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Walt Disney World is first and foremost a storytelling experience, and in many cases, the attraction stories are told and driven by the characters  within them. So this week, we’re going to look at our Top Ten Attraction Characters in Walt Disney World, and why they are on our list, and then I’ll ask you to share your favorite as well.

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Sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s episode of the WDW Radio show. Thanks for listening! Be sure to tune in next week!

– Lou Mongello
LouMongello.com

QUESTION for YOU from this week’s show: Who is YOUR favorite attraction character in Walt Disney World? Share your favorite memories in the comments below!

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21 thoughts on “WDW Radio # 398 – Top Ten Attraction Characters in Walt Disney World”

  1. Stephanie C. says:

    One of my most favorite attraction characters is Mugsy from The Great Movie Ride. I love the gangster scene so much and he (or she) is an attraction character that actually scares your tour guide off and steals your ride vehicle. And here is a “go with me” ;), Mugsy has one of my favorite attraction quotes as well: “Running a red light’s against the law and I would never break the law. See? No more red light.” Love it!

  2. Tom Storrer says:

    I can’t believe that Sonny Eclipse wasn’t mentioned! Love all of his songs, especially Yew Nork!

    And he would have been a perfect way for Lou to sneak in something about food!

  3. Crissy S. says:

    Chief flight attendant Patrick at Soarin’. He helps you understand that you are flying in a plane and makes it work.

  4. Charles Lee says:

    Among my favorites are…

    –the guy who has to take off his hat in the instruction portion of “Soarin'”

    –The Bride (Haunted Mansion)

    –us (when WE are the stars, at the Hollywood Tower Hotel)

    –the black lady in the thigh-high boots in “Spaceship Earth” (fashionably off, but still doing well in the world of science)

    –the mammoth hunter in “Spaceship Earth”

    –Mr. Potato Head (he makes waiting tolerable)

    There are more, but you’ve mentioned them on your show.

  5. Rob says:

    Some of my list overlapped with the characters mentioned on the podcast, but here are my ideas that were different:

    Ghost Host: More than almost any other character, he creates the mood for HM.
    Aerosmith: Does Rockin Rollercoaster work as well without them?
    Tiki hosts: I’d pick Jose. I love these guys.
    The Skippers: A good Jungle Cruise skipper really elevates the attraction.
    Rod Serling: Tower of Terror is one of the best integrations of story and ride, and Serling is the glue that holds the attraction together. Given that the narration is part Serling and part impersonator, I say the execution of the character is wonderful.
    Mr Toad: He’s mostly gone, but I remember him fondly.

  6. Tony says:

    Hi Lou,

    I loved the top 10 this week. I agree with everything you guys said, and I would have added two:

    1) The Yeti from Expedition Everest. There is so much build up about the yeti in the queue, and even though he is now the disco yeti he is still the main character in a phenomenal ride. Of course, little Timmy Foster wouldn’t know this because he took the chicken exit.

    2) Collectively, the dolls from It’s a Small World. They, and the song, are what makes this the quintessential Disney attraction for so many people. Mary Blair’s artistic vision still resonates with millions of people all these years later.

    Best Regards,
    Tony

  7. My Favorite character attraction is the Jewish Scholar reading his book at Spaceship Earth.
    p.s.”The books are saved and with them our dreams of the future”

  8. Stephanie E. says:

    Loved the top 10 this week! Big Al is also one of my favorites and also because of my dad. CBJ is one of my dad’s favorite attractions and he used to sing Blood on the Saddle to my sister and I when we were kids. I also love little Leota and again have my dad to thank for that. I was too afraid to go on Haunted Mansion when I was a kid and when I was eight, my dad said he would go with me (my dad’s preferred MO at WDW is to find a bench and sit with his book and read while we go on attractions – so him offering to go on Haunted Mansion was a big deal). After finally experiencing it for the first time, it became my favorite attraction and from that first ride I have always loved little Leota!

  9. Craig Hargrove says:

    I would have to say the Phoenicians at Spaceship Earth. Remember how easy it was to learn your ABC’s, thank the Phoenicians! 🙂

  10. Francis Mattis says:

    Because it was one of the last performances of Jim Henson, I have to go with Kermit the Frog at Muppetvision 3D.

  11. Jeremy says:

    Hi Lou,
    Loved the top ten! Here are a few, in no particular order (after #1).
    1. Ghost Host at Haunted Mansion
    2. Fritz from the Tiki Room
    3. Little Leota
    4. The African animals in Small World
    5. DiVine at Animal Kingdom

  12. Robert B says:

    Hi Lou!

    Great show but I have a few additions.

    “MOM” at ’50s Prime Time Cafe! My niece thought it was hilarious when she announced to the whole room that she was so proud of me for having one of those fancy new credit cards.

    Also the Citizens of Hollywood in Hollywood Studios for the same reason you mentioned the characters on Main St.

    Finally, they aren’t really characters because they are just themselves, but I love talking to all the cast members in World Showcase. They usually have interesting stories about their home countries.

  13. Matthew says:

    My favorite characters are the birds (Maji and Moto) in Festival of The Lion King. Without talking they manage to put on a breathtaking performance that leaves the crowd in awe every time.

