Wizarding World Music: Sounds, Scores and Serenades

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The Wizarding World areas of Orlando’s Universal Studios (Diagon Alley) and Islands of Adventure (Hogsmeade) are saturated with enchanting sounds and music, creating an experience for each guest that is most akin to starring in and directing a Harry Potter movie in which they are the central protagonist. This includes the adaptation of numerous film cues in background music loops, as well as to underscore rides such as Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and live performances by wizarding musicians such as the Frog Choir or Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees. Traditional concepts of diegetic and non-diegetic music do not apply readily to theme park music and thus require some stretching, but terms introduced by scholars such as Ben Winters (‘intra-‘ and ‘extra-diegetic’, 2010) and Daniel Yacavone (‘world-in’ and ‘world-of’, 2014) prove useful in theorising the various musical elements of these parks areas. These three musical elements form the paper’s case studies as we analyse their narrative and worldbuilding roles, exploring the relevance of the aforementioned terms and expanding our understanding of the use and adaptation of originally filmic music in theme park attractions.
Period21 Jun 2024
Event titleAll Ears: Music and Sound in and Beyond Disney Theme Parks
Event typeConference
LocationOrlando, United States, FloridaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational