The Widen Your World Audio Page
This page is a resource for “older” WDW audio, primarily live in-park recordings. Although source audio is great for obvious reasons, live recordings provide a more accurate record of how the parks sounded in context. Very few people experience individual WDW audio in a “pure” state while they’re on Disney property, so the location and quality of a speaker, the size of a space, the proximity of people or ride vehicles – all of this has a bearing on how piped-in audio comes across in its home environment. The bleeding of background tracks as your Horizons car moved from Sea Castle to Brava Centauri, for example, sounded different in person than in a WED flow-through recording. Similarly, the old background audio from the Transportation and Ticket Center sounds better to me with the occasional dull wash of a monorail passing overhead. We can be grateful for modern-day researchers like Foxxfur, Chris McElroy and Michael Sweeney, who continue to invest hours in tracking down the details of old WDW sounds for the rest of us to consider and enjoy with amplified accuracy. Conversely, people like Jerry Klatt and myself, who recorded way more live 20th-century in-park audio than was rational, are happy to see our cassette adventures put to broader use. We never expected THAT when we stood still on the deck of the Richard F. Irvine with Radio Shack equipment strapped to our shoulders, trying not to get any extraneous “bumping” sounds on the microphone.
There is also a lot of other good WDW audio to be found on YouTube, where even bad video footage can be accompanied by just the sounds you’ve been looking for. Put keepvid.com to work and you’re going to have the greatest park audio collection ever.
The files and links below are listed in approximate chronological order.
The Magic of Eastern c. 1969 (separate tracks linked to below)
A promotional vinyl release from just prior to Eastern Airlines signing on the official airline of WDW. Tracks are assumed to be in the public domain. Not actually from WDW at all but evocative of something very close to If You Had Wings. Brought to WYW’s attention by Howard Bowers.
Eastern Airlines / Astrud Gilberto Track 1 c.1969 2mb, 1:01
Eastern Airlines / Astrud Gilberto Track 2 c.1969 2mb, 1:00
Eastern Airlines / Astrud Gilberto Track 3 c.1969 2mb, 1:00
Eastern Airlines / Astrud Gilberto Track 4 c.1969 1.9mb, :57
Eastern Airlines / Astrud Gilberto Track 5 c.1969 2.1mb, 1:03
Eastern Airlines / Astrud Gilberto Track 6 c.1969 2mb, :59
The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World “Show Pac” Audio – 1976
The soundtrack to a souvenir slide show by Walt Disney Educational Media which features an original narration, passages spoken by Mickey Mouse himself and a crazy mix of 1970s Disney music. Did you know that 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the ride, occupied something called “Sub Lagoon?” How romantic! That and many more interesting Magic Kingdom semi-facts await you.
The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World “Show Pac” Audio
9.4mb, 10:15, dated 1976 by seller, which was probably at a garage sale, and there is enough in the audio to suggest that 1976 is correct
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Queue Area BGM & Dispatch Live – c. 1982
This was the first stationary recording I made at WDW, in the ride’s north exit passage with my dad’s “Realistic” cassette deck in a shoulder bag, trying not to move for what seemed like forever to a 12-year-old. In truth it was about nineteen minutes. I remember standing there and hoping a cast member wouldn’t come by and talk to me, thereby ruining the experiment. Thankfully that didn’t happen. This is the original queue music loop (more songs were added in later years), plus the occasional sound of the prospector’s original “please keep your hands and arms” spiel.
Big Thunder Mountain Railrad Queue Area BGM & Dispatch “Live”
17.3mb, 18:31, recorded c. 1982 … possibly 1981
The Frontierland Shootin’ Gallery Live – Recorded by Jerry Klatt – March 1982
The sounds of this attraction in its first (1971-1984) incarnation are super-hard to find, and this recording outdoes them all as an extended sample of the “goings on.” What you hear primarily is the sound of real guns firing real lead pellets at moving metal targets, but there are also numerous animal sound effects. Loud, noisy and great … thanks Jerry! The original Shootin’ Gallery closed in the summer of 1984 and was converted to light beam technology for a late September re-opening, complete with all new targets, effects and sounds.
Frontierland Shootin’ Gallery “Live” by Jerry Klatt
3.1mb, 3:23, recorded March 1982
The Walt Disney Post-Show Owl – EPCOT Center Preview Version – March 1982
In the post-show hallway of the long-gone Walt Disney Story, an owl once known as “Hoot Gibson” puts on a tour guide outfit and gives guests a rundown on what they can expect to see when the under-construction EPCOT Center opens to the public on October 1, 1982.
The Walt Disney Story Post-Show Owl “Live” by Jerry Klatt – EPCOT Preview Center Version
4mb, 4:25, recorded March 1982
The Haunted Mansion – Seance Circle Live – July 24th, 1988
One of the first recordings I made that took advantage of someplace I could access freely as a cast member but not as a guest, a couple years before I started dropping the recorder off in rides. I made this one (and a couple similar ones) right after my Mansion shift ended. This was recorded below Seance Circle, right next to the knocker assembly that kicks in when Madame Leota says “rap on a table…”
The Haunted Mansion Seance Circle “Live”
1.79mb, 1:57, recorded 24 July 1988
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea – Queue Area Live – April 1990
You can hear the sub engines running in this one, which is really nice. This is what the queue sounded like in the 1970s and 1980s (the recording was made before they added songs from The Little Mermaid to the loop).
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea Queue Area(Live)
19mb, 16:13, recorded April 1990
Communicore – Futurecom – Age of Information Diorama Live (barely) – January 1992
This recording is one of the most noise-laden pieces of audio around, even after my brother Brian worked to improve it. While almost more punishment than reward, it’s apparently the only full recording of the song to reside with anyone who can post it online. The source recording has to be somewhere in WED’s archives, but who’s holding their breath for that one? Even as I stood there recording this I knew it sounded bad; the music was drowned out by all the other sounds in the room, including the diorama’s moving parts. Nonetheless, it’s here for anyone who wants to check in on it. “If you want data, you’ll get that data … and only the data you need.” Priceless!Communicore Age of Information Diorama Audio “Live”
4.3mb, 4:38, recorded January 1992
The Haunted Mansion – 28 Live Minutes – July 5th, 1994
Recorded around 1am on July 5th. This is one continuous recording that starts right after I sat the recorder on the floor in the entrance hall (you’ll hear a good amount of those sounds … even some exit hall music in the background … interspersed with the ride stop warnings for almost 20 straight minutes.) Then I pick the recorder up and go through the ride with the microphone (mostly) out of the car. This is before any of the original 1971 Mansion sounds had been changed in any discernible manner. It’s far from flawless, but it’s fun.
The Haunted Mansion 29 Live Minutes
26.3mb, 28:05, recorded 5 July 1994