The early morning journey to day care has become rather treacherous. Over the past few weeks, we’ve encountered not one, but two waterfalls. The double dips lead us into a cavernous flume, where plundering pirates lurk at every cove. We then find ourselves in the middle of a raging battle between a majestic Spanish fort and a ship of pirates. We duck as cannonballs fly over our heads, many splashing into the water mere feet from us. Thus far, we’ve managed to arrive safely every day. Still, I’d rather avoid pirates than safely cruise along with Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed ‘Round The World.
With our Walt Disney World trip looming, I’ve started feeding the boys a steady diet of music from Disney attractions. They’ve taken an audible tour of the Haunted Mansion and heard the birds sing words and the flowers croon with clips from the Enchanted Tiki Room. I read somewhere that it’s a smart idea to prepare kids for upcoming vacations by talking to them about where they’re going and show them photos or video to give them a better understanding of where they’re going.
My collection of music from Disney attractions and shows is excessive. This isn’t just “Grim Grinning Ghosts”. Want to hear the entire show of the old Journey Into Imagination? Got it. Never saw the Porto Paradiso Water Carnival at Tokyo Disney Sea? Borrow my Music of the Parks CD and hear what it sounded like. From Orlando to California, Tokyo and Paris, you’ll find music from attractions classic and closed. Some people like to visit Adventureland, I want the background music loop too.
I’ve been a freaky Disney audiophile as long as I can remember. I’m pretty sure I drove my parents nuts by blasting my Official Album of Disneyland and Walt Disney World album thought the house. They probably grew immune to “Baroque Hoedown”. That’s fine. It was my way of punishing them for my cruel and prolonged exposure to Chuck Mangione’s “Feels So Good”.
Music plays such a huge part in the Disney theme park experience. Think back to how the 1939 theme of The Tower Of Terror is emphasized by the ragtime jazz music piped into the hotel’s lobby. The same effect happens in the Jungle Cruise queue, as well as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It can instantly transport you to a certain place or a certain moment. Much like that song that’s forever connected to the memory of a girl or guy, the sounds of Disney parks instantly take you there.
It’s my hope that by playing Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and other them park music, that the boys won’t be completely freaked out by the experience. It won’t be too scary if they’ve heard it all before. I’m aware that I may be removing some of the “magic” by doing this. At the same time, playing the queue music for Big Thunder Mountain won’t make the coaster any less scary to a four-year old.
Maybe it’s not so much a child preparation technique, as it is a way of getting myself excited for our trip. It’s Sara’s first time to the “Florida Property”, and it’ll be Kieran’s first Disney park. And it’s never too early to build up an immunity to “It’s A Small World”.