Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World - Caribbean Plaza

By Keith Mahne

Welcome back to our Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World experience through Disney World's good ol' days! Today, we'll experience Caribbean Plaza and the sounds of pirates, the tropics, the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction boarding area, and so much more! If you're all set and ready to roll, keep your hands and feet in this WDW time machine and let's get the show on the road...

Part 5: Caribbean Plaza

(If you haven't had a chance to listen to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 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 5 - Caribbean Plaza:

5) Caribbean Plaza
Caribbean Plaza is one of the tracks in this set which wasn't simply lengthened or improved, but entirely rebuilt. This wasn't the original intention, but as one segment after another continued to be replaced, the result is one of the most fully realized tracks in the collection from the perspective of adherence to my original vision for this project.
“Adventureland Delight” – Junior Pouchet – J.P. and the Silver Stars, the iconic steel drum band whom played in the central Traders of Timbuktu plaza, Caribbean Plaza, and in the daily parade, were Adventureland mainstays for decades. This track, one of Pouchet’s best original compositions, has been shortened considerably from its original length for pacing reasons.
Caribbean Plaza Area Music: “Erica” – Westland Steel Band – the original 1973 Caribbean Plaza area music was unusual for its time in that it was simply the first nine (of eleven) tracks on the 1967 album "Trinidad: The Sound of the Sun", presented in the same order as on the LP. This was discovered by Michael Sweeney, who based his play list on a 1989 live recording by Mike Lee. The album has been remastered and is available from Nonesuch Records. For version 2, I chose the slightly slower and more distinctive "Erica", replacing "Coc-che-ohco", to create a more distinctive separation between the Pouchet track and the proper area BGM selection.
To create the feeling of the tropics I have included a number of ambient effects. The sound of the fountains is sourced from, a recording by user Dobroide called “Villa Maria Trickle”. The sound of the firing cannons along the roof of the show building is mixed from the stock Disney Pirates of the Caribbean cannon sound from the "Pirates of the Caribbean 33th Anniversary" CD, processed to closely match a number of reference home videos of the sound in situ. The distinctive pneumatic “hiss” of the cannons was recreated by me with an ordinary household canister of compressed air. "Pirates 33" also served as the source for all the other Pirates music tracks except where noted.
The "Barker Parrot" dialogue is sourced from a reel-to-reel tape, graciously provided by "Strange & Frightening Sounds". This same reel also provided the "Soldiers of the Castillo" and "Digging Pirates" sound effects, in much higher aural quality than was previously available.
Into the Castillo – until 2006, the piece of music which played just inside the turnstiles was what is officially known as the “Pirates Arcade” music, and snippets of it accompany Fortune Red at Disneyland. Past the turnstile area, a number of “diagetic” music pieces played, including the “Soldiers of the Castillo” and “Spanish Guitar” tracks heard here. The source for these Florida-specific tracks has never been made available, but the "Spanish Guitar" recording was made live by myself as a Cast Member working the attraction in 2005. I believe it is the finest available recording.
"Pirate's Cove", the attraction's boarding area, has a background loop of crashing waves and squawking seagulls. Attempts to obtain this simple loop via induction recording were unacceptable, so the version heard here is a combination of two sound effects loops obtained from "Flock of seagulls" by jskiddink and "Waves, big. 3m distance" by Leandros.Ntounis.
The “Treasury Scene” is a reconstruction of the same scene using tracks 17 and 5 from "Pirates 33", using a live video of the attraction in early 2006 as reference material. I mixed this scene just as WED did in 1973, from a new “Parrot’s Life For Me” vocal track and excerpts of the deleted “Arsenal Scene” vocal tracks at Disneyland. Pirates in Florida was an economically engineered attraction.
The singing parrot, by the way, originally re-appeared in the Unload area to warn guests as they stepped into the speed ramp, and this and the “Parrot’s Life” song are two of just a handful of tracks recoded specifically for the 1973 version; notice that neither of the 1973 parrot voices match the original talking parrot vocal track in the Burning City. This second Unload parrot was then shortly moved outside, possibly due to traffic congestion, and given a third vocal track which does not match either of the previously recorded two. He appeared outside the attraction to inform guests what could be found inside until 2006.
I considered including the talking parrot Unload spiel in addition to the “barker” track I’d already included – the Unload spiel can be heard on "Pirates 33" - but decided against it since very few ever saw or heard this original arrangement and the two were never installed at the same time. Although dates are hard to pin down, this music set is mostly located in the late 1970’s and it’s generally accepted that the Unload parrot was moved outside after a very brief stint downstairs.
The track ends with the George Bruns’ “Pirates Overture”, just as the attraction has ended since opening day. Providing the appropriate grace note is a recording of the attraction's characteristically squeaky upramp, recorded during an attraction breakdown in September 2013.
Caribbean Plaza is a must do for any of our WDW vacations and it was so nice to reminisce back to it's youth! Ahhh what wonderful memories! We still have 9 more tracks to cover with the next being Liberty Square! Tomorrow we'll hear vintage sounds of the Haunted Mansion, the Columbia Harbour House track, a ceremony at the Liberty Tree, and so much more...
The Caribbean Plaza track is now part of the Disney Avenue Music Player so feel free to enjoy it whenever you please! See you right back here tomorrow as we take a stroll through vintage Liberty Square...

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.

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