We’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!
This 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
The 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!
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.
In 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!