  14. jUSTIN says:

    My Disneyland TOP 10
    1. Goat Thunder Mountain
    2. Red Head Pirates
    3. Auctioneer Pirates
    4. Yeti Matterhorn
    5. Genie Aladin Show
    6. Mr. Lincoln
    7. Jose Tiki Room
    8. Little Leota Mansion
    9. Ursula Little Mermaid
    10. Potato Head Toy Story

  15. Ellen B says:

    What about Tinkerbelle? I mean, really, the spunky fairy flies down from Cinderella’s castle at the beginning of Wishes!

  16. Chris W. says:

    My favorite attraction character is Jeremy Irons as the narrator in the previous incarnation of Spaceship Earth. His voice and script MADE that ride. Dench is great and all, but the script she was given is terrible. The last few times I have gone on Spaceship Earth I listened to a youtube video of Iron’s version with headphones.

    Also on my list:

    – The trolls in Maelstrom.
    – Ellen, Bill Nye, and Jamie Lee Curtis as “Stupid Judy” at Universe of Energy
    – The woman getting her hair done on the TTA

  17. Heather says:

    I’ve only gotten to Big Al on your podcast but here are, in no particular order, my favourite attraction characters:

    Jungle Cruise skippers: I have never had a dud cruise. They are great at what they do. And the fact that their schtick is unique from skipper to skipper is just enchanting.

    Cast Members (BECAUSE THEY COUNT) at Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror: in a place where so much focus is on happiness and fun and spizzerinctum, those morose, unsmiling cast members can really set the tone for a spookier ride.

    Sweetums!: When I finally got to see Muppet Vision 3D, nobody told me that A HUGE LIVE MUPPET would come out. I have a totally visceral internal response to the big muppets. I will be prepared next time to drink it in.

    Spinning-eared Scottish goats in Small World: they make my face smiley.

    Whistling pirates: Only because when I saw them recreated in the Pirates movie, whistling at Elisabeth instead of the dog, I squealed.

    “How about some backstage passes?”: Is this a voiceover or a cast member? Either way, it’s hilarious and there would be no Rockin’ Rollercoaster without them.

  18. Sherry says:

    I like the kitties in Pirates that the drunk pirate is trying to entice to have some liquor.

  19. Emily says:

    I’m a little late on this podcast but I can’t resist sharing a few of my favorites!
    1. The ghost host
    2. The dog from Haunted Mansion. This may seem strange but I was a very scared 3 year old my first time through HM so my parents told me to keep listening and looking for the dog. It kept me distracted and I still think of it 22 years later.
    3. SONNY ECLIPSE!! My dad frequently sends me a picture of him in texts just so we can smile together
    4. Jiminy cricket during wishes. Absolutely magical
    5. There’s a pirate in Pirates of the Carribean who is sitting on one of the bridges you pass under. I’m sure most people pass under without even noticing him but he has such a detailed, hairy leg. It makes me appreciate the time and dedication the imagineers put into every attraction

    Loved this show, Lou! Keep it up!

  20. Mr. Duffy says:

    Absolutely loved the Royal historians at the Frozen Sing-a-long. But my favorite character has to be Duffy the Disney Bear!

  21. Chuck Zitta says:

    Yes! You guys need to do a Top 10 Chicken Exits episode. Tim should have quite an extensive list, eh? LOL!

    My top 10 Attraction Characters:

    1. Organ Player in the ballroom on Haunted Mansion. Agree with Tim, so many to choose from on this list.I’ll go so far as to say one of my other favorite characters of the Mansion is the ghost host. I know, you can’t see him, but he adds sooo much to the experience, how can you not. He’s much more than a narrator, IMO.*

    2. Auctioneer on Pirates. Among many others from this attraction. Yes! The dog!*

    3. Dream Finder. He’s so full of life/character. No pun intended. Need to bring him back.

    4. Carrousel of Progress father and Uncle Orvil. Sorry Tim. Classic. The father is so engaging with the audience. Agree, the father is so pure, from a simpler time. Love that stuff.

    5. The whole County Bear Gang! If I have to pick one, I’ll go with Big Al. (Had this entered before I even heard Lou mention it in this episode. Ha! Too funny.)

    6. Go with me here: all the Small World characters as a whole. So colorful, happy and full of motion!

    7. Ben and Mark Twain from The American Adventure. So inspirational.

    8. The singing Totem poles in the Tiki-Tike-Tiki room. The birds are fun as well.

    9. The elephant sitting up taking a bath under the waterfall on Jungle Cruise. He (or she) looks so happy. Nostalgic obsession for me. Takes me back immediately to my youth.

    10. Gotta include the Wicked Witch from the Great Movie ride. Just because she’s so awesome and I love that attraction. First one I always go on when visiting HWS.

    *(The first two on my list are there specifically because they are what made me the Disney dude I am today. Saw them back in 1973 in Disneyland as a young boy and thought they were the two most AMAZING/COOLEST things I had ever seen. And since we didn’t have computers back then to refresh our memories, I had a Viewfinder with slides from each attraction, that I vividly remember looking at all the time. Wish I still had them…)

    Thanks again for another fun show, Lou and Tim!!!