Epcot AtMousePhere: The Music of the Entrance

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epcot3After a brief hiatus, the AtMousePhere series is back and taking a look at Epcot, and specifically Epcot music!

Out of all of the theme parks, fans have especially latched on to the music of Epcot’s entrance. The other three theme parks have music at the entrance that is put together like a patchwork quilt: One piece ends, and the next piece begins. In Epcot, however, the pieces are woven through a main tune that appears in some form between each new piece of music.

The Current Music Loop (2001-present)

The videos that you find on YouTube usually have the original 2001 version of the entrance music.  Go ahead and listen to the first 19 minutes of this, courtesy of DisneyDreaming:

It starts very quietly, with the Spaceship Earth fanfare. That’s what I call it, at least.

In the 2001 version, we get this order of songs:

epcot1*This section of the fanfare is the one I distinctly remember hearing as my family entered the park when I was a kid, and it stuck with me through all the years. Listen from 11:09-11:29 for that wonderful section of music.

There have been some additions to the music since 2001, though the fanfare still ties it all together. They have added music from Soarin’ (by Jerry Goldsmith) as well as Mission: Space (by Trevor Rabin). You might have thought they would have taken out the music for The Living Seas, but as of October 2014, you can still hear it!

Composers for the sections varied, and most of the pieces just take the original versions from their respective pavilions and insert them seamlessly in the piece. With all my research though, I still couldn’t locate the original arranger of the entire loop and the fanfare.

Many people enjoy this loop of music from start to finish. I know that it makes great study music. But while I was trying to find this loop many years ago, I stumbled upon the original 1982 loop. If you go back up to the video above and start at 19:04, you’ll hear the original.

The Original Music Loop (1982-2001ish)

This is an incredible series of pieces that are also woven together, though there isn’t a huge fanfare in between. Could you imagine walking into EPCOT Center during that first series of runs by the string section? It’s enough to get my heart racing right now!

Here’s the listing. The songs say “music by” because these songs all have lyrics in their pavilion versions, and the lyrics were done by someone else.

  • “Energy (You Make the World Go ‘Round)” from The Universe of Energy (original music by Robert Moline)
  • “Golden Dream” from The American Adventure (original music by Robert Moline)
  • “It’s Fun to Be Free” from The World of Motion…and the best version out there, in my opinion (original music by Norman “Buddy” Baker)
  • “Listen to the Land” from The Land (original music by Robert Moline)
  • “One Little Spark” from Journey Into Imagination (original music by the Sherman Brothers)
  • “Magic Journeys” from Journey Into imagination (original music by the Sherman Brothers)
  • “Universe of Energy” from The Universe of Energy (original music by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn)

epcot4If you’re up in arms that The Universe of Energy got two songs and Horizons is not represented at all, remember: Horizons didn’t open in 1982! It opened in 1983, after this loop would have already been in place.

As for the composer of this entire loop, that would be George Wilkins, who also had a hand in the Horizons pavilion music. Some sources claim that several others were involved as well in putting everything together.

The last time this original loop was heard in the parks was during Epcot’s 25th anniversary, after the special Illuminations: Reflections of Earth wrapped up. It was also heard (and discussed) in a D23 event for Epcot’s 30th anniversary.

While both of these loops are amazing, they are hard to find the complete loops outside of YouTube – especially the newer version with the additional tracks. Hopefully Disney will release these loops so that everyone can hear these incredible pieces!

 

Do you have memories of these songs as you entered Epcot or EPCOT Center? Which piece is your favorite? Will they ever produce a special edition album? 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!

13 thoughts on “Epcot AtMousePhere: The Music of the Entrance

  • May 25, 2015 at 11:56 am
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    Great stuff, as usual! I think the EPCOT music is some of the best in all of WDW. The BGM around Innoventions and the Fountain is perhaps my favorite. Would love to read more about how where, when and how that music came about.

    Thanks Claire!

    • May 25, 2015 at 12:07 pm
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      I will definitely be doing more articles about the BGM all over Epcot – Innoventions is one of my favorites too!

  • May 25, 2015 at 12:08 pm
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    Wow! Thank you for sharing!

    One of my favorite parts about EPCOT is the music.

    This selection was especially awesome!

    • May 25, 2015 at 9:35 pm
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      You’re very welcome! I love listening to both these pieces.

  • May 25, 2015 at 5:06 pm
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    Thanks again Claire! Epcot BGM is some of the best to listen to while I exercise or walk around the track. When we’re at Epcot it’s fun for me and somewhat annoying to my family to hum along. 🙂

    • May 25, 2015 at 9:35 pm
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      That’s the best way to annoy the family!

  • May 25, 2015 at 7:52 pm
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    Don’t forget the ‘fountain’ music track. I think the “Rocketeer” theme features in that one…and many others.

    • May 25, 2015 at 9:36 pm
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      The fountain music is one of the first memories of Epcot I ever had! I will make sure to cover it. (Rescuers Down Under suite is my favorite!)

      • May 25, 2015 at 11:01 pm
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        The Fountain music stands out more as a ‘musical epcot entity’ than incidental music walking around music.

        Although the ‘get the heck out’ exit music theme is good…rather slow and sleepy…I need a nap music.

  • May 26, 2015 at 8:08 pm
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    My favorites are the current entrance loop, the Soarin’ queue music, The Seas pavilion, and of course IllumiNations!!! Absolutely awesome, amazing, inspiring, ambient, they all really transport you to another place. I found a free online app that streams DW parks music on my phone called Mouse World Radio. They play both current and old tracks from inside the theme parks. Epcot is definitely my favorite! I’ll listen at work, in the car, whenever I have time to myself…always makes me happy.

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:19 pm
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    I LOVE the background loops at the Epcot entrance and in future world. You mentioned most of these are only available on Youtube. Here is a handy tool for turning them into mp3’s then they can be imported into Itunes 🙂

    www dot listentoyoutube dot com

  • May 26, 2015 at 9:44 pm
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    You’ll also notice that the Spaceship Earth “Tomorrow’s Child” theme is not in the original loop. It was also added to the attraction after the opening of the park.

  • May 27, 2015 at 11:17 am
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    Epcot, by far, has my favorite music and I often find myself listening it throughout the day. It is great to listen to as I work. There are sections of the music where I can almost see in my memory where I was when I first heard it. The music makes my heart soar!

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