Audio

Listen to the WDW Main Street entrance area loop from 1993

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Back in the ’90s as part of the Hash Knife Gang, I spent far more time in the parks taking pictures, videotaping and recording audio than I did sneaking backstage (although I did get to do that a few, glorious times).

As students of WDW, we were interested in capturing and processing as many attractions as possible as it became clear that many of the rides that we’d grown up with and now had taken for granted could be demolished at any time.

As a fan of music and Disney music in particular, I took it upon myself to take on the role of audio archivist. I was lucky enough to have the combination of a decent-paying job and no rent and could afford the new consumer-grade digital DAT and MiniDisc recording systems that became available at the time. Paired with small but powered microphones from Radio Shack, discreetly recording high-quality audio in the park was now a reality.

A short while later, Mike Lee of Widen Your World came up with the ingenious idea of using a telephone pickup from Radio Shack to record the electric impulses coming out of speakers directly instead of micing them, eliminating the unwanted ambient sounds that plagued our early efforts.

Over the course of the next few years, I filled up many a MiniDisc and DAT tape with the sounds of Walt Disney World, which I will now start sharing with you. Although these recordings are now 20 years or more old, thanks to digital technology, they sound just as good today as they did then.

With this in mind, let’s start in the manner that many of our vacations did, on the other side of the turnstiles in front of the train station’s berm in the Magic Kingdom. The music in this area acts as an overture to what you will experience after entering the park; a sampling of songs from the different lands and attractions that lie past the tunnels. This recording was made on May 22, 1993.

**Equipment**
Sony MZ-1 MiniDisc recorder
Radio Shack 44-533 telephone pickup

Notes:
* The Mickey Mouse Club March cuts out mid-song. This kind of thing used to randomly happen quite often.
* The loop includes “The Droid Rooms” from Star Tours, even though Star Tours isn’t in The Magic Kingdom.

Update: FoxxFur of Passport to Dreams Old and New, who is as close to an expert on area music as you can get outside of Imagineering, pointed out that this loop was created for Disneyland Paris and was later ported to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. This explains not only the inclusion of “The Droid Rooms” but also The Phantom Manor version of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” and the music of “From Time to Time.”

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4 Comments

  1. Brian

    July 2, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Looks as if the Download button is linked to the Fantasyland West loop, not the Main Street loop. Any way you can correct that?

    1. How Bowers

      July 2, 2014 at 8:48 am

      Thank you for finding this! The download link has been corrected and tested. Download away!

  2. Ju-osh

    April 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    I’ve gotta ask: What is the Hash Knife Gang?!?!

    1. How Bowers

      May 12, 2017 at 1:21 pm

      A small group of us that used to frequent the parks. It included Hoot Gibson, Chief, and a few other individuals who choose to remain anonymous but would not at all surprise you.

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