I believe the hidden Mickey in the ghoul's outstretched hand is only on the ride in WDW, not in the CA version.
Really fun article. Enjoyed it all the way through. Thank you!
NetteNutt - Tell your son that Mr. Ravenscroft is Tony the Tiger and sings Your a Mean One, Mr. Grinch in the cartoon he probably watches ever Christmas and he'll feel better that it isn't Walt. tomjmoses - Search the Internet and you will find that the current location of the Hatbox Ghost is a Disney mystery for the ages. You may even stumble upon a video of Tony Baxter, filmed for the anniversary of the Haunted Mansion, in which he hints that the Hatbox Ghost is coming back to the mansion, but that was a few years ago and he has yet to return. The Hatbox Ghost was even the host of the Haunted Mansion website Disney put up for that anniversary.
Of course, I hope that Part II (or III) covers my first, historic ride on the Mansion...
Grinning Ghost - Gah, you're right! That was my bad. I always confuse the two. I just fixed it!
NetteNutt - So glad that your son enjoyed reading it!
Mousedaddy - Just a rumor!
Ken Anderson based the Mansion's façade on the Shipley-Lidecker house in Baltimore, not the Evergreen house. The interiors are based on the Evergreen house.
What about the one where the haunted mansion was so scary that someone died while testing that is why it took so long to open it.
Thank you! I had my 9 year old son read this too because he loves learning things about Disneyland. Although he too thought it was Walt Disney's head and was a little disappointed to learn that it wasn't. We cannot wait for part 2
Thanks for the note back, Jeff. Can't wait for Part II!
Great article, looking forward to Part II! Thanks again!
Susan - Ah yes, the infamous bullet hole! Who can forget that? I think, as the story goes, they physically CANNOT remove that glass, because it's too large. They would have to take out a portion of the building, or cut it into pieces. At least, that's the word from Rolly Crump! At least they did some quick thinking, and turned it into a spider web so people won't be able to tell!
Tomjmoses- Thanks for the kind words! HM is my favorite ride as well, and I seriously go on it about 15 times every trip. The photo you are referring to is of Yale Gracey with old Hattie. No one really knows where he is nowadays, unfortunately, but in Part 2 of this column, I chat a little bit about him...
Jeff, I love your articles and weekly broadcasts with George. This article was partcularly interesting, as the Haunted Mansion is my favorite ride of all time. I grew up in Southern California and went to Disneyland every year from 1965 forward on my birthday (July 31, same as Harry Potter's). I watched New Orleans Square and the Mansion being built, and my curiousity about the Mansion only ramped up higher the longer it sat there unopen. Needless to say, once us "foolish mortals" were finally invited in, it's been a love affair ever since.
By the by, one of your illustrations brings up a hotly-contested issue. There's a picture of one of the Imagineers with "The Hatbox Ghost." The idea of the effect was that the ghost's head would disappear and then reappear inside the hatbox he was carrying. I recall seeing old Hattie in the Mansion for a very brief time in the late 1960s. Any idea where he is now?
And don't forget the bullet hole in the glass in front of the ballroom scene. For those unfamiliar with the effect, the largest piece of glass in the world (at that time) was used to create the ghostly images in the ballroom. The characters are simply reflections in the glass above and below the ride platform/track.
Well, one day I believe back in the 70s, before security checkpoints, some loony guy brought a gun and shot at the glass. Because it was too costly to replace, they put a spider and it's web over the hole. As you exit the ballroom scene, look for it.
As somebody who has always found Indy to be highly overrated I'm greatly disappointed this was never built. It looks like it would have been AMAZING!!!
Also, my junior high school chorus totally sang "Golden Dream" at some point in the late 80's. We had a tape with the accompaniment, and all the little speech snippets in the middle (JFK, Neil Armstrong, MLK, etc.) It's really hard not to sing along at the show.
Great article, Jeff! I am a big fan of this pavilion, and always see the show as well as the Voices of Liberty. It is a powerful and emotional experience, particularly for citizens of this country. Also worth mentioning is the American Heritage Gallery, located inside a small room to the right of the rotunda as you enter. It's a miniature museum of actual artifacts from famous Americans such as Abraham Lincoln, Gus Grissom, and Rosa Parks.
Its nice to see a secret society's beloved patriarch get some attention... No, not Ayn Rand... Famed Naturalist John Muir!
Thanks for reading, folks!
DLPostcastguy - That would have been amazing. I would love to see how it looks under the stage like that. Have you ever read "Building a Better Mouse," by Steve Alcorn? If not, I definitely recommend it. He talks about this attraction at length, since he helped build it, and it's truly amazing.
ttintagel - You're right! Haha. I should correct that
I prefer to call him by his full name, "Famed Naturalist John Muir." ;-)
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