Hollywood Studios AtMousePhere: The Music of Sunset Boulevard

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35705_1503195386401_4289760_nIf you enjoy big bands, jazz, and swing, then taking a walk down Sunset Boulevard is a must for your Walt Disney World trip. In my last AtMousePhere post on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood Studios, I discussed how unique that area of the park is compared to anything in Magic Kindgom, since that park keeps the music true to its theme.

On Sunset Boulevard, the music once again follows the Magic Kingdom concept and stays true to its theme. I love wandering around Sunset Boulevard to see all the details that highlight the 1930s and 1940s. And best of all, the music doesn’t disappoint. My grandfather probably did cartwheels strolling down this street back in 1995 because it would have made him feel so young!

Although The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is looming in the distance, the music actually stays pretty upbeat until you draw closer to the menacing hotel. Then the atmosphere takes on a more ominous tone.

Sidenote: Even though Rock’n’Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is in the Sunet Boulevard area, the music as you enter the courtyard is incredibly different to the themed music outside the arch. There isn’t much to say about this area, except that it plays a lot of Aerosmith!

Let’s sample some of the song offerings in the area, shall we?

“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by the Andrews Sisters

This is a staple of music that came out of World War II. The tempo really gets the feet moving down the path, and the harmonies of the Andrews Sisters are so tight that you couldn’t push a needle through them. This is as upbeat as they come!

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Stop and listen to this fantastic music!

“Sing Sing Sing” by Benny Goodman

Benny Goodman was dubbed “The King of Swing,” and this piece was one of his most successful and mainstream. If you see a movie based in the ’30s or ’40s, chances are high that “Sing Sing Sing” was a piece you heard!

Goodman has multiple tracks on the Sunset Boulevard loop, including “Let’s Dance,” “Don’t Be That Way,” and “These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You).” Any fan of his work would be right at home on this street!

“In the Mood” by Glenn Miller

Another piece that has withstood the test of time and popularized by Miller and his famous Orchestra can be found on Sunset Boulevard. More of his music from his short career can be found here, including “Moonlight Serenade,” “Jukebox Saturday Night,” and “Pennsylvania 6-5000.”

“I’m Getting Sentimental (Over You)” by Tommy Dorsey

This piece is much more melancholy and would fit right in closer to the Tower of Terror. The trombone solo can really soften any bright mood and turn it on its head. “Song of India” is another great Tommy Dorsey piece.

“Sleepy Lagoon” by Harry James

The title says it all – it’s a sleepy piece! If you could hear the area music over the crowds of voices after Fantsmic!, this would be a lovely piece to listen to as you walk out of the park.

“Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” by Duke Ellington

It’s a shame that there aren’t more Ellington pieces showcased on Sunset Boulevard. The swing of the piece can liven up any trip past the shops and food kiosks on your way to two great attractions.

 

All in all, these pieces succeed in putting guests in the right mood as they head to their next destination. Instead of using movie music, they  use source music to bring nostalgia to parkgoers of all ages.

 

Do you have any songs that you wish were played on Sunset Boulevard? Would you rather hear a different style of music as you head to the Rock’n’Roller Coaster? Is this the best music in Hollywood Studios? Comment below!

Claire Nat

I've been enjoying Walt Disney World since my Nana pushed my sister's and my strollers back in the late 1980s. I enjoy my day job here in the Denver area as a teacher and music coordinator at our church. I love music, reading, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Michigan sports!

4 thoughts on “Hollywood Studios AtMousePhere: The Music of Sunset Boulevard

  • December 28, 2014 at 11:31 am
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    Great article, and I believe it’s one of the best areas of WDW as far as atmosphere. BUT……. I was there with my family in late September, and imagine my disappointment in arriving at HS only to find that the area music had been replaced with music from Frozen. Like me, my daughter was looking forward to walking Sunset Blvd. and soaking in the atmosphere. Instead, yech. It was enough to make me consider starting a new tradition of going to Universal instead of Disney. It would be a shame to do that after 20 years, but it seems like all of the changes going on at WDW are helping to lose the magic, not enhance it.

    Reply
    • December 28, 2014 at 3:41 pm
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      Thanks Jim! I was there in October and recall the music being what I profiled above. I was not there on a Frozen Fun Night, so that might have had something to do with it. I don’t think it’s Frozen all the time!

      Reply
      • December 29, 2014 at 1:43 pm
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        We spent 8 days there, between September 24 and October 2. Of those days, 3 or 4 were spent at HS. The only place we could hear the “true” area music was inside select gift shops or inside the Tower of Terror. All the other music was Frozen. Extremely disappointing!!!!

        Reply
  • December 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm
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    Great article! I love the music in all of Hollywood Studios.

    Reply

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