Top 20 : Underrated Disney Park Music

Disneyland Records

When you think about what makes Disney parks more special than most amusement parks, you probably think about the stories and characters you know and love, amazing architecture, the tasty treats and of course the countless shows and attractions.

But there’s something else that no other theme park takes as seriously as Disney: music and sound design. So seriously in fact that some soundtracks that Disney created especially for its rides have become standalone pop culture icons over times.

You wouldn’t have landed on this blog if you weren’t a total theme park nerd, so I’m not rioing to make a list of the most famous Disney park soundtracks. Phantom Manor, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, Soarin’ , Main Street Electrical Parade… you already have all of these in your music library anyway. Besides these A-listers there are so many unknown gems in Disney’s theme park music catalogue that are worth listening too. Here is a non-exhaustive list of my favorite lesser known Disney theme park tunes, whatever it’s been composed especially for the parks or it’s a playlist of non-Disney tracks crafted for an area or queue line.

And because it’s a short list of *my* personal tastes, make sure to share *your* favorites pieces of underrated Disney park music in the comment section below. Alright, in no particular oder, here is my twenty favorite underrated gems of Disney theme park music. Enjoy!

The Twilight Zone – Tower of Terror queue music loop

This compilation of 20’s and 30’s jazz music including the spooky echo! is how I got introduced to jazz, and fell in love with it forever.

Also make sure to listen to this rare gem: the creepy background music played at the exit of the elevators.


 

Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage

The heartwarming “Compass of Your Heart” tune has been written by Disney score superstar Alan Menken (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King…) during the revamp of Tokyo DisneySea’s family boat ride.


 

Horizons

Literally all of early Epcot Center music scores deserve a space on this list but no other soundtrack captures the essence of Epcot better than Horizons: the promise of a brighter future and of course eighties sitcom style theme song.


 

Promising Tomorrows – Space Mountain

In the same category, this dreamy track can be heard in the queue line of the US Space Mountains.


 

Cinémagique

The main theme of Cinémagique is a Gone with The Wnd knock-off reminiscent of the golden age of Hollywood that easily brings tears by the end of the show.


 

WEDway Peoplemover

If 50’s supermarkets and 70’s TV game shows had a child it would be the music of Disneyland’s long gone Peoplemover.


 

Le Visionarium

Le Visionarium has been shut down for a decade but the dramatic score of Disneyland Paris 360° cinema theater was so good it’s still used here and there in Disney properties around the globe, which die-hard EuroDisney fans understand as a massive middle finger.


 

Buena Vista Street

Disney California Adventure entry sequence represents Los Angeles as Walt Disney discovered it when he came to Hollywood in the 1920’s. The jazzy background music loop of this gorgeous area perfectly delivers the excitment Walt certainly felt when he arrived with a suitcase and a dream.


 

Captain EO queue music loop

As 80’s as Michael Jackson + Georges Lucas + practical effects + 3D theaters + electric guitar solos can get. 👌


 

Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar

Unfortunataly, tiki bars are a thing of the past, but Disneyland had the greatest idea when they opened one in the courtyard of the Disneyland Hotel. These awesomely kitsch exotica tunes from the 50’s and 60’s are exquisite.


 

Tomorrowland at Shanghai Disneyland

I truly hope you’ll have the chance to visit Shanghai Disneyland one day to experience Tomorrowland at night. The electro music plays and important role here, as the EXTREMELY LOUD basses attract you like a magnet to the mesmerizing light waves displayed on the TRON canopy.

By the way if you haven’t already, make sure read my extensive review and watch my video tour of this brilliant theme park.


 

Radiator Springs Racers queue line music loop

In a slightly less contemporary style, the old country music tracks played on RSR queue line are quite lovely too.


 

Jungle Cruise queue music loop

Attention skippers! If Tower of Terror and Buena Vista Street make you in the mood for even more jazz music, make sure to listen to Jungle Cruise’s own queue line music loop, including a hilarious radio host, in pure Jungle Cruise fashion.


