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DHS History Lesson: Sounds…bad. Really bad.


Do you know what May 1st is? The 25th Anniversary of Disney-MGM Studios…er, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, of course! I did it for DCA’s reopening, then for Animal Kingdom’s 15th Anniversary, so it is only right to keep the tradition alive. Thus begins the first article in The Disney Blog’s DHS History Lesson!

Let’s start off with the weirdest thing to ever be in a Disney theme park in the history of Disney theme parks. Now you might be saying “But Marshal, the bathroom of tomorrow was at Disneyland!” and you would be right, nothing beats Sounds Dangerous. Why is it weird, you may ask? Drew Carey, that’s why.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a Drew Carey fan. He was great on his ABC sitcom (and did wonders for the TV theme song) and his Whose Line and Price is Right hosting is fantastic, but his placement in this super random attraction to begin with created something so bizarre, it has to be noted.

Sounds Dangerous’ main reason of existence was to showcase “binaural audio technology,” so once you entered the theater, you immediately placed on headphones. There is a video that played to set up the premise: Drew Carey is starring in a new pilot called “Undercover Live,” where the lead wears a hidden microphone and camera to catch all the action without the rest of the public knowing. Of course, something goes horribly wrong and the camera goes out, leaving you in the dark with only the audio functioning.

Of course, they want to show off the audio, so then it becomes “cheap audio tricks” for the next 9 minutes, including a haircut, killer bees, and more. After your experience, you get sent into the Sound Works, where you can play around with different sound effects or go in a booth to do the same exact thing you just did in the main theater.

Why was this the set up? Who thought this was a good idea? Who actually went into the Imagineering headquarters and was like “Why don’t we put Drew Carey and headphones together”? Either way, it was a much hated attraction, eventually going to a seasonal only operation period before finally closing. The theater is now used for special events and Disney Holiday films during the busy Christmas season at the parks.

I would love for them to keep the binaural attraction alive, but they could do a lot more with it. Even keeping the ABC theme would be nice, as I wish that portion of the company had more presence in the parks. Why not talk about the old style of radio shows, then have a mini-episode of Modern Family or another popular ABC show in that style. The post show could be more ABC centric, allowing you to put yourself into your favorite shows.

Do you miss Sounds Dangerous? Would you like to see the audio format attraction return? Why did this attraction exist, again? Let me know in the comments below. Next time, we will discuss my favorite parade ever. Until next time…That’s a wrap!

(photo courtesy wikimedia creative commons license )

6 thoughts on “DHS History Lesson: Sounds…bad. Really bad.”

  1. We don’t miss “Sounds Dangerous” at all. We saw it (or, rather, heard it) two times — once when it was fairly new, and once a few years later to see if it was as bad as we remembered. It was.

    Its predecessor, the foley stage, was quite entertaining and educational. You learned about the “sound” aspect of movie-making. “Sounds Dangerous” was, I guess, an attempt to update that, but it lost most of its educational value and it ended up being not particularly entertaining.

  2. I didn’t “hate” it, but it didn’t really matter if we missed it or not. I really did like the first show they did there with Chevy Chase and Martin Short. I was sad to see that go. We also did enjoy the sound room to listen to “our first day on the job”. I would be ok with them bringing that back.

  3. Sounds Dangerous was pretty dumb and a one-note attraction. I did enjoy the Monster Sound Show that was originally there because it had audience participation involved with it. The saddest part is that the space doesn’t have a new attraction.

  4. Seriously you missed the point. It was a fun and corney. Some of us enjoyed it. My son and I always went to see it when he was young. He is now 22 and when we visited WDW in October, Sound Dangerously came up in conversation again when we went pass the building. You can’t beat great memories like that.

  5. The last time I tried it 3 different pairs of headphones were not working properly, thus spoiling the entire experience. I am afraid the studios as a whole needs a complete facelift.

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