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A Brief History of Sounds Dangerous!

Sounds Dangerous Tower


Walt Disney World is filled to the brim with cutting edge experiences, the kind of amusements that make the resort such an attractive place to revisit. However, any fan of Disney Parks can tell you that from time to time something remains in a park past its prime until it is so dated, and generally underwhelming, that you wonder if management just forgot it was there. Such classic examples would include The Bakery Tour in Disney’s California Adventure or Armageddon – Les Effets Speciaux in the Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris. One such show that fit this bill was Sounds Dangerous! in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.



It Has Air Conditioning

Originally opened in 1999 in the then named Disney-MGM Studios, Sounds Dangerous! lived on life support for about its last 5-8 years of its existence. It’s “official” final farewell, with no fanfare, came in 2012, no longer being used for overflow on peak attendance days. Today, they used the theater for special events. The show’s conceit was that it was a 3D sound experience. Instead of putting on 3D glasses, guests wore headphones and experienced the “magic” of binaural audio. By the time it closed, that technology had become quite popular in the Disney online fan community, a great way to share on-ride audio on podcasts, or on YouTube.

The premise of Sounds Dangerous! was that Drew Carey was starring in a new hidden camera reality show. In classic Disney style, something goes horribly wrong and the camera feed is lost. The rest of his undercover investigation is heard through headphones. It’s filled with plenty of sound effects, including going to a barber and being chased by bees.



Sound Fun? Sounds Dangerous

Sounds Dangerous! was present longer then the Spaceship Earth wand.  Fan outcry over Sounds Dangerous! was nonexistent. (Drew Carey’s face placed on Spaceship Earth would have been a different story.) Sounds Dangerous! had actually replaced two prior shows, ABC Sound StudioOne Saturday Morning and The Monster Sound Show. The latter of which was the sound design equivalent of SuperStar Television. As a side note, Martin Short (along with Chevy Chase) was in the Monster Sound Show film, which makes me wonder how he got so many gigs in Disney attractions? (Oh Canada, The Making of Me, CinéMagique)

Part of the show’s lackluster performance may have been due to how much it scared small children. A pitch-black room with realistic sounds of bees was a bad combination. While I can’t exactly say Sounds Dangerous! is missed by many, it remains one of my favorite oddities of Walt Disney World history.



(Photo from the Flickr Creative Commons – Sounds Dangerous Tower, Lou Oms license. Sources: Yesterland and AllEars.net)

What’s one Disney attraction you were surprised remained around for so long? Leave a comment and let me know!


IMG_20160509_204742Zack Kaplan is a self-professed Drew Carey fanatic. He wore a Drew Carey Show t-shirt in middle school, close to a decade after the show ended. If you want to talk about Disney, Star Wars, video games, or need life advice you can find him on Twitter @SteelDiver