Saturday, January 19, 2008

EPCOT, Anytime!


In yet another one of those astonishing revelations that show how far The Walt Disney Company has lost sight of its core consumer, in favor of increasing quarterly revenue by chasing tweeny-boppers, I’ve come to enjoy weekends filled with Disney magic.

Go to Amazon.com, search for Disney music, and here’s what you’ll find on the first results page: “Radio Disney Jams,” “A Disney Channel Holiday,” “Children’s Favorite Songs” (Vols. 1-4), “Radio Disney: Move It” and a host of other albums aimed squarely at kids and tweens. The "official" albums of WDW are equally bad, just re-hashes of the same music Disney has been peddling as its "park music" for years now, not actually digging deep into the extraordinary audio experience that parks like EPCOT truly are.

But here’s a tip, one you might already know about: Go to Live365 online radio, and your Disney possibilities increase to almost limitless heights. And you don’t have to tie yourself to your computer – if you’ve got TiVo, you can listen to Live365 on your TV, in full surround sound, if you’d like.

While doing my chores today, I’ve listened to a ride-through of Spaceship Earth; revisited the sorely missed Horizons Pavilion; heard the soundtracks of both Illuminations: Reflections of Earth and Illuminations 25; and even passed an hour while listening to nothing but the music loop played in some of the World Showcase pavilions and throughout Future World. I feel like I'm spending time in my favorite place. Yeah, my spouse thinks I'm crazy ... but it saves us a few thousand bucks on vacation costs!

Disney may not care about fans like me, who are fully grown adults with decent salaries and who happen to love Walt Disney World and EPCOT Center. In fact, it’s virtually impossible to find any official source for any of the tracks available on such fantastic “radio” stations as Sorcerer Radio, MouseHouse Radio, MouseWorld Radio, DIS radio, No Lines radio and other fan-run channels. On TiVo, you can even program them in your "favorites" list so you don't have to hunt around for them all the time. I love it!

I have no idea how these fan-run stations find and broadcast these esoteric tracks, ranging from the music that accompanies the Fountain of Nations to the complete audio of full attractions. But thanks to them, I can feel I’ve spent an entire day at EPCOT Center without leaving my home.

So, here’s a big thank you to those who devote their energies to these stations. You put me in a great mood every weekend!

To the executives at Disney, all I can say is, take a (literal) cue from these folks. Not all of your fans are tween dreams, some of us are just normal folks in our “adult years.” If you’re not filling our needs, thank goodness there’s someone out there who does care. You’re losing revenue, but they’re gaining fans.
Keep it up, Live 365 broadcasters!

9 comments:

DeanFinder said...

Allow me to point you in the right direction for getting these tracks yourself: www.mousebits.com.
Register, download, and enjoy.
Also, look for the multi-angle tributes by a fellow named Martin. They are the next best thing to being there, especially for closed rides like JII and Horizons.

Epcot82 said...

Thank you.

It's astonishing to me that Disney doesn't grasp the fact that there is a market for this stuff. I guess once they've thrown it away, they're done with it. More shortsightedness from people making many hundreds of thousands (in some cases, millions) of dollars a year!

Dean Finder said...

You and me both, pal.
I would love to see an EPCOT Center Retrospective DVD series, featuring the rides, background details from the Disney Archives, interviews with the Imagineers, etc.
But Disney won't do that.
Disney won't do a lot of things, I'm realizing.

Keep up what you do, E82, and I'll see you on the BitTorrents.

Andre said...

It's mostly about money; Disney originally didn't negotiate the rights to sell most of the stuff that they use in the parks, thinking they'd never need to sell the background audio to a ride. It would cost far too much to do it now, especially for what would be of relatively limited appeal (well, compared to a High School
Musical #17 dance-along release anyway).

It's a real shame, but it's one of the sad facts of commercial life in this day and age. You can't just do what you want with something that you thought you'd already purchased - just ask anyone who'd like to try to employ an American writer at the moment!!

But at least the fans keep this sort of stuff alive on a non-profit basis - fairly obviously with the covert collusion of some people inside the industry, given the high quality of some of the material that's out there.

And I'm with you on the Innoventions Plaza music - that loop has the most powerful "virtual transportation" effect on me to.

Andre

Andy said...

If you like the Live365 stations you should check out subsonicradio.com - commercial free music from the parks with a number of stations running over 2500 tracks from the obscure attractions to the beloved favorites. Their crew puts in a ton of time with adding even more tracks and launching new stations. I wish Disney would see that there is a market for this stuff [remember the big Disneyland 50 year CD set? How about an Epcot 25 one?] but this fills the void. It is wonderful, esp. when you are stuck doing housework like you said!

Erica said...

I've been listening to the Disney stations on Live365 for about 6 years now, and they definitely have filled the void for me. Sometimes they scratch the itch better than me having to visit the parks... I'm also loving Disney Tunes Radio Network. They have two streams: one that plays all Disney movie and park music and one that plays just Disney park music.

Bottom line, these stations are great and they help me reconnect with the EPCOT Center I knew and still love.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Disney is really missing the mark with their media releases. They don't understand that Disney geeks like us eat this stuff up.

A case in point is the Walt Disney Treasures series. Until last year, the series was going to be discontinued. But the demand was so high that they proceeded with the next wave.

As for Live365, don't forget Extinct Attractions Radio. Not only do they have great Disney attaction music, but some of the hosts of the shows are very informative.

Name Naymo said...

There's a new guy on the block who's been producing some pretty dynamyte video tributes, including one for Horizons. See his channel at http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=century3horizons&search=Search.

Anonymous said...

LOL! This is so good! I've been listening to Disney World music on Live365 back since 2001 (when Live365 was free! But now I subscribe).

My wife thinks I'm nutso too. But I fell in love with EPCOT back in 1994 when I visited it for the first time, and little did I know it was on the cusp of many changes that would prove to be a gutting rather than a growing.

I love this site. Among my favorite blogs, bar none.

Keep up the good work!

St. Worm