Audio

Music from the Village, a fan-created Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort area loop

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When the Polynesian Village opened at Walt Disney World in 1971, it had no piped-in music to help set the mood. According to Disney historian FoxxFur of the website Passport to Dreams Old and New, speakers were first installed on the grounds in the bottom of newly-cast reproductions of Rolly Crump’s tikis from Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room pre-show two or three years later.

Since then, speakers have been placed thought the resort (both inside and out) and an ever-changing soundtrack has helped transport guests on vacation in Orlando to a virtual island getaway. Some years the music was a mix of Hawaiian and Tahitian; the currently running version is almost exclusively Hawaiian.

I always wanted to take a crack at asking myself “What would Jack Wagner do?” and curate a selection of songs I felt were appropriate for the resort. The Polynesian’s evolving identity while under renovation raised more questions than answers. Should I use exotica tunes instead of traditional? Do you go so traditional with indigenous peoples’ music that guests wouldn’t find it accessible or enjoyable? Do you include any music from Disney’s films set in the Pacific at the risk of pulling guests out of the artificially-built paradise?

Finally, with the release of photographs from the newly-constructed Bora Bora bungalows, the resort’s theme became clear. Yes, it’s about Polynesia. But it also celebrates Disney and the history of hotel itself—mixing Mary Blair, The Electrical Water Pageant, mid-century furnishings and the Polynesian Pop movement into one giant imu pit.

So with this in mind, I humbly present Songs from the Village, a mixture of music from across Polynesian cultures along with some well-known Disney songs that once played or still play a role in the Magic Kingdom’s Advetureland. The ground rules for inclusion were simple: songs had to be from across a broad range of Polynesian islands (Samoa, Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Rarotonga and Fiji are represented), it had to be “Western enough” that anyone could enjoy it, and it had to be from the mid-‘70s at the latest: no drum machines or synthesizers. Paradise does not do Devo covers. The progression of songs would also follow the flow of a day–quiet in the morning, gradually increasing in vigor by evening, then returning to tranquility as the sun sets and the moon rises.

More complete liner notes will be provided later in the week. In the meantime, please enjoy. Cover art photography was graciously provided by At Disney Again

Track Listing

  1. He`eia – Gabby Pahinui – Hawaii
  2. Ua Lata Mai Le Aso Fa’amasino – Le Patiloa – Western Samoa
  3. Hala -‘O-Teine – Pan Pacific Singers – Tonga
  4. Malasadas – Sonny Chillingworth – Hawaii
  5. Isa Lei Ko Iteni – Vatulawa Trio – Fiji
  6. Kare Koe Ngaro Iaku (I Will Never Forget You) – Pepe and the Rarotongans – Rarotonga
  7. Pokarekare Ana – The Tui Trio – New Zealand (Aotearoa)
  8. Talking Logs – Unknown – Magic Kingdom Adventureland
  9. Let Me Hear You Whisper – The Columbia River Players – Fiji
  10. Analani E – Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs & His Waikiki Boys – Hawaii
  11. Hoki Mai – The Tui Trio – New Zealand (Aotearoa)
  12. Tamure E – Matapo & Les Tahitiens – Tahiti
  13. Taveuni – South Pacific Singers – Rarotonga
  14. Vini Vini – The Beat of Tahiti – Tahiti
  15. Kine Street Rag – Danny K. Stewart & His Aloha Boys – Hawaii
  16. Pineapple Princess – Annette Funicello – United States
  17. He Hawai`i Au – Sunday Manoa – Hawaii
  18. Now Is the Hour (Maori Farwell Song) – Arthur Lyman – Hawaii(artist)/New Zealand(song)
  19. Sini Moe Vasike – Planet Tonga – Tonga
  20. Amuia Le Lupe – The Columbia River Players – Fiji
  21. Taleva Lesu Tale – Unknown – Fiji
  22. Moonlight Time in Old Hawaii – George Bruns – United States

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8 Comments

  1. Scott

    March 28, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    This is great!! Thank you so much and it brings back great memories. The one question I have is, when I click on the download link it just opens up and plays. Is there anyway to actually download? I’d love to have this playing outside on a summer night.

    1. How Bowers

      March 28, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Just right click on the download button and select “Save As…” or “Download linked file…”

  2. Matt

    March 29, 2015 at 11:03 am

    This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Larry

    March 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Fantastic! Thank you! I’ve been able to find everything except the Talking Logs – How did you find that????

    1. How Bowers

      March 9, 2017 at 4:40 pm

      Believe it or not, it was on the old Walt Disney World Explorer CD-ROM as an audio file!

    2. How Bowers

      May 24, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      The talking logs were on the Walt Disney World Explorer CD-ROM released back in the 1990s.

      1. Larry

        July 15, 2017 at 10:56 am

        Thank You! I found a copy on line and am getting it. Thanks again for compiling this great stuff.

        1. Larry

          July 15, 2017 at 11:23 am

          One more thing: Track 15: Kine Street Rag – Danny K. Stewart & His Aloha Boys – Hawaii — I couldn’t find it anywhere, But I found it on net listed as:
          Fort St. Rag Akoni Lani & Danny Stewart Hawaiian Favorites World from 2011.

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