The Haunted Mansion ride has always been one of my favorite rides EVER!!!! I have been on the ride at least 50 times. Every single time you go you notice something new or different that you did not see before. So I am beyond THRILLED that tomorrow, August 9, 2019. The Haunted Mansion will celebrate fifty years of being a home to some extraordinarily happy ghosts!
Now I won’t go into a full history of the ride rather I decide to share some well know or not so well known facts about this ride.
The Haunted Mansion was not a first day open attraction. It actually opened almost 14 years after the park opened on August 9, 1969. On that day it was just a soft opening where some park members were able to go on the ride. It was officially opened to the public on August 12, 1969.
The Haunted Mansion exterior was actually made first in 1963 but the ride was not done and ready until 1969. There was couple of reasons for that time gap. First Walt Disney was working on an attraction for the 1964’s World Fair. (please see my blog post : It’s small world ride
Then other reason for the time gap was Walt Disney sudden death in 1966. Which halted production on the Haunted Mansion because the Imagineers were unsure what to do with the ride.
Walt Disney wanted this ride to be a “Museum of the Weird.”
Disney view this ride to be more like a walk through exhibition rather then an attraction. However due to the long pause of completion of the Haunted Mansion a new thing called the “Omnimover”. Which is a way the visitors can sit down and enjoy riding in a cart through the mansion rather than walk.
In the main dining room scene where the ghost are eating and dancing. That effect was called “Ghost Pepper.” Imagineer Rolly Crump (who worked on the Haunted Mansion) explains the process on how that effect was done:
This is one of my favorite parts of the ride to go through.
The Haunted Mansion exterior was inspired by two mansions. One was the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California:
This house belonged to Sarah Winchester. She was the heiress of the Winchester firearm magnet fortress. She also believed the spirits of those who were killed by her family’s invention would get to her. So she kept building a house with many rooms and paths that lead to no where. When Walt Disney went to visited this house he was inspired by it’s beauty and also it’s eeriness of it’s haunted past.
The Shipley-Lydecker House In Baltimore, Maryland.
When Imagineer Ken Anderson was put in charge of making up the idea of how the Haunted Mansion exterior should look like he came across a photo of the Shipley-Lydecker House and it just automatically clicked that this is what the Haunted Mansion should look like.
The imgineers for the Haunted Mansion were inspire by three movies when creating the design, aesthetic and theme of the ride:
La Belle et la Bete directed by Jean Cocteau (1946):
The Cat and the Canary directed by Paul Leni (1927):
The House on Haunted Hill directed by Robert Wise (1963):
The Haunted Mansion will forever be my favorite thing at Disney. I enjoy everything about the ride and I hope it will be there for another 50 years! Here is the main theme song from the ride:
Until Next time!!!