|By Keith Mahne|
It's time to continue our Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World journey and take a visit to Liberty Square circa 1973. On this part of our tour back in time, we'll hear vintage sounds of the Haunted Mansion, the Columbia Harbour House track, a ceremony at the Liberty Tree, and so much more. Let's not waste another minute...step aboard the time machine and let's take a walk around 1970s Liberty Square...
Part 6: Liberty Square
(If you haven't had a chance to listen to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 of our musical journey of vintage Walt Disney World, please check them out before continuing. Also, be sure to pause the Disney Avenue Music Player in the top left-hand corner of this page if you are on a desktop computer.)
Here are Foxx's notes on the creation of Track 6 - Liberty Square:
6) Liberty Square
The introductory flourishes are Buddy Baker incidental music recorded for "The Magic of WDW" in 1972.
Bridge Area Music: “Rally 'Round the Flag / Battle Cry of Freedom” – Eastman Wind Ensemble – this short piece is from a 15 minute loop associated with Liberty Square and dated 1971. It's from Mike Cozart's collection and has long fades at the start and end of many tracks, as well as long gaps between tracks. I think what Wagner was attempting to do here was to give the impression of a march fife and drum group off in the distance. We have no real evidence of where or how long this played in the park, or where it was audible from.
This has been mixed with a meadow ambience track sourced from [FS]: “Outdoor Ambience” recoded by user RHumpries. The Riverboat whistles and bells were recorded by me in 2011 and 2012.
Americana Themes – this unique edited track, consisting of excerpts from Baker’s scores for The Hall of Presidents, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Circlevision film “America the Beautiful” takes the place of a Hall of Presidents track in this collection. Baker drew on the same themes for these three attractions, sourced from American folk music, original pastiche and his 1957 soundtrack for the Disney production “Johnny Tremain”, and all of these scores are in fact quite similar.
There is no available music-only source for the original Hall of Presidents show “One Nation Under God”. My primary two options - outside exclusion - were to edit the commonly-circulated LP album, which would violate my dictum of not including too many vocal tracks in my project. My other option was to default to the far inferior 1993 Baker score for the attraction, which is available in excellent quality but which would be violating my intended represented time period. After attempting to edit the Great Moments score to correspond to parts of the very similar Hall of Presidents score, I decided a smooth edit of all the possible Baker “Americana” material would better represent the flavor of the original attraction without compromising the guidelines of my project.
The Hall of Presidents pieces were excerpted from the 1972 titular LP release by Disneyland Records. The Great Moments score came from the Walt Disney records collection “Walt Disney and the 1964 World’s Fair”. And the America the Beautiful score came from "A Musical History of Disneyland", also by Walt Disney Records. Since this does not represent an accurate musical reconstruction of the “One Nation Under God” show, I have decided not to identify it as Hall of Presidents music in my track list. I think this is the best solution given the current limitations of my resources.
The two entertainment tracks – The Banjo Kings and The Ancients – can be found on "A Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom". The vocal segments which represent the Ancients’ ceremony at the Liberty Tree may be found in the "The Magic of WDW" 1972 film.
New to version 2 is the sound of a Wurlitzer CX Orchestrion playing on the Riverboat landing. Due to my earlier research on the Main Street Penny Arcade, I knew that an orchestrion had been present on the landing, but had not seriously considered why until looking at old photos of Disneyland on Daveland.com. There, I found photos of an identical Orchestrion at the Disneyland Mark Twain landing, which had provided the ambient music around the attraction. This Orchestrion supposedly broke in the late 70s, at which point a tape of it was made which played in the waiting area and was recently (in 2012) rediscovered and restored by Imagineering.
A photo of the MK Riverboat Landing in Valerie Childs' "The Magic of Disneyland and Walt Disney World" proves that Magic Kingdom had, at least at first, continued this Walt-era tradition, so a suitable Orchestrion tune was found in "Shine On, Harvest Moon", again courtesy of Robert’s Musical Restorations in Deland.
The Haunted Mansion – I approached this segment of the track with trepidation: after all, how many Haunted Mansion sound mixes can there be in the world? This is a very full cottage industry, but by sticking close to my overall intentions for this project, it became clear that I should focus instead on unusual or lost “characteristic soundscapes” from the attraction.
