Many moments from a vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort are memorable as there are countless experiences to enjoy in every corner of the property. There are incredible dining and shopping opportunities as well as live entertainment, but the things that Guests tend to remember the most are the attractions.
In particular, Guests tend to remember the characters from attractions and how they contributed to the overall story of the experience. Some characters add whimsy or humor, others are theoretically the bad guys, but all are integral to the experience of their respective attractions.
These characters help to make the attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort completely unforgettable and Guests love them for it. Let’s check out what makes each one of these characters from the Disney Parks so great!
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Mickey & Minnie
Of course the top two characters on any list are going to be Mickey and Minnie! The original Disney characters, they were finally given their own attraction when Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests can now step directly into their animated world and enjoy an adventure like no other right alongside them!
Guests love Mickey and Minnie so much because they represent the history of the Disney Company as well as embody fun, determination, and humor. All of these wonderful traits are evident throughout Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Guests are sure to love every moment spent with their two favorite mice!
No one knows quite how to steal the show like Big Al at the Country Bear Jamboree in the Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland. He memorably appears singing a rendition of “Blood on the Saddle” in a deep and mournful voice that immediately catches Guests’ attention. Big Al also leaves a lasting impression as he is slightly disheveled and wearing some interesting clothing options that are just a little too small.
As if his first song wasn’t memorable enough, he then proceeds to interrupt Henry and start his act all over again causing some general mayhem. Henry then kicks off the finale and Guests who listen closely can hear Big Al continuing his signature song despite everything else going on around him.
“Two tiny wings, eyes big and yellow…” describe everyone’s favorite purple dragon Figment found at Journey into Imagination with Figment in Epcot’s World Nature neighborhood. Figment has been harming Guests since his debut with Dreamfinder in the original Journey into Imagination attraction, and has gained more and more fan throughout the year.
Not only is Figment physically adorable with his big eyes, tiny wings, and snug sweater, he embodies a childish spirit of imagination and joy that always leaves Guests smiling. The perfect example of his sense of imagination can be found in his open house that is literally upside down, and Guests love to purchase merchandise with his likeness to show their affection for him.
The Haunted Mansion is filled with ghostly and eerie characters, but none is as memorable as the Ghost Host himself. Voiced by Paul Frees, the Ghost Host first meets Guests as they enter the mansion and he explains how he met his untimely end while in the Stretching Room where Guests get their only physical glimpse of him.
The Ghost Host then goes on to narrate the entire experience of the Haunted Mansion, popping up at key times such as the ballroom where the ghosts begin to materialize. While for the most part, he is just a disembodied voice, the Ghost Host leaves a lasting impression on Guests who return to the Haunted Mansion time and time again.
Another beloved character found at the Haunted Mansion is Madame Leota who can be found in her own séance room. The stunning beauty can be seen as a disembodied head floating inside of her crystal ball as she recites incantations so that the other ghosts know that it is safe to start materializing.
Madame Leota is a favorite of many Guests and was physically played by Imagineer Leota Toombs and voiced by actor Eleanor Audley. Leota can even be found again in miniature full-bodied form at the end of the Haunted Mansion beckoning Guests to hurry back, this time using both the likeness and voice of Leota Toombs.
The final characters from the Haunted Mansion that make the list of favorites are the hitchhiking ghosts from the final scene of the attraction. The trio threatens to follow Guests home until they return to the Haunted Mansion again, and special technology puts them right inside of each Doom Buggy alongside Guests.
The hitchhiking ghosts’ names are Ezra, Phinneas, and Gus, and each features their own unique personality that is shared through their clothing and body language. They can often be found on merchandise that is sold in nearby Memento Mori, and Guests love to return to the Haunted Mansion to see them on each visit to the Magic Kingdom.
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland is filled with memorable characters, none as memorable as the father John. Acting as narrator throughout the attraction, John directly speaks with the audience in each scene, explaining how the family’s lives are continuing to change with each year and progress.
John presents some memorable one liners and jokes throughout the attraction, but none is as memorable as his turkey mishap in the final scene where he smokes out the microwave and burns Christmas dinner by accidently raising the temperature in his new voice-controlled oven. John is loveable and Guests always find themselves singing along to “There’s A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” with him.
A beloved character in the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland has seen some changes in recent years but remains as loved as ever by Guests. Redd can be found on Pirates of the Caribbean and previously was a prisoner of the Auctioneer who was auctioning her off for the highest offer of gold.
Redd recently was upgraded to a more politically correct role of pirate, and she now joins in the swashbuckling fun helping the Auctioneer auction off the townspeople’s belongings. With her new role, Redd has become even more of a Guest favorite as she proves she is just as tough as the other pirates causing all sorts of mayhem in the town.
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue is currently piloted by C3P0, but before he took over, each flight used to be manned by the lovable and hopeless Rex. The quirky droid used to get into all sorts of trouble on his first flight with Guests, and he quickly became a fan favorite.
