- Audio CD (March 24, 2009)
- Original Release Date: March 24, 2009
- Number of Discs: 5
- Format: Box set
- Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
- Label: Walt Disney Records
- ASIN: B001EQUESC
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,153 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Walt Disney and the 1964 World's Fair
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These 5 CDs and 24-page booklet whisk you off to the worlds of wonder that Disney brought to the 1964 World's Fair. The imagination displayed here foreshadowed what was to come in Disney parks of the future. You'll hear the original It's a Small World demo (Walt himself is your guide for this "charming little boat ride"). The Magic Skyway takes you from the age of dinosaurs to the ascent of man and into the future (again, Walt escorts you). You'll hear the recording sessions for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, hear the music from the Progressland exhibit (including the Carousel of Progress) and more!
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This set contains 4 CD's plus a bonus one:
1. Progressland: A total of 17 tracks covering the Carousel of Progress and the famous Sherman Brothers song, "There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow."
Bonus Disc: Progressland--Carousel of Progress (Alternate Universe Version): Discover this fully-scored, full-length performance of the Carousel as you've never heard it before. An alternate script is used here.
2. Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln: 7 tracks featuring the memorable exhibit that is about to return to Disneyland at the Main Street Opera House. Includes Royal Dano's dialog recording session and interpretation of the 16th American President. Includes the dramatic "Battle Hymn of the Republic" finale from the show.
3. it's a small world: If the song drives you crazy, you may want to skip this disc, containing 10 tracks from the exhibit originally sponsored by Pepsi. Hear demo recording's, Walt's original welcome speak, isolated vocal tracks, and more.
4. Magic Skyway: 14 tracks covering the Ford Exhibit which allowed guests to board Ford automobiles and experience a 12-minute journey into the past (complete with Dinosaurs and Caveman) and the future. Tracks include the recording session of Walt's narration and 9 tracks of the atmosphere music for the International Gardens.
This set also includes a well-designed 24-page booklet, beautifully illustrated with full-color photos and concept art, as well as informative notes on each attraction. My one beef here is that the booklet is heavy on the concept art, but light on photos from the actual Fair. I would have been interesting to see how these exhibits actually looked in vintage photos.
Overall, huge thumbs up to this set! The quality of the recordings is truly amazing, especially considering the rarity and age; over 40 years! I highly recommend this one to Disney, Disneyland, and World's Fair afficionados.
The Worlds Fair may have had a bigger impact on Walt Disney and his plans for Disneyland and his later plans Walt Disney World and Epcot than any other influence from the 1960's decade. The research and development process of the Fair attractions for Walt Disney, funded by big money from the sponsors, allowed the company to leap ahead in attraction development, especially in audio-animatronics and ride capacity. For example the development of the Small World flume boats paved the way for Pirates of the Caribbean - which had been originally planned as a walk-through. The Small World attraction was a miracle in a way, as the company had only 1 year to design and build the attraction from the day they received the go-ahead, with no idea of just what they were going to design. Another reason Walt participated in the Fair was to determine if the Disney attractions could be as popular on the east coast as the west, and the answer was a resounding "yes", leading to plans for Walt Disney World. Best of all, he was able to talk some sponsors into paying to move the attractions to Disneyland after the Fais and continue their corporate sponsorship of the attractions, giving him some new exciting attractions at Disneyland at very little cost.
Disc 1 - The GE Progressland exhibit, The Carousel of Progress includes 9 versions of the Sherman Brothers song "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow", including the later version created for Horizons at Epcot.; brief excerpt from early taping sessions; a demo recording with Walt Disney and the Sherman Brothers that was used to in a film to help sell the concept to GE (I would like to see this film); the complete attraction soundtrack, followed by the Skydome (an attraction that was a film projected on the ceiling), the talking birds of Electric Utility Show, the Medallion City (all electric city with homes full of GE appliances), and the Mirror Maze. The attraction was moves to Disneyland after that Fair, and still exists at Walt Disney World, but is not open daily.
