8 Under-Appreciated Walt Disney World Characters
In the newest episode of the Celebrations Disney Podcast, our usual suspects gathered together to discuss some of the most underappreciated and overlooked Disney attractions, experiences, and movies. We covered some fairly obscure ground but didn’t venture into the world of Disney Park’s characters.
Walt Disney World is packed with memorable and beloved characters. There have been so many over the years, that it’s natural that some have fallen through the cracks. While Mickey Mouse, Figment, Orange Bird, and others get all of the love, there is a treasure trove of underappreciated characters who deserve to be remembered and celebrated.
Buzzy (Cranium Command)
While some former characters are remembered and pined after (Dreamfinder…I’m looking in your direction), not nearly enough people talk about Buzzy from the now-defunct Cranium Command in Epcot’s Wonders of Life Pavilion.
Buzzy, voiced by Scott Curtis, was given the mission of piloting a 12-year-old boy as he went about the course of his average day. He didn’t have to do it alone though. He was aided by a variety of organs, several of whom were portrayed by Saturday Night Live alumni Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon, and Dana Carvey. However, it was the bumbling and slightly awkward Buzzy who truly stole our hearts. We miss you Buzzy, wherever you are!
Timekeeper & Nine Eye (The Timekeeper)
Though largely forgotten today, The Timekeeper and Nine Eye entertained Guests in Tomorrowland for over a decade (operating in the Magic Kingdom from 1994-2006).
The attraction centered around a Circle-Vision 360 film that took Guests on a journey through time. Their travels were facilitated by Timekeeper, voiced by Robin Williams, and Nine Eye, who was voiced by Rhea Perlman. The character of Timekeeper was created specifically with Robin Williams in mind, and his frenetic energy truly brought him to life. As for Nine Eye, she’s as sassy and bold as you expect of a character voiced by the legendary Perlman.
Uncle Orville (Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress)
While John is the principal character of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, the show wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining without Uncle Orville. Despite being cantankerous, he’s still lovable. Besides, he just wants a little privacy. Who can’t relate to that?
The actor who provided his voice, Mel Blanc, makes his character truly special. Known as the “Man of a Thousand Voices” he is a titan in the world of voice acting. He originated the voices of characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Barney Rubble, Dino, and countless others.
Claude and Clyde (Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room)
When you think of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, your mind probably jumps immediately to José, Fritz, Pierre, and Michael, the hosts of the show. To a lesser extent, you might think about the singing orchids or the drumming tikis. You might even wonder what ever happened to Rosita.
Alas, if you are like most, you likely forget all about Claude and Clyde. Yet they set the stage for the entire tiki experience! The lovable pair of birds can be found in the queue area, where they relate the story of how found the Tiki Room. It’s hilarious. Their impression of a lurking alligator is one of the best gags in the park.
DiVine (The Oasis)
As mentioned during the podcast, The Oasis is one of Walt Disney World’s most overlooked gems. This tranquil paradise stands at the front of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and is often passed over by Guests making their way to the “E-ticket” attractions in the park.
The area also contains one of Walt Disney World’s best-kept secrets: the enchanting DiVine. A character unlike any other, she can stretch between 7-16 feet tall, depending on how she moves her limbs. Her body is covered in foliage, so she blends in with the plant life of the Oasis. Her camouflage is so effective, you could walk right by her and not know it!
While she’s easy to miss, it’s more than worth the effort to seek her out. An encounter with DiVine is utterly unforgettable.
Push the Talking Trash Can & Pippa (Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom)
If you’ve ever doubted that the Magic Kingdom is truly the Most Magical Place on Earth, consider this: they made a lovable trash can.
Push the Talking Trash Can could move around the park and chat with Guests. He could even sing! Not to be outdone, Pipa (a recycling bin) could be found telling Guests about the importance of recycling at Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
While they may not get the fanfare of the Disney Princesses, these chatty refuse receptacles will always be royalty to us.
The Forgetful Troll (Norway)
It’s hard to compete with superstars like Anna, Elsa, and Olaf, and there’s no doubt that they are the biggest draw to the Norway Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. That said, you’ve likely seen the Forgetful Troll, even if you don’t know much about him.
He’s the large troll in the gift shop connected to Frozen Ever After. You might think he’s a statue, but that’s just because he turns to stone during the day. At night, he comes to life and goes exploring. Unfortunately, he’s so forgetful that he never remembers what he has done. He can’t even remember his name from day to day.
If you happen to be the first Guest to take a ride on Frozen Ever After, you just might be invited to give him a name for the day! Don’t get too attached though. He’ll have a new one tomorrow.
Mr. Hamm and Mr. Eggz (Kitchen Kabaret)
For half a century, vaudeville was the primary form of popular entertainment. Comedy, dance, oddities, the vaudeville theater gathered them all together. Its influence can even be felt in the early days of Disney. Charlie Chaplin, who got his start in vaudeville, enormously influenced Mickey Mouse. Voice actors like Pinto Colvig (the voice of Goofy) and Cliff Edwards (the voice of Jiminy Cricket), and Clarence Nash (the voice of Donald Duck) were vaudevillians.
Mr. Hamm and Mr. Eggz of the Kitchen Kabaret performed a vaudeville-style act, cracking terrible jokes and singing little ditties. They were like the Laurel and Hardy of the Five Food Groups, and they deserve to be remembered as such.