Harnell is probably best known for his work as Wakko Warner on Animaniacs, which is returning to TV this month after 22 years. But Splash Mountain was the first voice acting role he ever had.
“[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 said. “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.”
Harnell went on to say that, while he didn’t find anything offensive about Splash Mountain, he doesn’t want to be part of something that upsets people.
“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,” he said. “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.”