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Red Hot Chili Peppers to Rock Space Mountain

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In a move certain to wind up the tails of many a fan of The Mouse, Disneyland announced that they they are temporarily replacing the onboard soundtracks to both the Space Mountain and California Screamin' roller coasters with remixed versions of songs by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Disneyland asserts"rock fans’ dreams will come true as Rockin’ Both Parks provides new special effects and soundtracks specifically remixed to heighten every twist, turn, rise and drop of each thrilling attraction." In addition, Disneyland's Imagineers have brought in "new technology that features illuminated dancing rock fans, [and] more than 200 lights brightening the track".

Space Mountain will incorporate a recording of the Peppers' cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground", remixed to accomodate the ride's pacing. California Screamin' will get the band's recording of "Around the World" for its transformation.

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Now, we weren't too thrilled when the Disney folks first added a Dick Dale-penned guitar track to Space Mountain in the mid 1990's. Though many guests loved the new tunes, we were quite certain the only proper sounds to be heard while careening through the cosmos were those of the other coaster trains clanging around the steel structure and the screams of terrified passengers as they hurled through the near darkness while inside the Mt. Fuji-inspired dome.

In 2003, Space Mountain went down for a thorough refurbishment and replacement of the entire roller coaster track and structure. Upon its return in 2005, we were slightly relieved to hear the new soundtrack, featuring Incredibles composer Michael Giacchino. His totally new score added a much needed sense of heft and urgency to the newly reworked ride, but we just couldn't help but feel that "progress" really shouldn't be leaving an annoying ringing in our ears.

Which brings us to this new development in Space Mountain's history: the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

First of all, kudos should go to Disney for keeping with a California-bred band.
If nothing, Disneyland still acknowledges its unique placement in the context of Southern California culture, though it's debatable whether the Red Hot Chili Peppers are deserving of this honor quite yet.

Would the Red Hot Chili Peppers be permitted to play a concert at Disneyland in the flesh, as it were? We don't really think so. Some of us at the LAist are big fans of the band, but do we really need to hear the socio-political strains of "Higher Ground" while enjoying an otherwise fantasy-filled day at Walt's little park? It just seems a little like two worlds colliding to us. We'll happily reserve judgement until our fateful first ride next week, but we're not keeping our hopes up.

Go and decide for yourself: Both shows commence Wednesday, January 3rd and wind down April 26th.

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