Ok, we have already talked about Thurl Ravenscroft’s incredible singing and acting career throughout the Disney films. Now, we shall talk about his numerous appearances in the Disney Theme Parks.
There are two extinct attractions in Disneyland where Thurl’s voice could be heard. The first one being Adventures through Inner Space; the Mellomen sang the song “Miracles to Molecules”. The second one is Submarine Voyager, on which Thurl was the Narrator.
There were several places in Disneyland in California that used to house Thurl’s voice, and while the attractions still exist, his voice on the attraction does not. In 2001, Thurl’s Narration on the Disneyland Railroad was removed as well as his voice as the First Mate on the Mark Twain Steam Boat.
Currently in Disneyland, you can hear Thurl on Peter Pan as a background singer. In the Enchanted Tiki Room, he can be found in several places. During the Preshow outside, he is the voice of Tungaroa and on the inside, he is the voice of Fritz. The Mellomen also do a bit of singing for the Enchanted Tiki Room.
In Walt Disney World, the original voice of the Railroad was Thurl. In both versions of the Enchanted Tiki Room, Tropical Serenade and Under New Management, Thurl is the voice of Fritz.
There are a few attractions in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World that currently feature Thurl’s deep voice. The first being Pirates of the Caribbean. Not only does he sing the main song in the background, he is the voice of a drunken pirate by a lamp post, an accordion player and, as mentioned before, a dog who is singing along with the group. In the Country Bear Jamboree, he provides the voice for Buff, the buffalo head on the wall of the theatre. Haunted Mansion is the only place in a Disney park where you can actually see Thurl’s face. He is a singing bust in the graveyard scene, the one whose head has been knocked off of its pedestal. Many who see Thurl singing as this bust mistake him for Walt Disney because of the similar mustache both men have. He is also the bass voice that you hear singing the main song, “Grim Grinning Ghosts”.
Thurl has had many features in the Disney parks in the USA and has even had a couple spots over in Tokyo Disneyland! Thurl’s voice, like in both US parks, was the original voice for the Railroad and in the version of Country Bear Jamboree, he also is kept as the voice of Buff.
Whew! There we go, the full story behind the Disney Legend, Thurl Ravenscroft! He is even a true Disney Legend, inducted in 1995 for all the work he has done for the company. If you would like to find out more about Thurl and his work, just visit www.allaboutthurl.com and make sure to check out the section on all of his projects with Disney!
*Update* Listening to some audio from Disneyland, Thurl Ravenscroft also did the voice for the narrator of an audio version of The Jungle Cruise.