Disneyland celebrates Haunted Mansion’s 45th Anniversary with new art and collectibles

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disney, Disneyland Resort, Features

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on August 18, 2014 at 4:21 am with 49 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.

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  • thejonesman

    The new Antoinette’s looks gorgeous, the rest of New Orleans Square looks just fine. Can’t wait to see it in person.

  • Susan Hughes

    The Guest Flow Corridor project seems to be coming along nicely. Lots and lots of construction going on backstage. It’s definitely not going to be just a simple fix for overflow crowds. I have a feeling it’s going to look pretty cool when it’s done.
    As part of the construction, Main Street Photo Supply will close on the 29th for three weeks. The Photopass viewing stations will relocate to the stroller rentals outside the Disneyland main entrance.
    And of course, I can’t help but bring up this point…starting today the day all Cast Members have been dreading has arrived. The civilized and pleasant atmosphere of the summer comes to an end as the Annual Passholes return to the parks. The horror…the horror!

    • Ravjay12

      Why do you continue to call them “passholes”? Is it just to get a reaction from the annual pass holders on this site? Did you have one bad experience with one and you now have labeled them all?

      • Susan Hughes

        Scroll to 2:51 of this video for someone else’s opinion about Passholders/Passholes:


        And again, I point out that the term “Annual Passholes” is one used by Cast Members. They’re the ones who deal with them daily. The majority of them were blocked out most of the summer, and it was pure bliss at the parks. It ends today.

      • dizneedoll

        I’m sick of this too. I’ve been an annual pass HOLDER for over 15 years now and I’ve only ever encountered one or two really rude guests and I have no idea if they were passholders or not. If you want rude guests, go to Disney World. Last time I was there I encountered more rude, pushy guests in one week then I have in 15 years at Disneyland. And CM shouldn’t be calling them that either. CM’s of today aren’t exactly the magical-guest-first friendly folks of yesteryear either ya know.

      • Ravjay12

        I was a cast member and never called them that. The cast members calling them that are out of line and shouldn’t be working there. Even if some guests are difficult, cast members should be the better people. Your’re saying that they’re all “Passholes”. That’s just not true and it’s in bad taste. Are you a cast member?

      • gimackenzie

        The Passholes/Passholders debate aside, I never want to see that link again. That girl has one of the most annoying voices, and deliveries, I have ever encountered. She looks like she’s in her twenties, but acts like she’s twelve!

      • jood34d

        Agreed, wow annoying video, poor delivery of information.

        And indeed, there’s a difference between Disney fans who come frequently enough to use an annual pass and enjoy the parks, and some California residents who get relatively cheap annual passes, come and go as they please throwing off crowd expectations and management.

        Don’t dump everyone into an inane category.

      • ZedIzDead

        How DARE AP’s who have lower tier passes want to visit. What nerve…

      • daveyjones

        yea, that’s sarah. she does a lot of video blogging for the site now. i agree; i can’t listen to her. yikes.

      • SarahSnitch

        Hey everyone! Thanks for the lovely comments.

        I’m sure you’re all quite pleased to know I’m not a Cast Member anymore, but may I say – kindly – calm down about this. “Passholes” is a termed used IN PRIVATE by a lot of CM’s. Never to be said in front of guests. Never to be used in a seriously malicious way. Flat out – there are a lot of rude Annual Passholders. No one ever said all AP’s were rude. This isn’t a big deal.

        Thanks for the constructive criticism on my vids. I’ll try to change my voice for the next video I do.

    • FixitKronk

      plus susan continually uses the “that’s what the employees call them” excuse to post derogatory messages about pass holders.

    • Freddie Freelance

      I hope the Guest Flow Corridors have nice theming, more than just “slap a coat of beige or brown paint on it, and add green or white trim”. I’m still hoping for a Main Street-era appropriate residential street.

      • Susan Hughes

        With the amount of construction (and destruction) going on, I just can’t see it being something cheap and simple to handle overflow crowds. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

    • Diznehound

      Sounds to me like you expected WAY too many perks and were hocked off when you didn’t get them! If you can’t be imbued with the magic and fantasy, it’s good that you don’t work for the company any more- and one more thing- The “I think I’m to cute for words” that you project in your video is kinda sickening. Go back to working at Walmart or McDonald’s, that’s where you belong.

  • CaptainAction

    Now here comes Westsider defending the changes at New Orleans Square telling us we don’t see what we think we see and no one at Disney listens to us anyway.
    Me think he dost protest too much (for some reason?!?).
    The covered bridges above New Orleans Square remind me of mobile home trailers lifted up and turned into hallways. Not really the theme, is it?

    • WDWfanBoston

      Thanks for my morning chuckle. You, of all people, accusing someone of “protesting too much” and having an agenda?

      Oh, that’s a funny one. I almost spit out my coffee!

    • WDWfanBoston

      Thanks for my morning chuckle. You, of all people, accusing someone of “protesting too much” and having an agenda?

