Friday, January 18, 2019

Musically Setting the Stage

(It's BGM catch-up month here at Passport to Dreams, with two shorter posts this month to get a record of the remaining fully identified original loops online!)

The Main Entrance music at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom is one of those few that average people get pretty emotional over. Specialist news websites report when it has been changed, and a quick search shows these pieces of music are among the most frequently reposted on sites like Tumblr and YouTube. There's just something about it.

What is that exactly? Is it the upbeat orchestrations? The sweeping feeling? Or is it simply the act of being there, hearing the music again?

But if you stop and think for a moment, there's absolutely no hard and fast rule that Disney was absolutely going to play upbeat Disney music just outside its gates - in fact, there was no rules about the music that was going to be played at all. And yet many of the choices made by Jack Wagner back in 1971 and 1972 have remained fairly consistent as various versions of in-park music have come and gone, and the Main Entrance music hasn't ever strayed too far from that original musical template. So let's take a look at those early entrance loops.

Two versions of them circulate through collector's circles, a short version and a long version. In most cases, I would be inclined to believe that the short version is simply an incomplete recording of the long version, as is the case with several shorter versions of the Skyway Music in circulation. But in this case the track order of each is significantly different.

Also, the run time of the short version is about 44 minutes, and as we have already established on this site, most of the really early Magic Kingdom loops run about as long. Therefore, in the lack of other compelling evidence, I'm inclined to treat this shorter version of the Main Entrance music as the original version, which was later padded out to one hour in the mid-70s when other loops such as Main Street and Frontierland were also altered.

And oh yes, since we're talking about Walt Disney World here, it's worth remembering that this music played at both the Transportation and Ticket Center and the Magic Kingdom.

Transportation and Ticket Center / Magic Kingdom Turnstiles
Short Version, (1972 - 1975) 
01. Me Ol'Bamboo [3]
02. Mickey Mouse Club March [4]
03. Whistle While You Work / Heigh Ho [4]
04. Pop! Goes the Weasel [4]
05. Parade of the Wooden Soliders [4]
06. Step in Time [6]
07. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious [6]
08. The Work Song [6]
09. Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? [8]
10. Winnie the Pooh (Songs from Winnie the Pooh) [8]
11. The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers (Songs from Winnine the Pooh) [8]
12. Colonel Hathi's March [2]
13. The Bare Necessities [2]
14. Disney Medley No. 1 [2]
15. Disney Medley No. 2 [2]
16. March of the Cards [2]
17. it's a small world [2]
18. When You Wish Upon a Star [1]
19. A Marching Band (We're the Mouseketeers) [8]
20. A Wonderful Day Like Today [2]
21. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes [6]
22. Roses of Success [3]
23. Trotter's Mile [3]
24. it's a small world (Choral Version) [5]
25. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah [1]
26. Chim Chim Cher-ee (Unknown Source)
27. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious [Mary Poppins Medley] [8]

We know for sure this has to have been installed in 1972 because the WDW Band record wasn't available until then. And then, here's the version that played until it was replaced by the Disneyland Paris main entrance music in late 1991:

Transportation and Ticket Center / Magic Kingdom Turnstiles
(1975 - 1991) 
01. Mickey Mouse Club March [4]
02. Whistle While You Work / Heigh Ho [4]
03. Parade of the Wooden Soldiers [4]
04. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Mary Poppins Medley) [8]
05. Winnie the Pooh (Songs from Winnie the Pooh) [8]
06. Wonderful Thing About Tiggers (Songs from Winnie the Pooh) [8]
07. Disney Medley No. 1 [2]
08. March of the Cards [2]
09. it's a small world [2]
10. When You Wish Upon a Star [1]
11. it's a small world (Choral Version) [5]
12. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah [1]
13. Chim Chim Cher-ee (Unknown Source)
14. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Mary Poppins Medley) [8]
15. Me Ol'Bamboo [3]
16. Mickey Mouse Club March [4]
17. Pop! Goes the Weasel [4]
18. Step in Time [6]
19. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious [6]
20. The Work Song [6]
21. Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? [8]
22. Winnie the Pooh (Songs from Winnie the Pooh) [8]
23. Colonel Hathi's March [2]
24. Bare Necessities [2]
25. Disney Medley No. 1 [2]
26. Disney Medley No. 2 [2]
27. A Marching Band (We're the Mouseketeers) [8]
28. A Wonderful Day Like Today [2]
29. A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes [6]
30. When You Wish Upon a Star [1]
31. Roses of Success [3]
32. Trotter's Mile [3]
33. Hip Hip Pooh-ray! (Songs from Winnie the Pooh) [8]
34. Little Wooden Head [7]
35. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah [1]
36. Circus Parade (Unknown Source) 
[1] Academy Award Songs [Vol 1. and Vol. 2] by Frank Chacksfield and His Orchestra (Decca, 1959) 
[2] Disneyland Band by Disneyland Band (Buena Vista Records, 1969)
[3] Fantasmagorical Themes from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Irwin Kostal and His Orchestra (United Artists Records, 1968)
[4] Hi-Fi Music for Children: From 2 to 92 by Russ Garcia and His Orchestra (Liberty, 1957)
[5] It's a Small World (Especially at Christmas) by Disneyland Boys Choir (Buena Vista Records)
[6] March Along with Mary Poppins by Members of the Famed U.C.L.A. Band (Disneyland, 1965)
[7] Pinocchio: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Disneyland, 1963)
[8] Walt Disney World Band by Walt Disney World Band (Buena Vista Records, 1972)


