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  1. #721

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Quote Originally Posted by TightropeGirlLover View Post
    Interesting post, HBG. I vaguely remember the shrouded ghost but I miss seeing him in the seance. It sort of connected with the idea that the spirits are now materializing.

    Anyway, I was flipping through one of my volumes of Walt's People today and came across an interesting nugget. Somebody recently a while back asked about the idea of the Haunted Mansion being flooded and having boats sail through and any concepts or mention of it. After reading an interview with Fred Joerger today in the book, we can now pinpoint that the idea was entirely his. For those not familiar, Fred was a concept model maker for the Haunted Mansion with Harriet, Wathel Rogers, and Jack Ferges, along with working on conceptual models and ideas for Pirates Of The Caribbean, Small World, and Sleeping Beauty Castle and its walk-thru. He's also famous for his faux rockwork designs around the park, including Jungle Cruise and Big Thunder, and as a set designer on other attractions.

    Anyway, here's the excerpt about the boats in his interview about the Haunted Mansion.

    "And then there was another long period. We were over at the old building on Sonora. They decided they were going to try to walk people through in groups of seven. So they did some mock-ups of rooms. The rooms were about 50 x 80 feet each to get a mob in the middle and then if you were short and in the center of the group you wouldn't see anything anyway. So that was out. Then nothing happened for a while but then the Omnimover was perfected.

    It was funny; before we built it, Claude Coats and I were working on some kind of model, I don't know what it was, but anyway we got the model all done and I came in one morning and I said to Claude, "Claude, I've got a good idea for the Haunted Mansion." He said "What's that?" I said, "Why don't we just put in an old Bayou in about three feet of water and we could take them through in boats." We would have complete crowd control. We'd have keen illusions; we could have stuff coming out of the water and reflecting. We'd have the wallpaper peeling off the wall. He said, "Yes, that sounds keen. Why don't you suggest that to Walt?" Just a little later Walt came in. Claude says, "Hey Walt, Fred has a keen idea for the Haunted House." Claude tells him and he says, "We've got too many boat rides already." After that we built the Pirates ride and Small World. [Laughs] So that idea went down the tube."

    So apparently it was just a very brief idea by Fred that Walt shot down before even any conception of it was made.
    That really is interesting. Thanks for that. We always knew that Joerger made some kind of contribution to the HM, since he's got not one but two tribute gravestones ("Good Old Fred" and the inside one shared with Harriet Burns and others). I have to wonder if the chronology in that report is perfect, however. If the idea lasted only a matter of hours, it's hard to explain how the report of it ever made its way into the annals of Mansiondom. More importantly, I learned not long ago (and I'll have to find the source) that Sam McKim did some concept artwork for the boat idea. Either they kept tinkering with the notion despite Walt's put-down (which is not far-fetched; sometimes these guys really wrassled with Walt), or there is a misremembrance here about how long it was before Walt knocked down the idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHatboxGhost View Post
    If you don't mind my asking, what does this mean?

    Thank you.
    In case Open is not around, I'll answer that one. If you want to take a flash pic, and it's not too busy, you can ask the CM's to seat you with six or seven empty doombuggies before and after you so that the flash won't spoil the ride for anyone.

  2. #722

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post
    That really is interesting. Thanks for that. We always knew that Joerger made some kind of contribution to the HM, since he's got not one but two tribute gravestones ("Good Old Fred" and the inside one shared with Harriet Burns and others). I have to wonder if the chronology in that report is perfect, however. If the idea lasted only a matter of hours, it's hard to explain how the report of it ever made its way into the annals of Mansiondom. More importantly, I learned not long ago (and I'll have to find the source) that Sam McKim did some concept artwork for the boat idea. Either they kept tinkering with the notion despite Walt's put-down (which is not far-fetched; sometimes these guys really wrassled with Walt), or there is a misremembrance here about how long it was before Walt knocked down the idea.
    That is an interesting idea, HBG. I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. Even when Marc and Rolly were working on their ideas for a walk-thru sometime around 63-64, it was evident that a walk-thru wouldn't be the way to go by the evidence of the mock-up touring failures, and since Pirates had changed drastically around the same time. Pirates was already a boat ride by January of 1965 with the Disneyland 10th Anniversary show, so the idea change must have happened in late 63/ early 64 after the Worlds Fair ideas were completed and Marc began to work on Pirates again and joined the Mansion team. Even though Fred remembers Small World being opened later after in this discussion, he might be meaning Small World's opening at Disneyland in 66 instead. So if maybe when he was working on the model for Small World or Pirates in 63 or 64 he got the idea for doing the mansion as a boat ride, and then Walt said they'd be having too many boat rides in the park knowing the plans ahead.

    I wouldn't be surprised either if McKim did do a concept either of the boats. McKim was pretty much Imagineering's go-to man for odd job ideas from simple little architecture details for an attraction, to designing full out character designs, staging and vehicle ideas, and landscape shots. Sam also sometimes worked on ideas that even when they looked pretty much dead, he still designed concepts for them. I know of one or two sketches he did for the Confucious dinner theatre show around the time when Tiki Room came onto the scene and Walt already had the idea to replace it with the dinner idea in Adventureland instead.
    Last edited by TightropeGirlLover; 08-15-2009 at 12:19 PM.

  3. #723

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Good stuff, Tight. Here's the source for the McKim concept art report, which sounds convincing. All of this is interesting material, and it confirms that Fred Joerger was involved in this idea:

    I asked Imagineer Pat Burke if he had some untold story about the Haunted Mansion. Here is his answer!

