The Haunted Mansion opened in Disneyland in 1969 after years of development… and after the death of Walt Disney in 1966. Since its debut, this attraction with 999 happy haunts has won the hearts of countless fans. With tons of surprises and some shocking history, it’s no wonder it’s a cult classic.
With Halloween right around the corner, the AllEars® Ghost Host thought it was the perfect time to share some fun facts about this beloved dark ride!
- There are Haunted Mansion attractions at Disneyland, Disney World, and Tokyo Disneyland. There are also two similar dark rides at other international Disney locations: Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris and Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland.
- The ride was originally conceived as a walk-through attraction. It even included a “Museum of the Weird.”
- Wait time for this attraction is often listed as 13 minutes — even when there is no wait!
- In the Stretching Room scene at the Disney World location, the room is truly stretching. At the Disneyland location, you are actually inside an elevator! Once you exit the stretching room at its underground destination, you proceed into a portrait-lined hallway that takes you safely under the railroad tracks.
- The organ from the Ballroom scene used in the Disneyland location for this attraction is the same organ used in Disney’s classic film “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
- At Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion in 1974, a guest brought in a firearm unbeknownst to cast members. He fired several rounds inside the attraction’s Ballroom scene, striking the glass. Since the glass was so expensive and time-consuming to replace (the roof of the attraction would have to be removed to fit it in), spiderweb stickers were placed over the damage.
- The disembodied head we see in the séance room was originally portrayed by Imagineer Leota Toombs. Her daughter Kim Irvine (now in Walt Disney Imagineering herself!) took over this role when new footage was needed.
- The pet cemetery at the exit of the Haunted Mansion in Disney World pays homage to Mr. Toad. You can see his statue marker up in the back.
- Can you find the cursed wedding ring? After a turnstile was removed, fans theorized that the metal left behind in the pavement resembled an engagement ring. It even became a popular location for Disney proposals. After it was paved over, Disney decided to add an official ring that you can look for.
- The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland gets a makeover to transform into Haunted Mansion Holiday every year between late September and early January. “The Nightmare Before Christmas”-themed overlay features characters from this Halloween and Christmas mashup movie. There is even a real gingerbread house in the birthday party scene that is created every year by a team of talented bakers.
- The singing busts in the graveyard scene in Disney World warble the attraction’s theme song, “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” Though sometimes mistaken for Walt Disney, the face on the bust on the left actually belongs to Disney Legend Thurl Ravenscroft, the song’s soloist. Ravenscroft is perhaps best-known as the voice of Tony the Tiger, the mascot of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal. In addition to Ravenscroft, the Singing Busts include Jay Meyer, Verne Row, Bob Ebright, and Chuck Schroeder.
- Grim Grinning Ghosts, with lyrics by X Atencio (who also wrote the Ghost Host’s script) and music by Buddy Baker, was recorded by the Mello Men, a singing group made up of Bill Lee, Max Smith, Bob Stevens, and Thurl Ravenscroft. The group also provided the vocals in many Disney films and theme park attractions.
- The Haunted Mansion attraction is the number one location in the park where park-goers attempt to spread the ashes of their loved ones. Unfortunately, we’re not making this up. Whenever guests are caught doing so the ride is shut down for “technical difficulties.”
Oh, I didn’t mean to frighten you prematurely! Find out more information about the Haunted Mansion HERE! Don’t forget to leave a comment about how much you love this attraction. Hurry back! Hurry baa-aaack!