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Where Does the Music Come From?

Most people pay very little attention to the music being played in the background while visiting a Disney theme park. Our eyes are much too busy taking in all of the sights to consciously pay any attention to the melodies filling the air. The songs are simply there. But if the music wasn't surrounding us at every turn, we'd notice. Our stroll down Main Street would seem flat and wanting.

Disney puts a lot of thought into the music they select for each land or area of their parks. First, it has to be appropriate. Obviously, they're not going to play German music at the Japan Pavilion in Epcot. But you will find 1930's and 40's big band music on Sunset Blvd. at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Next, the music is usually somewhat upbeat. Disney wants their guests to be happy and a jaunty melody can affect our mood. I'm not saying that every tune played is a toe-tapper, but you won't find many dirges, either.

Disney also wants the music to be recognizable when possible. If we can hum along with a tune, we'll feel at home and comfortable.

But have you ever paid any attention as to where this music comes from? I mean, when you walk through a Disney park, the tunes are just there, as if by magic. The sounds don't come from any one direction, they surround you.

In this article, I'm going to show you how this magic happens. In reality, I'm not going to provide you with any information you couldn't garner for yourself if you were so inclined. In this blog I'll cover the Magic Kingdom and leave the other parks to your own discoveries.

Let's start with Main Street. The most commonly used technique along this thoroughfare is to hide speakers behind vents. Since many structures have openings to allow for air circulation, this is the perfect spot to place a speaker.

Main Street Speaker

Main Street Speaker

Main Street Speaker

Main Street Speaker

Main Street Speaker

Main Street Speaker


Another common practice is to design the speaker into the structure.


Main Street Speaker

Main Street Speaker

Main Street Speaker

Main Street Speaker


Out on The Hub we see the vent method used again as well as hiding a speaker in a lamp pole.


Hub Speakers

Hub Speakers

Hub Speakers

Hub Speakers


Many of the melodies played on Main Street are old standards that hearken back to a simpler time. A number of these songs, like “In the Hills of Old Kentucky” and “Kentucky Home” are performed by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra and are available for sale on Amazon. Disney's 1963 movie “Summer Magic” and his 1967 film “The Happiest Millionaire” both provide music for Main Street. The stories in both of these movies took place around the turn of the 19th to the 20th century so the theming is correct. The same can be said for the three Broadway musicals represented. Oklahoma, The Music Man, and Hello Dolly were all set in this same era.

Tomorrowland doesn't bother with trying to hide their speakers. Here the Imagineers placed them in plain site. They just disguised them to look like futuristic objects. See for yourself.


Tomorrowland Speakers

Tomorrowland Speakers

Tomorrowland Speakers

Tomorrowland Speakers

Tomorrowland Speakers

Tomorrowland Speakers

Tomorrowland Speakers

Tomorrowland Speakers

Tomorrowland Speakers

Tomorrowland Speakers


The music of Tomorrowland was performed with the use of synthesizers. Very few (if any) “traditional” instruments were used in the making of these recordings. The music also has a strong beat to emphasize energy. A sharp ear can make out “Strange Things” from the Disney/Pixar 1995 movie Toy Story. “A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” and “Now is the Time,” both from the Carousel of Progress, can also be heard. And for you old timers, “If You Had Wings” is also played.

I have to say, I was disappointed with the speakers in Mickey's Toontown Fair. All of them that I could find were out in the open. Many times, outdoor speakers are hidden beneath bushes, but not here. The Imagineers didn't even bother. Take a look.


Toontown Speakers

Toontown Speakers


Most of the songs played in Mickey's Toontown Fair are from the cartoons Disney produced during the ‘30's to the ‘50's. “Minnie's Yoo Hoo,” “The Country Cousin,” and “The Three Little Pigs” are just a few of the selections in store for you here.

In Fantasyland the Imagineers did a fine job of hiding the speakers.


Fantasyland Speakers

Fantasyland Speaker

Fantasyland Speakers

Fantasyland Speakers

Fantasyland Speakers

Fantasyland Speakers


As you might expect, the music played in Fantasyland is from the many animated movies Disney produced over the years. These are the songs that we all know by heart and we could probably even sing the words. However, near Pinocchio Village Haus the music has a different theme and is Bavarian in nature.

