Disney Sing Along Songs Vol. 7: Disneyland Fun Review 

Theme Song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records

Theme Song by Patrick DeRemer and owned by Walt Disney Records

As the Sing Along series entered a new decade (1990s) the series had the ability to take certain risks and slightly to majorly deviate from the formula. This happened to coincide with Disneyland’s 35th Anniversary in 1990 so it was decided that a Sing Along episode would dedicate itself to being a day at Disneyland! We had no title song for the first time even though later releases would pathetically tag on It’s a Small World there really is no title song.  There is also no real coherent theme other than Disneyland just songs that vaguely go with a Disneyland activity. There are also NO segues between songs and introduces a concept that would later be used multiple times in the series known as the “songbook transitions” where the episode begins in classic Disney movie fashion by opening a book (a songbook in this case) and would have the title of the song with an identifying picture and the page would turn and show the footage. Despite all the differences it is still part of the Mr. Owl Saga because Mr. Owl starts us off and shows us the songbook so in a sense it’s a fieldtrip for Mr. Owl’s class (It’s so sad that the field trip is dead in schools now). What I love about this volume is not only the song selection the fact that I own a video that encompasses Disneyland (even though it’s extremely outdated now), but I love how the park and the way it effects people is the star of the video. Even the kids that are there are decent enough and are genuinely having fun because they’re at freakin’ Disneyland and are basically getting paid to go on rides on camera. Still they’re not the focus nor are the characters (Cast Members) the focus. The characters are there to provide a dynamic that the park is alive and lived in, but they are not the focus. The park and the emotions that people feel at the park are the stars and that’s how it should be and I believe that’s how Walt would have wanted it. Unfortunately with this volume’s great success Disney started to do this all the time without the TLC that this volume got. Because of the lack of understanding in how this volume was done on an emotional and stylistic level they turned out complete schlock in the other park related Sing Alongs and would eventually be the doom of the series. Still this volume is the best one in the series and offers not just Disney musical history, but park history as well and is an excellent representation of the original Magic Kingdom!!!

Whistle While You Work

We get the normal opening and then Mr. Owl directs us to the songbook and wants us to take a look inside. The book opens to Main Street USA before the park opens and we see pretty much all the characters working together and performing the jobs that other Cast Members would normally be doing. The characters featured are Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale and even Roger Rabbit show up. What makes this a great opener is that it makes the park feel alive and lived in and that the characters do actually live there and working together and singing together to make Walt’s Kingdom is in the best shape it can be in for the guests. The song choice is natural if you’re going to begin before the park opens for last minute preparations. The song speeds up the closer it is to opening and luckily the White Rabbit is there to keep time. A great opener.

Step In Time

This is probably my least favorite song because it just seems unnecessary and I don’t see how it truly fits in with the events in the park. All it does is just play during the initial opening of the park and the massive hord of people that spread out and go to the attractions.

I’m Walkin’ Right Down the Middle of Main Street USA

I absolutely LOVE this song!!!!!!!! This is the PERFECT song for Main Street! It captures the timelessness, the cheerfulness, the brilliant atmosphere, the oldschool awesome that is Main Street and is probably one of the most underrated areas in Disney park! The parade type visuals that were shown were great and this version is the definitive version of the song and gave exposure to this very under exposed song!! Absolute greatness!!!

Follow the Leader

As I said back in my review of Volume 2 I’m not a big fan of this song, but it does work for this volume. Donald is taking the kids on a tour through Adventureland and takes them on the Jungle Cruise which is awesome! The cool thing is that this was filmed in 1990 so this was before the 1994 refurbishment where they added the themed queue building. Also back then the Jungle Cruise boats still had the striped awnings before the refurbishment made them look more authentic and rugged. Would I have preferred an extra song with the Tiki Room theme? Of course, but what can you do. Also this was before Indiana Jones(1995) so, bummer. The kids go to Frontierland and stop at the ferry’s to Tom Sawyer Island (back when it was actually still called Tom Sawyer Island) and the next song begins!

The Great Outdoors

The kids meet up with the Country Bears and the bears take the kids to Tom Sawyer Island. The song is the opening song to the Country Bear Jamboree Vacation Howdown which was an altered Country Bears show for the summer season. This song is catchy and is really good at capturing the spirit of the Country Bears unlike a movie that shall not be named except for an awesome Christopher Walken quote. This is a fun song that fits the Frontierland/ Critter Country mood perfectly!

