Saturday, October 18, 2014

Attraction narration and dialog

Throughout the WDW attractions, you can find a variety of familiar voices providing ride-through narration and character dialog.  Some of these voices are classic Disney staples who worked with the Disney studios on a variety of projects -- animations, promotions, commercials, and theme parks just to name a few.  These folks include the likes of Paul Frees, Thurl Ravenscroft, and Pete Renoudet.  Do those names not sound familiar?  Paul Frees is your “Ghost Host” in the Haunted Mansion.  Some of Paul Frees' most memorable voices were for various Disney projects, although he did work with at least nine of the major animation production companies of the 20th century.  Thurl Ravenscroft is probably most familiar as Tony the Tiger, “They’re Great!”, but his voice can be found in Magic Kingdom in the Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bear Jamboree, and Haunted Mansion.  Pete Renoudet was an American voice actor who provided dialog for a variety of attractions in Disneyland and Disney World.  Most notably, he provided Captain Nemo’s voice for the long extinct, but much loved, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  
In addition to the variety of voice actors Disney studio’s employed in it’s heyday, now you may find more and more “famous” actors being used for narration or attraction dialog.  In many instances the actor IS part of the attraction itself.  Some are well know, others are not.  See if you have recognized any of these famous voices:
  • Spaceship Earth- Judi Dench.  In previous versions of the attraction, Vic Perrin, Walter Cronkite, and Jeremy Irons provided the narration.  
  • Soarin’ - Patrick Warburton is your Flight Attendant.  
  • Canada’s Circle-Vision 360 - As a native Canadian, Martin Short provides the narration to this vivid film.
  • Mission: SPACE - Gary Sinise provides your introductory video and dialog during the ride.  I can’t not think of “Lt. Dan” when I see him!  
Magic Kingdom
  • Hall of Presidents - Morgan Freeman narrates and Barack Obama even provided the voice of Barack Obama.
  • Carousel of Progress - You may recognize Cousin Orville’s voice.  It’s Mel Blanc!
Hollywood Studios
  • MuppetVision 3D - Where would muppets be without Jim Henson and Frank Oz providing the voices of some of these memorable characters?
  • Tower of Terror - While it’s Rod Sterling we see in the pre-show video, the voice we hear is actually Mark Silverman.
  • Toy Story Mania - Mr. Potato Head’s voice is Don Rickles.
Animal Kingdom
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug - You’ll hear a variety of familiar voices in this attraction:  Dave Foley, Cheech Marin, Jason Alexander, Andrew Stanton, and French Stewart.
  • Dinosaur - The lobby announcements and descriptions are provided by Bill Nye (the Science Guy!).  
These are just a few of the familiar voices that provide the backdrop to many attractions and show’s throughout Disney World.  Hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I do.