Many of the speakers in Liberty Square are hidden in vents (like Main Street) so I didn't take many pictures in this area. However, I do like the bird house disguise.


Liberty Square Speakers

Liberty Square Speakers

Liberty Square Speakers

Liberty Square Speakers


The music in Liberty Square is patriotic and homespun. Violins, the fife, and the dulcimer are the instruments of choice for most of these renditions. A Disney connection is also present. The song “The Sons of Liberty” from the 1957 movie Johnny Tremain is played.

Where Main Street uses vents to hide speakers, Frontierland uses boxes. On many of the balconies and porch tops, rustic crates that blend into their surroundings can be seen.


Frontierland Speakers

Frontierland Speakers


A variation on the box theme is the barrel.


Frontierland Speakers

Frontierland Speakers


And on Splash Mountain speakers are encased in make-believe rocks.


Frontierland Speakers

Frontierland Speakers


“Oh My Darling Clementine,” “Home on the Range,” and “Happy Trails,” among a dozen other western favorites, are all on tap. Fiddles, banjos, guitars, and harmonicas make up the orchestra in Frontierland. The Disney song heard in this area is “Davy Crockett” from the 1950's TV series.

Last, but not least we come to Adventureland. Next to the entrance sign is a drum. But upon closer examination we find that it's actually a piece of metal normally used as a vent or filter. Its multiple holes allow sound to pass right through.


Adventureland Speakers

Adventureland Speakers


On a balcony we find a lovely wicker planter. Once again, this “open” material provides the perfect place to hide a speaker. Music can easily flow through its openings.


Adventureland Speakers

Adventureland Speakers


This final picture is of the Pirate's Stage near Pirates of the Caribbean. In this case a speaker is hidden in a birdcage.


Adventureland Speakers

Adventureland Speakers


When entering Adventureland, much of the music heard is played on the marimba with a tribal African beat. In many ways, it sounds similar to the music heard in the Animal Kingdom.

As you move further into Adventureland the music takes on a Middle Eastern theme.

And finally, the music from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies can be heard in Caribbean Plaza.

I didn't want to take away all of your fun, so I've only covered the Magic Kingdom in this blog. I'll let you discover your own musical moments in the other parks. But before I go, I'd like to share one of my favorite bits of Disney trivia.

In the attraction “it's a small world” we all know that there are two counter melodies that play against each other. But in reality, there is a third melody heard on this ride. As you pass the Switzerland section, a young boy, perched high and to the right, yodels this other tune. But there's more to the story. Let's travel to Blizzard Beach. Among the many songs played here is this same young boy yodeling the third part to “it's a small world.”

The previous post in this blog was Bay Lake Tower - Part Three.

The next post in this blog is Richard Carpenter & Mr. Guder.

Comments (59)

Randall:

Jack - another excellent blog. Thank you for making the magic come alive again. I really enjoy reading your in-depth blog; I always come away learning something new...I am glad your blogs are so much more than just pictures, they are really knowledge and substance filled. Thanks again!

Kirsty Butler:

Thanks again Jack for another insiteful blog. I love the music at the world, and can't wait to go back next month to see the Imagineers efforts first hand!

Nick:

Very awesome article! This answered a lot of questions that I've always had. Thanks.

Kimberly:

Jack -- You are exactly right about the music...it wouldn't be Disney without it!!! I am embarrassed to admit it, but when I am craving a little Disney when I can't go, I go on the website and just listen to the music from the different parks and it makes me feel like I am almost there :). You were a good detective on those speakers -- those imagineers are so unbelievably clever. I never noticed most of them!

Beth:

Great post Jack.

Disney has done an interesting job over the years of hiding speakers, but they are always around if you know where to find them or where to look...not only in the parks, but at the resorts as well.

I hope you will continue with this; as there are some intereting music gems throughout all the parks (although I'm thinking primarily of Epcot and my favorite "seagull"

Judy:

I love you music blog...we just get a certain feeling when we set foot in the park. We love Disney at Christmas...and for our family, whenever we hear(It's the Most Wonderful time of the Year)we think of Disney.