Unfortunately, Rex can no longer be found on Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, but he has a new job across Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Star Wars – Galaxy’s Edge. Rex is now the house DJ at Oga’s Cantina, and he can be found every day spinning some catchy space tunes and entertaining Guests.
A classic character that was present at the Magic Kingdom in its early years has recently made a return to Adventureland much to the delight of Guests. Orange Bird is a tiny bird who is bright orange in color and whose head is shaped like an orange. He first appeared in Adventureland as a mascot for the Florida Citrus Commission and quickly became a favorite thanks to his cute looks and memorable shape.
Orange Bird then disappeared from the Magic Kingdom for many years, but recently made his return as a small figure up on the rafters behind the counter at the Sunshine Tree Terrace. Guests can also now find lots of cute merchandise with Orange Bird’s likeness to bring home from each trip!
Dinosaur in Disney’s Animal Kingdom brings Guests on a thrilling adventure back in time that goes wrong in so many ways thanks to Dr. Seeker. Dr. Grant Seeker (say it with me, groan!), is one heck of a paleontologist at the Dino Institute and sends Guests on an unauthorized adventure to help bring a particular Iguanodon back to present time.
Despite all of the things that go wrong, Dr. Seeker is right there with Guests for the entire experience, and narrates their adventure through speakers on each Time Rover. Guests love Dr. Seeker for his quirky moments, such as greeting them with a dinosaur hand puppet, and his gutsy adventure which he puts himself right in the middle of.
While technically considered to be a bad guy, the main character of Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a favorite for many Guests. The Yeti is the fabled protector of the mountain, and Guests get several glimpses of him throughout the attraction beginning with sounds and shadows and leading up to a narrow escape.
The Yeti has also gained fame over the years and he slowly declined and lost the range of motion that he had when the attraction first opened. Now affectionately referred to as “Disco Yeti” by many thanks to the strobe lights used to trick Guests into thinking he is moving more than he is, the Yeti has secured his spot as a favorite character from the Disney Parks.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room in the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland has been charming Guests since it first opened with the Disney Park in 1971, and Gusts can enjoy being serenaded by a large cast of animatronic bids, flowers, and tikis. While all of the characters are memorable, the main four hosts are the stars of the show and keep Guests coming back time and time again with their banter.
Jose, Fritz, Pierre, and Michael help to narrate the experience for Guests, introducing the other acts as they go, and they continue the entertainment with corny jokes, audience interaction, and memorable moments. While the show hasn’t changed much from the original, the four birds remain beloved by many Guests.
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run is one of the most popular attractions in Disney’s Hollywood Studios as it offers Guests the chance to pilot the famous ship thanks to a plan created by Hondo. A known outlaw, Hondo greets Guests in the preshow of the attraction and is a stunning example of how advanced animatronics have become.
Hondo sends Guests on a smuggling mission to steal certain cargo from First Order TIE Fighters, and his wit and humor are heard throughout the experience as Guests create their own adventure through live interactions and choices. Hondo is loved by many Guests thanks to his amazing technology and scrappy demeanor.
Chief Flight Attendant Patrick
One of the most memorable characters in the Disney Parks is Chief Flight Attendant Patrick from Soarin’ Around the World in EPCOT. Patrick, played by Patrick Warburton, first appears in the preshow by greeting Guests and explaining the safety protocols expected throughout the attraction. His most memorable moments include the classic lines “these little beauties” referring to Mickey Ears, and “nice work, pal” with an energetic thumbs up.
While Patrick’s safety spiel is certainly memorable, Guests also love his character for another iconic line that they hear just as the attraction itself begins. When the lights begin to dim and the music kicks in, it’s Patrick’s voice that utters the iconic “Soarin’ to tower, we are ready for takeoff” officially beginning the thrilling flight.
Avatar Flight of Passage in Pandora – The World of Avatar is arguably the most popular attraction in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and it is also home to a memorable character, who, uh, leaves a lasting impression on Guests. Dr. Stevens is a scientist with Alpha Centauri Expeditions and he explains all of the, uh, technology use in the experience and helps to, uh, show how important preservation is for the Na’vi.
Dr. Stevens is likeable enough, but it’s, uh, the way he talks and his frequent use of the word “uh” that make him memorable for Guests. His most iconic like is the semi-energetic description of how Guests will “uh, fly” and while watching the preshow many times Guests will recite the iconic line right along with him.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Safety Instructor
Guests don’t know his name, but they don’t have to because they can immediately hear his voice in their head when they think of the phrase “this here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!” The man who provides the safety spiel for Guests as they board Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom has become an iconic disembodied voice over the years for his deliverance of what is typically boring safety information.
Guests love yelling the signature phrase along with the voice before launching into the dark cave, and there are several other memorable moments throughout the safety spiel that Guests can immediately hear clearly in their heads each time they think about boarding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.