Tokyo Disneyland's new vinyl LP is AMAZING

Tokyo Disneyland is a curious beast: it's owned by a Japanese company (the "Oriental Land Company") but the company is contractually obligated to use Disney as its sole supplier of rides and designs; historically, TDL has expanded by ordering the very best, most popular rides and shows from other Disney parks, and then paying to have them built to the very highest possible specification -- it's a kind of global best-of Disney park, gold plated and buffed to a high finish.

In light of that, it's not entirely surprising that the park's latest musical souvenir, a vinyl LP called Official Album of Tokyo Disneyland that comes with a lavishly illustrated booklet.

Over on Passport to Dreams Old and New (previously), Foxxfur burnishes her credentials as the most thoughtful and engaging writer about Disney parks and their designs and history with an in-depth review of the Official Album, contrasting it favorably with the 1980 Official Soundtrack of Disneyland/Walt Disney World and The Official Album of EPCOT Center, which were "just lousy products - thin-sounding, with cheap packaging."

The extra space allows the Disney sound engineers to do some interesting things. Background and incidental music is featured, something that would never happen on Western releases until the 21st century. The version of Mickey Mouse Revue finishes with a cut-down version of the attraction's theater entrance music, ending with funky guitar riffs which nearly scream 1971. Elsewhere, attraction underscore is presented for Peter Pan's Flight and It's A Small World.

The crown jewel is Pinocchio's Daring Journey, which was heavily marketed within Japan as being designed exclusively for Tokyo Disneyland (it wasn't, and managed to remain exclusive to Tokyo Disneyland for about three months, but theme parks could get away with things like that in 1983). Practically a quarter of the first side of the platter is devoted to this ride, with a mix of what I believe is attraction underscore and Famntasyland area music. It's bizarre to listen to this record as elaborate mega-attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean blip by in one-minute sound clips while Pinocchio's Daring Journey goes on... and on... and on. The soundtrack on this record is longer than the actual attraction is.

Dead Media from Tokyo Disneyland [Foxxfur/Passport to Dreams Old and New]