After a brief introductory segment I included the requisite “new-to-Florida” Music Room piece, as the way that particular piece of music used to echo all the way up the subsequent Grand Staircase scene was one of the attraction’s most distinctive aural features; although a wall now divides the two scenes, it’s noteworthy that WDI bothered to pitch-process the Music Room piano track to sound echoed and distant and play it in the new Endless Staircase scene, artificially replicating this effect. Also included is the Creaking Floorboards effect, which plays on in Anaheim and Tokyo but which went missing from Orlando in the mid-90s and never returned.
At the "top" of the staircase, I wanted to replicate the sound that the spider figures used to make, a distinctive, almost subconscious "click-click". This sound was created by a solenoid valve hidden near the floor. Stretching between the valve and the rubber spider figure itself was a string, and the spider seemed to "twitch" as the valve opened and closed. After a great deal of trial and error, I was able to replicate the sound using a normal household "S" clip. I "performed" the clicks myself.
The voices which once dominated the Corridor of Doors were removed in 2007, as was the distinctive X Atencio breakdown spiel, two soundscapes I was anxious to replicate: it simply wasn’t a trip through the Mansion unless one heard X echoing very dimly from some far off speaker.
By localizing the breakdown in the Corridor of Doors scene, this also allowed me to recreate another characteristic of a Haunted Mansion show stop: clacking from the moving doorknockers, which can be hard through practically the entire attraction while the audio is muted. The door knocker in the attraction is a practical sound created by the physical impact between two props; the effect is run from a rotary motor mounted behind the door attached to a rotating wooden disk. As the disk turns, a peg makes contact with grooves cut in the side of the disc, either being pushed out by the edge of the disc or falling into a deep groove, creating the “clack” noise heard while onride.
Obviously capturing the authentic sound is almost impossible. After experimenting with a number of household substitutes such as spoons and a board, I decided the best option would be to record an actual doorknocker mounted on a door and use that sound. Almost none of the doorknockers found at hardware stores sounded right, and after a while I even tried a recording of the actual prop using a microphone taped to the end of a long stick. However, after 40+ years of use, the actual knock mechanism has been turned way down, and the sound was unacceptable.
Finally, I found the proper sound in an unlikely source: a YouTube video of Tony Baxter doing an after-hours walking tour of the Florida Mansion. This sound was loud, as loud as I remembered it.
The sounds heard approaching the Attic scene from the Ballroom seemed to be a consensus tactile memory of the attraction, and reproducing this proved to be quite simple. For version 2, I was able to restore two extra Attic screams that had been excluded from the earlier track.
Version 1 of the track caused some confusion in my decision to include a stock Haunted Mansion laugh in the exit corridor. Disneyland has had this laugh since the start and I've seen early sound plans which indicated it was intended to go in the Florida version as well, but this proved to be a miscalculation and confused nearly everyone. It's removed in version 2. The final “sense memory” fell into place accidentally: the sound of the Richard F. Irvine from the exit area of the attraction.
The Columbia Harbour House track is sourced from WDW Forever. General consensus was that “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” evoked memories of the restaurant far stronger than any of the other tracks. The music is probably original and still plays there today.
This magical music really has the power to transport you back to Walt Disney World's early years. Just as it was created to do, one can really close their eyes and feel as if you are there. I hope you've been enjoying our musical tour of Walt Disney World's past! Tomorrow we'll resume our Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World with the sounds of the long gone Mike Fink Keel Boats...
...I can hardly wait! The Liberty Square track is now part of the Disney Avenue Music Player; enjoy it whenever you're in the mood! I'll see you right back here tomorrow as we continue this Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World and board a Mike Fink Keel Boat...see you then!
Keith Michael Mahne is the owner and editor of Disney Avenue and the host of the Disney Avenue Podcast. He has made countless trips to the Walt Disney World resort since his first trip in 1989 at the age of four.
Keith has a strong passion and respect for Walt Disney, the parks and resorts, and the men and women who help create them. He started Disney Avenue as a way to inform and entertain readers and to repay all those who make dreams come true every day.
You can find all of Keith's articles here.