How Patrick Warburton Was Cast in Soarin’ Pre-Show
Where would Soarin’ Around the World riders be without Patrick Warburton’s utterly-quotable preboarding safety video?
The handsome host has been gently reminding us where to store our “…cameras, purses, hats, and of course, these little beauties” for nearly twenty years.
But how did everyone’s favorite Chief Flight Attendant land the iconic role? Well, he almost didn’t.
Not the First Choice
Not long before Soarin’ Over California (the original version of the ride) opened at Disney’s California Adventure Park, Patrick Warburton wasn’t the design team’s first choice. Hollywood legend John Travolta was in the lead for the role.
Imagineer Jim Clark recently shared the story on Twitter.
“Two months before DCA opened, we still hadn’t shot the preshow,” Clark wrote on Twitter. “John Travolta was interested, but his movie’s schedule was making it difficult, plus he had this little beard.”
Clark continued to divulge that the role was even named Sandy, just briefly, as a nod to Travolta’s leading love interest in Grease.
But Travolta’s filming schedule and bearded appearance (both likely for his role in 2001’s Swordfish) just weren’t working for Disney Imagineers. They came across another voice they fell in love with immediately.
“Our little team was invited to a screening of Emperor’s New Groove, and we were all laughing at Kronk.”
Becoming a Disney Icon
Kronk was voiced by none other than Patrick Warburton. The rest is Disney history.
The safety script was actually expanded when Warburton came on board. It became such a well-loved Disney spiel that it was used again when Soarin’ launched in Epcot in 2005 and remained intact for the revamped version of the ride, Soarin’ Around the World, at both Disney California Adventure and Epcot.
We are sure John Travolta would have made a great flight attendant, but there’s no doubt that Patrick Warburton has become a beloved part of the Disney universe.
“Nice work, pal!”
Featured Image: @ImagineerJim on Twitter
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