05 April 2018

I Was Singing This Song


Music plays an important role in the world of Disney theme parks and resort. It carries us through the various lands to our attraction destinations and the songs embedded in those same attractions are the same songs we find ourselves singing back home. Often times, decades after the songs themselves have been retired. One area that can get overlooked is the music in the queues of some of our favorite attractions. We can get so caught up in that fact that we can’t wait to board the ride vehicle, that we miss the musical cues around us. With that in mind, we’re here today to highlight our six favorite queue soundtracks.

Pirates of the Caribbean – This is one of the finest examples of using a cinematic overture to prepare guests for what’s in store for them. For those guests who have experienced Pirates of the Caribbean once or twice (or a hundred times), the familiarity of Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me), even presented in a different arrangement, is unmistakable. To the untrained ear there are mysteries or even a swashbuckling element to the music at times, setting guests up for the perfect high seas adventure.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Call it nostalgia or whatever you like, but listening to the bows work their magic across the fiddle or violin with a foot stomping beat has always been one of my personal favorites when it comes to queue music. In Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the train, visibly racing by just outside the window, and its whistle are as much a part of the soundtrack as anything, but those square dance inducing melodies are simply wonderful.

Test Track – Switching gears, quite literally, is the music found in the queue for Test Track, otherwise known as the Chevrolet Design Studio. Much of the queue speaks to the design process and how every vehicle starts with a single line, the music here builds in a very similar manner. By starting out small and revving up, guests get the feeling of motion and speed, whether they recognize it or not, which is exactly what’s in store for them once they board their sim car.


Dinosaur – Dinosaur was originally known as Countdown to Extinction, a fact that becomes abundantly clear when you realize the number of times the letters CTX show up in the queue. In fact, they’re even in the land-that-time-forgot type music present throughout guests’ waits for the attraction in the CTX Theme. There is very rarely a substantial line for Dinosaur, which makes this music rather difficult to fully appreciate. Yet, as it says above, there is something epic and bold, while subdued in sections, that makes you feel as if you’re about to head off to a place people have very seldom visited.

Space Mountain – If you’ve ever spent any amount of time in the Space Mountain queue you know the intergalactic tones that play over and over. At some point, in the dark of those spaceport corridors, you may feel as if you have lost all track of time, but those quietly hopeful notes are always welcoming. They may not provide adequate preparation for what is coming next, in fact they may lull some guests into feeling warm and safe, but the music is some of the most recognized in the parks.

Tower of Terror – There is simply no way that the loop played throughout the grounds of the Hollywood Tower Hotel wasn’t going to make this list. It is one of the quintessential queue loops, and probably the one I play most around my house and office. The emptiness of the hotel lobby and gardens, mixed with jazz from another time (from Mood Indigo and Deep Purple to We’ll Meet Again and Another World) firmly sets this queue’s roots in the boundary between spooky and the golden age of Hollywood.

1 comment:

Skip Caraway said...

I completely agree with you about the Tower of Terror loop! It's my favorite one to play when I'm at home.