This longer loop, at least, also played outside of Disneyland's main entrance during the same era.

I feel like I haul this observation out every time we look at an old Jack Wagner loop, but isn't it delightful how absolutely odd this thing is? Jack seems to have begun with the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Band LPs as his basic sound, then branched out to Russ Garcia's extremely oddball Hi-Fi Music for Children and Irwin Kostal's Fantasmagorical Themes from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

I've recently discovered that many of today's Disney fans don't know about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but the capsule version is that it was a 1968 attempt to create a Disney-style movie launched by the creators of the James Bond franchise. They were through in their poaching of the talent that made Mary Poppins sing, including the Sherman Brothers, Irwin Kostal, and Dick van Dyke. The Disney Studio, which prized loyalty over all else (and still does), rankled at the insubordination represented by the Shermans' departure. So it's very amusing to see that music from that film used to play outside of Disneyland and Magic Kingdom - a modern equivalent might be if the soundtrack to Anastasia played somewhere at WDW.

EPCOT may have legendary entrance music, and the Studios parks have famous movie themes, but nothing quite replaces that emotional feeling of standing in front of the train station and hearing a beloved Disney song drifting on the breeze. Despite all of my hemming and hawing on this site over total musical obscurities, that it's that emotional connection that Disney really invented and perfected in the middle of the 20th century. It's things like this that are why we're here.

Want more theme park music? Check out the Passport to Dreams Park Music Hub!

DEAR READERS: Starting in 2019, Passport to Dreams will be going off its monthly update routine, to focus on providing more of the long-form writing this site excels at as well as clear time for larger projects that need to get finished. If you'd like to get updated directly when new posts arrive, please follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks for your support!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Weird WDW: Eulogy For A Dancing Hippo

It doesn't feel like it anymore, but there's still a lot of weirdness left at Walt Disney World. The past ten years have seen a shocking amount of expansions, reboots, reconstructions and rejiggering, not all of which have sat well with fans. But travel outside of the well worn haunts to the distant corners of property and you will find remnants of the 90s and even 80s still hanging on, passive observers of a Disney nearly unrecognizable.

One of these corners is Fantasia Gardens, a miniature golf course Disney built only after a long legal battle with the hotel entities that own the Swan and Dolphin. The Swan and Dolphin themselves were once emblematic of weird WDW, but they were redone in the 00s and again recently and their teal and salmon decor and rococo, trellesed madness has long since been subdued. But keep walking.

Out on the edge of nothing, backed into a corner by an onramp, is one of WDW's great forgotten corners - the Swan and Dolphin's picnic pavilions. While it seems that the nearby tennis courts were originally constructed in 1990 with the opening of the hotel complex, part of Disney's agreement with  the operating partners for those hotels was that the space across the street was earmarked for any "entertainment complex". Five years and much gnashing of teeth later, Fantasia Gardens opened in 1995.

The Swan and Dolphin have always been more heavily favored by a certain class of business traveler than families, and so perhaps the idea of adding picnic pavilions to complement the full array of meeting facilities seemed a good one at the time. But I can think of no other area at Walt Disney World that has lived out such an abandoned, twilight existence as the "Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "Dancing Hippo" pavilions. At least River Country, Discovery Island, Wonders of Life and the ImageWorks were in use at one point in time; I don't think I've ever seen the picnic pavilions in actual frequent use.


Visited today, it's clear that cast members treat these pavilions as a backstage area, the event space strewn with chairs, burnt out light bulbs and intermittently in use fans. Between the two pavilions, in an antechamber that hasn't seen a simple dusting in many years, are two bathrooms, cleaned and stocked daily, for the patronage of nobody. There are areas of the Disney convention centers, especially the less popular ones like the Grand Floridian, where the bizarre disjunction between the effort to keep them maintained and the actual patronage feels as acute, but rarely as at Fantasia Gardens.

