30 August 2010

When the deep purple falls

Music is the soundtrack of our lives. This is never more true than when guests journey through the various adventures of Walt Disney World. The music selected to play in the background of the lands and attractions found throughout the parks and resorts are as key to the experience as the subtle hints of a yeti’s presence, the visuals of a runaway mine train, or the smell of Rome burning. There is just as much precision work to incorporating the perfect piece of music for an area as there is in sculpting the rocks to mirror a specific dessert. I could, and have, staked out a bench in a specific land to pass the time of day solely based on the music found there. However, there is one place I find myself drawn to time and time again.

There is a lot to marvel at within the opening avenues of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. First and foremost the architecture and design found along both Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards are stunning, and prime examples of a stylized heyday. And while the music of these two lanes are gorgeous, you have to venture all the way to the end of Sunset to find my musical happy place. That’s right, the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

The first tendrils of the standards from the 1930s drift over the garden walls and become part of the landscape of the green spaces of the Hollywood Tower Hotel. The toe tapping rhythms linger into the lobby where remnants of former guests still remain. Even after the frightful experiences of the unhinged service elevator, the haunting vocals hang over the courtyard off to the side of the hotel. In short, the music permeates the entirety of the Hollywood Tower Hotel and become just as much a part of the Tower of Terror as the scarring on the side of the building.

So, what comprises this evocative musical loop? The Hollywood Tower Hotel takes a trip back down the musical highway to include tunes that would have been popular in the year 1939 and songs that had transformed into standards over the previous decade. Performers on the playlist include Duke Ellington, Vera Lynn, Cootie Williams, Hellen Forrest, Noble Sissle, Henry Allen, and Jimmie Lunceford, among others. The pieces themselves have stood the test of time, and include I Can’t Get Started, Pyramid, Jungle, Sleepy Time Gal, Mood Indigo, Inside, Deep Purple, and many more.

The melodies that surround the Hollywood Tower Hotel are enough to soothe the nerves of guests spellbound by the continual screaming from the elevators above, while still enhancing the overall environment of the tower. In short, even if I am not taking a trip to the Twilight Zone, I am always drawn down Sunset by the haunting musical memories the Hollywood Tower Hotel’s loop evokes.


Matt said...

I love the music you can hear in the Tower of Terror queue. Such a great selection of music from the 1940s that are eery, yet serene and set the right mood.

Ryan P. Wilson said...

Matt, they really knocked the ball out of the park when they made their song selections for this area. I could honestly sit there all day and listen to the melodies.