If you were to take a look at my iTunes collection, you'd notice two genres that are substantially larger in song quantity when compared to an "average" person.  The first is "Christmas", which isn't a surprise for anyone who has participated in my annual Steve's 25 Days of Christmas Music countdowns.  The other is "Disney Theme Park", which features songs, area music, soundtracks, and other related audio from Disney-owned theme parks around the world.

The Official Album of Disneyland (2008)

Thus, you have to understand my excitement when I'm able to add some new audio to this collection.  There is quite a bit of Disney theme park audio out there, and to be honest, most of it is unofficial and obtained via "underground" means.  However, since 1980 Disney has released what they termed "Official Albums" for their parks, eventually growing from a single LP into multi-CD sets that cover Disneyland or Walt Disney World.  Other special sets have also been released to compliment this genre, such as 2009's 5-disc Walt Disney and the 1964 World's Fair set or 2005's elite 6-disc release to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Walt's original park, A Musical History of Disneyland.

Track Listing

My most recent acquisition via eBay is 2008's The Official Album of Disneyland.  This 2-disc release is a sister album to Four Parks, One World — Walt Disney World's 2-disc 2008 release.  As there were no new Official Album releases for 2009 or 2010, these are the most recent Official Albums to be found in the parks.  Of course, the trick is that they are only available in the parks, so unless you know someone traveling there (which is how I got my WDW version), it's a little tricky to get your hands on a copy.  Disney does make them available directly via an insanely complicated mail order process, but astonishingly, you can't even order these albums online from them.  Thus, the secondary market thrives for Disney Official Albums.

The Sister Album: 2008's "Four Parks, One World" for Walt Disney World

As explained by album executive producer Randy Thornton of Walt Disney Records in this 2008 article on MouseClubhouse.com, the "Official Album" really is an oddity in the music world.  I mean, here you have a music release that at its core, cannot change much because tourists pick them up as souvenirs from their vacations.  Thus, you have to make sure that there are always those evergreen components represented.  For example, can you image a Disneyland album with no audio from The Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, or It's A Small World?  This presents a challenge to keep the album fresh, with newer versions of these tracks appearing or retired attractions being left off.  Thus why a new Official Album appears every couple of years.

2-disc collection

This constant release schedule makes it challenging for a Disney theme park music enthusiast like myself.  While we all get excited at the prospect of a new Official Album release, the reality is that 90% of said album will be reruns.  However, it's that 10% you always look out for, hoping to find a new track to add to your collection.

Disney Official Album Track Tracker

Because of all these releases, it gets quite complicated for anyone new to figure out what is on which album.  This is one of the reasons I started a Google Docs project last year called that "Disney Official Album Track Tracker".  The goal of this project, which is still in progress, is to document what songs and versions appear on each Official Album release, noting changes along the way.  While it's not completed yet, you are invited to take a look!  I've gotten some great help from other enthusiasts as well as Mr. Thornton himself on the documented changes with the albums over the years.

There are some tracks that make their debut on the 2008 Disneyland album, so I'm excited to listen and add them to my collection.  And you can just have pity on Amy as she puts up with all this! :)