In college, when I was a rebellious Cast Member, I'd sometimes park at Fantasia Gardens and walk into Epcot the back way. I'd pull into the unmanned parking lot and wonder at those bulky warehouses on the other side of the pond, silent and empty. I'd visit the lobby of the Dolphin, stroll the Boardwalk, then enter Epcot and make the World Showcase loop. It was a pleasant afternoon, and each visit began and ended with the pavilions on the edge of forever, as dark and empty as they always were.

Disney is about to tear these down, and the Tennis Courts too. An expansion has been deemed necessary, and a small tower is being built on the former parking lot and tennis courts. The pavilions will become the new parking lot for Fantasia Gardens. By the time you read this, they may already have been dismantled.

In our current amped-up, plugged-in world of Disney fandom, consider that the closure of the garish Hanes T-shirt shop at the Village was deemed worthy of a minor round of complaining, and yet there are people who practically live at Walt Disney World but who have never even seen the Sorcerer's Apprentice and Dancing Hippo pavilions. They've been around for 23 years, meaning they lasted longer than many of the original EPCOT Center attractions, but they've entered life and are now leaving it as desolate and forgotten as ever.

Weird Walt Disney World is still out there for you, if you're willing to go find it.

Do you enjoy Walt Disney World History? Passport to Dreams has you covered with a full history resource full of facts, photos, video and more! Dive in!

Friday, November 02, 2018

Let's Have A Drink On It! Adventureland Punch

I tried hard, I really did. After the last, surprisingly successful installment of this series, I knew summer was coming soon and a nice, summery WDW drink would be appreciated. The Monorail Yellow, a classic Disney variation on the Pina Colada, seemed as good and summery a place to start. But after about two months of testing, with summer come and gone, I have to concede defeat. You shouldn't make a Monorail Yellow; instead, you should make a Painkiller*, which uses the same four ingredients in a vastly improved proportion.

(*For my notes on this process, see the comments)

Which left me pretty well out of ideas for a new drink. However, with the holidays on the horizon I had been thinking of the large-bore old fashioned punch recipes of times past. With large gatherings of friends in the future, what if I created a new punch in honor of Adventureland? After all, the punch tradition evolved into the cocktail, and probably began at English colonial outposts in places such as Macao and Bombay. And while my own efforts to put together a tiki-esque drink in honor of Adventureland had met with mixed success, surely if there was any drink that could represent Adventureland, it was punch.

Punch - Getting Drunk the Long Way

Punch? You mean that stuff that's made at Christmas out of 7-Up? Well, no, not exactly.

In this case we're going to make a genuine 19th century-style punch, which provided the template for the cocktail and eventually morphed into the Tiki Drink. And although the techniques are similar, a punch requires a slightly different mentality than a cocktail. If you're accustomed to the cocktail way of doing things, you're going to be tempted to make substitutions - but please, don't. This section exists to show you why you need to think of building this drink differently.


Punch was intended to be made in a huge vat and it was, essentially, the evening's entertainment for a group of people. This differs from a batched cocktail primarily in the fact that punch was only rarely iced and was intended to last a very long time. This means that water was always added to the punch to dilute the alcohol before it was consumed - it was designed to remain the same flavor of the course of how ever many hours it took the group to demolish the contents of the punch bowl. Compared to this, cocktails are intended to be consumed fairly quickly - indeed, much of the charm of an Old Fashioned or a Zombie is in the way its flavors change as the ice melts and dilutes it over the course of its life. Cocktails dilute while they sit; punch is already diluted to the proper levels in its construction.

The dilution in punch was often accomplished with water - sometimes boiling, if the punch was a winter time drink intended to be served hot. Several of the most infamously strong punches were diluted with champagne, like the Chatham Artillery Punch. So when you assemble this recipe, please don't be tempted to over-chill the contents - it's intended to be cool, but not cold. You also need to drink it slowly, not just because it's stronger than you think, but it can be hard to stop drinking punch once you start!

The other item you need to be mindful of is punch's main distinguishing characteristic vs a cocktail... the oleo-sacchrum compound, which I will be calling the "sherbet" in this article. "Oleo-sacchrum" is faux latin for "oil sugar", and that's basically what it is: sugar infused with citrus oil. You make this in a big batch at the start of the recipe, and it has a heft and body which cannot be replicated by any shortcut method. The sherbet is what makes a punch a punch, and what makes this recipe delicious, so you will need to take the time to do it properly. I promise you, your patience will be rewarded.