 

Grizzly Peak Airfield

The newly revamped area of Disney California Adventure embodies the spirit of American national parks and the great outdoors in general. If you like it, make sure to listen to the queue music loop of Soarin.


 

Tokyo Disneysea Aquasphere Plaza 〜 Day Time

Imagination and budgets seemed to have no limit during the development of Tokyo DisneySea. Even the entry plaza where you’re likely to spend at best 10 minutes of your time has two soundtracks composed and recorded especially for the theme park : day and night. Fancy AF. Here is the glorious day time version.


 

Carthay Circle Restaurant

If you’re not sick of hearing the same old Disney classic tunes yet, Disney California Adventure’s fanciest restaurant got you covered with these lounge jazz versions of Cinderella, Winnie the Pooh, The Lion King, Alice In wonderland and more.


 

The Land – Exterior area music loop

This one is actually on the verge of sounding totally terrifying. Like most of early Epcot Center soundtracks, it was made with computers at a time computers didn’t even have a mouse. It’s fascinatingly creepy and surprisingly, it’s still in use today!


 

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh queue music loop

These sweet tunes sound like a lullaby. Pro tip: listen to it to fall asleep. It works.


 

Mystic Manor queue music loop

Made of classic tunes from Schubert, Bach and more, this playlist is the actual music tastes of Lord Henry Mystic. You can’t really say no to that, just saying.


 

Test Track – Area music loop

Okay let’s end this list with a polarizing one. Test Track’s new score sounds exactly like what it’s supposed to be: a car TV commercial. It’s a bit corny but I like it.

 

Alright I hope you liked these underrated music gems as much as I do. Make sure to tell what are yours in the comment section!

10 Comments

  1. Maggie S

    Dans Cinémagique y a aussi plein de reprises des Parapluies de Cherbourg qui valent le détour.

  2. Maggie S

    C’est grâce aux parcs Disney que je me suis interessé à Aerosmith.

    Et puis à Jules Verne aussi…

    Le Visionarium reste populaire, et donc bien estimé, auprès des connaisseurs non ? Qui n’a pas un frisson dans le Railroad en arrivant à Discoveryland ?

    • Le Parcorama

      La tendance actuelle de tout baser sur des franchises cinéma populaires a le défaut de limiter ce genre de découvertes culturelles. C’est dommage mais en même temps je crois que le grand public est demandeur :-(

  3. Whenever we return from DLP it’s the music that stays with us You can’t get it out of your head and you heared the loops so many times that you know the right order of the songs by heart. We just got back from Shanghai Disneyland and indeed, the music of Tomorrowland is nothing more than awesome! Energetic, futuristic, a bit mysterious and totally different. Like any good area music it plays an important role to the atmosphere and telling the story. When the Shanghai Park closes and you exit TRON after the last ride, you can see “Ignite the Dream”(aka”Disney Illuminations”) from Tomorrowland. The area music fits perfect with the fireworks display. The Treasure Cove area has some new versions of familliar music with the addition of some Sea Shanties. The Treasure Island area is something special as well. I can all advise you to: Go there and Listen !

    • Le Parcorama

      Visiting the Shanghai Tomorrowland alone after the last TRON ride is one of my greatest theme park memories too. It feels so surreal.

  4. This is a great list, so thanks for putting it together. Good mix of longer environmental tracks and main themes as well.

    That Le Visionarium theme is just the best. Need to just loop that over and over.

    One of my all time favorite tracks is the Innoventions background loop. So 80’s, so techno, and so relaxing.

    • Le Parcorama

      Agreed, the Innoventions area music is awesome. Just listening to it at home feels like being in Epcot.

  5. Tenorrichard

    The song from golden dreams theatre in Disney’s Ca adventure ( now the little mermaid) is amazing

  6. Thank you for featuring my Cars Land playlist! Just to let ya know I have a ton more if you ever need more Disney music!

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