As I sit here writing this, I am listening to the Epcot China Background Music Loop. Each song in the loop brings to mind a very specific location, such as the one right now brings to mind the path to the right of the bridge while the acrobatic show is going on. Part of the Disney Difference is the music. Islands Of Adventure just has generic music for each land, nothing incredibly specific or unique. With Disney, there is a long loop that consists of entirely different moods of song. Each area of a land has its own set of music, and it all blends together. With all these unique pieces of music, a mental map can be made just from the overlap of song. It attaches a trigger to your memory, listening to the music brings back the experience. Then when you visit Disney a second time and hear the music again, it brings back good memories of the last time you were there. Each time you visit, your new memories get compounded with your old ones, forming a very strong memory. This is a memory that can easily be remembered, a super memory. Once you have this tag to link everything together, you end can call back certain sights and smells and flavors. This song now reminds me of the ginger ice cream in China.
When music is switched out, you are unable to experience the old memories in the same way. With the new Spaceship Earth music, the ride feels entirely different. It feels like it is missing something- I feel the lack of the communication tunnel and the decent. Splash Mountain is another highly auditoryly linked attraction. If I say “How do you do?” it probably brings with it a picture from a specific scene. The park is not just filled with the same style music throughout. What tune could I sing to bring back a memory of a different park?
Music adds the final touch to the experience linking everything together. Background makes the foreground memorable.