Christmas was just a few weeks after we got back from Disneyland, and I was scrambling at the last minute to come up with some stocking stuffers for Lance that wouldn’t break the bank.
I’d already purchased some “legal enough for eBay” Disneyland and California Adventure attraction posters, like the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Peoplemover, for Lance, since he nearly bought them for himself while we were in California but was too indecisive about which one he wanted.
Still, I felt like I hadn’t done enough to commemorate/hadn’t beaten the dead horse of our Disneyland trip enough.
What to do, what to do…
I’m one of those assholes who still likes High Fidelity after all this time, and the most important lesson I walked away with from that movie is how awesome (read: not lazy or cheap) a thoughtful, carefully-edited mixtape can be. (Too bad I didn’t see these cassette tape-themed USB devices before Christmas, ’cause they really would’ve been the kicker.) Not everybody holds this view; mixtapes probably seem outdated in the Playlist Era. But like a Christmas card, I believe that giving something tangible adds just a little weight to your intentions.
Let’s go down the track-list, shall we?
1. “California (Tchad Blake Mix)” by Phantom Planet:
This was an easy, if outdated, one. Even though I don’t think either of us have watched an episode of “The O.C.” in our lives, Phantom Planet’s decade-old anthem to heading west is still what plays in my head whenever I wait to board a plane to the Golden State.
2 and 3. “Walt Disney’s Dedication to Disneyland” and “All Aboard! (Main Street Station!) from Disney’s Happiest Celebration on Earth:
Now that we’re in California, who better to welcome us than Walt Disney? To fully complete our transition into the lands of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy, let’s board the Disneyland and Sante Fe Railroad, the E.P. Ripley, at the Main Street Station.
4. “The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room” from Disney’s Happiest Celebration on Earth:
One of our favorite attractions at the Disney parks, the perfect example of what sets Disney apart from their theme park competitors. Who would think that a show about animatronic birds, flowers, and tikis would still survive–and thrive!–fifty years later in our jaded, cynical times? A pure delight, through and through…and it helps that they sell Dole Whips right outside.
5. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye” from Disney’s Happiest Celebration on Earth:
Okay, this might actually be our favorite Disney attraction, a sister attraction to “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull” in Tokyo DisneySea. An exceedingly well-executed adventure in the footsteps of Indiana Jones as he attempts to escape the destructive gaze of the god Mara.
6. “Welcome to Radiator Springs” by Joe Louis Walker from The Music of Cars Land:
I expected to be ambivalent, at least, to California Adventure’s Cars-themed area since I’m very lukewarm on the films, but like most visitors, we were completely sold by the mid-century-beauty of Radiator Springs. Cars Land is filled with ’50s and ’60s background pop-rock music, mixed with originals like this song written for a drive down Route 66.
7. “Space Mountain (New Daytime Track)” by Michael Giacchino from Disney’s Happiest Celebration on Earth:
Lance I both love Oscar-winner Michael Giacchino’s work on Up, Ratatouille, Lost, Alias and Fringe, so of course we’d love this thematic mashup of The Incredibles and Star Trek for a truly retro trip around the cosmos.
8. “World of Color (Orchestral Theme)”:
World of Color is the beautiful, breathtaking nighttime show (how?? It’s just water and lights!) in Disney California Adventure, and its intro/finale music is heartstring-plucking Disney magic at its best.
9. “Dance With Me Tonight” by Olly Murs
How could I not select this as the big finale of our Disneyland playlist? Our good buddy and Disneyland companion Brian hand-selected this song for his DisneySide video about our trip (it’s above and you should totally watch it!), and it seemed like a perfect musical fit to our trip to the Happiest Place on Earth.