Finally, besides the somewhat time consuming creation of the sherbet, the real trick in punch making is getting the proportions correct. After some testing and reading up on the subject, I have decided to embrace the proportions of 1:1:4:6 as the most delicious and easy to remember.

We're off for Adventureland, and punch awaits! But first, let's take a quick tour through our ingredients before we get into the nitty gritty of how to make the thing.

One of Sour, One of Sweet

The Sherbet, or oleo-sacchrum, is the kind of thing you read about and shake your head, but any home drinker who has mixed up their own simple syrup can do this. To be fair, the cause has not been helped by those who advocate for soaking the sherbet for four hours or some absurd interval. They didn't have that sort of time, not even in India in the 18th century, when getting roaring drunk on punch was just about the only thing worth looking forward to. The creation of the sherbet will be expounded in painful detail during the construction phase.

By the way, the term "sherbet" is historically correct and borrowed from the famous dessert. If the liquor component of the punch is added and the whole thing bottled, this is called a "shrub" and was a common labor saving technique in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Four of Strong

Here we get into murkier territory. Limes cannot be used to prepare a sherbet, as their oil is far too bitter, yet lime is absolutely the citrus of choice if we are going to be using rum as our main strong component here; more on how I get around that later. I've gravitated towards rum, not only because it's cheap, but because this drink is intended to represent Magic Kingdom's Adventureland, of which Pirates of the Caribbean is a key component. In order to make the rum get along nicer with the rest of the cocktail, I've cut about a quarter of it with brandy.

The brandy here need not be an excellent one; Paul Masson makes a surprisingly good California brandy which is spiked with a bit of actual cognac, called "Grand Amber" and it can be obtained for less than the cost of a Big Al Trading Pin. Of course, if you have a bit of Hennessy or Martell laying about, it won't hurt the final mix either.

Personally I suggest you save your money for a  excellent rum, which must be of a Jamaican variety and have a good amount of that island's characteristic pot still "funk". The best choice here is Smith & Cross, which is expensive but makes a truly nectarous punch. I've also had good luck with the Plantation line; their flagship offering as well as their O.F.T.D. have enough of that chewy heft to cut through the sugar. In times of extreme duress, you can cut a smooth dark rum like El Dorado with a bit of Wray & Newphew White Overproof, which is a great funky mixing rum, but it won't quite have the same luscious texture.

Six of Weak

Time to add some Magic Kingdom to our punch, and there's nothing more Magic Kingdom Adventureland than the Orange Bird. Originally I was experimenting with orange sodas such as Fanta here, but they simply drowned out the delicate balance of spirit and lemon I had worked so hard to get to. Orangina, the driest of the sugary orange sodas widely available on the market, was also far too sweet here.

Thankfully. San Pellegrino is distributed in even the most humble hamlet, and their dry orange soda - San Pellegrino Arancia - has barely any sugar in it and did the trick nicely. If you have a favorite Italian-Style dry soda in stock, it may be substituted. I also had excellent luck mixing various sodas as well as trying out combinations such as blood orange and ginger ale, but none quite matched the clean citrus flavor of the Arancia.

Finishing Touches

With a sturdy framework established, it was time to try variations. I tried to add cherry notes reminiscent of Hawaiian Punch or the Singapore Sling through Cherry Heering, Marascino and Kirsch, but all of these simply muddled the existing flavor. Ditto attempts to introduce pineapple juice, which is simply too thick and distinct to integrate into the punch. Gin, Benedictine, spiced rum, and absinthe similarly failed to perk up my punch in any appreciable way.

Instead I found the best option to put some life back into it was through the simple addition of fresh citrus. Since there's already rum in the glass, I found it best to cut a wedge of lime, run the cut edge of the lime around the rim of the glass or punch bowl, squeeze the fresh juice into the punch, then drop the spent wedge in as garnish.

It was this combination of three citrus flavors - lemon, lime, and orange - that really pushed the punch over the top, making it redolent of tropical shores without being cloying. It is, as they say, almost as much fun as New Year's Eve in the orange groves.

Construction

Here we go, and we're going to be doing this with Instagram-friendly photos to show everyone just how easy it is to make the Sherbet. You want to gather up two very large lemons, a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler, a muddler, and weigh yourself out four ouches of sugar.

For the sugar, you can use refined white sugar, but I found I liked Florida Crystals, not just because Adventureland is in Florida, but because they add a nice complexity to the sherbet. You can go overboard and use Sugar in the Raw here, but it will take much longer to dissolve. You need a nice fine-grained sugar.