We will look around for the speakers on our next vacation.

Thanks for always bring a new interest in Disney.

Marianela:

I love your article as much as I love the park's music.
Once upon a time, when I was visiting the World, I found myself singing a song and I didn't know why, but I learned to "listen" and I discover the music on Main Street, the Calypso style music in Adventureland or Animal Kingdom, the movie themes in Hollywood Studio (specially in Indiana Jones or Star Wars) and a lot of other music...but I never found the speakers!!!! jejeje
Thanks for this tip...I would start my own search of speakers in my next visit...that means in December yipi!!!

Jimmy:

Great, great blog as always. I've always loved the details, and have never noticed most of these hidden speakers. I guess that means Disney is doing what it intended to do - hide them.

Josh:

Thanks again for such an interesting and informative blog. I always look foward to your unique perspective and extensive background information. We often take for granted the small details that make our trips to the World so entertaining...and this is certainly one of those details. Great information and keep up the great work!

Erin:

Yet more wonderful Disney facts. Thanks Jack!!

Awesome blog! I had never even thought about the speakers and where they were. Now I'll be looking. I had never even thought about the music either until a few years ago when I went to the Nights of Joy held in Magic Kingdom. They played all Contemporary Christian music as the ambient music in the park. It was so weird to hear! It didn't seem as much like Disney without the traditional music.

Misty:

Thank You Jack for another interesting and informative blog! I always noticed the music, but I've honestly never taken the time to look where it's coming from. Next time I visit the World, I will definitely do some investigating of my own! Thanks again!

cathy mullen:

Hi Jack,
Yes I do notice the music and that's what I love about DW. When I visited DL I didn't hear any music while walking down Mainstreet.
Thanks again for another interesting blog.

Amy:

Thanks Jack! Another great article, filled with Disney trivia! Now on our trip, I'm going to have to look for the speakers in the other parks. I bet I could make it into a contest with my husband :) Thanks again!!

Heather Young:

Thank you Jack!

Once again I have sat and read your blog and couldn't help smiling. Your knowledge of 'all things Disney' is very impressive and you pass on the information in a fun and interesting way.

Keep the blogs coming my family and love to read them.

Reagan :

Jack,
I have always loved the music at WDW. There are times that I am elsewhere and hear certain songs in the background and think of Disney. The music at WDW always helps keep me in a festive mood. It has never even crossed my mind that there had to be speakers somewhere. Thank you for this very interesting entry in your blog (as are all your entries).

Betsy:

Thanks Jack!

We are leaving for the World tomorrow morning! Our two year old daughter always asks "where is the music coming from?", whenever we are someplace where their is music playing in the background, like the mall, etc. Now, when we are in MK on this trip I will know where to tell her to "look" for the music! Thanks!! P.S. Your blog entry on the France Pavillion in Epcot was the inspiration for us to book this trip. We have a "special table" outside the Patisserie, where we ate on our honeymoon and your pictures brought back wonderful memories, so we just had to go! Thanks for the inspiration!!

Jeremy Hunt:

Good stuff Jack. I'm one of those weirdos that actually DOES pay attention. As a matter of fact, I collect as much Disney theme park audio as I can get my hands on, and I'm listening to it right now (Epcot Innoventions theme now actually).

Good stuff, and please keep it up!

TeeeOC:

Hi Jack: Thanks for the great blog! The music surrounding you is one of the major things I noticed and pointed out to all my friends when I ranted and raved about my first trip to Epcot (which was my second trip to WDW back in the 80's. Trivia to look for. Where can you find the same tune in AK and Epcot???

I love how the music all blends in and out of each land as you leave/enter them. We have a CD of the park music, and as is our tradition, we start it in Ocala, and it takes us to the Disney World entrance. Our kids get excited whenever they hear the "All Aboard" at the beginning. It makes that last leg of our long drive a little more bearable.

