Theme park fans mourn the loss of Disney Legend Robin Williams

August 11, 2014, 5:08 PM · Robin Williams, from Wikimedia CommonsWhether you're a theme park fan, a movie fan, a fan of standup comedy — or all of the above — the chances are overwhelming that you've spent a fair amount of time in your life laughing over the work of Robin Williams.

Williams, who died today of an apparent suicide at the age of 63, was named a "Disney Legend" in 2009 for his film and voice-over work for the company and its theme parks. Perhaps most widely known in this context as the voice of the Genie from Aladdin, Williams' best theme park gig might have been his role in the "Back to Neverland" film that introduced the old Animation Tour at the then-Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park. (*Update: I've swapped out a better version of the video, which was produced by BRC Imagination Arts for Walt Disney World.)

Please share your favorite Robin Williams moment, from theme parks or other entertainment, in the comments.

Replies (15)

August 11, 2014 at 5:26 PM · If Disney were to replace Captain EO with Back to Neverland in the Imagination pavilion for the rest of 2014, I don't think anyone in the world would object. Just a thought.
August 11, 2014 at 5:36 PM · How could you forget Timekeeper? Possibly my favorite Disney attraction ever.
August 11, 2014 at 5:44 PM · What about the Timekeeper?
August 11, 2014 at 5:57 PM · I'm presently watching Happy Days on ME TV and they are running the first Mork appearance. A classic....My favorite portrayal was the voice over for the genie in Aladdin. I had read that he ad libbed much of the script & they kept it in because it was so good.....Robin Williams was so like the comedian that he patterned his style after, Jonathan Winters. And they both had severe bouts of deep depression and other issues which caused them to spend time in various programs. So sad. Such a great talent.
August 11, 2014 at 6:35 PM · Robin Williams Live at the Met was simply one of the best stand up comedy acts of all time. For it, and many other singularly funny moments, Mr. Williams will be sorely missed.
August 11, 2014 at 7:16 PM · Sad to hear the news. People like him are the ones who inspire cast members to make memorable experiences. Thoughts are with his family.
August 11, 2014 at 8:08 PM · I was truly saddened to read this news and when I did, I had to keep reading in the hope there was some maccabre punchline at the end and it was a marketing thing for his new movie.

His manic energy was such a joy to so many, but unfortunately may have taken its toll on him over the years.


August 12, 2014 at 4:36 AM · So many great memories of Robin Williams, and this news feels very personal for someone I only saw in person once. One of my favorite memories was seeing him live at the Disney Legends ceremony where he was of course, very funny, yet appreciative and moved by the award.

@Robert Niles: I love the idea of bringing Back to Neverland into the parks. It is such a great performance, and one of the best attractions of the early Disney MGM Studios.

August 12, 2014 at 6:53 AM · Many talented and creative people suffer from Bipolar Disorder. Being manic is like drinking ten Red Bulls with your brain going a mile a minute and your speech pattern going non stop. It is the greatest feeling because you feel like a super hero...however the crash will eventually come and the most horrible depression will follow. If he was medicated it could have slowed him down to the point that he didn't feel his "norm" and made him more depressed. Robin was a great guy and will be missed so much.
August 12, 2014 at 8:28 AM · 'Oh captain my captain' -----> Dead Poets Society is my favorite movie and it has my favorite Robin Williams performance.

August 12, 2014 at 9:37 PM · Mushu does not deserve to replace this short. Mushu's show skips over a lot of details, provides too much sassy back-talk, isn't informative, and lacks warmth. I know a lot of better candidates for the show who could provide better insight to the animation process. Frankly, if the show came back at Magic of Disney Animation, nobody would be upset. No one.
August 15, 2014 at 8:00 AM · Timekeeper in the stitch space!
August 15, 2014 at 3:38 PM · I remember Robin is from POPEYE! I love it!
August 15, 2014 at 4:07 PM · It is such a great loss! Rob always put a smile on my face. The world is much darker without him! RIP
August 16, 2014 at 11:19 AM · I want to thank Robin Williams for what he did for Disney's movies. And Jeffrey Eisenberg for having the courage to let him do it. Disney movies are a lot funnier for it: stretch for the joke, make it topical, and trust that your audience will be smart enough and hip enough to go with you. More often than not - you will be right. Thanks again, Robin. You too, Jeff.

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