Theme Ride Thursday: Celebrating Walt Disney—100 Years of Imagination


We’re celebrating a century of Disney World enchantment! That’s right, October 15 marks 100 years of pure Disney magicImagine if Cinderella’s fairy godmother waved her wand and transported us all to the magical land of Disney, where dreams come true and laughter fills the air.

Well, dust off your glass slippers and grab your Mickey ears because it’s time to celebrate Walt Disney enchanting our lives! ICA is here to help you bring this birthday bash into your cycle studio.

There are literally thousands of Disney songs, and weeding through the ones that work for indoor cycling can be…a lot (even we were overwhelmed). So ICA is here to help! We have created two bucket playlists for you to peruse: One with tracks from Disney Movies/TV Shows that has over 150 songs, and another with songs from Disney artists or former Mouseketeers that has over 75 songs.

To help you celebrate the magic in your cycling studio, Fern Stancer has also created a profile called Celebrating Walt Disney: 100 Years of Imagination

Walt Disney, the man with a twinkle in his eye and a pocketful of dreams, gave us the gift of characters who’ve become dearer to us than our own childhood friends. From a certain mouse with big ears who’s been known to dabble in steamboat piloting to a certain glass slipper–wearing princess who taught us that dreams really can come true, Disney’s creations have woven their way into the tapestry of our lives.

Music has been an integral part of the success of Disney, as Walt Disney believed that music should be woven into every story. One cannot separate the magic of a Walt Disney movie from its accompanying soundtrack. More often than not, it is the music that enhances our understanding of the Disney viewing experience

There’s a terrific power to music.
You can run any of these pictures and they’d be dragging and boring,
but the minute you put music behind them,
they have life and vitality they don’t get any other way.

–Walt Disney

The first movie told through music was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The music in this movie serves as a powerful storytelling tool by establishing the setting, revealing character traits, advancing the plot, conveying emotions, and creating a memorable and immersive cinematic experience. It remains an integral part of the film’s enduring charm and appeal. This award-winning movie won two Oscars, as well as many other accolades, including ranking as one of the greatest films in American history.

The success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, paved the way for all future Disney movies and TV shows, taking classic stories and putting a musical twist on them. It has helped create some of the most iconic characters in the history of movies and some of the most fun sing-along songs of all time. 

“Part of Your World” (The Little Mermaid, 1989), 3:15, 62 bpm
Ranked number one on Billboard’s The 100 Greatest Disneyverse Songs of All Time. This song is a great recovery or cool-down song.

Reflection, Christina Aguilera, 3:38, 96 bpm
This was Christina Aguilera’s debut single that started her career at the young age of 17. The music builds as the song progresses. Start out on a flat road and add resistance with the energy of the music.

Disney has a long history of creating iconic and award-winning songs for its movies. Many of these songs have not only become beloved classics but have also earned Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Here are some notable Disney songs that have won Oscars:

Let it Go, Idina Menzel, 3:44, 137 bpm
Let it Go, sung by Idina Menzel, became a cultural phenomenon and won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 2013. A perfect climb song at 69 rpm.

You’ll Be In My Heart, Phil Collins, 4:17, 97 bpm
Phil Collins wrote and performed this heartfelt song, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999. It’s a flat road with an opportunity to push harder with either resistance or speed at 0:50–1:32 (42s), 1:52–2:32 (42s), and 2:52–3:31 (43s).

Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Elton John, 4:00, 123 bpm
This romantic ballad from The Lion King composed by Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1994. A heavy climb at 63 rpm.

Beauty and the Beast, Angela Landsbury, 2:45, 91 bpm
The title song from the movie, composed by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1991. It was performed by Angela Lansbury in the film. This song has been rerecorded by John Legend and Ariana Grande and also by Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson. It is a magical recovery song. Aren’t we always looking for a recovery song less than 3 minutes long?

Disney has also helped launch the careers of some of the most well-known musical artists, including Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana, The Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato in Camp Rock, Zac Effron in High School Musical, Selena Gomez in Wizards of Waverly Place, Zendaya in Shake it Up, and Olivia Rodrigo in the Disney+ series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. In addition, The Mickey Mouse Club gave us Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling.

You can expand your #Disney100 celebration profile by including songs from some of these artists who owe their careers to Disney. Here is a small sample, beginning with this ancient clip of Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera when they were in the Mickey Mouse Club, singing “Fools Rush In.” Check out their dance moves!

bad idea right? Olivia Rodrigo, 3:15, 130 bpm
This is Olivia’s newest song and it is a perfect climb at 65 rpm.

The Climb, Miley Cyrus (from Hannah Montana), 3:56, 160 bpm 
That this song comes from a Disney series still blows my mind—it’s so perfect for an indoor cycling class. You can find it in this ICA profile called In Honor of Mountains for an emotional passion-filled climb. Listen to the lyrics!  

Rock Your Body, Justin Timberlake, 4:27, 101 bpm
One of Justin’s first major hits back in 2002. Start at around 90 rpm, then do high-cadence surges to the beat of 101 rpm on the chorus.

Remember, as Tinker Bell once said, “All you need is faith, trust, and a little bit of pixie dust!” Cheers to a century of Disney dreams!

ICA members can download Fern’s profile Celebrating Walt Disney: 100 Years of Imagination below along with the two bucket Spotify playlists.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *