Tag Archives: Disney Haunted Mansion
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!”
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Today, I am sharing another tidbit of information I discovered while on my recent Keys to the Kingdom Tour at the Magic Kingdom. After our morning stroll down Main Street, we headed over to Adventureland and Liberty Square to learn a little about a man named Marc Davis.
If you have ever looked around while in the queue at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, you have probably noticed the scene of two skeletons sitting at a chess game. If you have looked even closer, you have probably noticed that the game is in stalemate so the storyline is that these swashbucklers died trying to figure out their next move. If you have ever wondered where the idea came from, you are lucky to be reading this blog today.
The chess game was the idea of Disney Imagineer Marc Davis. Marc Davis wasn’t just any old imagineer but was, in fact, one of Walt Disney’s “Nine Old Men,” a group of famed core animators for Disney animated films. Mr. Davis started in 1935 on Snow White and he later went on to help develop and animate the characters of Bambi and Thumper in Bambi, Cinderella, Alice of Alice in Wonderland, Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, Maleficent and the raven in Sleeping Beauty, and Cruella De Vil in One Hundred and One Dalmatians. He was also the design creator of many of the characters in some of Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s most famous rides, such as the Carousel of Progress, the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion. In 1989, Mr. Davis was named a Disney Legend.
Marc Davis was an avid chess player and, although Imagineers are not allowed to autograph their work, some do manage to leave little clues. He found a way to do just that. On Pirates it is in the queue with the skeletons playing chess, but do you know where it is in the Haunted Mansion? If you guessed that it is not “in” the Haunted Mansion but “on” it, you are right! Chess pieces adorn the tops of the mansion. Look closely at my pictures and you will see some of them.
If I had a better photograph that encompassed the entire mansion, you would notice there are a couple of pawns, rooks, kings, queens, etc. on the roof. Rae told us there are no knights, though, because it is always night in the Haunted Mansion – tee hee.
Many people, like me, never even take the time to look at the top of the mansion. We are usually hurried to get to this ride or that. I am so thankful that I took the time to go on the Keys to the Kingdom tour. There is so much hidden magic we miss when we are in a hurry. It is a lot of fun to take the time to look and learn.
There is just one more signature piece I must mention. While you are on POTC, look closely at the coat of arms hanging over the entrance of the final scene. On the crest, Mr. Davis managed to sneak in the name “Marco Daviso,” and adorn the crest with rooks. Next time you are at the Magic Kingdom, look for all of these signature pieces. It really makes it all more personal to think of the genius behind the magic.
Yeah you read that topic correctly. Disney the home of princesses, fairy tales, and happily ever afters has been invaded by Zombies.. Did that get you scared? Didn’t think so..Well here is an article that talks about Bob Iger’s strategy of how Disney is reinventing themselves, including the new Dan Vado comic book about the Haunted Mansion:
When Walt Disney Co. asked publisher Dan Vado to make a series of comic books based on its Haunted Mansion theme-park ride, he worried that the empire built on the likes of Snow White and Tinker Bell would reject his brand of creepy humor. Vado gave Disney skeletons dangling from nooses, scattered corpses and a ghostly poodle that says “crap.” To his surprise, Disney signed off on his vision.“Everything we did was really strange,” says Vado, founder of San Jose, California-based SLG Publishing, as in Slave Labor Graphics. “The interesting thing about Disney is, for a company perceived as being stodgy, they do a good job of reinventing themselves.”
Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger, 59, is on a spending spree at the world’s biggest media company to transform his film studio, amusement parks and stores. In fiscal 2009, net income at Disney fell 25 percent to $3.3 billion — the worst annual performance in Iger’s five-year reign — and was almost flat in the first quarter of 2010 compared with a year earlier.
The global recession has hammered the company’s 11 theme parks, which are offering promotions and discounts. The Burbank, California-based company’s studio is also struggling: In 2009, it churned out box office flops such as “G-Force,” which featured wisecracking guinea pigs.
Iger is pouring billions into attracting a new generation of kids — boys especially — raised on violent video games and reality shows.
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A great video of Disneyland Haunted Mansion
Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas gets the DVD/Blu-ray treatment and has never looked any better.
Click read article for more Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas videos..including Disney’s Haunted Mansion.