Haunted Mansion Holiday and the Attraction’s 45th Anniversary
Grim Grinning Ghosts, come out to socialize! In celebration of the attraction’s 45th anniversary and the opening of Haunted Mansion Holiday today, this was the perfect time to show some historical footage of the Haunted Mansion.
From the Disney Parks Blog:
“Today is the first day of Halloween Time here at the Disneyland Resort. Pumpkins are everywhere and guest favorite, Haunted Mansion Holiday, is opening. Did you know that the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park was one of Walt Disney’s ideas for the park even before it was built? Here we are, 45 years after its August 9, 1969 opening and it is still haunting guests each day. In celebration of the attraction’s anniversary and the opening of Haunted Mansion Holiday today, we thought this was the perfect time to dig up historical footage of the Haunted Mansion from our archives. You’ll see Walt Disney showing off a model of the Haunted Mansion and interviews with the Imagineers who turned his idea into a reality. You’ll also find out why the mansion is so pristine on the outside, while dilapidated and creepy on the inside. It’s a fun video – a scream, really. Enjoy!”
The Haunted Mansion is a haunted house dark ride located at Disneyland, Magic Kingdom (Walt Disney World), and Tokyo Disneyland. Phantom Manor, a significantly re-imagined version of the Haunted Mansion, is located exclusively in Disneyland Paris. Another Disney attraction involving the supernatural and set in a mansion, Mystic Manor, recently opened at Hong Kong Disneyland. The Haunted Mansion features a ride-through tour in Omnimover vehicles called “Doom Buggies,” preceded by a walk-through show in the queue. The attraction utilizes a range of technology, from centuries-old theatrical effects to modern special effects and spectral Audio-Animatronics.
The attraction predates Disneyland, to when Walt Disney hired the first of his Imagineers. The first known illustration of the park showed a main street setting, green fields, western village, and a carnival. Disney Legend Harper Goff developed a black-and-white sketch of a crooked street leading away from Main Street by a peaceful church and graveyard, with a run-down manor perched high on a hill that towered over Main Street.
Disney assigned Imagineer Ken Anderson to make a story around Goff’s idea. Plans were made to build a New Orleans-themed land in the small transition area between Frontierland and Adventureland. Weeks later, New Orleans Square appeared on the souvenir map and promised a thieves market, a pirate wax museum, and a haunted house walk-through. Anderson studied New Orleans and old plantations and come up with a drawing of an antebellum manor overgrown with weeds, dead trees, swarms of bats and boarded doors and windows topped by a screeching cat as a weather vane.
Disney, however, did not like the idea of a run-down building in his pristine park. He visited the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, and was captivated by the massive mansion with its stairs to nowhere, doors that opened to walls and holes, and elevators. Anderson came up with stories for the mansion, including tales of a ghostly sea captain who killed his nosy bride and then hanged himself, a mansion home to an unfortunate family, and a ghostly wedding party with well-known Disney villains and spooks. Imagineers Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey recreated Ken Anderson’s stories in a studio at WED enterprise.
Since 2001, the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland is transformed into Haunted Mansion Holiday during Christmas inspired by Disney’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The Haunted Mansion is closed in September for a few weeks as they revamp the attraction, replacing many of the props and Audio-Animatronics with characters and themes from the movie. It features Jack Skelington as Sandy Claws. Jack discovers the mansion, then shares it with the 999 happy haunts. Corey Burton replaces Paul Frees as the Ghost Host. – Wikipedia