Now, I have added something new to my checklist for our next visit - spot the hidden speakers. :)

Thanks, Jack!

ucanfly53:

My family and I got back from the World a few months ago. I enjoyed reading your article(as I do all of them!)because I remember seeing all the sights you presented in your pictures -funny how it's the little things one remembers most : ) I just never had any idea there were hidden speakers. How clever!

Julia:

I love this blog! It's great how you really appreciate all the detail that Disney puts into the parks. I have always felt that the music is essential to the "show" and makes it feel more like you are completely immersed. And great photos as always.

Sabrina:

Jack you never let me down! You always have a fantastic and interesting blog, and this is one of the very many! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who pays attention to the songs played in the parks. More obvious than all the parksis Downtown Disney I think where they play tunes from many of the well-known movies. I always sing along out loud. :) I can't wait to hit tomorrowland again because I've never heard the music that plays in that land, probably because I'm too busy rushing to Space Mountain.

Jack's Comment:

You're right. Disney standards are played in the Marketplace section of Downtown Disney. But what separates this area from the parks is that the lyrics are sung here, whereas in the parks, you usually only hear instrumentals.

Eric:

Thanks for the nice blog entry Jack. All of your blogs are excellent and are a must read. I agree with you that the speakers are not hid well in Mickey's Toon Town. However, wasn't Mickey's Toon Town supposed to be temporary? I don't think they envisioned it being around this long. So, when they installed it, I suppose they thought we don't need to go to the effort of hiding the speakers here. That would be my guess of why it's different from everywhere else.

Jack's Comment:

I think you're 100% correct in your assumption. This land was supposed to be temporary so there was not reason to hide the speakers within the structures. But after all these years, you'd think the landscapers could have planted some bushes around the ones in the flowerbed.

Scott Ernest:

I LOVE the Disney music. I especially love the tunes played at Epcot around World Showcase. (It may help that this is also my favorite park.) My fiancee and I are able to recognize "Mr. Holland's Opus" as you cross the bridge to France. But, my favorite background music is played at the Japan pavillion. It seems to be traditional Japanese music, played on traditionaly Japanese instruments.

Do you have any idea what music is played at the Japan pavillion? I would love to have a CD with this music.

David L:

Another great blog. Very well researched and documented! Thanks!

bob baker:

Jack,

Thanks for the wondrful insight.......Have been to both the World and the Land close to 20 times and NEVER noticed this.
Thanks again!

David Davies:

While on a Keys to the Kingdom Tour, my tour guide said that some of the upper-level windows on Main Street open up to reveal speakers during parade times. Does anyone know if there is truth to this? I have never taken the time to check.

Alisha:

Thanks so much for the great article. My question has nothing to do with this article but with one of your previous ones. Where will Mickey's Twas the Night Before Christmas be held during the Christmas Party during 2009? Thanks so much! Alisha

Jack's Answer:

I have heard rumors. Let me repeat that: I have heard RUMORS, that the "Twas the Night Before Christmas" show will be presented at the Disney's Hollywood Studios this year in conjunction with the Osborne Family Lights. As you may know, the Tomorrowland stage was torn out earlier this year and is now a cast member parking lot.

I personally think that Disney is short changing the guests attending "Mickey's Very Merry Christmas" party if they don't come up with some other big show. The "Twas the Night Before Christmas" show was extremely popular at these events and always played to packed houses.

Walter Sobchak:

Great article! I love the music in the parks, but never really noticed the music in Adventureland except for some drum beats. The music from the Swiss Family Treehouse can really be heard in most areas anyway, and I think that's just from one speaker!

It can actually be a challenging game to relax and try to guess what song is being played. Almost everyone can pick out "Yankee Doodle" and the Disney animated songs, but try to guess something like (I think it is, at least) "British Grenadiers" in Liberty Square.

The best Disney background music was not even in the parks; it was at Old Key West. They used to play calypso versions of classic Disney songs before they changed to a light rock/Jimmy Buffett type soundtrack with an emphasis on boating songs. Nothing like hearing "A Spoon Full of Sugar" in calypso, though hearing "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" at Disney always makes me laugh.

