Voice actor and singer, Jess Harnell, is known for voicing attractions at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The most popular voice role for Harnell is for Splash Mountains’ popular character, Brer Rabbit. As Disney prepares to re-imagine Splash Mountain to a Princess and the Frog theme, Disney recently noted the project is being expedited. Harnell weighs in with his thoughts on the ride’s re-imagining.
“[Splash Mountain] is really, really dear to my heart, because it was the first character voice job I ever did, and I did most of the voices on that ride,” Harnell told ComicBook.com. “And it gave me a great sense of joy knowing that wherever I was, sleeping, awake, whatever condition I was in at that time, somebody somewhere in the world was on Splash Mountain, and hopefully it was making them happy. I loved that idea. Since, then I’ve gone on to do a lot of other stuff at the Disney parks. Those are still going to be there.”
“I’ve had the experience of looking down from above on the Main Street Electrical Parade, watching kids’ faces light up when voices I did come out,” Harnell continued. “And there’s no greater feeling. To know that you gave people that happiness. Now, personally, I don’t believe that Splash Mountain was offensive, and I don’t believe that it alluded to anything offensive, but if it’s going to upset people or make people feel bad about something terrible, then I get it. I’m sorry to see it go, because I loved it. It was an honor to be involved, and I’m happy I had that chance. But I don’t want to be a part of anything that makes anybody hurt.”
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Disney has yet to announce a date for Splash Mountain’s closure for re-imagining to begin. To learn more about the re-imagining, click here.