If you don't have a muddler, you can use anything that will allow you to squish the lemon peel and release the juice, such as the bottom of a glass jar or a heavy spoon.


Pare off the lemon peel in as much of a single, continuous strip as you can. Leave as much of the white part behind as you can. If you're used to making lemon and orange twists at home for martinis and old-fashioned, you may surprise yourself with how easy you will find this.

The long strips are more for ease of retrieval down the line, so if you have trouble making the long peels, don't worry - you can strain them out later.


Dump on your sugar and muddle the peels a little bit. You don't need to go crazy here, just get everything nicely combined.


Put aside your lemon-sugar and juice your lemons. You want to reserve as much lemon juice as you had sugar, so in this case, 4 ounces. I like to use 2 ounces of sugar and 2 ounces of lemon juice per lemon, which will get me close to that nice 1:1 ratio.


Okay, you're done for now. Go water the lawn, make a drink, or play with your dog. Go away for about 45 minutes, when you come back, you should see this:


This is one of those cases where a photo isn't nearly as obvious as this is in person, but the sugar should be very saturated with lemon oil and the whole bowl should have a nice clean lemony scent. Now to combine the juice into the sugar.

I've found the easiest way to do this is to dump the whole contents of the bowl into a tight lidded jar, add the lemon juice, and shake it. Leave it out on the counter, and every time you walk past, shake it again. Very soon, you'll notice the sugar is fully integrated into the juice. Now you can fish out the spent lemon peels and pop your sherbet into the fridge.


Ready for a drink? Measure it out thusly:
JUNGLE NAVIGATION CO. PUNCH 
.5 oz oleo-sacchrum
1.5 oz strong rum (Smith & Cross)
.5 oz brandy (California)
2 - 3 oz dry orange soda (San Pellegrino Arancia)
cut a lime wedge, rub it on rim of glass, squeeze juice into punch

If your sherbet and soda are nice and cold, no ice is needed. You don't need to put this in a shaker and strain it off; everything can simply be combined into a glass and, if you like, stirred. If you use a short glass, you'll find the simple action of adding each ingredient, especially the carbonated soda, combines everything just fine. I like this with more like 2.5 ounces of the soda, but experiment and see what works for you. Always start with less; you can't un-dilute your punch.

If you want to make your sherbet into a shrub, to your 4 ounces of sherbet add 12 ounces (a cup and a half) of rum and 4 ounces (half a cup) of brandy. Shake, then refrigerate in bottle until ready to use.

--

I named this after the Jungle Navigation Company because, much like working at the Jungle Cruise, it's sweet and tropical but it will lay you out if you're not careful. Despite being nearly half alcohol, the lemon oil and sugar takes the edge off the rum to such a degree that by the time you've had three of these, it's far too late. What I'm saying is: approach with caution!

The whole thing can be built in a bowl and will serve, say, six adults to various degrees of lubrication; if you do that you can build the punch right in the same bowl as the sherbet. It may be hard to get the sugar to dissolve in the lemon juice without the use of force in a sealed jar, which is why it was common in the 18th century to add a bit of boiling water to the punch bowl (say, 2 ounces) to mix the whole thing up.

In my opinion, if you're going to go through the trouble to get you and your friends good and drunk on punch, it's worth taking the time to assemble the bottled shrub as specified above and then cutting it with around 2 cans of the dry orange soda. Again, start with less and adjust to taste.

The glasses used should be very small, around 2 ounces each, not only to encourage conviviality around the bowl, but to help temper the urge towards excess.  If you stop by a thrift store, you should be able to procure a punch bowl and set of glasses for relatively cheap.


There are two other entries in the "Let's Have A Drink On It!" series: The Howling Dog Bend and Seven Seas Drink. If you have a favorite WDW cocktail that you think is worth reworking, suggest it below!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Magic Kingdom in Early 1972

Let's take a break this month and enjoy some vintage photography.

I don't do this sort of thing all that often, not only because it's fairly time consuming, but most often vintage vacation slides aren't all that great. There's almost certain to be a wide array of throughly mediocre parade and Jungle Cruise shots, and what with the state of photography until the late 80s, most often blurry or out of focus.

But sometimes you luck out, and you come across a batch of slides not only properly exposed and well framed, but which capture interesting and relevant details of the parks, and this is what I have for you today. I bought these slides from Mike Lee, who had given up on properly digitally scanning them, and after sorting out all of the various vacation trips into neat categories it was clear these were both ambitious and interesting. Let's take a look.


We first encounter our heroes in the Hub, where they are preparing for the day.