Jack's Comment:

The calypso music once played at OKW is from the CD titled "Beauty and the Beat" and is available on Amazon.

Thank you so much for this, I love the background music in the parks, one of our favourite things to do in WDW is stroll around in the evening with a cup of tea and soak up the atmosphere, and the music is such a crucial part of that atmosphere. I must admit while we had worked out where some of the music came from, I hadn't realised how clever some of those hiding spots were!

Robin:

Jack, thanks again for a great blog. Your pictures make me yearn for October when we next go to Disney. I agree with the previous blogger that when I am feeling "homesick" for Disney I go to their site just to listen. Once again great job.

Chi Tran:

Thanks again for an excellent blog. I learn so mamy great Disney info by reading your blog. I went to different theme parks, but only Disney World is sucessful to make my family come back again and again. We are heading to the World next week for the 4 th in 3 years. Let see if I could discover any speaker at other parks next week :)

Thanks

Chi

Kirstin:

Jack!

Thanks so much for this interesting blog. You're right, much like a movie, Disney World wouldn't be the same without music. The only "hidden" speakers I've ever noticed are the ones in rocks and such, so thank you for enlightening us all that they're everywhere! I'll have fun exloring the other parks in search of speakers. You should make a Hidden Speakers book a la the Hidden Mickey book. ;)

I also cannot thank you enough for mentioning the song "A Cowboy Needs a Horse." Literally for months, I have been searching for that song/sing-a-long video and did not know the name. I had a great collection of the classic Disney Sing-A-Longs as a kid and that one was always a favorite. I found it on YouTube. So, thanks a million!

-Kirstin

Deanna:

Jack, this blog is amazing. Like others, I knew about park music but had no idea that the speakers were hidden in plain sight. Thanks for giving me more hidden gems to look for at the World in a few weeks!

Chuck T. (Brusly La.):

You did it again i love reading your blogs. I can't wait to look for all the speakers, the next time i am in the WORLD. I personally love the EPCOT enterance music.

Ethan Shuster:

I suppose those Toontown speakers aren't hidden but maybe they're not supposed to be...

Those seem to be the kind of outdoor speakers anyone can by for his or her own home and install them in the backyard. Obviously, Mickey picked them up at Home Depot and installed them in his yard himself! :)

Hey Jack,

I have not had this much appreciation for speakers since I installed my Alpine Stereo in my 1976 Thunderbird back in High School in 1978.

Thanks again Jack for all your interesting blogs on all thats Disney.

Jan:

Wow, what an amazing article! I, too, adore the ambient music at the parks, and have especially loved the music in the "freakin" bushes. But I've never before noticed the locations of the other speakers! Jack, this is on par with a Hidden Mickey's guide. Thanks so much!

Jeffrey Lodriguss:

Jack,
Do you or anyone you know have any idea where people such as myself who really enjoy the music of DW could find CDs with the artists? Particularly the music of World Showcase?

Kevin:

Jack, just perfect. I love how in-depth and well-researched this all is, like all your blogs. Yours are absolutely my favorite on here. That said: SPOIL US! I want more music blogs that cover all the parks! Whee!

Meagan:

You're like my Disney hero!! You know SO much about the parks. I want to meet you so you can just tell me EVERYTHING that you know!

I like the speakers hidden in the music lessons building on Main Street. It's on the right hand side as you're walking in, in that little alcove. It sounds like someone is actually playing the piano :)

Awesome blog!

Joy:

What a great blog! Really interesting. We're going to Disneyland next week and I'm going to check out "where the music comes from there". I know I can't wait to get back to the World in January to ck these out and where the music comes from in the other parks. Thanks, Jack, for bringing the magic home to me.

Pete:

Some more Disney Hidden magic
Love Love Love Disney!!!!!

Kristi Z.:

Hi Jack - thanks once again for a great article! You're awesome.

I've noticed how pleasant the boat ride from Port Orleans to Downtown Disney is because of the music that is played. Do you know if that is available anywhere?

Thanks.

