Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Barker Bird

Gary Goddard is the Madame Leota of Pirates of the Caribbean.

It’s fairly common for Imagineers to fill in and play parts inside Disney Attractions, such as the famous Leota Toombs Thomas providing the likeness for Madame Leota in the original Haunted Mansion.

There’s also the voice of the “barker bird,” a cute fidgety parrot perched atop the entrance to Orlando’s Pirates of the Caribbean for over 30 years — voiced by fellow Imagineer Gary Goddard.

“I noticed X Atencio was upset one day and asked him what was wrong,” explains Goddard. Atencio replied that the voice talent they had selected for the parrot wasn’t right for the gig and Goddard sqwauked and imitated “Yo Ho! Yo Ho! A parrot’s life for me” on the spot.

“X said ‘Come with me’ and we went down to the studio to record the track that they ended up using,” says Goddard. “The whole thing took about an hour and earned me a free lunch from Atencio.”

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