Disneyland Resort Official Albums: Souvenirs to Last a Lifetime

Written by Steven Johnson. Posted in Broke in Disneyland, Disneyland Resort, Features

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

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Published on January 30, 2014 at 2:00 am with 29 Comments

It’s no question the Disneyland Resort is the Happiest Place on Earth. You wouldn’t be going there and you wouldn’t be on MiceChat if you didn’t know that to be true. One gamble, however, is deciding how to spend your money once you’re inside the main gates. The expenses don’t stop with the cost of your ticket; once you add in food, merchandise, PhotoPass, and other pieces of the magic, a day at the parks can be very expensive, which can put you in a crunch without knowing the quality of your purchase.

That’s where I come in. As a Disneyland Resort addict on a tight budget, I know firsthand how important it is to stretch a dollar and make the most of the magic, without overdrafting your debit account. I present to you Broke in Disneyland: my tips for the best values at the Disneyland Resort.

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It’s hard to find a quality memento, whether it’s one that really gives you bang for your buck, something to make this visit stick out, or finding one that’s a meaningful souvenir for family & friends. One of my favorites that really fits the bill is the Disneyland Resort Official Album, it’s perfect for almost any guest.

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The Official Albums have been in circulation for decades, featuring music from all across Disneyland Park and of course more recently, the entire Disneyland Resort. The track lists even feel like a day in the parks, starting with songs from Main Street, USA in Disneyland, working clockwise around the Hub, then crossing over into Disney California Adventure. It’d depend on your favorites, of course, but the selections feel like the Greatest Hits of Disneyland Resort attractions, with classics like “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” and “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room.” These albums also feature newer songs, as they are updated every couple of years; for instance, the newest issue has music from Princess Fantasy Faire, Buena Vista Street, and Cars Land.

That’s part of the catch, though; select, iconic Disney Parks songs will always be part of the Official Album releases, which doesn’t leave much room for new material. It’s a perfect souvenir for a new Disney collector, but many hardcore fans probably already have a lot of these songs. At the same time, though, it is only through the Official Albums that we get any new audio at all!

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The Official Albums will always be special souvenirs for me because of how timely they are. Since they only come out every few years, it’s not a huge financial burden to pick them up as they are released, and it’s fun to look back at them over time. The first Official Album for Disney’s California Adventure is hilarious to listen to, featuring music from now-long-lost attractions like SuperStar Limo and Eureka! A California Parade. The newest Official Album, released in Fall 2013, is a special treat too as it is the first CD with the new music from Fantasyland and the fan-favorite “Suitcase and a Dream” from Red Car News Boys.

I know my Disneyland Resort T-shirts will become worn and faded over time, but the quality of the Official Album CDs (especially when immortalized through digital media) will last forever. These are a great musical memento of your Disneyland Resort visit, and a great value as a souvenir.

Are there other Disneyland Resort Official Album fans out there?

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  • Indy Hat Guy

    It is sad how the official album CDs were abandoned for a time recently though. I remember going and having a new official album, albeit lots of crossover, every one or two years before, around, and after the 50th. (Just normal albums but that beautiful 50th set is still a prized possession.) Then in 2007 it stopped with the addition of the Submarine Voyage. Though this was understandable as this was the beginning of the rebuild of DCA. Then there was a HUGE influx in 2013 with the Official Albums for both coasts, the Cars Land CD, and two Carthay Circle albums. The Official Albums feature at least one track from everything new since the last album so it definitely makes up for the gap. Also with them rereleasing a lot of early albums in digital format (including the original DCA album), it is definitely a good time to be a Disney soundtrack collector and if you haven’t gotten any other ones, the current one is the one to get. Well, the current one and the 50th collection.

  • mbyrd

    These albums are a classic. I have a Disneyland album from somewhere in the early 00′s. It has an old Fireworks show theme in there that is long since gone (to my knowledge anyway). I always enjoy tidbits like that. That DCA album where you can hear that old Paradise Pier loop music with just about every California related song played instrumentally is a neat piece of history too. I like listening to these before I go to the parks. It always gets me ready.

  • billyjobobb

    I kinda collect Disney park souvenirs. I do remember maybe around 2000? Where you could make your own disc and you chose what went on it.

    Personally I love the old postcards. You see things that aren’t there anymore. The ones that have been mailed can have some ridiculous comments on them.

    • OprylandUSA

      Ah… Disneyland Forever and Walt Disney World Forever. A technology way ahead of its time. That should be an article on here. A friend of mine got to meet the subcontractor and inventor of the technology who was installing the system at Downtown Disney in Florida. She got her to autograph my CDs.

      • Amy VandenBoogert

        I still have the Walt Disney World Forever CD I created back in 2000. Wish they still had those kiosks. They were fun.