This shot provides not only an excellent view into the vacant rear expanse of tomorrowland, but the light catches on the waterfall just right and really drives home how cool those must have looked when they were operating properly. Within a few months Disney would drain these and install little bumps all down the surface of the falls to make the water more visible, which really only had the effect of getting everything around them wet. But in the first months of 1972, you can really see this feature working properly.

The Grand Prix was their only shot in Tomorrowland.


There probably isn't a worse attraction boarding area at Magic Kingdom, then or now. In 1973, the attraction would be refurbished and murals would be added to those plain rear walls. Every so often, I see a photo like this that reminds me that the boarding area's sole decorative embellishment - that car on a tiny pedestal along the rear wall - has been there fire nearly five decades.

Up until the Indy car sponsorship of the 90s, the spotter on the elevated platform would wave a big checkered flag and everyone would pull out of the load area at once, which was a cool touch. I guess in defense of the Grand Prix, real life race tracks aren't very attractive either.

On to Fantasyland, with some fun character shots.


You can tell this is an early 1972 set because throughout our heroes are posing holding the large fold-out Magic Kingdom map. The first GAF Guide was not printed until Spring 1972, so early visitors either had to spring for the large fold-out wall map or use the map printed in Walt Disney World News.

Here's Kids of the Kingdom performing at Fantasy Faire. At this point they may still have been known as The Kids Next Door.


This is the exact lineup of performers who also appear at The Top of the World at the end of The Magic of Walt Disney World, which I think is pretty cool.

Fantasy Faire was a bandstand with a raising and lowering stage, exactly like the one still in use at Disneyland Tomorrowland. Anybody who insists that the Haunted Mansion's stretching rooms had to be redesigned to go up due to the water table, remind them that Fantasy Faire and Tomorrowland Terrace used identical Otis piston elevator platforms in 1971.

Fantasy Faire continued to host performing groups and stage shows until it was demolished to make way for Ariel's Grotto in 1994, which itself was demolished for New Fantasyland in 2009.

On to Liberty Square!


I'm not sure when the stocks were widened to allow you to stick your head in them, probably within the first few months after opening. If there any Disney thing that's been more widely copied than this simple gag?

If you look waaaaay in the background, you can see the white construction wall surrounding the Frontierland Train Station.


The Haunted Mansion's rain canopy would not begin installation until March or April 1972.


I love these early shot of the Mansion way out on the edge of nothing. The glass windows were originally red, but they were changed at some point early on. When the facade was rebuilt in 2016, they brought the red panes back, which I thought was a great touch.


Here's a rare view from the line for the Hall of Presidents! This is around the west side of the building, between the colonial home facades and the "village green". The green would be partially removed to build the covered waiting area later that year, and fully removed to be replaced by the current circular planters and tables by 1980.

Off to Adventureland...


If you don't recognize this band stand, I posted a lot of information about it earlier this year.



Standing in line for the Jungle Cruise. Notice that Disney has split the courtyard with benches and trash cans, forcing exiting traffic to proceed up the hill towards the Treehouse. You can also see those butane torches that used to burn all over Adventureland. I remember them lasting until the late 90s, but I'm not sure when they went away for good.

The photos from the Jungle Cruise trip was nearly a total bust, underexposed and uninteresting, though there is this evocative shot of Schweitzer Falls from the rear of the boat:


But not all was a loss, because our heroes stopped to pose for this superb shot of the drumming tikis, the best of its type I've ever seen:


It looks like it's astro-turf on the ground around the tikis. This would be relocated nearer the Tiki Room in just a few months, but it does look really fun to go into this circle. Marc Davis was a very underrated designer of simple interactive elements.


Over at the Tropical Serenade, it's February or March 1972 and still no Barker Bird. I believe it was somebody in Operations who made the call to add him to draw attendance to the show; it was definitely in place by June 1972.


Nearby, Country Bear Jamboree is the runaway success of Magic Kingdom! One interesting but little-reported detail is that originally, Tropical Serenade was an E-Ticket and Country Bear Jamboree was a D-Ticket... until January 1972, when the ticket prices of the two attractions switched! Hall of Presidents and Mickey Mouse Revue did the same thing at the same time, for pretty much the same reason.


I love this shot. I've seen hundreds of vacation slides and only these folks thought to photograph that indelible part of any theme park trip - waiting in line. Entertainment guides from early 1972 call these folks the "Mariachi Band", although the 1972 "A Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom" lists them as Mariachi Chapparal. The group that performed at the Contemporary was officially known as Los Gallos, but they probably shared personnel.

