So much has changed in Fantasyland over the past three years that it was impossible for me to write an article talking about the music, since I didn’t know the new music! Luckily, I timed this post to follow my trip to Walt Disney World so that I could wander around Fantasyland and get the lay of the…land.
Obviously, the music of Fantasyland derives greatly from the various fantasy movies that Disney has put out. That’s not to say that the instrumentation is directly from the movies themselves. Sometimes the music is taken from the setting of a movie. Other times themes are explored in a different way. And in a few areas of New Fantasyland, there isn’t any music at all! Let’s take a walk through a much-improved area of Magic Kindgom park:
Assistance for this article came from ParkTunes.com.
Once you go around Cinderella’s castle and make it to the rear, Princess Fairytale Hall is on your right and Mickey’s PhilharMagic is on your left. This is the area that has been around (in different iterations) since the park opened. The music found here has a very Bavarian feel. Although the original story of Pinnochio was written in an Italian setting, the setting Walt Disney used in his movie was Bavarian. Because of this, the left side of Fantasyland has lots of timber-framed cottages that would be common in a German village.
The tale of Snow White is a German tale, so it’s easy to see why the Imagineers chose to put Bavarian folk-style music in this area that has Pinnochio’s Village Haus and used to have Snow White’s Scary Adventures. This music continues through the Peter Pan’s Flight and it’s a small world corridor.
The Carrousel Area
Nearer to Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel, the music takes on the feel of a classic carousel. Disney music has been arranged for a carousel organ. Songs like “Someday My Prince Will Come,” “Heigh-Ho,” “Be Our Guest,” and “Chim-Chim-Cher-ee” can be found here.
This music also carries over to the right, past The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and stops at the Cheshire Cat Cafe.
The Mad Tea Party Area
Since Mad Tea Party is an outdoor attraction (much like the Carrousel) so the attraction music flows out into the roads surrounding it. Unlike the Carrousel, though, the music around here is limited to the music from Alice in Wonderland.
Songs from Alice include “The Caucus Race,” “March of the Cards,” “Off With Her Head,” and “I’m Late.” Much of these can be found on the Alice in Wonderland sountrack.
The Storybook Circus Area
Obviously, the music here is carnival music or has a jazzy style. The “Circus Theme Song” can be heard here, as well as a few other songs like “When I See An Elephant Fly” from Dumbo.
Closer to the train station, the music gets very cutesy (in a good way!), reflecting the railroad instead of the circus.
Music from here was taken directly from the score of Tangled, including “Kingdom Dance.” There is more of a Medieval-style here, with acoustic guitars and light woodwinds.
The Back of New Fantasyland – Enchanted Tales with Belle, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Area
To my surprise, the back of the park has very little music to it. Over by Gaston’s Tavern there is a French-style of music that includes songs from Beauty and the Beast. But walking behind the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train revealed very little music. This is supposed to be outside the castle wall, so I feel like they were trying to bring in the sounds of nature instead of clogging up the area with even more music. Occasionally you can hear the Seven Dwarfs hard at work, ting-tinging with their picks and shovels in the mine.
I appreciated that this area had a more muted feeling, since the beauty of the architecture didn’t demand an extra large soundtrack to accompany it.
As you can see, Fantasyland does not embrace one style of music in its land. Now that it’s much bigger, several styles can share the space! Whether it’s Medieval to Bavarian folk to a Wurlitzer carousel organ, Fantasyland uses everything to give a fresh take to the familiar favorite songs in its repertoire!
Which section of Fantasyland has your favorite music? Were you ever as confused as I was over the amount of Bavarian folk-style music in the front of Fantasyland? Do you have any areas where you would change the musical style? Comment below!