legacy collection disneylandWalt Disney Records’ The Legacy Collection celebrates milestone anniversaries of some of the greatest Disney films by releasing their full soundtracks with some rare extras. When the initial lineup of twelve titles was announced, I found it odd that Disneyland was in the collection. But as a fan of collecting music from the parks I wasn’t bothered by it. But expectations vs. reality can sometimes lead to disappointment and in this case, it surely does.

My expectations for this release were in line with previous Legacy Collection releases. I expected it to be a celebration of music from Disneyland park with some of the greatest songs of the past and present. I expected it to add something new to the mix as well, specifically the new music written for the Diamond Celebration’s fireworks show (“Disneyland Forever”) and new nighttime parade (“Paint the Night”). And I expected to hear some demos for some of these classics and perhaps a “Lost Chord” or two, which could be songs they didn’t choose for an attraction or music written from abandoned attractions. Sadly, none of this is the case.

Rather than focus on Disneyland itself, the producers decided to include over an hour of disc space (basically one of the three discs) to music from Disney California Adventure park. What emerges is a mishmash of the most recent 2-disc Disneyland Resort Official Album (2013) with some throwback tracks from A Musical History of Disneyland that have been truncated to fit, plus some songs from the 2001 soundtrack to Disneyland’s second gate.

The Legacy Collection is aimed more at collectors than anybody else, so it is shocking to me that this release feels aimed more at an average Disneyland visitor looking for an Official Album than somebody willing to pay a premium for collectable packaging and a few bonus tracks. Since they don’t display track listings on the package, I’m sure there will be many disappointed upon opening the case and seeing what’s inside.

Does this release offer anything new? Not a single track. If you missed out on A Musical History of Disneyland, then there may be a few songs you didn’t already have. Here’s a breakdown of the track listing and the albums they were most recently available on.

Disc 1

  1. Walt Disney’s Dedication of Disneyland (A Musical History of Disneyland)
  2. All Aboard! (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  3. Married Life (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  4. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (A Musical History of Disneyland) [shortened]
  5. Let’s Dance at Disneyland (A Musical History of Disneyland)
  6. The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  7. Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  8. Swisspolka (A Musical History of Disneyland)
  9. Tarzan Medley (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  10. Yo Ho (a Pirate’s Life for Me) (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  11. Grim Grinning Ghosts (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  12. Bear Band Serenade (A Musical History of Disneyland) [shortened]
  13. Splash Mountain Medley (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  14. The Great Outdoors (A Musical History of Disneyland) [shortened]
  15. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  16. Hello Everybody (A Musical History of Disneyland) [shortened]
  17. The Rainbow Caverns (A Musical History of Disneyland) [shortened]
  18. Once Upon a Dream (A Musical History of Disneyland)
  19. The Fantasyland Darkride Suite (Disneyland Resort Official Album)

Disc 2

  1. Matterhorn Yodelers (A Musical History of Disneyland)
  2. it’s a small world Clock Parade (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  3. it’s a small world (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  4. Steamboat Willie (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  5. Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  6. Nation on Wheels (A Musical History of Disneyland)
  7. Miracles from Molecules (A Musical History of Disneyland)
  8. Star Tours (A Musical History of Disneyland)
  9. There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (A Musical History of Disneyland) [shortened]
  10. Space Mountain - 1996 (A Musical History of Disneyland)
  11. Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (Disneyland Resort Official Album) [shortened]
  12. Submarine Voyage (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  13. The Throne Room (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  14. Honey, I Shrunk the Audience Theme (Disneyland Resort Official Album – Remember the Moments – 2006)
  15. Space Mountain – 2005 (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  16. Suitcase and a Dream (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  17. Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  18. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  19. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  20. Soarin’ (Disneyland Resort Official Album)

Disc 3

  1. The Bakery Theme (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  2. A Bug’s Life Suite (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  3. Beauty and the Bees (Disney’s California Adventure – 2001)
  4. It’s Tough to be a Bug (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  5. The Little Mermaid Medley (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  6. Seasons of the Vine Medley (Disney’s California Adventure – 2001)
  7. Midway Mania (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  8. The Cleaner (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  9. California Screamin’ (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  10. Welcome to Radiator Springs (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  11. Funicili Funicula (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  12. Radiator Springs Racers (Disneyland Resort Official Album)
  13. The Main Street Electrical Parade (A Musical History of Disneyland)
  14. Fantasmic! (A Musical History of Disneyland)
  15. Closing (A Musical History of Disneyland)

Three tracks were left off the most recent Official Album (“Pecos Bill,” “Touch the Sky” and “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo”) and about four discs worth of content from A Musical History of Disneyland was scrapped in favor of celebrating California Adventure. They could have at the very least given the full attraction audio to some classics like Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion or it’s a small world, but instead you get the same version of those songs that have been released since the atttractions debuted. And if California Adventure must be included, why didn’t they at least include World of Color? Fans have been hoping for a release since the show premiered and this was definitely a missed opportunity.

If I close my eyes and pretend I haven’t just purchased 54 songs that I already owned, this release plays pretty much like every Official Album that came before it. It takes you on a musical journey around the parks starting at the front and working around counter-clockwise. There are some peculiar choices with the track listing, such as the two versions of “Space Mountain” separated by four tracks or “The Throne Room” not being adjacent to “Star Tours.” On your journey through California Adventure, it’s hard not to notice that Pixar has taken over too much of the park. At the end of the day, you head back to Disneyland of yesteryear for “The Main Street Electrical Parade” and then back to the present for “Fantasmic!” What, no fireworks? I feel cheated.

The packaging is similar to Mary Poppins, with the tri-disc fold-out at the back of the book. This book is written entirely by Stacia Martin, who provides insight behind the composers found on this set. However, it meanders back-and-forth too much between then-and-now and between the two parks. I would have enjoyed it more if it told the musical story of Disneyland in a linear fashion. In addition to the new art by Lorelay Bove, 11-pages feature concept and poster art from many attractions at the Disneyland Resort.

Walt Disney Records’ The Legacy Collection: Disneyland is available exclusively at the Disneyland Resort beginning May 20th as part of their Diamond Celebration merchandise lineup. It will receive a wide release on August 21st, but if you are a fan of Disney park music, they’ve given you little reason to support this release (unless you’re a completest or really want to pay $20+ to read the book).