The facades of both Bear Band and Jungle Cruise were intended to house performing groups in this way, although the Adventureland Steel Band would only perform above Jungle Cruise for one day before being moved elsewhere. I've also seen a "Safari Band" performing on the veranda above the Juice Bar at the entrance to Adventureland. I think this is a very clever way to provide musical entertainment without having to stop the park in its tracks.


It's getting late at Magic Kingdom and the lights are on now, so after a brief visit with Brer Fox and Brer Bear it's time to head back home on the monorail.


Thanks for joining our unnamed heroes on their adventure through Magic Kingdom as it was almost 45 years ago, and thanks to our heroes for thinking to take such fun, interesting photographs! I have a few other similar posts on this site's Walt Disney World History Hub, so if you enjoyed this there's more to be seen out there! until next time!

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Music of the Tropical Serenade

🎶 Let's all sing like the birdies sing... 🎶

No, not that music of the Tropical Serenade.  Today let's get detailed and talk about the music that played outside of the attraction throughout its lifetime.

Tropical Serenade is just about the only WDW attraction which has had an authoritative original BGM available online since the 90s - or, at least, what was widely accepted as authoritative. As part of the early legitimate loops available through collector's circles such as the Main Street USA music, King Stephan's Banquet Hall and Adventureland Veranda, the "Sunshine Pavilion BGM" was vouched for by several sources, and How Bowers recently released a live recording made in the 90s which confirms its authenticity.

Co-incidentally, Ryan Komitor, who recently did an incredible job rounding up all of the original Adventureland Veranda music, pointed me in the direction of a fairly obscure Criterion Records release, The Beat of Tahiti. It's unpolished, in situ records of Tahitian drumming, but most importantly it provided the two missing tracks for the Sunshine Pavilion BGM.

Sunshine Pavilion BGM 1971 - 1998
01. Voodoo Bamboos [Edited] [2]
02. Kawohikukapulani [1]
03. Fautaua (Rain) [Edited] [5]
04. Bora Bora [Edited] [5]
05. Kalua [3]
06. Trade Winds [4]
07. M' Bira [3] 
[1] Hawaiian Sunset by Arthur Lyman (Hi-Fi Records, SR807)
[2] Night of the Spectre by Chaino (Tampa Records, TP-4)
[3] Primitiva by Martin Denny (Liberty)
[4] Soft Hawaiian Guitars by the Hawaii Calls Orchestra (Capitol)
[5] The Beat of Tahiti (Criterion Records TT-170) 
Compiled by Jay, wedroy1923, and Ryan Komitor

This loop is commonly labeled as being from 1971, a date I accept in the absence off any more compelling evidence. As I’ve hopefully repeatedly demonstrated on this site, the music rollout at Magic Kingdom for the first few years was messy and sporadic, and nailing down dates is largely an exercise in frustration. However, Disneyland had been using music in the lobby areas of their attractions more or less since the 60s, so I think it’s reasonable to assume that Disney prioritized waiting area loops over generalized area loops and that Jack Wagner would have cranked this out to be ready for the October 1971 debut. If this is true then this is probably his original exotica loop.

Like other early 70s loops, such as those for the Adventureland Veranda and Liberty Square, it’s a surprisingly conceptual loop, not at all like the aural exotica wallpaper he would create for later Adventureland music projects. We know this because his loop for the Disneyland Tiki Room Lanai, created in 1976, also still exists, and it’s a totally different creature.

The Sunshine Pavilion loop intersperses aggressive, almost dissonant drumming tracks with the standard exotica music you’d expect to hear outside of a Tiki Room. What first seems to be an odd choice gains more meaning once you realize that these drumming tracks were not easy to find; the first track, by weirdo experimental drummer Chaino, is a very close edit of a very specific section of one track from one very obscure album. Jack didn’t have much room for error in editing this, because just seconds on either side of the section he used are the sounds of panting and screaming!

Two selections from "The Beat of Tahiti”, which is more of the sort of thing you’d expect the Smithsonian to release than a proper music album, are followed by a Martin Denny track which begins with drumming in a similar tempo, creating the illusion that the aggressive island drums fade into an exotica reverie. The final track, another Martin Denny confection, is again heavy on the percussion, climaxing with a flurry of drum beats to herald the start of the pre-show.



I think the idea here was predicated on the entry area of the attraction being a Balinese pagoda, and perhaps related to the pre-opening term of the central feature of the Sunshine Pavilion itself being a “Ceremonial House”. That is one place you would expect to hear exotic drumming, and threading the exotica music through jazz and authentic folk music recordings is an interesting idea. I don’t think Jack totally pulled off the idea, mind you, but it’s a deceptively carefully crafted piece of work.

