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Welcome to Episode 75.5 of the RetroWDW Podcast: A Chat With Ray – We appreciate your support and hope you have been enjoying each and every episode. Be sure to check out some of our previous shows from over the years. We have visited multiple parks, resorts, and just about everything else in between.
On this episode, we are joined by Disney entertainer Ray DeForest. Ray spent many years in Walt Disney World entertainment and has a large number of stories and tales we are so excited to hear. Throughout this episode, we discuss how Ray got his start with the Walt Disney Company in Washington, DC, and then how he made his way to central Florida. As you will learn, Ray was a pioneer in WDW entertainment, working in everything from characters, dancing, performing in the two theme parks, and more. We also hear some great side stories about flying in ‘The Mouse’, where the entertainment offices are, and also how he was able to beat the heat performing in front of the castle.
Ray has two areas of performance that caught our attention though; The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and the opening day celebration at EPCOT Center. Ray talks with JT in detail about these two exciting but different opportunities he was given at Walt Disney World. If you have ever seen any of the guide books with photos of the opening of EPCOT Center, you have seen Ray on stage ushering in the 21st Century in 1982. The Hoop-Dee-Doo segment of this interview has Ray sharing some fond memories, giving a few secrets, and also paying tribute to some other amazing cast members.
Ray shared with us a number of great photos from his time at Walt Disney World. He really was part of something special back then and we are so lucky we were able to discuss all of this with him. To find Ray online, take a look at the following sites:
– Doris Dear: YouTube, Instagram, Website
– Ray’s Instagram
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