When you walk inside a Disney park, you are welcomed by an array of Disney stars from the voiceless “fur characters” – Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, the seven dwarves, and the most recent Disney movie characters like Olaf and Baymax; to the beautifully dressed “face characters” like the Disney Princesses – Tiana, Snow White, Cinderella, Elsa and Anna, and even Captain Jack Sparrow and Maleficent.
Everything feels magical and it’s not just due to the “atmosphere characters” who mingle and interact with the park’s guests, the voice recordings you hear around the park (from the moment you enter to the background ride narrations) also help set the mood in the different rides and attractions.
So who are some of the voices behind Disney theme park rides and attractions?
The Voice of Disneyland for over fifteen years is none other than Bill Rogers. He took over from Jack Wagner since 1991, recording various voice over services throughout the park. He has also done PA announcements for Walt Disney World and the Tokyo Disney Resort as well. Interestingly, wife Camille Dixon is also part of the Disney family as the voice of Disney California Adventure.
Corey Gregg Burton is another Disney park luminary. He lends his voice to several Disney animated characters, as well as characters for numerous Star Wars projects (including Count Dooku, Cad Bane and Ziro the Hutt) and other cartoons. He plays the Ghost Host introduction for The Nightmare Before Christmas inspired Haunted Mansion Holiday. He also provided a lot of Paul Frees-like for Disneyland Park – like in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction as the pirate guide and Pooped Pirate, he is Grumpy on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction, and almost every voice in Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
Pete Renaday has done voice over acting roles in various Disney specials and films, but he is most renowned for being the voice to the park’s characters Henry and Max in Country Bear Jamboree. You would hear Renaday in the Walt Disney World’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as Captain Nemo, The Hall of Presidents as Abraham Lincoln (1994-2008), as the narrator for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and also the narrator for The Walt Disney Story .
We all know Phylicia Rashad as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show, but did you know that she also plays the Dino Institute’s motherly Dr. Marsh, who prepares visitors for their journey on the Time Rovers? Another familiar television face joins Rashad in Dino Institute – Wallace Langham. Langham is David Hodges, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’s lab technician. In the Animal Kingdom’s Dinosaur attraction though, he voices the mischievous Dr. Seeker.
Academy award winning actress Dame Judi Dench, best known for role as M in the James Bond films from 1995 to 2012 is also featured in some of Disney’s attractions – she has voiced Mrs. Calloway in Home on the Range, and she also has a voice cameo as a Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, playing the role of the wealthy woman. Dame Judi is the current narrator of everyon’s favorite, Spaceship Earth.
Neil Patrick Harris of Doogie Howser, M.D., How I Met Your Mother and now host of Best Time Ever is the current voice over artist host the California Screamin’ attraction at Disney California Adventure. He also made guest appearances on Take Two with Phineas and Ferb and in the Disney film The Muppets (2011).
There are a lot more film and television actors, and also premier voice over actors who have lent their voice to a role or more in various Disney attractions. If you are fan of the voice overs, take a listen and can make a guessing game out of it while you enjoy The Happiest Place on Earth!