Kristi, Rochester, NY

Karen:

Jack, you've done it again!
What a great blog! I've just returned from a 10 day trip and have a bad case of the Disney blues right now!
I've always loved the music and am soooo happy that other people have looked for the Epcot music as well. This trip I did stop at Guest Services and was told the music was on the Epcot park CD, but all that's available is Illuminations. I even asked a "Disney suit" but got the same answer. The music I'm looking for is what's played around the promenade near the fountain of nations. No one seems to know what I'm talking about, but at least now, thanks to you I'm not alone!

Christopher Musslin:

thanks so much for the article. i was watching a walk through of MK just the other day and trying to figure out where the speakers were. i started looking after noticing the obvious speaker in tommorowland.

i am always looking forward to your blogs. they make the break between disney trips bearable. :)

Connie La Tempa:

This was a fascinating & informative article. I would never have thought (although I should have realized) of the genious of this idea.
I remember in 1994, while @Disney World for the holidays, EPCOT was playing this wonderful soundtrack of music & it had that specific Disney touch. I of course could not get it on tape/CD. But I can still remember the wonderful feeling I had listening to it. Christmas music (my favorite holiday) while enjoying my favorite vacation place (WDW).

J. Leicher:

Jack, I loved your music blog. My daughter and I have always loved WDW music and never gave it a thought as to where it came from. We are going in October and will be on the lookout for speakers. Thanks!

Debra:

Jack,
Is there any way I can get a list of the music being played around the World Showcase? I have asked the cast members about it, but to no avail. There's one song that I am especially interested in that has a clarinet solo, but I don't know the name of it.
Thank you!

Jack's Answer:


My only suggestion would be to stop at Epcot Guest Relations and ask. They have a lot of information available not normally disseminated to the guests. It's worth a try.

justin bacon:

hey you gave some good ideas. im real big into music and hiding speakers.

justin:

I moved from Orlando fl. to San Antonio. I'm coming back to work out at Disney for the audio. Maybe at the magic kingdom. When i get back, I'm going to do a video on the speakers at Disney and post it on Youtube. Thanks jack for the photos

Todd:

I just finished a theme park-style system for a new zoo here in Peoria. Funny thing is, the friends who recently went with me on a trip to WDW wondered why I came back with so many pictures of speakers. Well they were less shocked when the found out about the zoo project. The nice thing about Disney is they understand the concept of "show." This was something that was initially hard to convince people here when building this new zoo. Convincing them that you will "get" people with education, but you will keep them coming back because they were entertained took a little work. But in the end it worked! They realized this when so many people have commented on the background music playing throughout the park. The only unfortunate part was that we were not able to hide them quite as well as I would have liked.

The speakers you showed in ToonTown are the TIC GS3 (which you can purchase for home use as well). We used about 60 of them and the balance of the outdoor speakers were surface-mount JBL Control-25T's.

The interesting thing about Disney's outdoor systems is that not all are really that "weatherproof." Sometimes, sound quality is chosen first and then they figure that they can just replace them more often.

The other thing that I love about the "imagineering" side of things is the methods they use for hiding the systems, as shown in your pictures.

You will also notice in your pictures of WDW (Orlando) Magic Kingdom, the size of the speaker systems. They are all fairly small enclosures. They are also almost all 70.7 volt distributed systems. While talking to one of the engineers, he said that system was one of the last to be designed by an older Disney engineer who was enamored with 70V systems (70v systems are great for easy setup, but plagued by limited fidelity and output levels). Even the original EPCOT system was designed by him and there were stories of these HUGE transformers to down-convert the audio signal for use with the massive ServoDrive subwoofers. The system rocked but was very inefficient. The newest one at EPCOT around the World Showcase is based around ElectroVoice speaker components. Some of the other theatrical components are from Meyer Sound.

The most recent system at WDL (Anaheim) is a direct-coupled system (amps directly connected to speakers), with high-performance cabinets and semi-hidden outdoor subwoofers. When you see a parade on Main St. there, it's like being at a rock concert. Much more so than at WDW's Magic Kingdom.

Now, 2006 was the last time I was at WDW and according to sources, Magic Kingdom was due for an upgrade. I do not know if this has happened or not.