Disc 2 - The Illinois Pavilion. It starts with the audio of a promo film narrated by Walt Disney; The Pre-show; Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln; the isolated music track without vocals for both the pre-show and the main show ; recording session for dialog with Royal Dano, the voice of Lincol; Isolated chorus of Glory Hallelujah.
Disc 3 - 10 tracks of It's a Small World, including 2 variations for Disneyland Paris, the non-vocal version used in the line queue; demo recording; isolated vocals and chorus; exit music; the welcome narration only used in New York to promote Pepsi and UNICEF, the sponsors of this Pavilion; A nice treat is the huge 20 minute number titled the Its a Small World Ultimate Megamix. This last one has the complete audio track of each country shown in the original attraction, but strung together seamlessly. Most collections I have seen isolate some of these as separate tracks. After the ride was moved to Disneyland, a new building was designed to contain it with a stunning facade designed by Rolly Crump, to replace the loss of his Tower of the 4 Winds, that was too difficult to bring back to Disneyland.
Disc 4 - This is the real treasure in the disc, as many Disney attraction sound buffs have had access to most of the material on these discs in other forms. The inclusion of Fords Magic Skyway and World of Tomorrow in this set is a first for the audio releases from Disney, and it is the biggest reason for me to get this disc. The Magic Skyway was an attraction that Disney was hired to create for the Ford Motor Company, after General Motors decided not to use Disney for the same. In the attraction you entered a brand new convertible Ford on a moving track instead of a ride vehicle, which had radio buttons to allow you to select which language you wanted to hear the attraction narration in. The ride took you back in time to the age of the dinosaurs, up through mans invention of the wheel and on into the future. There were several smaller exhibits in the building designed by Disney as well. The disc has the entire ride through narration of the Fords Magic Skyway with music and dialogue, but unfortunately without sound effects. The 8 background music scores for the other exhibits in the Ford Pavillon (like the International Gardens, scale models of buildings from different lands in the past and present) are included, some of the instrumental tracks were actually written for other projects like Disney movies but as instrumentals worked quite well in the attractions, such as the fun Flubber Waltz, or even the Serengeti Serenade from the Jungle Book movie. The music track Disneyland '61 is here, and the 9 minute music track prepared for the Auto Parts harmonic band, (a set of musical instruments made up of Ford auto parts that played music as the line widened by to other areas of the pavillon). The jaunty 6 minute Get the Feel of the Wheel song, and an 8 minute dialog recording session with Walt Disney round out the disc.
Bonus disc - Has an alternate version of the Carousel of Progress attraction.
As a collector of Disney and Disneyland audio of this sort, I am very grateful to the Walt Disney Company, and Randy Thornton for releasing this set. Also we have to be grateful to those in the early days of Disney that archived and protected the original material like this, or it would not be available at all. It is a true treasure. But I have to say that more than any other set of Disney attraction sounds I have heard, this one left me with a big yearning to see the attractions on video as well, or see a good photo book from Disney on the exhibits, the Fair, and their construction as they were back then. Hopefully that will be on the way soon! The best written publication I have ever seen is the World's Fair issue of "Persistence of Vision" a very rare and now out of business publication produced by Paul Anderson, Issue #6/7. Disney did have a promotional episode of their weekly show that aired on May 17, 1964 titled, "Disneyland Goes to the Worlds Fair". That episode is available on the DVD "Disneyland: Secrets, Stories, and Magic", also sold at Amazon.com and I recommend both the DVD and this audio set. If you like this and want more, I recommend the most complete authorized set of Disneyland audio released to date, " A Musical History of Disneyland" with 6 CDs and a big book, also sold here at Amazon.com. If you want to know more about the Fair, I would also recommend the book "Official Guide to New York World's Fair" which is very affordable as a 40 year old used book here at Amazon.com.
PS - I did not have any problems copying the CD to my portable MP3 player (Zune) using Windows Media Player.