The Best Theme Park Music

(Source)
Since interviewing IMAscore a couple of weeks ago I've massively gotten back into listening to theme park music! It really gets me in the mood for the season and can instantly take you back to that happy place where you're queuing for your favourite ride and just taking in the sights, and more importantly the sounds of the attractions around you. There's something truly unique and magical about theme park soundtracks. They take us on a journey and their sole purpose is to evoke feelings of excitement and anticipation as well as communicate a narrative and set a mood for the attraction you're about to experience. I don't think there's any other music in the world whose job it is to do all of those things and more, so I wanted to take the time today to pay homage to some of my all time favourites!

Just for clarification, this is by no means a definitive list of what is the 'best'. It's just my opinion and of course we're bound to disagree in some instances! So bear that in mind when you're reading through this and getting infuriated that I didn't mention your personal fav haha! Let's get to it.


Kicking things off with one of the most epic and...slightly terrifying soundtracks in the UK: Valhalla. This soundtrack perfectly sets the mood for the utter carnage you're about to embark upon when you board your viking longboat. It really puts you on edge, communicates the Norse god theme perfectly but is also slightly camp when you listen to it, giving it that Blackpool Pleasure Beach edge. Some theme park soundtracks are interchangeable, but the epic chanting combined with those drums mean this one is undeniably Valhalla and I couldn't imagine it anywhere else.


Anyone who knows me knows I'm not the biggest fan of Walibi Belgium. I think the place is tacky, I hate the 'WAB' theme and I think pretty much all of the rides are terrible. And honestly, I think Psyke Underground wouldn't be that amazing if it weren't for this soundtrack. It's over the top, ridiculous EuroPop and wouldn't be out of place as a Eurovision entry. Catchy, annoying and yet actually really enjoyable and really pumps you up ready for the launch! Paired with the fact that the inside of the station looks like a gay nightclub and you're on for a winner with this one.


Oh god, OK. I'm NOT that emotional a person. It takes a LOT to make me cry, but listening to the Soarin' soundtrack is a surefire way to set off the waterworks with me. It's just so inspiring! So epic! I honestly think my love for EPCOT is tied directly to this bloody soundtrack. I'm listening to it now as I type this and I'm getting goosebumps. IT'S JUST SO GOOD! I get that it's meant to inspire the sensation of flight and blah blah, but for me it just transports me straight to sunny Orlando, enjoying a fab Disney World holiday with my family and I'll always cherish this soundtrack for its ability to do that. Oh and Soarin' is fab, haters gonna hate.


How did we get this far into this article without mentioning an IMAscore soundtrack yet? No idea, but here we go. Y'all know I love IMAscore to death, and the guys are excellent at executing a creepy as epic soundtrack, but in my opinion where they really come into their own is with a fantasy theme. And they absolutely NAIL this with Dweverlwind. The swooping sounds of the wind blowing and fairydust sparkling alongside the epic drums and brass, it all comes together perfectly and instantly transports me to a magical fairy land whenever I listen to it. Weirdly, because I first rode this attraction in October this soundtrack also has deep connections with Autumn for me, and as its my favourite month it just makes me love it even more!


OK, so, I am a huge Disney fan, and in particular the music. The Disneyland Soundsational parade is essentially a celebration of Disney's best songs, brought to life with colourful floats and characters and tied together with a Disney theme parkified melody. I know it's kind of cheating because technically the songs in the parade music are just songs from the films I grew up with and love, but there's something incredible exciting and upbeat about the Soundsational chorus and how the theme links them all together. It also reminds me of my first visit to Disneyland with my best friend which is always a special memory for me!


So, Klugheim is basically one of the greatest things to happen in my life in recent years theme park wise, and one of the best things about this land is the way IMAscore scored the area. I'm a huge Lord of the Rings fan and this area always feels really Tolkien-esque to me, and I think that's largely to do with the music. It wouldn't feel out of place in Middle Earth: it's epic, it gives a sense of adventure, the way the chorus of voices cuts in gives a sense of battle and fighting and just epicness. It's stunning, it perfectly sets the scene and even though I'm still not 100% clear on what Taron or Klugheim are themed to exactly there's no denying the heroic connotations of this score!


You know earlier how I was talking about how ride soundtracks set the scene for the journey we're about to take? Well I feel like the music for De Vliegender Hollander does this expertly. It's incredibly cinematic, it feels like the first scene of a movie where our hero is being introduced before they go up against certain death. Anybody who has ridden De Vliegender Hollander knows that things get real dark, real quick, but the soundtrack doesn't let onto that at ALL, meaning when it does happen it takes us all the more by surprise! It's also got that beautiful Efteling fairytale element to it, magical but with a hint of a dark side. I guess you could say it's Efteling's answer to Yo Ho A Pirate's Life For Me!


Of course, I love the original Grim Grinning Ghosts Haunted Mansion soundtrack from Disneyland, but I think the Phantom Manor soundtrack at Disneyland Paris takes that one step further. Not only does it more explicitly tell the story of the Phantom Manor with the tragic singing bride included in the music itself, there's also something entirely more elegant about the whole thing that really ties in with the theme of a wedding night gone wrong. There's also more of an edge of beauty to this soundtrack, tying it perfectly in with the Disneyland Paris aesthetic. I also love that there are smidges of Grim Grinning Ghosts mixed in there too to tie the whole thing together! Perfect classic horror soundtrack.


This is my all time favourite theme park soundtrack, and I'm gutted because it's unlikely that this attraction will ever return! For those who don't know, The Mystery of Hocus Pocus Hall was a seasonal overlay for Hocus Pocus Hall at Chessington World of Adventures for Halloween. The entire attraction looked completely different and incorporated some very clever projection mapping and special effects. It was fab, but the best part by far was this magnificent soundtrack by IMAscore. Similarly to the Dwervelwind soundtrack, I think this one fills me with so much joy because it transports my brain straight to the Halloween season, which as we all know is the best. On top of that it's magical, it's fun, it's whimsical and it's got just the right dash of fantasy. It's stunning, and I continue to listen to it throughout the year.

There we have it, an insight into some of my favourite theme park soundtracks! This is by no means all of my favourites but if I were to list them all we'd be here all day.

Talk later xoxo,

CONVERSATION

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Back
to top