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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
Credits Hall of Fame. This real-time list honors the top Credits purchasers by showing the total number of Credits purchased. These MouseWaiters play an integral part in helping us maintain and innovate. Thank you to everyone who buys Credits in the MW iOS app, TRIVILATOR, and Goat Effect!
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
unFORECAST for the week of Monday April 20, 2015
CROWD PREDICTION: Back to short hours this week, and based on our Historical Crowd Index, we see mid-70s with crowds decreasing through the end of the month. There is also a chance of rain toward the end of the week which could throw a wrench in things. Friday and Sunday's have been the busiest days, but rain on Friday could cause the crowds to be significantly less. Have a great weekend! - Admin Apr 21, 2015 11:28AM
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Peter Pan closed through May 7
Matterhorn Bobsleds closed through May 15
Innoventions closed March 31-September 30
Space Mountain closed May 5-7
Haunted Mansion closed May 4-7
Indiana Jones closed April 20-May1
DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE:
Soarin' Over California closed through May 14
Luigi's Flying Tires closed through Dec 1
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