Zip a dee doo dah

The next song is my favorite Disney song returning to the Sing Along series!!! I got to be honest I do have mixed feelings about this song’s treatment here. The song doesn’t really fit thematically because the song is supposed to be a celebration of a positive attitude and represent the resilience of the human optimism while here it’s used as a song to accompany the park’s thrill rides of Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain of course, Star Tours and the Matterhorn (Space Mountain is left out because well it would be hard to get footage of a roller coaster meant to be viewed in the dark). I just don’t think the theme of Doo dah is supposed to be used this way. Still it’s an okay remix except for the dreaded rap part!!!!!!!!! UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m sorry this was never meant to be a rap song!! This is a pathetic attempt at Disney to follow contemporary trends instead of timeless ones!!!!!! Part of me died when I read the rap part. It was painful, but luckily it doesn’t last for long! Also I like how Roger ditches the group to ride Autopia because he’s too scared to go on the rides featured.

Rumbly in my Tumbly

After the thrill rides the kids decide to eat lunch and while the song isn’t anywhere near my favorite it’s still a really clever way of showcasing the park and the people in it. It shows the restaurants of the park and people eating and having a good time at the park and shows the park succeeding in its goal with a subplot of Pooh looking in all the restaurants to see if he can have something and as if that wasn’t enough his fellow 100 Acre Wood friends make cameos as servers in the restaurants and food stands and Pooh doesn’t get anything. Luckily Pooh bear does get some Hunny at the end of the song and I say it’s deserved! To be honest with ya this song makes me hungry especially when Goofy brings out those sundaes and milkshakes.

It’s a Small World

After lunch the group of kids head into the castle to ride all the Fantasyland attractions. The classic song is used and has it’s own remix of annoying kid vocals. I still stand by that the Asian version is awesome and the best!

Making Memories

The next song is probably my favorite! This great song by the Sherman Brothers is all about how the park makes people happy and how great memories and experiences are made by the young or old whenever they visit the park. It’s excellent with footage of the smaller and simple things such as people getting souvenirs for one another, kids napping, and the old couple riding King Arthur’s Carousel together. That’s what the park is about and that’s why Walt built it in the first place. This song is a representation of that is so sincere and heartfelt just like all the great Sherman Brothers songs are! Absolute excellence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grim Grinning Ghosts

The next song is probably the coolest part of the episode because it’s the freakin’ Haunted Mansion, man!!!!!!!!!!  Anyway two of the kids are standing outside the Mansion gates and the girl wonders if there is extreme paranormal activity going on at night and she dreams of the Mansion at night and the new trees that look like costumes come to life and invite a bunch of Disney villains and Donald dressed in a very cheap ghost sheet to a “swinging wake”. I think that’s the only time I’ve ever seen the gates to the Mansion close and open(maybe). In the middle of the song we see footage of the ride itself which is always awesome and I think Thurl Ravenscroft comes back for this version, but I could be wrong about that. The kid snaps out of it and they go on the ride.  With excellent atmosphere, staging and characters this is easily the coolest moment in the video.

The Character Parade

The next song is the character parade and is a very basic song that is exciting enough and is a great way of summing up every parade at the Disney parks. A solid song for the evening show!

When You Wish Upon a Star

It just doesn’t seem right to end this Sing Along visit to the parks without the Disney theme song. In fact this is where it makes its Sing Along debut! All the characters gather in front of the castle and the kids all say goodbye to them. It is extremely cheesy. While “Making Memories” was sweet and heartfelt this is ridiculous. Luckily once the kids leave and the majority of the characters return to Fantasyland Mickey and Minnie save this episode’s finale. Mickey in a very sweet gesture gives Minnie a kiss and then he steps forward and shoots sparks from his fingertips which would make a repeat appearance in Fantasmic! 2 years later. And then that sets off the fireworks in a beautiful display as the last verse of the song is repeated. Once the fireworks end he holds Minnie’s hand and they walk together to the castle! That is brilliant! THAT IS HOW YOU END A SING ALONG LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!!!!!!!!!!! That is Disney!!!!!!!

all footage owned by Walt Disney Home Video

Final Thoughts

I don’t think I need to say anything folks. That ending speaks for itself! I mean what more positive adjective could you use to describe this? Even though it’s not 100% perfect it’s still perfect. This is the best Sing Along episode! That doesn’t mean the others are bad by comparison, but man they never beat this. Wow! Stay tuned next time where the series is goes even more unorthodox with an all Christmas episode! Stay tuned for Disney Sing Along Songs Volume 8: Very Merry Christmas Songs!

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