Sunday, April 14, 2024

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.”

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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