Book Jeff

Disneyland’s Decibels

Have you heard of DisneylandForward? It’s Disney’s ambitious plan for expanding its footprint in Southern California and includes proposals for new lands, new attractions, plus new shopping and dining experiences. Every Disney fan is eagerly awaiting the details, but little is known for certain. Disney is staying silent while wisely working with its neighbors in Anaheim to build support before making any concrete announcements.

As a part of the process, Disney recently released an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) related to the proposed project. The EIR alone is a staggering 17,000 pages.


Hopefully, this EIR is only ever viewed digitally. Otherwise, we might need another EIR to understand the impact of printing a 17,000-page document.

I would love to tell you I’ve read the DisneylandForward document. I have not. In my defense, I’m still trying to finish War and Peace!

However, I have delved into the section on noise pollution. Here Disney details the twenty areas at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure that make the most noise. What attraction would you guess is the loudest?

The monorail! Especially when it’s blowing its horn coming around the Matterhorn. Surprising, right? In case you are curious, here is the full list:

  • Monorail Horn Near Matterhorn: 97 decibels
  • Grizzly River Run Drop Point: 92 decibels
  • Disneyland Railroad Train Horn: 91 decibels
  • Incredicoaster Takeoff Area: 90 decibels
  • Toy Story Midway Mania Cart Noise: 87 decibels
  • Soarin’ Over California Queue: 87 decibels
  • Disney Jr. Dance Party Queue: 87 decibels
  • Splash Mountain Riders: 86 decibels
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (west): 86 decibels
  • Golden Zephyr Ride Operating: 86 decibels
  • Mark Twain Steamboat: 85 decibels
  • Astro Orbiter: 84 decibels
  • Radiator Springs Racers Track Car Pass-by: 83 decibels
  • King Arthur Carousel Announcement: 83 decibels
  • Matterhorn (west): 82 decibels
  • Alice in Wonderland Ride: 82 decibels
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters Ride: 82 decibels
  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel Exit: 82 decibels
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree: 81 decibels
  • It’s a Small World Clock Tower: 81 decibels

Speaking of decibels, I can’t help but wonder how loud a screaming toddler gets when they are being pushed around a jammed Fantasyland well past naptime? Or the screams of an adult guest after getting run over by an Electric Conveyance Vehicle on Main Street U.S.A. for the third time…before rope drop.

The Happiest Place on Earth is a lot of things to a lot of people. But let’s be honest—the Quietest Place on Earth isn’t one of them.

There’s something to be said for silence. It’s one of the spiritual disciplines. I was reminded of this repeatedly last week while suffering from a severe case of laryngitis. Since speaking is my craft, losing my voice feels like a cruel twist of fate. Unlike Ariel in The Little Mermaid, I don’t remember making any deals with Ursula. And I was absent the day they taught whispering in kindergarten.

Sometimes you have no choice but to embrace silence. Last week, my only option was to slow down, listen, and enjoy my surroundings. Not everything needs commentary. With quiet comes clarity, resilience, and reflection.

Regardless of what Disney ultimately decides, I think we all want DisneylandForward to be approved and be successful. New lands like Avatar and new attractions like Frozen will no doubt grab the headlines. But I also hope parts of the park, new and old, remain restful, quiet, and under the radar.

In our fast-paced world where attention is the currency of the realm, it’s tempting to always be talking. Try silence instead. The absence of sound brings the presence of peace. Just as Disney must consider its environmental impact and listen to its neighbors, take a moment to consider the impact of your own voice.

Sometimes, our loudest decibels are only heard when we choose to be silent.

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