Epcot AtMousePhere: The Music of Future World West

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Copyright 2010 Claire NatWe’re taking things in a different direction in this edition of AtMousePhere. Epcot can be divided all sorts of ways: one way is to divide it into Future World and World Showcase, or you could divide each single pavilion into its own specific section.

For our purpose here, I am going to take a few pavilions at a time and highlight the atmospheric music inside and outside the pavilion. This article is going to focus on the music of Future World West, which includes The Seas with Nemo and Friends, The Land, and Imagination!

The Land

Copyright 2014 Claire NatThis pavilion contains a lot of atmospheric music inside and out. Soarin’ itself contains some amazing music in the queue, and if you’ve ever stood in that queue for an hour, you know what I mean. But for this post, we are focusing, not on attraction music, but pavilion music.

The indoor pavilion music mostly centers around quiet strings and woodwinds, which can make it hard to hear at times. When I was taking notes for this article, one of the cast members found out what I was doing and actually suggested a spot in the Sunshine Seasons seating area where I could hear the music best! It did really help.

Also, I used the Shazam app for giving me music titles while I was in the pavilion. Some of the pieces I heard included:

  • Farewell Neverland (John Williams) from Hook
  • Big Fish – Main Titles (Danny Elfman) from Big Fish
  • Main Credits from Waterworld (James Newton Howard)
  • End Credits from The Cider House Rules (Rachel Portman) – the “Pure Michigan” theme, by the way
  • Tennessee (Hans Zimmer) from Pearl Harbor
  • Over the Moon (John Williams) from E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial
  • Will Hunting (Danny Elfman) from Good Will Hunting
  • The Tunnel (James Newton Howard) from Dave
  • Double Divide (Thomas Newman) from The Horse Whisperer
  • I Had a Farm (John Barry) from Out of Africa

Basically, if you are a fan of quiet-but-powerful soundtrack music, this playlist is a must-listen. Send the rest of your family off to Soarin’ and just listen to this beautiful ambiance. It was my most relaxed time at Walt Disney World!

Now outside the pavilion, you’ll notice a huge change in style. This loop hasn’t been changed since 1982, and is the original loop for The Land. It is very 1980s, and very awesome.

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Copyright 2010 Claire NatThe original soundtrack for Finding Nemo is one of my favorite movie soundtracks of all time. The music outside the pavilion is not the exact music from the soundtrack, but is variations based on that music. Some pieces are also expanded from their original length. It is very light and springy, which will keep you light on your toes as you enter the attraction!

Inside the pavilion, the music is much smoother. It is also even harder to hear than the music in The Land, since the crowds are more contained and the crowd noise bombards you from all sides, especially if it’s feeding time and everyone coming out of the attraction wants to see it!

Imagination!

The Imagination Pavilion has experienced major changes over the years, but some aspects of the music still remain. If you listen carefully in certain areas, you can still hear the music from “Magic Journeys,” which was the first film shown in the Magic Eye Theater back in 1982. Another piece that you can hear around the pavilion is the theme music to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, though not as many people might be familiar with that piece nowadays.

You can hear some of that music at the beginning of this video, courtesy of Attractions Magazine:

However, the most prevalent piece of music you’ll hear are the many variations on “One Little Spark,” a piece of music written for the Journey Into Imagination attraction that opened back in 1983. The song was sung by Dreamfinder and Figment throughout the attraction.

Copyright 2010 Claire NatIn its newest form, the piece is still sung at the end of the attraction, this time by Figment and Dr. Nigel Channing (Eric Idle). However, you can hear all sorts of variations on the song outside the pavilion, as well as in the ImageWorks play area inside. If you love the song, you’ll be humming it all the way to the next pavilion!

The Archived Music

If you love 1980s-era EPCOT Center music as much as I do, then you know I can’t finish this post without mentioning the original loop music for both The Living Seas and Journey Into Imagination pavilions.

While The Land still has its original loop playing, it might be harder to hear the original loops of the other two. I’ve heard from several people that the original Journey Into Imagination loop can be heard in the restrooms behind the pavilion (if you can find those restrooms). You can hear snippets of The Living Seas theme in the Epcot entrance music, but the Finding Nemo music has pretty much taken over the music of the pavilion itself.