Also, as a side note, where 70v in-ground speakers are used at WDW, they don't appear to be using the TIC GS3 as much anymore. They now use a direct-radiating bollard-type speaker that is a custom manufacture for them by Santourian Manufacturing Inc. versus the baffle radiator like the GS3.

In the end, the best part is that technology is making the ability to deliver high-quality audio to more places with even better disguises. For example, instead of the old method of having a central control room (as Disney also used to do) full of large amplifiers and gear with LONG speaker lines running to distant speakers, with Ethernet controls and CobraNet audio over Ethernet, we can now have the amplifiers much closer to the speakers and still, at the click of a mouse see what all the amplifiers in the park are doing. We can see how hot they are how many times they have clipped. We can be environmentally friendly and have them automatically go into standby mode after a certain time after the last music has played for the day. It is really amazing... and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

Thanks for sharing the pictures!
Keep moving forward!

Hermes Chiong:

Hi Jack,

I have noticed that recently the Liberty Square soudtrack was switched to marches. Do you happen to know the reasoning behind this? Personally I think the previous one themes better.

Thanks,
Hermes

Jack's Answer:

I have no idea why Disney has converted the music in Liberty Square to marches, but I hate it. It's too loud and intrusive. And almost all of these songs were written over 100 years after the time period of Liberty Square. Next time I'm in the Magic Kingdom I plan on complaining at City Hall. I suggest you do the same if you want to return to the old background loop.

Christian:

Great info Jack!
I find this very interesting to see how Disney hide thier speaker systems. I have noteced that the TIC in ground speakers (like the ones you showed in the Toon Town area) used at WDW are now all being replaced with a more mushroom shaped speaker made by another brand called SoundScape as well as some strange bollard ones as someone sead before. The thing is, I don't know why Disney has decided to replace all of the TIC ground speakers because they have been the ones that Walt Disney World have always used and infact, aparently the TIC speakers were originaly desgined for use in theme parks. But when I went there I saw that all of the speakers around the future area of Epcot and Disney's Hollywood studios have been replaced.
Thanks
Christian

Brent:

Hi Jack,

I enjoy your blog, especially this addition! I don't know if this is new information, but when I was in the Magic Kingdom in July I noticed that there larger speakers under the side canopies of the train station. Maybe they finally updated the system.

Also an update on the Liberty Square loop... I've seen on a few sites that they have changed the loop back to a more colonial style music instead of the marches.

Thanks,
Brent

Jim:

I was doing some surfing on the net and stumbled across this article and boy did my eyes light up!

I am the engineer that designed, tested and installed all the speakers that are currently being used at the Epcot around the World Showcase. Believe me, there are a LOT of speakers around that lagoon! LOL!!!

It was the best project that I worked on when I was the Custom Speaker Design Engineer at Electro-Voice. I practically lived at Disney at the time of doing all the work that went into that project. You can hardly imagine where I had to place some of thos speakers! And some of these speakers where huge in size! But, as they kept telling me....we want to be heard, no seen. Made sense to me!

I could go on and on about this project (describing the speakers, how they were installed, where they are installed), but then this would turn into a very lengthy post!

I sure do miss that job. Best I ever had. Unfortunately, Electro-Voice was sold to a larger company and then moved from Buchanan Michigan to Minneapolis, MN. To many ties here and decided not to move with them. :o(

Giovanni:

Hi Jack!

This article was so interesting to me! Thank you, I had been wondering about things like this for a while. I've been curious if there is a place to find out what music is played at the parks and resorts, either online or in-person. I remember a lot of Beach Boys and Bob Marley being played at Typhoon Lagoon, as well as a mix of beach-y music, both sung and instrumentals. The people who choose the music really know how to do it right, not overloading people with too many songs that are in-your-face, balancing more energy with calm and ambiance. I really hope to be an Imagineer someday.

This is a very great blog! I love reading all the contents and the details were superb. I have never noticed any of those hidden speakers. That's how great Disney is! From the show that they have towards their architectural designs, everything is perfect.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 17, 2009 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Bay Lake Tower - Part Three.

The next post in this blog is Richard Carpenter & Mr. Guder.

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