Radio Free Disneyland Episode 5: Moon Spinners (featuring Don Hahn Interview)

The Radio Free Disneyland Podcast returns after a long hiatus! Includes interview with legendary producer Don Hahn!

Our Avuncular Guide to the heavens above. Image © Disney


Yuri Gagarin – The Elvis Presley of the Space Race.


Laika (Russian: Лайка; c. 1954 – 3 November 1957) was a Soviet dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. Who’s a good girl!?

Act 1: Reach For The Stars


Recording:     Gagarin
Artist:             Public Service Broadcasting
Album:           Gagarin (Extended Single)

A great British band that combines live playing with sound and film documentary, reminds us who got to space first.


 Daylight Express to Lutz

Recording:     Daylight Express to Lutz
Artist:             Alexandre Desplat
Album:           The Grand Budapest Hotel Original Soundtrack

A real favorite during station Vodka tastings.


Dancing In The Moonlight

Recording:      Dancing in the Moonlight
Artist:              Yonder Mountain String Band
Album:            Love. Ain’t Love

The original version of the song was released by the Franco-American One-Hit-Wonders: King Harvest. Where were you in ’72?



Recording:       Ikea
Artist:              Jeff Bridges
Album:             Sleeping Tapes

This service should be available any minute!

Atomic Number

Recording:      Atomic Number
Artist:              Case/Lang/Veirs
Album:            Atomic Number

Stay in school kids!


Super group Case, Lang and Veirs work up the numbers. 

Recording:      Future People
Artist:              The Alabama Shakes
Album:            Sound & Color

These are the Future People!



The Alabama Shakes really do. ©2015/Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC

Act 2: Build It

Heinz Haber, Werner Von Braun, and Willie Ley. The Holy Trinity of German Disney Scientists.

Wernher Von Braun

Recording:     Wernher von Braun
Artist:             Felix Janosa
Album:           Die bosen Lieder des Tom Lehrer

Some international suspicion lingered about Von Braun and his cohorts. And you have to admit, nothing is funnier than a Tom Lehrer song in German.

Don Hahn Talks About The Disney Space Program(s)

Don Hahn has produced some of the most successful animated films in history, including The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, the first animated film to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture. He currently is Executive Producer of the Disneynature films, and owns his own film production company, Stone Circle Pictures.

Yesterday’s Tomorrow is a valentine to an era of optimism, relaxed lifestyle, and innovative design; a large-format book, illustrated with rarely seen art and photography of the mid-20th century reflecting the unique style that Walt Disney and his artists contributed to the era.

Click the book cover to purchase Don Hahn’s Yesterday’s Tomorrow – Disney’s Magical Mid-Century at Amazon.

Mission Control


Recording:     Mission Control
Artist:             Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams & Benjamin Wallfisch
Album:           Hidden Figures- Original Score



Recording:     Redstone
Artist:             Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams & Benjamin Wallfisch
Album:           Hidden Figures- Original Score


Recording:     Planetarium
Artist:            Justin Hurwitz
Album:           La La Land – Original Score


 Lift Off

Recording:     Lift Off
Artist:             Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams & Benjamin Wallfisch
Album:           Hidden Figures- Original Score

He may be a Nazi Rocket Scientist, but he’s OUR Nazi Rocket Scientist. Image © Disney

Hallo Spaceboy

Recording:     Hallo Spaceboy
Artist:             David Bowie (With The Pet Shop Boys)
Album:           Nothing Has Changed

The musical poet laureate of space travel also contributed a space chanty recorded with the Pet Shop Boys.




Q: Who built the Moon Rockets?

A: An unlikely conglomeration of scientists, electricians, aircraft fabricators, and former So. Cal gearheads who had worshiped at the Sunday night altar of Disney’s Man In Space shows
We called Rocket Ship builder, Former President of the Aerospace Legacy Foundation, and author, Gerald Blackburn for a confirmation.






Recording:     Telstar
Artist:             Bill Frisell
Album:           Guitar in the Space Age



Act 3: Your Flight To The Moon Is Ready To Depart (You’re Welcome)

 Flight To The Moon (Pre-Show/Mission Control)


Recording:  Flight To The Moon (Pre-Flight/Mission Control)
Artist:          WED Enterprises/Disneyland
Album:        A Musical History of Disneyland





Score:     Fast Descent to the Surface (Eyeball Landing)
Artist:     Jeff Mills
Album:    A Trip To The Moon

As inconceivable as it seems, most early Disneyland attractions did not employ musical scores. We at the Radio Free Disneyland Labs have taken up the task of adding fitting scores from many of today’s cinematic musical titans to our forensic examinations of these extinct attractions beginning with this Park classic. Please keep your hand and arms inside the music.


The score for both parts of our tribute and re-imagining of the Flight To The Moon attraction (1967) was composed by Jeff Mills. Mills has composed new scores to classic sci-fi films in the past, but he goes to the source of the river here in his interpretation of Georges Melies’ film, A Trip To The Moon. Mills, a Detroit legend, employes his usual musical dialects in the film score. Ambient and futurist Detroit techno – while also offering nods towards Chicago acid, experimental noise, and neo-classical, with notes of flowers, chocolate and coffee.

Mills was knighted Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.

We are happy to be able to use his work to provide this classic Disneyland Attraction with a fitting soundtrack. 


The Final Countdown

Recording:    The Final Countdown
Artist:            Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Album:           Banjo Banjo

A white knuckle prelude to launch, with all of the tension and precision of a liftoff? Or, a banjo duet cover of a classic Hair-Band cut. Either way, this should give you time to strap in for the ride.


Flight To The Moon (Main Attraction Show)


Recording:     Flight To The Moon (Main Attraction Show)
Artist:             WED Enterprises/Disneyland
Album:           A Musical History of Disneyland





 The Feeling of Being Watched


Score:           The Feeling of Being Watched
Artist:           Jeff Mills
Album:          A Trip To The Moon


The original “travel poster” with the late 70’s D-Ticket “boarding pass”, and Disneyland Mission Control. Images © Disney


A Space X Falcon launch makes a great kiss good-night to our Moon Spinners extravaganza.


For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit

  1. That World Of Motion pic is awesome DeeJay! One a the few perks of being old is that I was at Epcot during the brief window of time that you would be in Future World all day, believe it or not. Wonders of Life, Universe of Energy, World of Motion, the real Imagination, Horizons, Captain EO and the Seas had a cool people mover that went under their massive aquarium. These would ALL be operating at the same time on the same day. Soarin’ and Test Track are amazing but who could compete with that line up?

    1. That is actually the Herb Ryman rendering of Disneyland’s 1967 Tomorrowland. I agree about the age thing. I’m not sure that anything will ever be as exciting as the opening of this area. It was full of special pixie dust directly from the Ol’ Mousetro. Thanks for listening to Radio Free Disneyland @ WDWNT.

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