Part of Universal Studio's entrance statue -- checking for your size of earplugs

Maybe you remember the scene from Universal's 'Back to the Future.' Marty McFly plays lead guitar in a Battle of the Bands audition. Just as his group begins their 80's rock-and-roll introduction, a nerdy looking school administrator cuts them off. "I'm sorry," he says "but it's just too darn loud."

It makes me feel like the biggest nerd to admit this, but after visiting Universal Studios Hollywood this past Friday, I have a comment about the background music currently being played throughout the theme park. "I'm sorry, but it's just too darn loud!"

Dianne and I are both in our 40s. We've lived in Southern California for most of our lives, and consider ourselves to be fairly well rounded, and relatively cool. We're both college graduates, where we studied theater and music. We have appeared in musicals, have sung in a studio - we have even performed as Christmas Carolers at Disneyland and at Universal Studios Theme Park. Suffice it to say, that we appreciate and understand the subtleties and nuances of music.

2 years ago, we bought Universal Studios Celebrity Passes, and we have enjoyed the luxury of being able to visit as often as we do. During our most recent visits, we have noticed that the background music has been subtly increasing in volume. In places, it is now at an almost painful level. Background music, when used effectively supports the look and feel of each section of a theme park. At Universal Studios Hollywood, it seems, background music has slowly taken Center Stage.

The entrance plaza music is big and bombastic and dramatic - a great way to set the scene for the Park. The problem? It's just too loud. More like a rock concert than a theme park, we literally cannot carry on a conversation, or ask a question of a Universal staff member without pitching up the level of our voices.

Walking further into the Park, this Main Gate symphony blends into music from 'The Mummy Returns' attraction as we passed by. Then, The Blues Brothers show started, and 'Soul Man' was added to the mix. Far from being able to decipher this cacophony of noise, I felt myself starting to squint - my ears were actually hurting.

As we rounded the corner, with Jake and Elwood's version of 'Shake Your Tail Feathers' rumbling the walkway, we were met with the newly decorated London Street.

While the re-decoration of this section is a nice touch, the 'Austin Powers' music caused us to have to shout "THIS IS NEW, ISN'T IT?" Again, the music is too loud.

And yet, even as "Soul Bossa Nova" was shaking the windows, just off to the right, at Mel's Diner, we could hear Sam Cooke belting out 'You Send Me.' Sam was also too loud.

Down the way from Mel's, about a year ago, Dianne and I sat at a park bench in front of the Mexican restaurant [right] and were confronted by no less than four different pieces of music - all playing at the same time - all loud.

The bench was still there, and so was the music - a Mariachi tune coming from the Cantina, an accordion instrumental coming from the Louie's Pizza and Pasta, a song from 'Pee Wee's Big Adventure' near 'Animal Planet Live' and the famous theme from 'Back to the Future' --' It was very loud. And very mind-boggling.

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