But let’s end this post with a little bit of nostalgia, shall we? Here is some of The Living Seas post, courtesy of YouTube user Disney Dreaming:

Which pavilion has the best music? Which pavilion is a must-see every time you go to Epcot? What changes would you make to the pavilions (besides bringing the original music back)? Comment below, and next time we’ll look at Future World East!

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 Future World West

  • July 23, 2015 at 10:09 am
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    Claire, can you buy a CD of Epcot music in the park?

    Reply
    • July 23, 2015 at 2:26 pm
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      There are various CDs of music for all over Walt Disney World, and I know there are albums of nighttime shows like Illuminations, but I’m not sure there is something sold by Disney that is exclusively Epcot.

      Reply
  • July 23, 2015 at 12:17 pm
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    Love this! Just went onto Spotify and made myself a little playlist 🙂 Thanks! I haven’t been to wdw since 1998 but I will let you know my favorite music after we visit in Aug. My husband is a music teacher so I am sure he will have lots to say. Cheers!

    Reply
    • July 23, 2015 at 2:27 pm
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      I’m so glad you’re getting back to the Parks! Listening to the music is my #1 way to get psyched for a trip. Have a lot of fun!

      Reply
  • July 23, 2015 at 9:07 pm
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    Thank you for writing this series. As a music lover, I have enjoyed it! The Land is one of my favorite loops (inside and out) so I’m glad that there are others out there who find pleasure in just sitting and listening. I listen to streaming Disney music, including area loops, on apps like Live365 so that I can enjoy the park music at home. I have a great admiration for the Imagineers who chose the pieces for each loop. Looking forward to your next installment.

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    • July 23, 2015 at 11:57 pm
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      Thank you so much! Your comments are greatly appreciated, and great motivation to write more! I also listen to streaming Live 365 music, and always get a boost when the classic loops come on.

      Reply
  • July 23, 2015 at 10:36 pm
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    Yes, I love atmousphere. All of the Soarin’ music is powerful, reflective, and moving. The music from the Seas Pavilion is calming and very unique as well. I love that they use variations on the Finding Memo soundtrack…I love it all! I’m very familiar with the loop outside the Land ( and yes, it is very retro and cool), but I need to visit again and spend some more time inside! Just a little tip for ya. If you want to hear pieces of the Living Seas loops download the Mouseworld Radio app. It’s free and awesome! They play loops from all over Disney World. They even play archived Epcot loops from Horizons and Wonders of Life (as well as others) which are both fun and beautiful.

    Reply
    • July 23, 2015 at 11:58 pm
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      I love MouseWorldRadio – it was kind of my inspiration for this series. Listening to that got me through my first year of teaching, too, and it only gets better! Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • July 24, 2015 at 5:48 am
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    “I Had a Farm” from Out of Africa that plays in the Land Pavillon never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

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  • July 24, 2015 at 9:52 am
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    AtMousePhere music is probably the most played on my iPhone! I use it when I work, read, craft and even going to sleep (Living Seas is great for that!) I’ve always thought Epcot has the best music as far as atmosphere goes. From the Inventions Loops to Horizons, Spaceship Earth to Living with the Land–Just amazing!

    Thanks for a wonderful post and I plan to add your list to my playlist!!

    Reply
    • July 24, 2015 at 10:24 am
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      Thank you so much! I don’t really think Disney realizes how much people have latched onto those original recordings, or they would have put together a special place in the park to hear it all – or at least a high-rez album!

      Reply
  • July 27, 2015 at 5:01 pm
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    i have a (free) account with D-CoT (http://www.d-cot.com/) just so i can listen to music from nearly all the Disney Parks at the house whenever I want.

    they have broken out the music in their “jukebox” area according to park and/or resort. they have tons of individual songs or you can listen to entire area loops, or pick and choose songs and add them to playlists.

    i have some of the best loops on playing all weekend long sometimes. the jungle cruise loop and the indiana jones loops are an hour or more and have great oldies music complete with interruptions of the respective “DJs” with the expected lame jokes in keeping with the respective ride environment.

    it’s a lot of fun to tune into the Paris or Tokyo songs or the “archived” versions of Epcot loops. endless entertainment!

    Reply

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