Capturing Disney in Pictures: Haunted Mansion, Florida Style
Every photo has a story.
People enjoy being scared for fun, and what better place than a haunted house? Studies show up to 40% of Americans believe in house-haunting. So nearly one in two people believe, more than they believe in any other paranormal actitity, that spirits haunt houses. Your buddy standing next to you right now? He probably believes. He’s listening for rattling chains.
So of course Walt Disney incorporated a haunted house into plans for his new theme park. His initial concept for the Haunted Mansion was a retirement home for ghosts. Disneyland’s original 1969 Haunted Mansion was installed in an antebellum plantation house located in Frontierland. This building, built years prior to the ghost’s inhabitance, is detailed with a columned portico and ornate filigree railings. Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion appears to have lept straight out of “Song of the South.”
But for Disney’s second shot at spooky residential scares, Imagineering’s John Hench dreamed up a much darker-themed design for Walt Disney World’s Florida version of the Haunted Mansion. The end product, a gothic manse made of stone and brick located in Liberty Square, appears straight out of an old horror movie. Ghosts grim or grinning, I’d still move in this mansion, since there’s always room for one more. But I’d need some cleaning supplies.
Picture this… five pound bags of theatrical dust, called “Fuller’s Earth,” are used to decorate the 200 props at the Haunted Mansion. Pound for pound, that’s likely enough dust to have buried the Mansion completely by now. With your Doom Buggie, officially known as a 160 OmniMover, plugging along a 1.4 mph, there seems little chance of a Doom Buggie draft disturbing the dust. This OmniMover technology was first used by Disneyland in the 1967 attraction Adventure Thru Inner Space.
The Haunted Mansion offers fun entertainment for adults, and you’ll leave with one of the most memorable Disney songs of all time ringing in your ears. But some young children can be frightened. This attractions isn’t a Disney-cute ride like you would have expected to see in the now-deceased Toon Town. Hanging corpses, coffins, axes, spooky portraits, loud shreiks, and DARK rooms abound, and that’s once you make it past the tombstones by the side door. Not to mention those Cast Members perfectly in character… it’s time to take small children by the hand and enjoy a good Disney scare.
Either way, California’s antebellium plantation or Florida’s gothic mansion, “Beware of Hitchhiking ghosts!”
Thanks for stopping by for a photographical Disney ride!
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