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A Trip To The World’s Fair

Disneyland Goes to the World\'s FairThere’s been a big surprise for Disney music fans this week – without notice or warning there appeared on Amazon and other online retailers a listing for a 4-CD box set entitled Disneyland Goes to the World’s Fair. The collection is set for release on November 11th, 2008. Far from being unknown to Disney music aficionados, this set has been known to many for years – we just never thought we’d see it!

A musical retrospective based on the Disney pavilions of the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair – the Carousel of Progress, Magic Skyway, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and it’s a small world – was originally planned in 2001 by former Imagineer and prolific Disney author, Bruce Gordon. When that release ran into rights issues – rumor has it that there were legal hurdles concerning the tracks from Ford’s Magic Skyway attraction – the project was scrapped. The project was revived in 2004 when Gordon and Walt Disney Records park music guru Randy Thornton worked together on the Disneyland 50th anniversary retrospective set, “A Musical History of Disneyland.” But when Gordon left the company and subsequently passed away in 2007, all seemed lost for the World’s Fair compilation.

But this long process, as described in a posting by Thornton himself, has a happy ending for music fans. Thornton has continued the project, restoring and remastering the source elements to provide a set of tracks far clearer than the original temp elements that were leaked onto the web years ago. The set will be accompanied by liner notes based on Gordon’s original work, and all legal hurdles have been cleared which precludes the need for this to be a “limited edition.” The artwork above (which erroneously states “limited edition”) is from Gordon’s original work on the project; Thornton is currently working to clear it for use on the current release.

From the Amazon listing:

DISNEYLAND GOES TO THE WORLD’S FAIR is a rare “behind the scenes” look at Walt Disney’s contribution to the 1964 World’s Fair. It was here where Walt unveiled several unique attractions and exhibits that would forever change not only DISNEYLAND, but greatly influence the future of Disney Theme Parks yet to be imagined.

THIS 4 CD BOX SET includes a 24-page full color booklet and more than 3 HOURS OF RECORDINGS from the classic attractions and exhibits Walt Disney and his team of artists created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

The original 2001 release, which has been traded online amongst Disney fans for years, is fantastic, which only makes it more exciting to finally be able to purchase a high-quality version with liner notes. Even if you might already have a version of this sitting on your hard drive, it’s time to step up and buy a real copy to show Walt Disney Record executives that there’s a healthy market for park-related releases. Hopefully this trip to the World’s Fair will only prove that there’s “a great big beautiful tomorrow” for Disney music fans.

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