May 19, 2013
Our first pick is a Walt Disney World tribute! One problem: This particular non-Disney album cover is so ugly, we're not going to post it. Instead, here are some lovely Main Street flowers...
WELCOME WELCOME WELCOME
Album: Cool & Classy Take on TV
This is such an odd find: Hidden among this album's ho-hum offering of TV themes you'll find an instrumental rendition of the "Welcome, Welcome, Welcome" show at Magic Kingdom. Whaaa...?!? The medley includes the "Welcome" song, "Walking Right Down the Middle of Main Street U.S.A" and "The Trolley Song." It seems arranged as a Karaoke backing track, but it still sound's upbeat as all heck. This one seems to be iTunes-only just now.
Next: A performance that's almost guaranteed to lift the sulkiest of spirits...
PRETTY IRISH GIRL
Album: Fiffin Market - The Lighthouse
Whether or not you've seen Disney's fantasy masterpiece Darby O'Gill and the Little People (and if you haven't, please put it on your to-do list!), you can still love this lively pub-band rendition of the film's theme song. Toe-tapping and foot-stomping are unavoidable; King Brian and his leprechaun clan would approve!
Now we move to a fresh twist on one of my favorite Sherman Brothers songs:
THE AGE OF NOT BELIEVING
Album: Sandy Bainum - Believe
I love the easy-going, ambling pace of this beautiful recording. It's fairly straightforward, and wouldn't make this list if the song was something as mainstream as "Whole New World," but this awesome Oscar-nominated Bedknobs and Broomsticks tune doesn't get anywhere near the attention it should. (Check out Strange Things 2 for a great rock version.)
Next, get your tuppence ready...
FEED THE BIRDS
Album: Joshua Picssick - Desire For Departure
Listening to a new arrangement of "Feed the Birds" for the first time is like riding a roller coaster. The slow, introductory verse is the chain lift. The first line of the chorus is the big drop. If that first line can send a chill down my spine, I'll buy it on the spot, and this unusual, surprising instrumental combines dulcimer and synthesizer into a colorful audio landscape.
As Mr. Dawes says in Mary Poppins, "Feed the birds and what have you got? FAT BIRDS." But phooey to that, I'm shelling out yet another tuppence...or, rather, 99 cents...
FEED THE BIRDS
Album: Dirk Brossé & The Flemish Radio Orchestra - Wish Upon a Star
Now, this is a straightforward rendition of a well-covered classic, so why's it on Strange Things? Because it passes the roller coaster test mentioned above. It's possibly my favorite instrumental of this song ever, and makes me think of orange sunsets and magnificent solar-powered airships. But that's just me.
That wraps up another helping of oddball-but-awesome Disney recordings! We'll be back soon with another round of musical detours!
PLEASE CLICK HERE IF YOU'D LIKE TO VISIT THE STRANGE THINGS ARCHIVES
May 18, 2013
|From PeopleMover to Rocket Rods to...Pretty much nothin'....|
But we shouldn't forget the ill-fated PeopleMover replacement, because--truth be told--the Rockets Rods were a lot of fun...while they lasted.
May 17, 2013
His believability holds up under close inspecton; In the first encounter, he's right up in your face, chatting happily and driving backwards as he leads you into trouble.
The audio-animatronics on RS Racers have played a huge role in DCA's turn-around, and they give the ride a heart and soul that the entire park was missing in its early years. It's great to see Disneyland's neighbor finally benefit from some classic E-Ticket magic.
May 16, 2013
My first magic purchase was the famous "Linking Rings" illusion. Cold reality smacked me in the face when I found just how much hard work and practice most tricks require to pull off properly. I realized "gags" were easier to pull off than illusions, so I ended up gravitating toward snakes-in-a-can, ice cube bugs and Haunted Mansion Portraits.
Oh, yes, the Haunted Mansion portraits! Who else here remembers those great souvenirs from the 70's? Each had two faces--a normal daytime face and a hidden "scary" glow-in-the-dark transformation that could only be seen with the lights out! Now, that's an item in need of a comeback!
May 15, 2013
May 14, 2013
Casey at the Bat, with its unforgettable tale of tragic arrogance, deserves its place as one of our country's most beloved poems. Disney's adaptation, from the 1946 film Make Mine Music, leans a bit too far toward silliness, but its character designs and art direction are fantastic -- and those features come blazing to life at this amazing booth.
Mudville lives and breathes on one tiny, wonderful patch of DCA.
For a look at another Boardwalk game, please see our post on the Bullseye Stallion Stampede.
May 13, 2013
Fortunately, Disney injects a lot of character and humor into their audio safety spiels. Some, such as "Hang on to them hats and glasses" and "The spirits will materialize only if you remain quietly seated" have become classics. I'm not including those most famous lines on this list; Consider them forever enshrined in the Great Ride Warnings Hall of Fame.
Although four of these five come from my "home" parks (Disneyland & DCA), the top prize goes to a Walt Disney World ride I haven't even experienced yet! I have Internet Radio and YouTube to thank for my exposure to the joys of WDW attraction audio!
Here we go! Oh--and be sure to remain seated and...well, you know the drill...
TOP FIVE FAVORITE SAFETY SPIELS!
5) Snow White's Scary Adventures as spoken by the Wicked Witch:
"Looking for Snow White, Deary? Then SIT STILL!"
4) Mr. Toad's Wild Ride as spoken by Ratty:
"Welcome to Toad Hall! To be sure of a safe and glorious drive in your motorcar, remain firmly seated with your hands, arms, feet and legs inside. Watch your children--and do try to drive more carefully than Toad."
3) Radiator Springs Racers as spoken by Sheriff over the car radio:
"All right. You be sure to remain seated with your seat belt buckled! Don't make me come after you. Sheriff out."
2) California Screamin' as spoken by The Barker
"Second thoughts? TOO LATE! Head back! Face forward! And hold on like ya mean it! And away you go in five, four, three, two, ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
And, here we are: My current favorite ride safety audio:
Video by wdwfacts11) TriceraTop Spin as spoken by Chester:
"Hey, spinners! It's Chester here, reminding you for your safety ta stay seated with that seatbelt fastened good n' tight as you spin. Whilst yer spinning, keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside--and be sure to watch your children."
It's the "whilst yer spinning" part that busts me up and crowns this as number one. I haven't been to Dino-Rama in person yet, and I had mixed feelings about the area's concept--until I heard this awesome performance that tells me all I need to know about the land's backstory in one simple, great delivery of a safety warning. Suddenly, I really, really like Chester and Hester. Dino-Rama has become a must-see for me.
What are your current favorites? Do you find the ever-present safety spiels annoying, or is Disney doing a good job of working the warnings into the story?