by Beth Keating
May 2, 2020
Gijs Van Winkelhof, pianist at the Disneyland Hotel in Disneyland Paris, has added a new Disney World medley to his YouTube channel. The amazing composer from the Netherlands has offered us “EPCOT Piano Medley Part 2.” It is the sequel to the first Epcot piano video he premiered over two years ago during Epcot’s 35thanniversary. He felt that there was more to the rich musical history of Epcot that needed to be explored, and has added songs all the way up to the new “Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure” (2020).
Included in the twenty pieces featured in “EPCOT Piano Medley Part 2” are selections such as "IllumiNations - Reflections of Earth" (1999); “We’ve Just Begun to Dream” - EPCOT Dedication Ceremony (1982); “Innoventions Plaza” (1994-2020); “In the Big Blue World” -The Seas with Nemo and Friends (2007-); “Farmhouse Theme” - Living with the Land (1993-); “Circle of Life” - The Harvest Theater (1995-2020); “Splashtacular” - Fountain of Nations (1993); “Surprise in the Skies” - World Showcase Lagoon (1991-1992); “El Rio del Tiempo” (1982-2007); and “Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand,” along with some tunes you may not be as familiar with, such as “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” - Magic Eye Theater (1994-2010).
Alongside the stirring arrangements, Gijs’ spectacular piano skills are accompanied by a photographic journey through Epcot, especially poignant now that some of those spots no longer exist and/or are undergoing dramatic renovations. Historical photos of Epcot and Spaceship Earth’s construction are among the intriguing visual accompaniments. Also of note is the fact that Gijs does not rely on written sheet music while he is performing… he is working completely from memory (and, I’m sure, hours and hours of rehearsal!)
Gijs learned to play the piano at age 3, and by age 10 was composing and producing his own music. You can see more of his work in an earlier story we wrote here at DisneyBizJournal, and view more of his compositions on his YouTube channel. He has an array of Disney parks and movie themed videos there, as well as a variety of other selections such as a medley of Academy Award winning songs, a Star Wars’ medley, a tribute to Notre-Dame de Paris, and Gijs own original compositions. In fact, his YouTube channel recently passed 2 million views.
In this forced time away from the parks, Gijs selections might just bring a bit of Disney magic, and nostalgia, into your evening.
Beth Keating is a regular contributor to DisneyBizJournal.