The other day my dear West Cost Disneyland friend sent me the following urgent text message:

“WAAAH I am currently making a Disney playlist for our drive [to Disneyland] next week. Top 7 songs. GO.”

This, obviously, involved much contemplation, discussion, and deliberation. What are the best seven songs to properly hype one’s self for a Disney trip? We came up with the following list:

1. Heigh-Ho

The perfect starting point. It was, after all, Walt’s own starting point for feature animation. And, one of the earliest forms of Disneyland’s conception was the idea that Disney Animation could put a seven dwarfs mine train ride at their studio in Burbank (Thanks to Jim Hill’s podcast for that fun tidbit!). Plus, it’s a gentle but upbeat song to get things rolling. Heigh ho, it’s off to Disney we go!

Try not to whistle along. I dare you.

2. Under the Sea

Get your Jamaican rhythm on, mon. Speed up the tempo while still enjoying the relaxing beat of the steel drum. And get excited for (whether you’re at the Land or the World) the new Little Mermaid ride.

3. Gaston

While you’re on 90’s Menken songs, grab an imaginary pint (let’s keep this family- friendly) and swing your beer mug side to side as you sing about what a great guy that Gaston is. Especially perfect for New Fantasyland excitement. Don’t worry about personal space, no car ride is complete without a few elbow jabs.

4. Hakuna Matata

Remember you’re heading to the land of no worries! Putting this song in the middle is key, though. Don’t want it in your head for the rest of your days…ahh too late. Next song, next song!!

5. I Wanna Be Like You

Let’s throw it back to the classics, shall we? Now that we’ve done a gentle slope up in tempo, let’s bust it out. Crank up the volume and boogie. You’ll have Disney tingles in your shoulders, in your hips, in your snappy lil’ jazz fingers…again, personal space is not meant for car rides.

6. I’ll Make a Man Out of You

And it all culminates in this: the ultimate pump up song. It is physically impossible not to sing along to this song. In fact, if anyone doesn’t sing along, throw them out of the car. You won’t need them where you’re going.

7. When You Wish Upon a Star

Now that we’ve gotten you properly jazzed, pumped, and (soberly) intoxicated, let’s dial it back and remember what Disney is all about: the magic. Smile, sigh, melt a little bit inside, and know you’re headed towards the magical gates.

disney main gate

Songs that just missed the cut:

Bare Necessities

Kiss the Girl

You Can Fly!


What’s your Disney pump-up playlist?

  • Donald Duck’s Son

    What happened to my favorite – the ‘fit within your skin’ song from Peter Pan? I remember singing that to you when you were a babe. Maybe that’s why you have no affection for it…. : )

    • Leah

      That song is too bossy. I’ll smile at who I like!

      Would be a good pump up song for Animal Kingdom, though.

    • Leah

      I don’t like being told what to do. Even in song form

  • Couldn’t have put together a better one myself. 🙂