Imagineer Shares How Patrick Warburton Was Cast in “Soarin’” Pre-show

Imagineer Jim Clark shared on Twitter this week how Patrick Warburton became the flight attendant on Disney California Adventure’s famous Soarin’ attraction.

According to Clark, with only two months left until the opening of Disney California Adventure, the pre-show for Soarin’ still wasn’t complete. John Travolta, as a pilot himself, was meant to play the main character. The flight attendant character was briefly named Sandy, Clark said. The name may have been a nod to the character name of Travolta’s “Grease” co-star, Olivia Newton-John.

Unfortunately, Travolta’s filming schedule was making it difficult. Plus he had a beard that the Imagineers didn’t like.

The team then went to a screening of The Emperor’s New Groove, which was released December 15, 2000. The Imagineers loved Kronk, who was voiced by Patrick Warburton. Not only did they choose to cast Warburton, but they expanded the role for him as well. Almost 20 years later, Patrick the flight attendant can still be seen in the re-worked Soarin’ Around the World at both Disney California Adventure and EPCOT.

Watch our full POV video of Soarin’ Around the World at EPCOT below.

Do you prefer Patrick Warburton or do you wish we had seen John Travolta in the flight attendant role? Let us know in the comments.