      Oh, that’s a funny one. I almost spit out my coffee!

      • WDWfanBoston

        Apparently so funny I spit my coffee out twice 😉

      • WDWfanBoston

        Apparently so funny I spit my coffee out twice 😉

    • martinjbell1986

      I think New Orleans looks “OK”. Disney has often fixed these things after the fact. I mean they painted the bridge in California Adventure like 10 times before they got it right.

  • rstar

    It seems that if they put a balcony arround that off-center window it might be less noticable…..

    • gimackenzie

      Agreed. The window is FUBAR, but could be minimized with a New Orleans iron balcony. Good suggestion!

    • houseofmouse722

      Agree completely. A balcony, add in some potted plants, etc.

  • Larry Parker

    Hopefully improvements will continue to be made to the Club 33 exteriors. I hope we continue to highlite the “on-the-cheap’ exterior workmanship so that the fire is kept under corporate Disney to act. Yesterday I talked of the issue with guest services at Disneyland. Cast members in general seem sympathetic to the issue, including the closing of the Court of Angels. If you haven’t already, make your concerns known at: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/help/email/

  • vnormth

    Most important though, be sure to keep up the scorn and insults of Club 33 members themselves for all these changes.

    Separately, it looks like the new Guest Flow Corridors behind Main Street, USA will take less long to build than the Paradise Pier gazebos.

    • M69

      Ha! Good one. 🙂

  • amyuilani

    I think it is way too early to start putting in Haunted Mansion Holiday. It’s by far and away my favorite holiday offering in the park, but September 12 is too early. I think first weekend in October, as it used to be, is just right. At least wait for the autumnal equinox to pass.

    • CCS

      I agree with that timing for Nightmare Before Christmas HM, too. I definitely don’t think the conversion should ever take place before Labor Day Weekend!

    • houseofmouse722

      I’m with you. September 12th through the first weekend in January means that HM is decorated for Halloween/Christmas for nearly four months out of the year! That’s ridiculous.

    • Haven

      I am in total agreement. I have a trip planned this Sept 2nd to the 5th and when I booked it back in May, I never anticipated the Mansion would be closed that early for the Halloween overlay. Our family will be missing one of our favorite attractions (it’s been 6 years since we rode it last). Disney seems to have a knack lately for celebrating “anniversary” events around major classic attractions and then promptly shuttering them within weeks of the word getting out. The Small World 50th and now the Haunted Mansion 45th. Who’s gonna buy all that 45th anniversary merchandise over the next 3 weeks with it closed? I know, I know…the fans, but what about the casual guest?

  • a-mad

    The new offerings at Jolly Holiday look good… but please don’t say they’ve taken away the Matterhorn Macaroon – it was a big hit with my wife, and I know she’s planning on consuming a few when we head down again in a few weeks… 🙂

  • garyman

    As with any public site, we should be the better person and change how it is presented. I would just say the Annual Pass holders have returned making the park more crowded. I am an annual pass holder myself. Yes, I have seen some silly things people do, but whether they are pass holder or not. I don’t know. We always treat the CM’s and others with respect as they do not deserve the grief they get sometimes. Every CM I have interacted with has always been nice and courteous. My hat is off to them.

  • Algernon

    The DCA sidewalks look so much better than the ones on Main Street, with those horrible paving stones. DCA looks brighter, too.

    They should be glad the annual pass holders are back. It looks like the regular tourists are falling off.

  • Disney Analyst

    It’s shocking to me to see how low the waits are at Disneyland! 15 minute for big thunder? 50 for splash?! At Magic Kingdom it would be 90 for Splash and 70 for BTMR. And DCA has consistently seemed to have more rides with higher waits. Is it just lack of ride capacity?

  • martinjbell1986

    I think we need another MICEAGE article soon. I’m anxious to hear Bob Iger’s announcement in 2015 about Star Wars in the parks.

  • Internitty

    “Nothing has changed here and at this point, what could really be done to help this off-center and oversized window look appropriate on the forced-perspective building?”

    Maybe they could put a wrought iron balcony or something like that, like the two buildings either side of it just to hide the unbalanced window.

  • Ken Goldenberg

    Great update Andy!
    The Hearthstone Lounge looks great and makes want to sit back and have a Manhattan!

    As for Mlle. Antoinette’s Parfumerie, a more logical approach would have been to reverse the door opening to where the display window is now (and has been), and then under the C33 bridge they could have made that into a larger, and possible curved, display window. That would have kept the doorway out in the open (and sunlight) rather then under a darkened area.

    It’s worth noting that after your last report you put a link to the actual Disneyland comment site so we could comment on the NOS changes. I did just that and posted that after really looking around myself I had to agree that the exterior design changes were mostly horrible.
    Well, the next day a rep from Disneyland called me directly to talk about my comments and thoughts! They are well aware of the negativity to all this. My point was, I understand expanding Club 33, but the exterior changes look like something Six Flags would do – not Disney designers.
    She was very nice and you could tell was taking our conversation all in. We talked for about 5 minutes.
    So who knows? Maybe some of this will get better!

