Archive | August, 2013

Songs from Disney Sequels

26 Aug

I know Disney sequels aren’t always the greatest things to hit theaters (and most normally bypassed theaters entirely and were direct-to-VHS releases). However, while the animation might not be on par with its predecessors, sequels (and trilogies) have some pretty jamming music. In no particular order, here are my Top 10 favorites. Haven’t heard of one? Click on the links and listen.

1) “I’ll Try” Peter Pan: Return to Neverland

The sequel to Disney’s classic Peter Pan follows Wendy’s daughter Jane as she’s mistakenly taken captive by Captain Hook. The lyrics to this song are gorgeous. It’s every child’s struggle with growing up beautifully presented in one song. “I try, but it’s so hard to believe/ I try, but I can’t see what you see.” Ugh, gets me right in the gut every time.

2) “Where Do I Go From Here?” Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World

Okay, so Pocahontas wasn’t exactly known for its historical accuracy. The sequel isn’t any different. However, bonus points for the sequel for getting BILLY friggin ZANE to play John Rolfe (I just changed how you’ll see him in Titanic forever. You’re welcome). Another major plus for this sequel is “Where Do I Go From Here,” which is honestly the only memorable song out of this film.

3) “Like Other Girls” Mulan 2

I wish they’d left Mulan alone. We can assume that after a period of courtship, Mulan and Li Shang got married and lived happily ever after. Disney really didn’t need to make a sequel, and after battling against terrifying Huns, the plot of babysitting the Emperor’s daughters doesn’t quite thrill. This song is pretty funny and what I think most of the classic Disney princesses secretly want, “to eat a whole cake/ to sing way off key.” Well, it’s what I really want anyway…

4) “When She Loved Me” Toy Story 2

Sarah McLachlan is known for singing songs that destroy people’s emotions. Don’t deny it; you flip the channel as soon as you hear those ASPCA commercials. Pixar thought that was a great quality for a singer to have in delivering one of the saddest moments in Disney history. If you didn’t at least tear up while Jessie was abandoned by her owner Emily, check to see if your heart is still properly beating.

5) “There is Life” Bambi 2

Confession: I’ve never been a big fan of Bambi, and I’ve only seen Bambi 2 a handful of times. I know, go ahead and start booing. The one thing that’s stuck with me through the three or four times I’ve seen the Bambi sequel is this song. Allison Krauss does a great job, and the animation is just too adorable to pass up.

6) “Your Crowning Glory” Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement

Julie Andrews singing again? YES PLEASE. Even if it wasn’t her Mary Poppins/ Sound of Music register (she lost most of her range after throat surgery in 1997), her rich low tones were exactly the sound needed for Grandmother Clarisse’s advice to Mia. Fun fact: this song marked her first time singing on film since the surgery. Oh, and Raven is in this song. I always forget about her. Oops.

7) “I’m Gonna Love You” Hunchback of Notre Dame 2

This song is a cheese-machine. The early-2000s production quality, the pop vocals, Jennifer Love-Hewitt. But something about it has stuck with me for all these years. It’s catchy, it’s sappy, and it’s one of those songs hidden in the credits you probably never knew existed.

8) “You’ve Got a Friend in Me/ Hay Un Amigo En Mi” (Gypsy Kings cover) Toy Story 3

It’s apropos that with the introduction of Spanish Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story would get one of the biggest names in Latin music to cover the trilogy’s theme song. Plus, Buzz shows off some serious dance moves. Me gusta.

9) Any song from Aladdin and the King of Thieves

The beauty of Aladdin 3 is that Disney made amends with Robin Williams and got him back on board in time for a third film. Let’s be honest, we could all tell that the Genie in Aladdin: Return of Jafar was sufficiently less spectacular than in the first film. Robin Williams’s return set the stage for a movie much better than its predecessor. Musically, it offered a little bit of everything. Sappy song? “Out of Thin Air.” Genie’s song? “Like Father and Son.” Obligatory opening musical number? “There’s a Party in Agrabah.” That catchy song you won’t get out of your head? “Are You in or Out” or “Welcome to the Forty Thieves.” Just pick one and enjoy.

10) “Diggah Tunnel” Lion King 1 ½ (Or Lion King 3 if you don’t live in the United States)

Lion King 1 ½ is easily the funniest Disney sequel (or half-sequel?) ever. It’s Lion King retold from Timon and Pumbaa’s perspective. Am I sorry I just got this song stuck in your head? Nope, not at all.

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Don’t Forget About Us: Magic Kingdom

22 Aug

One of my coworkers and I were fortunate enough to snag a table for two at Be Our Guest restaurant after my friend’s shift ended yesterday. The food! The atmosphere! The Beast! The ballroom! It was enough to make a Beauty and the Beast fan nearly faint from excitement.

After we finished our incredible meal, Meagan and I walked around Fantasyland looking for something else to do. We decided to dedicate the rest of our night to visiting the overlooked attractions. You know the ones; they’re the blurs you see out of the corner of your eye as you race to the Space Mountain FastPass line, or the attractions you only go on if it’s pouring down rain and you’ve forgotten your poncho.

While it’s easy to pass over some of these attractions due to their age (and not being nearly as imposing as a log ride with a 50-foot drop), they shouldn’t be entirely forgotten. Here are some of the ones I rediscovered yesterday:

* The Hall of Presidents (Liberty Square): It doesn’t matter if you can name all US presidents in order or if you can barely remember who’s currently in office, The Hall of Presidents offers a moving tribute to the American spirit. Plus, it pays homage to Walt Disney’s love of history and his adoration to one president in particular, Abraham Lincoln (aka my homeboy). The approximately 13 minute show consists of animatronic presidents speaking on what it means to embrace the American spirit, all narrated by Morgan Freeman.

* The Carousel of Progress (Tomorrowland): Don’t forget about Carousel. It recently reopened after some refurbishment on the father, and it looks great. CoP is a display of holidays in the past, present, and “future,” plus it’s air-conditioned and the lines are virutally non-existent.

* The Country Bear Jamboree (Frontierland): I don’t believe people when they tell me The Country Bears are their least favorite Disney attraction (cough cough my mother cough cough) because it’s a fun, corny little show. And if you didn’t enjoy corny things in the slightest capacity, you would not be at Magic Kingdom. Animatronic bears put on a show of country/folk singing and the music will be stuck in your head the rest of the night. “There’s blooood on the saaaaaddle, There’s bloooood on the grooooound.”

* Philharmagic (Fantasyland): For some reason, this one easily forgotten by most. Maybe it’s because of a close proximity to the new Little Mermaid attraction, or maybe everyone is just too in shock by the Peter Pan’s Flight wait time to check it out. Philharmagic is an all-around sensory explosion starring Donald Duck attempting to conduct a concert after stealing Mickey’s sorcerer hat. Magic breaks loose, sending Guests on an adventure through some of the most memorable Disney moments.

These are just a few of the ones coming to mind now. Leave some of your favorite attractions in the comments below. Are there any attractions no longer at the Magic Kingdom you wish would return?

Current Attraction Refurbishments

22 Aug

It’s time for some of the most well-loved WDW attractions to get a little extra pixie dust for Guests. Here’s what is being refurbished at the moment:

– The Prince’s Carousel (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom) – Until August 22

– The Jungle Cruise (Adventureland, Magic Kingdom) – Until September 30

– Muppets in 3D (Hollywood Studios) – Date of completion currently unknown

Also, look for Downtown Disney to get quite an expansion soon. Parking will be added, as will Pleasure Island offerings.