Haunted Mansion

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For the 2003 film adaptation, see The Haunted Mansion (film). For the 2003 video game, see The Haunted Mansion (video game). For the comics, see Haunted Mansion (comics). For the unrelated 1998 Hong Kong film, see Haunted Mansion (1998 film).
The Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion Exterior.JPG
Original attraction at Disneyland
Disneyland
Area New Orleans Square
Status Operating
Opening date August 9, 1969
Magic Kingdom
Area Liberty Square
Status Operating
Opening date October 1, 1971
Tokyo Disneyland
Area Fantasyland
Status Operating
Opening date April 15, 1983
General statistics
Attraction type Omnimover dark ride
Manufacturers Arrow Development (Disneyland & Magic Kingdom)
Designer WED Enterprises
Theme Haunted manor
Music Buddy Baker
Vehicle type Doom buggies
Riders per vehicle 2-3
Duration 5:50-8:20 minutes
Audio-animatronics Yes
Host Ghost Host (Paul Frees)
(Teichiro Hori, Tokyo version)
Must transfer from wheelchair
Assistive listening icon.svg Assistive listening available
Closed captioning available

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.

History[edit]

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.

In 1961, handbills announcing a 1963 opening of the Haunted Mansion were given out at Disneyland's main entrance.[1] Construction began a year later, and the exterior was completed in 1963. The attraction was previewed in a 1965 episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color,[1] but the attraction itself would not open until 1969. The six-year delay owed heavily to Disney's involvement in the New York World's Fair in 1964–1965 and to an attraction redesign after Walt's death in 1966. The mansion opened to all guests August 12, 1969.

In October 2001, Haunted Mansion Holiday premiered, a seasonal overlay featuring characters from the 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas.

In October 2005, Slave Labor Graphics began publishing a bimonthly Haunted Mansion comic book anthology, with the main recurring story (Mystery of the Manse) centered around "Master Gracey" and inspired by the sea captain concepts proposed for the attraction by Ken Anderson in the 1950s. The comics are non-canonical.

Other Disney parks[edit]

The attraction opened at Magic Kingdom in 1971, Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, at Disneyland Paris as Phantom Manor in 1992, and at Hong Kong Disneyland as Mystic Manor in 2013.

Disneyland Paris is home to Phantom Manor, a "re-imagined" version of the Haunted Mansion. The house is a Western Victorian, in the Second Empire architectural style, based on the look of the Fourth Ward School House in Virginia City, Nevada. Along with the Western architectural style, the attraction uses a Western plot to fit in with the Thunder Mesa and Frontierland backdrop.

Mystic Manor, a somewhat different kind of attraction inspired by the Haunted Mansion,[citation needed] opened at Hong Kong Disneyland in spring 2013. The attraction's exterior is that of a large Victorian mansion in an elaboarte Queen Anne architectural style, and the experience features a trackless "ride" system and a musical score by Danny Elfman. Continuing the Society of Explorers and Adventurers theme of Tokyo DisneySea, the attraction tells the story of Lord Henry Mystic and his monkey Albert. Having recently acquired an enchanted music box, Albert opens the box and brings everything inside the house to life.

Characters[edit]

Haunted Mansion Holiday[edit]

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.

Hatbox Ghost[edit]

For the first few weeks, a now fan-favorite character named the Hatbox Ghost existed in the attic portion of the ride at Disneyland Park. However, the character eventually disappeared within a few months. Because the Hatbox Ghost featured prominently in artwork and narration for popular Haunted Mansion record albums sold for many years at Disney parks, and because Disney continues to market the ghost's image, he has never been forgotten and has become somewhat of a legend, complete with cult following. Many fans of the ride wish to see him returned and have gone so far as to circulate petitions calling for the figure's restoration.

Soundtrack[edit]

The foyer, stretching room, and ride narration was performed by Paul Frees in the role of the Ghost Host. Theme song

Grim Grinning Ghosts was composed by Buddy Baker and the lyrics were written by X Atencio. It can be heard in nearly every area of the ride, with various instrumentations and tempos.

Popular culture[edit]

  • The video game Epic Mickey features a Haunted Mansion-like level known as Lonesome Manor. According to Warren Spector, it is the different versions of the Haunted Mansion ride thrown together.
  • In the first episode of Kevin Smith's "Clerks: The Animated Series", a ride through the rival convenience store "Quicker Stop" is mechanized much like the Haunted Mansion, complete with Leonardo Leonardo (voiced by Alec Baldwin) in the role of the "Ghost Host". A customer upon seeing his ghostly image in the car next to him screams "The dead live!" and flees in terror.
  • Many of the ghosts from the attraction appear in the direct-to-DVD film Mickey's House of Villains.

References[edit]

  • "Disneyland's Ghost House". (2004). The "E" Ticket (41).
    This is the Fall 2004 issue of the magazine The "E" Ticket, which was dedicated to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
  • Eastman, Tish. (1997). "Haunting Melodies: The Story Behind Buddy Baker's Score for the Haunted Mansion". Persistence of Vision (9) 39.
    Persistence of Vision is an irregularly published magazine "celebrating the creative legacy of Walt Disney." Back issues can be found at The Book Palace.
  • Smith, Paul. (1997). "Tales from the Crypt: Life in the Haunted Mansion." Persistence of Vision (9) 89.
  • Surrell, J. (2003). The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movie. New York: Disney Editions. ISBN 0-7868-5419-7
    A book published by Disney giving a comprehensive history of the Haunted Mansion from early inception, in which it was a walk-through attraction, to its current form. It includes information on the Haunted Mansion movie.

External links[edit]