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Good morning! This day in Disney history August 9th, 1969: forty five years ago, the Haunted Mansion opened to the public in New Orleans Square!
Photo credit: CobbPR
The mansions beginnings go all the way back to when Walt Disney had artist Ken Anderson work on a walk-through "ghost house".
Designers wanted the facade to look like the stereotypical haunted house, but Walt Disney said, “We’ll take care of the outside and let the ghosts take care of the inside.” Sadly Walt passed away two years before the opening, making this the first attraction to open without him. (Dec. 15th,1966) With the loss of their great visionary, the imagineers debated over the design, should it be scary? Funny?
combined their ideas to create what the mansion is today.
The Haunted Mansion was connected to several myths and urban legends. Since the facade had been up for nearly five years, rumors began making their way through schoolyards and across backyard fences. My favorite, a "test patron" had supposedly been literally "scared to death!" 👻
Another fun story surrounding the mansion, quoted from my friend @BaseballMickey_CM: "A few months after the Mansion opened in 1969, it closed for a mysterious reason. People thought that it was so scary that someone actually was killed inside. Well actually, the floors of the stretching room where collecting mold and were damaged from a small leak from the water of the Rivers of America, thus, they had to replace the flooring."
BUT the biggest mystery of them all seems to be with the ACTUAL opening date…..every Disney website I've researched says it's the 9th. BUT I've found evidence to the contrary. You be the judge. For a fascinating read about this: http://tinyurl.com/lvq6kbl
Madame Leota, the medium in the séance room and the tiny talking figure at the end of the attraction as you exit, is modeled after longtime (WED—now Walt Disney Imagineering) employee, model builder, costumer, and Imagineer Leota Toombs (also known as Leota Thomas).
Photo credit: CobbPR
"Serpents, and spiders, tail of a rat...call in the spirits, wherever they're at! Rap on a table, it's time to respond...send us a message from somewhere beyond. Goblins and ghoulies, from last Halloween...awaken the spirits with your tambourines! Creepies, and crawlies, toads in a pond...let there be music, from regions beyond! Wizards and witches, wherever you dwell...give us a hint by ringing a bell!"
can be heard in nearly every section of the Mansion with various arrangements. "Grim Grinning Ghosts" is not performed by the Mellomen, but rather by a pickup group. The only member of the Mellomen heard is Thurl Ravenscroft, who sings as part of a quintet of singing busts in the graveyard scene (the one wth the mustache). His face is also used, projected onto the bust with a detached head. Can you name the other four? (pictured in the main collage below) First one who does gets a gold star for today….
To listen to the original recording of the story of the Mansion (I believe you can purchase this CD in the park): http://tinyurl.com/9z8xl3m
To listen to an interview with "The Black Widow Bride" Kat Cressida (also pictured in the collage below, added in 2006 for the 50th anniversary): http://tinyurl.com/kjkbzqm
What's YOUR favorite thing about Haunted Mansion? Do you prefer the original version or the NBC Holiday one?
Photo credit: CobbPR
Thanks so much for reading and watching! Hope you all have a super Saturday!
Happy 45th anniversary Haunted Mansion!
Photo Credit: CobbPR
Photo credits for the collage below go to our very own MW photographers: CobbPR- Haunted Mansion exterior, and Madame Leota Photography by Ken Leonard (Retired Kid Again): Singing busts in the graveyard MrMOMzers: Ballroom shooter, and Black Widow
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The Season Two cover is revealed through an epic trailer--a tribute to Walt Disney. Check it out below and go here to get more info on MouseWait's hit series Deadliest Cast Member. Follow us on Facebook here.
Disneyland unFORECAST (BETA) is here! Top MouseWaiters giving you the rundown of what's happening at the Disneyland Resort. The unFORECAST now has its own page on the web www.unFORECAST.com
Holiday Tips at the Disneyland Resort:
1. Check out Olaf's Snow Fest and Freeze The Night in Hollywood Land (California Adventure). Frozen Fun officially opens on Jan 7. 2. Expect BIG crowds this week. Disneyland will probably reach capacity. 3. Check out Olaf's Ice Skating Rink in the Downtown Disney Winter Village if you're blocked out. 4. Watch the Christmas Fantasy Parade from the Plaza Inn patio. 5. Check out the Jingle Jangle Jamboree at Big Thunder Ranch. It closes at 5:30pm 6. Viva Navidad, a festive celebration of lively Latino traditions, takes place in California Adventure through Jan 6.
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