Disney at the 1964 World's Fair -- massive 5-disc box-set of audio rarities from the beating heart of my Disneyfetish

Jon sez, "Walt Disney Records has finally released its long-delayed box set of audio from Disney's 1964 World's Fair attractions. (Perhaps you've already sampled it.) It's a fabulous package and a must-have for Disney park fans."

This audio goes straight into the beating heart of what fascinates me about Disney: the use of immersive, mass technology to tell stories and convey value -- all the while embodying a meta-story and a set of meta-values about artisanship (all those handmade robots, sets and controllers!), technology, progress, individualism... I could listen to this all day. The 1964 World's Fair is very high on my shortlist of places to visit when I get my time-machine.

Disneyland Goes To the World's Fair is a rare behind the scenes look at Walt Disney's contribution to the 1964 World's Fair. It was here where Walt unveiled several unique attractions and exhibits that would forever change not only Disneyland, but greatly influence the future of Disney Theme Parks yet to be imagined. This 5-CD Set includes a 24-page full color booklet and more than three hours of recordings from the classic attractions and exhibits Walt Disney and his team of artists created for the 1964 New York World's Fair.

Progressland: Behind-the original World's Fair scenes recordings and original music from the Progressland Exhibit, featuring a never-before released production of Carousel of Progress.

Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln: Experience the sounds of the original Illinois Pavilion. As a special treat, you'll hear the original recording sessions of the man who gave Mr. Lincoln his voice (Royal Dano) and listen to the lavish original score by Disney legend Buddy Baker also presented as individual tracks.

"It's A Small World": Includes the original demo recording of the legendary song as well as isolated vocals and a grand master mix of the varied international interpretations of the famous tune directly from the attraction soundtrack. Also included is a tour of this charming "little boat ride" with Walt Disney as your guide.

Magic Skyway: Takes you on a time-traveling "road trip" with Walt Disney as he personally escorts you hrough the Age of Dinosaurs, the ascent of man, and to the distant future.

BONUS DISC: Carousel of Progress - Alternate Universe Version

Walt Disney and The 1964 World's Fair (Thanks, Jon!)


  1. Maybe this has been covered before (and if so, I’d love for people to point me to relevant articles, blogs, sources etc) but what exactly gets people so excited about Disney?

    Not being American, and having been raised as a liberal, agnostic feminist, I always eyed Disney films with suspicion – the entrenched gender roles, the saccharine optimism, the fairytale-lite stories – seemed to represent either a wilful naivety or a hidden agenda.

    I’m not against people liking Disney – I’d just love someone to explain exactly what they love so much about it.

  2. 13Strong…I’m waiting for a load of posts about how evil Disney is and also how Walt’s head is frozen (sadly an urban myth.)

    I can’t help ya, because I’m fairly nonplussed at all the pantswetting that goes on around anything Disney.


  3. Well, this is a juicy opening for a Disney freak such as myself.

    First, you’ve got to step back and separate the Disney conglomerate of today from Walt Disney, the man and his ideas. After Walt died, a lot of stuff happened that corrupted the original legacy, overblowing the maudlin, commercial side of the business.

    To me, the Walt era was characterized by work that had great heart, imagination, and brilliance, like a lot of what was designed for the 1964 World’s Fair. I interviewed Bob Gurr once- he engineered many of Walt’s ideas. And for this fair, they used pneumatics and aircraft technology to make an audio-animatronic Lincoln that was so realistic people started throwing pennies at it to see if it would flinch.

    I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that Walt and his early team were creative geniuses that crossed boundaries of film, animation, amusement parks and art to create an entirely new genre. Did you know that in the original Disneyland, the only animated characters were in Fantasyland? The original park was ‘dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world,” and the rides took you on a submarine down under the Arctic sea, on a river cruise through the jungles of Africa and Asia, and on a mine train through the desert landscape of the old West.

    But also (and this is the last thing I’ll say) Disney was a futurist, an optimist, and a lover of American history, three things that aren’t held in high regard anymore. I think that’s where people get hung up on his legacy. He came from an era that had a lot of faith in technology and American power to create a bright future, a faith has certainly seen its share of problems. But for me, a lot of his creativity and vision (and certainly a touch of nostalgia) make him a fascinating figure.

  4. 13STRONG,

    Americans are notoriously vulnerable to cults of personality, so it’s not an insignificant marketing quirk that calls Disney “The House that Walt Built”

    Also, biggests and firsts are important — Snow White was the first ‘feature-length’ (barely) colour animated film, and it’s technical quality is excellent.

    As for the parks, this is largely related to entertainment habits combined with some demographic coincidences. If you grew up around the turn of the century and were middle-class, one of your fondest memories of childhood is a day at the amusement park of the day: rides, games, junk food, noise and bright lights. Your day-to-day entertainments (radio, reading, stickball etc) simply couldn’t compete.

    As you get older, the parks of your youth all fade away. Sure, there are still travelling fairs, but they are cheap and small in comparison (though half this perception is the lens of nostalgia) and you can never take your kids to a ‘real’ amusement park. Time passes though, and finally you are a grandparent the year Disneyland opens. Sure, it’s not nearby, and very pricey, but it’s so huge and grand it can make even crotchety old you feel like a kid again. (Doubly so when that’s the marketing tagline)

    In America, that’s what you need: the right product, at the right time, with the right marketing. Price is irrelevant.

    At least that’s my take. Cory, you’re a writer — surely you can articulate where I’m wrong?

    – GimpWii

  5. I was five when my parents took me to the ’64 fair. I still remember the animated Presidents. They were somehow fascinating and creepy at the same time, like department store mannequins.

  6. GimpWii- wow dude, way to simplify. And way to be dismissive of entire generations of Americans. Clearly we haven’t advanced to today’s modern entertainments.

  7. @BRUNO,

    Sorry if I came across wrong, I’m unfortunately very good at that!

    I actually feel exactly the same as my ‘grandparent’ example — plus I can add in the same nostalgia for video game arcades!

    I bet someone who wasn’t Disney but was equally rich could have produced a similar product — I just think the Disney ‘association’ of proven quality and stable of beloved chilhood characters increased the angle of growing sales!

    What part was dismissive?

    – GimpWii

  8. I’m interested because I worked at the 1964 World’s Fair. (Yes, I am that old). I drove a motorized rickshaw all over the fairgrounds. Great job, all the people were rich. It cost $9 an hour, a pretty substantial amount. And, the tips were huge.

    But, in the course of many runs throughout the day, I had to pass the “Small World” exhibit. The damn song was going all day.

    I’ve never gotten over it. Permanent earworm.

    Don’t think I’ll be buying the albums.

    Rick York

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