Thursday, October 1, 2009

Of music and memories

As most of you know by now, I go to Disneyland quite a lot. Oftentimes I'll go with my cousins and we'll have blast running around, going on rides, and having deep philosophical discussions. One such discussion revolves around a ride called Space Mountain. Perhaps you've heard of it. My cousin Evan and I are constantly debating on which version had the superior score, the old or the new. I was reminded of this when I happened upon the ride's original score while surfing around youtube.

Allow me to give you some history. Space Mountain first opened at Disneyland in 1977 with no on-board music track. At least so far as my limited research *cough*wikipedia*coughcough* has led me to believe. Then in 1996, when I was ten years old, a soundtrack was added with the intention of combining two iconic musical forms of the 1960's: sci-fi and surf music. I know, I know. Just stick with me on this, it'll make sense in a minute. The short story is they achieved their goal by ripping off much of Le Carnival Des Animaux: Aquarium by Camillie Saint-Saens and bringing in Dick Dale to record some rockin' surf guitar riffs. The result was exactly what it was supposed to be: classic flying saucer-esque sci-fi fused with far out surf guitar.

Then in April of 2003 Disney closed down the ride for refurbishment. When it reopened again two years later it had brand new sleds, a new track, and a new score. The new score was written by Michael Giacchino, who later directed the scores for Ratatouille and Mission Impossible III. While the new score retained a sci-fi feel, it was much more cinematic and lost the surf element completely. Now personally, I think the new score begins rather well. It has that majestic Star Trek/Back to the Future sort of opening that gets you really pumped up. But the middle and ending become somewhat lost and don't really do anything to compliment the motion of the ride itself.

I'm sure you can see where this is going. That's right, my cousin Evan loves the new score while I pine for the old one. It's just one of those things we'll never be able to agree on. So I'll let you guys decide for yourselves. What do you think?

Old score?

Or new score?

Of course I'b be more than willing to compromise if Disney decided to use this instead:

Dr. Who FTW!

I also hear that Disneyland is temporarily transforming the ride into something called Ghost Galaxy for their annual Halloween Festivities. Kind of like the way they decorate the Haunted Mansion inside and out for Halloween and Christmas. Ghost Galaxy is supposed to involve different sound effects and "ghostly images" that interact with the sleds during the ride. Of course I immediately thought about checking this out for myself and then reporting back on the changes. But then I remembered that my pass is expired (insert great big Luke Skywalker, "Nooooo!" here). It's gonna be a while before I'm going to be able to renew it. But when I do...well, Halloween will probably have passed by then. I guess I'll just tell you about it next year.

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