Hollywood Studios AtMousePhere: The Music of Echo Lake

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echolake
photo by Michelle Micheel

The one section of Echo Lake that everyone is familiar with when they enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios is…well…the lake itself! On one side is the boat where you can find Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner, and on the other side is Gertie the dinosaur.

However, the Echo Lake area of the park actually stretches back past the old American Idol Experience building and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.

The biggest trouble with the music of the Echo Lake area is that it is often drowned out by the music of the stage shows, musical acts, or Streetmosphere characters that are in the former location of the Sorcerer’s Hat. While this is a problem in other areas, too, it’s more of a problem here since there is a lack of large buildings or walls to block the sound. As a result, any “atMousephere” gets overshadowed.

However, it still provides some great instrumental music. While most of the music down the street of Hollywood Boulevard are familiar movie and television themes, the ones down Echo Lake are very adventurous, even though some of them might not be immediately recognizable. Here’s some samplings:

List courtesy of magicmusic.net

The Death Hunt (from “On Dangerous Ground”) from Citizen Kane

If heading around the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, this music would really fit in. It’s driving, layered, and bold. Brass really kicks in and moves the piece along – it really feels like a hunt is taking place.

bettergertie
photo by Michelle Micheel

Finale from The Abyss

This piece is a little softer in its approach. There are more strings involved, and even a choir in the softer sections. It’s a great piece to just stand in one place and think to yourself, “I made it to Disney World!!”

Overture from The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad

A fun piece written by Bernard Herrmann. Its three striking chords at the beginning repeat throughout and are enough to make anyone feel like they’re on an adventure of some kind.

Main Titles and Mountain Visions from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

We depart from the adventure music and head straight into some sci-fi. It’s not full of synthesizers, like some sci-fi of the time, but is John Williams’ sci-fi, with a full orchestra.

Willow’s Theme from Willow

I hope that some of these pieces bring back some movie (or personal) memories for you. Many of these pieces would not be something that you’d hum randomly on the street. Take the theme from Willow, for example. Unless you have a deep appreciation for the movie, you won’t remember the theme. But it still fits in perfectly with this section of the park, because it’s great instrumental background music.

Futile Escape from Aliens

IndianaJones_glover
photo by Brandon Glover

I love this incidental music. It’s not a huge theme, but it is out of a fantastic soundtrack and really brings out that adventurous side.

Finale and End Credits from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

This song fits perfectly in this area, since the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is in this section! Out of the four Indiana Jones soundtracks it could have picked music from, this one is arguably the most fun, and still includes the main theme. Both of those things are very important when selecting music for a theme park.

 

I often fall into the trap of just “walking through” this area of Hollywood Studios to get to Star Tours or the Backlot. The next time I walk through this area, I’m going to take a lot more time to browse around and listen to this great music!

(…if I can hear it over Mulch, Sweat, and Shears.)

 

Have you noticed any of this great area music? Do you wish this section got a little more recognition, or would you be okay seeing it go? Are there any other areas of Hollywood Studios that I’ve missed? 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 Echo Lake

  • March 1, 2015 at 7:39 pm
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    You’ve hit upon my favorite spot in DHS! I’m one of the people who takes a Starbucks or cocktail from Tune In and sits at the umbrella covered tables, and listens to the BGM. If you sit there for a half hour or so, it’s easy to hear it all. I fear this little gem of a spot, DHS’s only body of water in fact, will soon be lost. Fingers crossed Gertie’s not going anywhere!

    Reply
    • March 1, 2015 at 11:36 pm
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      I’m so glad there are some people that cherish this location! It really is a relaxing spot if you take the time to enjoy it!

      Reply
  • March 1, 2015 at 11:57 pm
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    Another great post Claire! I have wanted to spend more time in this area but my family is more about going through to Star Tours. And yes the center stage area drowns out any BGM. I hope removing the hat will allow people like us to give pause in this area.

    Reply
    • March 2, 2015 at 1:24 pm
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      Thanks Roland! It is amazing how underrated this area is, considering its location in the park!

      Reply

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