50 Greatest Park Characters: Scene Stealing Sidekicks

If you’re just joining us, be sure to check out the previous week of trading card reveals!

When it comes to the trading card set of the 50 Greatest Park Characters, the designers were careful to include not just attraction headliners, but also the sidekicks who always manage to steal the show.

The five cards in this week’s pack are certainly worthy of inclusion. It doesn’t matter that their names are not on the billboard. These guys upstage practically everyone who performs with them.

For proof, look no further than…


Waldo is a unique theme park creation. I mean literally. Dr. Honeydew creates him as part of Muppet Vision 3-D. He’s the only non-puppet performer, but when it comes to cheap 3-D tricks, even Fozzie Bear can’t match the awesomeness of Waldo’s runny nose.

Waldo can morph into anything — even corporate symbol Mickey Mouse. He’s so untouchable, you couldn’t hit him with a … CANNON?! Hey everybody, he’s got a cannon!!!


Anyway, you know the drill. Waldo holds his own with the Muppets, and that’s saying something.

And speaking of going toe to toe with beloved characters famous for funny voices and weird haircuts, how about the guy who manages to swipe the Best Actor trophy away from Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean?


Before everyone thought the ride was based on the movie, the Auctioneer had the most commanding presence on the Caribbean stage. In fact, he still does. This is the one guy who looks like he’s in charge. With his polished speech and Timothy Dalton chin, he’s a top-notch salesman not afraid to swindle his own shipmates out of a few gold pieces, even with suspect merchandise.


It helps that he’s teamed up with the Redhead, who appeared earlier on our list. Two of the Greatest Park Characters of all time sharing the stage. It’s like Glengarry Glen Ross, only with Pirates.

The next three characters fall solely in the realm of comic relief. Hooter (or PFC Hooter, as he is known in this tell-all biography), is a perfect example.


Captain EO may have a great smile and some funny costumes, but Hooter is the physical comedy genius of this ragtag band. He’s Buster Keaton, Harpo Marx, and Babar the Elephant rolled into one.


What other character in the Disney theme park pantheon can get away with eating a map, wearing a trash can as a disguise, and nearly ruining someone’s trip?

Okay, you got me there

Okay, you got me there

Next up we have one of my personal favorites, a guy who made me laugh the minute I heard him back in 1989, and kept me going through his entire preshow. For years, I swore he was voiced by Robin Williams (it’s actually Corey Burton).


General Knowledge skewers everything from army drill sergeants to Ernest P. Worrell (hey, it was the 80s). There are the obligatory chicken jokes, and even a shot at Walt Disney World. He mainly commands the preshow, but he also pops up from time to time during the Cranium Command main show as well, threatening Buzzy with one of those ridiculous chickens (“Brrrawk! I don’t need a brain! I’m going into politics! Brrawk!”).


Now for the last guy in this week’s deck. He’s the fan favorite — the Country Bear with the worse singing voice, the most disturbing song choice, and the highest BAC reading this side of Grizzly Gulch.


Of course Big Al made the list! Do you think the guys who came up with this deck (whoever they are) are stupid? Everyone loves Big Al. You sing his song all the time (admit it, you know you do).


And when you think about it, the guy is a nut case. Think about that cowboy. Just think about it! Why is there so much blood??? Big Al is a killer, no doubt about it. Anybody who shows up for the Christmas show wearing a diaper like the New Year’s baby is not somebody you want to tangle with.

Tune in next week when Ted unveils 5 more characters. Only 15 left!


Comments (19)

  1. I’m very, very, VERY late to this, but was looking up parks-only characters. Waldo from Muppet-Vision was on the Jim Henson Hour regularly and that predates Muppet Vision, IIRC. He’s not a park exclusive.

    • Oops! Never mind. I hadn’t read the card yet before posting. It mentioned this. My bad! Sorry!

  2. This series of original park characters got me to thinking, what are each of your all-time favorite original rides/attractions at WDW?

  3. Sweet list! This series is so much fun. I was shocked though, when my prediction didn’t come true… when I saw Waldo, I was certain that one of his “fun facts” would be “Bounces on peoples’ heads.” (meep!)

    • Apparently there was not enough space on the card for all all of Beaker’s meeps!

  4. When it comes to singing “Blood on the Saddle” I tend to believe that, in Big Al’s case, it wasn’t blood but ketchup from too many hot dogs, burgers and fries. However, “ketchup on the saddle” just doesn’t sound as intimidating.

    • And yet, if Disney wanted to introduce a themed hot dog, they could do worse than “Blood on the Saddle”

  5. Forgive me if this has been covered in the comments already… has “Widen Your World” on Facebook ripped off your idea of trading cards? Theirs look to be inspired by Parkeology’s idea.

    • Yes, very strange. We sent a message to them, but they kind of laughed it off. Oh well, I guess imitation is the ultimate form of flattery.

    • Yea I’m a little less flattered or at least less accepting then Shane is. To me it is a direct copy and also a real shame as that is otherwise a well run site. We have had our ideas taken before but this one is especially blatant.

      • I wouldn’t worry about it too much guys. Your cards, excuse me, the cards you guys bought a long time ago, are entertaining and funny. I checked out that fb page. Theirs suck more than the DL 60th Anniversary special.

  6. I have to question the “Birthdate” for General Knowledge. My trip to EPCOT Center was in the summer of ’89, and Cranium Command was fully up and running (and one of the highlights of the trip). I know attractions sometimes get “soft openings,” but…months in advance?

    Other than that…superbly done, as usual!

    • I can’t comment on how early previews might have been up and running, but everything I’ve read online from multiple sources claims October ’89 as the official opening date. So the makers of these cards got it right.

      • I’ll take your…er, *their* word for it then. I don’t claim that level of expertise when it comes to WDW. Anaheim is my milieu.

        • Regardless of his birthdate, I think we can all agree that the loss of General Knowledge is a tragic thing.

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