  • gimackenzie

    Thank you again for the great update and the lovely pics of the park! My Mondays are always brightened when I get to take a break to admire the fantastic Dateline photography. Your work is truly appreciated!

    I love beyond description the Mansion merchandise! How I wish I had the extra cash to grab a few of those great items. I hope that response is great and they are encouraged to keep giving us actual Disneyland specific product like this. The generic stuff is nice, but bland. I like Disneyland items best.

    I continue to mourn for the loss of innocence in New Orleans Square. When not enjoying an attraction, my favorite way to enjoy Disneyland is to visit the French Market, listen to the band and munch a beignet, or just to stroll the “streets” in the area and admire the rich detail and perfection of the theming. This part of Disneyland is truly a gem among the theme park industry and a cultural landmark, and the marring of it to expand Club 33 is tragic. I don’t blame club members, none of whom asked for any of this and most of whom are as in love with the park as the rest of us (Why else wait fifteen years for the luxury of paying $10K to be a member?) but I do wish a pox on every manager and designer who pitched this, greenlit it, guided it, and executed it. It’s an abysmal, tacky and lazy bit of design and all involved should be embarrassed by the shoddiness of their efforts. Truly a pity.

  • msjstricker

    Great update. The only thing that bugged me this week and I have no idea why… what’s wrong with the name “Chester Drawer’s”?? I’ve always thought it was cute and cheeky!

    No? Just me then? Ok 🙂

    I think I’ll make a stop at the Gallery tomorrow. That HM plaque is calling to me!

    • TodAZ1

      I agree with you. Walt always loved the corny, groan-inducing pun/joke/etc. This shop’s name is right up his alley.

    • unclemike

      Maybe the name should be changed to something much classier: Wizard of Bras?

      No, never mind. Disney would have never allowed anything that crass in his park. 😉


  • JiminyCricketFan

    I loved the update, Andy. I am disappointed in the Club 33 changes. Clearly the money was spent inside not outside. The minimal, modern theming is just not matching the standards of Walt’s original. The window is not only off center but too large and rounded at the top. That does not fit the style of the period. To point out these things, is not anti-Disney, but just pointing out the truth of the matter. Clearly, this change to NOS reduces the believability of the area being New Orleans of the middle to late 19th century, but also display’s Disney’s priority given to wealthy guests over the average person entering the park. This is making some people more important than others.

    This could have easily been fixed if a greater sensitivity was given to what the average guest would see. The original Club 33 was truly hidden because the average guest had priority in the design so that nothing of the original club was overly displayed. If Disney had spend more money on the exterior and reduced the number of huge, ugly windows, all the complaints would have be muted.

  • Skimbob

    Thanks for the update. I am still waiting and fear it is going to be a long wait if at all to see some improvement to NOS. It sickens me to see it each week on here. I have defended Disney on other projects that ended up turning out great but this project is still a disaster and Disney is on their own on this one. As for passholders I am a Premier passholder and I treat every CM and guest with respect and I have received respect back. In fact I even joke with CMs when they are trying to do crowd control and look frustrated. It usually makes them laugh. There are people who can be a challenge for CMs and guests alike but they are not all passholders.

  • 4Apples4Disney

    I’m a bit disappointed that some of the quality 45th anniversary mansion pieces aren’t sold more often. Why is it so hard to create quality pieces in every price range?

  • jodishumway

    I was in Disneyland on Friday, August 15. Imagine my surprise when I saw Billy (from Billy Hill and the Hillbillies) standing in the fast pass line for Thunder Mountain Railroad playing his guitar. I thought he might just be visiting, but he was wearing a name badge and you could tell he was working as he was trying to get people to talk about the Frontierland game. I thought the group was working at Knotts Berry Farm. Any ideas if they will be returning?

  • silentcmh

    Andy, you mention that Matterhorn is “starting” refurbishment Sept 22-24. Does that mean it will be closed just those days or it will start sometime on those days? A few weeks ago I saw on other blogs that it would be down for 3+ months in the fall, but those blogs no longer have those dates. Now I’m seeing the 22-24 dates like you have, but you’re saying it’s “starting” those days.

    I’ll be in the parks for the first time in 8+ years Oct 10-11 so I’m curious about any and all refurb at that time. I can live without Matterhorn, just please no Indy or Splash being down! Thanks

  • ghosty4

    CLEARLY I need to visit the Jolly Holiday Bakery more often than I currently do! All of those new desserts looks SO GOOD!

  • muppetaz

    Yesterday I noticed some new animations added to the Splash Mountain Photo viewing areas (Brer Bear on the ride and Brer Rabbit and the Boot Hill Boys at the exit) plus the option to have the picture sent to your mobile device. A cast member I asked said they were just added this week.