      • PLAZAINN1

        Why can’t they add more parade music, such as the new soundsational parade and also bring back more historical tracks from attractions that are no longer in existence, as well as back ground music and dialouge from some of the second story windows on Main Street abd New Orleans Square. Thanks god , I have a lot of audio from these long lost attractions, one of my favorites being the original Carousel of Progress in its entirety and background music. Disney needs to diversify with their merchandise too. Too much plush and almost all shops have the same merchandise, which is becoming too saturated. Come out wiht original items and also remember, the economy is tight, so lighten up on the high prices, because most of the merchandise is not worth the price tag. Bring back the Disneyland Forever kiosk. NOt all Disneyland fans like Princess items and younger kid stuff. Please diversify.

      • daveyjones

        ever single track from the Disneyland Forever and Walt Disney World Forever kiosks is available—in lossless format direct from the kiosk hard drives—out there on the internets. google around, you’ll be glad you did!

  • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

    I’m a collector of the park albums as well. Love them.

    Nothing will ever beat the wonderful 50th Anniversary set. That was just brilliant.

    We listen to the Buena Vista Street album all the time.

    • jcruise86

      I wonder if they’ll make a similar 6-CD set for WDW around 2021. If so, I hope they have the Sherman Bros. “Now is the Time” version of the Carousel of Progress since their “Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” was on the Disneyland set. I’d like “If You Had Wings” and the short little RCA tune you used to hear exiting Space Mountain when you passed the futuristic home. I’d like to hear how the MK subs differed from the Disneyland Submarine Voyage. And I’d even like the old Fantasyland ride recording, “When the car stops get out to the right. Get out to the right please.” A recording from the WDW radio station you heard when you entered the property and drove 7 (?) miles to the MK parking lot would interest me too.

  • whamo

    I love these albums. I play them on the 70 minute drive to the park on a weekend morning to get me in the mood. I usually stop by Starbucks before I pop one in the CD and jump on the freeway. I’d really like to get a soundtrack of the old DCA tunes about California. Some of these albums aren’t too well done, but others are home runs. It’s a gamble sometimes. I got that big box set, and that’s got a lot of filler on it. I also scratched a CD or two over the years, bummer. One of my favorites is the old souvenir CD with Walt Disney on the cover, which features him talking. I love that one. Are these available on ITUNES?

    • ShorelineDLer

      Just in the last year iTunes and Amazon started featuring more Disney music form the parks, including the newest Official Albums. Since I, too, have the 50th box set, it was nice to just download the new tracks and not get any repeats. They even have the original DCA album to download and the album where Walt narrates, “Walt Disney Takes You to Disneyland” and an “Echoes from Disneyland” which was an organ recording from the old Wurlitzer organ and piano store on Main Street. “Meet Me Down on Main Street” with the Mellomen is also there. Hopefully some day they will release more of the old specialty albums from Disneyland. I seems like Walt was regularly commissioning recordings of different types of music for/from the Park.

  • DannyeF

    Love these albums! I put them on my running music and now at 5:30 am in the dark and snow out here in the midwest, I can take a ride on my favorite attractions! My favorite is the Haunted Mansion–there’s nothing like a “Welcome, foolish mortals” first thing in the morning! When it’s below zero, my mind can take a vacation to Southern California and watch Fantasmic while the miles roll by. So awesome.

  • Sparky

    My favorite park souvenirs are the ones that document how the park was at a particular time in history. That would include the hard and soft cover pictorials, which don’t seem to be updated too often these days, postcards, which are sparse, the poster maps, which they rarely do anymore, park souvenir videos/DVD’s, which are quite poorly done these days, and, certainly the souvenir audio CD’s from the parks. Which reminds me, I still need to get the newest ones! I think Disneyland does a little better with the above mentioned items, although there is a lot of room for improvement. Walt Disney World is aweful. When I last went in 2011, I came home with very few souvenirs. They didn’t even have the 40th anniversary souvenir pictorial out yet. I had to have a friend who lives there get it and send it to me when it finally became available. For videos, I rely on some of the more well done fan made videos. Maybe I should be thankful there isn’t better souvenir merchandise, as it saves me money!!!

  • dizneydomenic

    Ok ..here we go…ahh yes at 50 ive been collecting the music of the parks for ages!. Lovem! The 45rpm Disneyland record with Picture sleeve “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow” or The original 1972 release of the picture disc of The main st electrical parade. The full soundtrack LPS of tiki room, America sings, country bear jamboree, Have EVERY cd they released with resort music…. Haunted Manasion, Pirates.. including the amazing 50th and The 1964 Worlds fair set. When the Disneyland forever (and wdw) kiosks were introduced i dashed into them.. made probably 7 discs in both. What i can’t figure out is why so much ADDITIONAL material..which i ve heard..has never been OFFICIALLY released!..theres some great stuff out there…individual audio tracks and alternate takes,,which we got a taste of with the 64 set..but so much exists yet to be released.

