10. “Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion....”
There’s perhaps no attraction whose narration is as beloved and iconic as that of the disembodied “Ghost Host” who haunts the lonely corridors of the Haunted Mansion. With unforgettable dialogue written by the acclaimed X Atencio (who also wrote the “Grim, Grinning Ghosts” theme song), only the legendary Paul Frees could add such compelling (and chilling) realism to the storytelling spectre’s voice.
“Your cadaverous pallor betrays an aura of foreboding, almost as though you sense a disquieting metamorphosis. Is this haunted room actually stretching? Or is it your imagination?”Just about every word uttered by Ghost Host is etched permanently into the minds of Disney Parks fans, up to and including lines as simple as, “Do not pull down on the safety bar. I will lower it for you.”
In fact, we bet you can say it right along with him: “Consider this dismaying observation: this chamber has no windows and no doors… which offers you this chilling challenge: to find a way out! Of course... there’s always my way.” Of course, even though you can say it along with him doesn’t mean you should - especially at Disneyland (frequented by locals), narrating along with the Ghost Host is one of the things we beg you not to do at Disney Parks.
11. “Time… The ever-flowing river…”
As your boat dips into the churning waters of Jurassic Park River Adventure, the soothing sounds of John Williams’ iconic score begin to drift through the air. Ahead, the massive wooden gates made famous in the film loom among the trees of a tropical forest. “...come with us now to a time before man; when the river flowed through a newborn world and giants walked the Earth. Welcome… to Jurassic Park.”
With a crescendo, the gates peel open, revealing the Ultrasaur Lagoon beyond. It’s an epic, grand, and (for some) emotional return to the park that started it all, made all the more real by the touching narration that so perfectly captures the hopes for the park… before it all goes wrong. And yes, it will go wrong.
When Universal Studios Hollywood upgraded its Jurassic Park: The Ride to align with the much trendier Jurassic World, the first act was recast in its entirety, including a new narration, new music, and a new scene replacing the iconic Jurassic Park doors. While the new experience is certainly more modern, it’s decidedly less timeless, proving just how spectacular the simplicity of the original Jurassic Park was (and still is at Islands of Adventure).
12. “Hurry baaa-ack. Hurry baaa-ack...”
… “be sure to bring your death certificate if you’d like to join us. Make final arrangement now."
Yet another iconic line from the beloved Haunted Mansion is delivered as the ride comes to an end…! It’s the haunting offer of the so-called “Ghostess” deep in the crypt that serves as the attraction’s finale. Unofficially known as “Little Leota,” the character was voiced by Leota Toombs (who serves as the face of the Mansion’s fabled Madame Leota medium… Madame Leota’s voice, interestingly enough, was not provided by Leota Toombs, but by actress Eleanor Audley - also the voice of Cinderella’s Lady Tremaine and Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent).
Disney Legend, animator, and master character creator Marc Davis explained that “Little Leota’s” eerie offer was based on a line in the 1965 dark comedy The Loved One in which a funeral hostess says, “We hope that one day, he may decide to join us.”
13. “Hollywood, 1939…”
… “Amid the glitz and the glitter of a bustling young movie town at the height of its Golden Age, the Hollywood Tower Hotel was a star in its own right; a beacon for the show business elite. Now, something is about to happen that will change all that...”
When the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened in 1994, it represented what some consider a creative height of modern Imagineering. The spectacular dark ride carries guests into a historically haunted Hollywood hotel within which they’re transported into their own episode of the classic 1960s sci-fi anthology, The Twilight Zone. As with all episodes of the beguiling series, it begins with an introduction by series creator, writer, and host Rod Serling.
Unfortunately, Serling himself passed away in 1975, necessitating a worldwide search for a vocal replacement. Voice actor Mark Silverman stepped in with an uncanny imitation (ultimately approved by Serling’s widow, Carol), dubbed over archival footage of Serling. The “lost” Twilight Zone episode viewed in the hotel’s library isn’t just a pre-show… it’s an attraction unto itself, with lines that feel fittingly fifth-dimensional.
14. “We wants the redhead! We wants the redhead!”
Yet another memorable quote comes from Pirates of the Caribbean. Guests would see that "cocktail party" concept on full display yet again when drifting through the Auction scene in the Caribbean town, with the fabled Auctioneer pirate offering "hearty wenches" for brides. The most infamous is a Lost Disney Parks Character... the legendary "Redhead."
The provocative villager being "sold" to the leering pirate invaders earned the memorable chant "We wants the redhead!" for 51 years. Then, in 2018, the latest in an ongoing series of edits to the ride changed the redhead into a pirate herself, kicking off a new chant: "We wants the rum! We wants the rum!" It doesn't quite roll off the tongue...