneyland’s uncovered version of the Tea Party. The “squeaky brake” which is characteristic of the Florida ride only was recorded live in 2013.

 
 
 
It’s just going to get better and better from here folks! Tomorrow we’ll head over to Tomorrowland for a two part series of this beloved area! We’ll hear things like Michael Iceberg and his Iceberg Machine, the original WEDway Peoplemover, the entrance room of Space Mountain, and many more…
 
 
 


…hang on tight as this journey through Walt Disney World’s history is far from over. This wonderful Fantasyland track has been added to the Disney Avenue Music Player for you to listen to it whenever you’d like. See you right back here tomorrow where we’ll continue our tour of vintage Walt Disney World for a walk through the original Tomorrowland…

 
******

 

 
 
 
 


Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four.

Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.

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