Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy Birthday, 'Haunted Mansion'!

It was 39 years ago today that The Haunted Mansion opened at Disneyland. It was a big deal. There were thousands of people wanting to ride and hundreds of journalists trying to cover the event. There were “I Scream” sundaes being sold, as well as other promotional items and events put on by Disney. I'm sure that an event similar to that will be put on one year from today when The Haunted Mansion celebrates its milestone 40th year in operation.

Here are some interesting facts about the famous dark ride from New Orleans Square:

  1. Madame Leota, from the Seance Room, is modeled after Imagineer Leota Toombs (aka Leota Thomas). The figure at the end of the ride that reminds you to bring your death certificate is also supposed to be modeled after her.
  2. Some think that the singing bust (2nd in from the left) is modeled after Walt Disney. It isn't supposed to be Walt Disney, however. It is supposed to be Thurl Ravenscroft, who sings Grim Grinning Ghosts.
  3. The Haunted Mansion is actually located outside of the limits of Disneyland. The elevator brings you below ground and the first hill that the Doombuggies carry you up leads to a soundstage outside of Disneyland's borders.
  4. On top of The Haunted Mansion there are chess pieces - a couple of pawns, rooks, kings, queens, etc. - decorating the roof like mini-towers. The chess pieces are there because the building's architect and attraction's chief designer loved chess. The reason there is no knight chess piece on the roof of the mansion is because it is always "night" inside The Haunted Mansion.
  5. The Hitchhiking Ghosts you see are full, real, solid figures. The mirrors you look through are one-way mirrors, In a pitch black chamber beyond the mirrors, at the exact distance away are the figures themselves, who are lit dimly.
  6. Look for a hidden Mr. Toad inside the Pet Cemetery.
Now that you know some of the trivia and opening day information of The Haunted Mansion you can now successfully celebrate The Haunted Mansion's 39th birthday!

Some trivia provided by

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