And, well, that’s what played at the Sunshine Pavilion for darn near a quarter century. It wasn’t until the show was displaced by the Under New Management show in 1998 that anything changed.


Under New Management was a bad idea for a bad show, but one element that took the sting out of it was that the attraction received an absolutely phenomenal waiting area loop. In the generation since Jack created his first exotica loop, Tiki culture had died on the vine and then come roaring back to life - right about the same time the Tiki Room had gone UNM. The incubator of the Tiki revival was Southern California, so somebody inside WDI knew what they were up to here. Instead of drumming interspersed with leisurely island music, the new waiting area loop was a glorious crescendo of the patron saint of exotica lounge - Martin Denny.

Beginning with a track in which Denny and his percussionists were merely the supporting act to Arthur Lyman, the group’s signature jungle howls and wails build and build, leading up the original single version of Denny’s immortal Quiet Village. The track manages to be fun, kitsch, and melodic all at once while blending a near history of lounge exotica music into a cohesive whole. I worked at Under New Management for a while, and while I can confirm that audiences simply didn’t like the thing, I was pleased that the sacrifice of my sanity for a few months more than prepared me to rebuild this waiting area loop from memory.

Oh, and after all of that rich atmosphere building by the music and architecture, then the waterfall opened and the talent agents of Iago and Zazu would bicker at each other. You know, fun!
Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management Waiting Area Music 
01. Taboo [1]
02. Martinique [2]
03. Love Dance [2]
04. Quiet Village [2] 
[1] Exotic Sounds of Arthur Lyman by Arthur Lyman (Legacy International)
[2] Exotica: The Best of Martin Denny by Martin Denny (Rhino) 
Playlist compiled by Jay



Under New Management was also the recipient of another unlikely first, the first and only Tiki Room to ever have an area loop. This played out of the exactly one speaker situated on the facade pointing out towards Adventureland, and after the construction of the Magic Carpets of Aladdin was mostly inaudible. For the identification and preservation of this information we can thank Jay at Magic Music, who spent many no doubt painful months compiling the data.

Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management Area Music 
Running time: approx. 52:44 
01. Jungle River Boat [02:32] [2]
02. Bwana A [03:08] [1]
03. Moon of Manakoora [02:34] [3]
04. The Enchanted Sea [01:57] [2]
05. Moon Over a Ruined Castle [02:56] [1]
06. Hawaiian Paradise [02:44] [3]
07. March of the Siamese Children [01:29] [2]
08. Dahil Sayo [02:28] [1]
09. Jungle Flower [01:47] [2]
10. Magic Islands [03:37] [4]
11. Hawaiian War Chant [02:33] [3]
12. Escales [02:26] [2]
13. Ye Lai Sian [02:48] [1]
14. Oahu (My Lovely Island Home) [02:47] [3]
15. Baia [03:15] [2]
16. Yellow Bird [02:32] [1]
17. My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua Hawai'i [02:34] [3]
18. Aku Aku [02:37] [2]
19. Tropical [02:51] [4]
20. Aloha Nui Loa [02:50] [3] 
[1] Exotic Sounds of Arthur Lyman by Arthur Lyman (Legacy International)
[2] Exotica: The Best of Martin Denny by Martin Denny (Rhino)
[3] Hawaiian Songs for Dancing by Guy Lombardo (Decca)
[4] Legend of Pele by Arthur Lyman (Rykodisc)
In the absence of a live reference recording of this material, I don't think a reconstruction is ever going to be possible. As I mentioned, the music was practically inaudible in the park, and the only track I can ever remember hearing clearly is the Guy Lombardo version of Hawaiian War Chant. I'm only halfway positive that the Lombardo tracks were edited to remove their vocals, and unlike with the pre-show music, my memory here is fuzzy enough that I'd rather not trust it.

However, for posterity's sake, here is the Guy Lombardo Hawaiian Songs for Dancing album, which seems to have never been re-released in any form, preserved in amber in amazing 1949 low fidelity!


In 2005, Disneyland’s Tiki Room got a top to bottom overhaul which included the retirement of the old Jack Wagner waiting area music from 1976 and the introduction of a new loop of Hawaiian Guitar music. This same loop was copied over to Magic Kingdom in 2011 with the reopening of the original show there, where it plays on to this day.

That’s 50 years of Enchanted Tiki history for you, and like all of us, there’s a lot of highs and a lot of lows too. Let’s hope the music plays on and on.

Do you like exotica and mood music? I've got a treat for you, because there's a treasure trove of playlists and reconstructions just like this as well as other resources over on our Theme Park Music page!