  • disneydempster

    I agree, the Disney albums trigger so many fond memories of happy times in DLR and WDW. But now Pandora has Disney stations and dozens of Disney music channels on Live365, Subsonic radio etc there are easy ways to access a wide range of Disney background music, attraction audio and classic covers. The cost is good but the selection will be more random – like a box of chocolates, you’ll never know what you’re going to get. Good article!

  • stevek

    Big collector of parks music/rides (official and unofficial) for years as well. As Dusty said, can’t beat the 50th and appreciate that they are still releasing them. Nice that the new releases for WDW and DL both had some new tracks though I wish there was even more new stuff as much of what is on these releases is carried over from year to year, understandably. Now if we can just get them to release an EPCOT box set similar to the DL 50th set I’d truly be in heaven.

    • Country Bear

      Agree totally. EPCOT box set!

  • NycKmo

    I love my 50th Anniversary set, but I wish DLR would go the route of Tokyo Disneyland (along with other aspects) concerning CD’s. I remember for their 15th anniversary, TDR released a boxed set of 10 CD’s that not only included attraction songs, but atmosphere sounds of lands, parade music through the years, event music, holiday atmosphere music and stage shows (FEEL THE MAGIC, ONE MAN’S DREAM) and fireworks. Where’s a great quality of SOUNDSATIONAL, WoC, PARADE OF DREAMS, anniversary songs, even CALLING DICK TRACY, WORLD ACCORDING TO GOOFY, PARTY GRAS PARADE, CELEBRATION USA? Remember the 40 YEARS OF ADVENTURE theme song? (…”you can be a puppet, or a bear, make a wish and you there”… 40 years of excitement, 40 years of fun 40 years of thrills, chills and spills, the adventure has just begun!”) Would be awesome to incorporate proper parade and show music in future releases. I know TDR always has a vast collection of soundtrack albums for sale that include official albums, current parade CD, castle show, fireworks and night time band shows. Oddly, the ONE track I’m desperately wanting on an official release is the queue music of the quirky 60′s instrumental version of it’s a small world. lol. But I am pleased despite my nitpicking, of the recent official park album. Nice incorporation of newer park music from Carthay Circle, Cars Land, Mermaid, etc. Every major anniversary should have boxed set, I guess.

    • stevek

      Officially, stuff like WOC and Soundsational aren’t available. Unofficially, they are out there. That being said, The US parks should be all over releasing CD’s of these different shows or parades. No brainer but methinks that it must not be overly profitable because if it was, Disney would be all over it.

  • ChrisNJ

    I remember spending a lot of time at the Walt Disney Forever CD creation station. I wanted everything but was on a budget so picked mostly Haunted Mansion music.

    My most recent CD purchase is an import from Tokyo – and it contains the full ride music for Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage (In Japanese) – the music is by Alan Menken and magical.

  • eicarr

    The Cars Land CD was my favorite souvenir of the past 20 years. Listening to the official Disneyland album when I got home was always a way to get over the end of my DL trip. I still have old official tapes from the 80′s too. While I always hated how each year contains 50%-80% of repeat material, it always had new gems to make it worthwhile like America Sings, Splash Mountain, lincoln, Star Tours etc. Old tapes of WDW’s Epcot remind me why I used to like going to WDW.

    I went crazy buying CDs in Tomorrowland when you could make your own Music CDs in the CircleVision store. I hope they offer similar selections on iTunes in the future.

  • amyuilani

    I too remember when you could make your own CD in the park. I collected safety spiels and background music. Of course now, with the abundance of downloadable material on the internet, it’s likely that such a thing will not come back anytime soon because it’s not a moneymaker. But I love the music from the parks, and I hope they get back to putting out releases more frequetly. With Amazon and iTunes, they can control what they put out and how often, and they can cut down on printing costs by having downloadable music. I think they can cut down even further by selling gift cards in the parks that allow you access codes to download special edition Disney music via iTunes and Amazon, which can be digitally coded to prevent a lot of pirating. I’d buy it, knowing I don’t have to have more “stuff” in my home as a result.

    • daveyjones

      ever single track from the Disneyland Forever and Walt Disney World Forever kiosks is available—in lossless format direct from the kiosk hard drives—out there on the internets. google around, you’ll be glad you did!

      • notquitecanadian

        I checked out those files. Yes indeed they’re there, and I made use of them. Thanks for posting daveyjones!

  • DobbysCloset

    Thank you for letting me know about something I never knew about but that will now drive me insane because I do not have it.

    And talk about collectibles that held their value!!!!!