    "Disney Legend, friend, and co worker, Fred Joerger told me a few stories as he worked on the original Haunted Mansion. As you know Walt had been very sick with Cancer and passed away in December of 1966, before they could complete and open the Haunted Mansion. Fred said he and fellow Art Director Legends Claude Coates and Mark Davis, were hesitant to complete and afraid to open the Mansion to the public, as it was the first attraction on which they could not get Walt's official walk through and final approval. So this of course was a major reason for its delay. They wanted it to be everything that Walt would have asked for and approved. Seems like I remember a soft opening and then it was closed again for changes.

    I was told some effects were deemed a bit too scary for guests back then. Sam McKim had shown me some of his original concept sketches which showed boats floating through the halls of a half floated, and flooded mansion much like the Blue Bayou themeing. I was responsible for the props and sets on the TDL Haunted Mansion and used Disneyland's HM as a guide. When Disneyland's opened the HM it had the best Victorian antiques in the attic scene. Over the years as antiques of the Victorian era increased in value, the great antiques slowly were replaced with cheaper substitutes. You know of course that the Nautilus pipe organ was added to the mansion after the 20,000 Leagues attraction closed at Disneyland.

    Leotta Toombs had a funny story about when they cast her head for the famouse crystal ball scene. She said that at the studio they placed her head in a kind of a clamp to keep her pose steady. They applied a warm mold making wax to her head. She said it was a little too warm and slid down further forming a true capture or her bust! That was before plaster I guess, as I did later in college. Just a few funny memories from my coworkers..."
    Disney and more: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Celebration - A " Behind the Scenes " Tour

    Also, as we've recently learned about what really happened in the first weeks of August 1969, history is a messy business. That goes for the walk-thru vs. ride problem. Ken Anderson has claimed that he and Walt had already figured out before Ken was taken off the project (1958-ish) that the HM would have to be a ride. Ken worked out a ride system, using carts on tracks, as if the HM was a perpetual construction zone, and he left drawings of it, so his memory is correct. Despite that, his existing Ghost House blueprint has it as a walk-thru. Huh? Then there's Rolly Crump, who insists that it was going to be a walk-thru the whole time Walt was alive. My theory is that they all kinda knew it would have to be a ride, going back to Ken Anderson, but they couldn't come up with a satisfactory vehicle. As long as this problem remained unresolved, the default position was that it would be a walk-thru. Not until the second half of 1967 and the Omnimovers did they know that they had something that was demonstrably superior to a walk-thru system.
    Last edited by HBG2; 08-15-2009 at 01:05 PM.

  4. #724

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Open_at_the_close View Post
    The image was taken after asking a CM to have a buffer of Omni's.
    Originally Posted by TheHatboxGhost
    If you don't mind my asking, what does this mean?
    Open_at_the_close refuses to board a doombuggy unless they've been scrubbed to the point of reflectivity.
    .


  5. #725

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Quote Originally Posted by whodudis View Post
    Here's somthing interesting to ponder, at Master Gracey's Haunted Mansion blog he suggests that the Phantom Pianist may in fact be Reginald himself! It makes sense because Reginald is wearing a short top hat (hmm, there must be a name for it) and so is the shadow. And as Master Gracey so cleverly points out, there are musical instruments at Reginalds tableau in both Mansions . Mabey the ghosts of her husbands are still in the Mansion mabey even her "long-lost" Hattie is hiding....
    Except the pianist pre-dates the Constance theming by 11 years 'unless of course they were playing with existing characters like the Bride herself. I have also heard that the piano ghost was supposed to be the Hatbox Ghost. Tony Baxter say's he is the phantom from Phantom Manor but don't take that too seriously he also says that they added the Bride with the mirror scene from Paris to the DL Attic.
    Last edited by HMF; 08-15-2009 at 02:07 PM.

  6. #726

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Now that I think of it, he does kinda have that HBG look about him, but I was thinking that they retrofitted the Constance wedding picture to look like the shadow piano player. Mabey i thinking too hard, but if it is supposed to be him, it's acctually even more unnerving. It's the hubbie of Constence playing HER wedding march as she tells everyone how she killed him. It's like he's trapped in the mansion. And why would there be some random ghost messing around with Reginalds stuff? If Constance is with her wedding pictures, why can't Reginald be with his? If I was an imagineer i would have tried to make it fit too.

  7. #727

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Quote Originally Posted by TightropeGirlLover View Post
    Interesting post, HBG. I vaguely remember the shrouded ghost but I miss seeing him in the seance. It sort of connected with the idea that the spirits are now materializing.

    Anyway, I was flipping through one of my volumes of Walt's People today and came across an interesting nugget. Somebody recently a while back asked about the idea of the Haunted Mansion being flooded and having boats sail through and any concepts or mention of it. After reading an interview with Fred Joerger today in the book, we can now pinpoint that the idea was entirely his. For those not familiar, Fred was a concept model maker for the Haunted Mansion with Harriet, Wathel Rogers, and Jack Ferges, along with working on conceptual models and ideas for Pirates Of The Caribbean, Small World, and Sleeping Beauty Castle and its walk-thru. He's also famous for his faux rockwork designs around the park, including Jungle Cruise and Big Thunder, and as a set designer on other attractions.

    Anyway, here's the excerpt about the boats in his interview about the Haunted Mansion.

    "And then there was another long period. We were over at the old building on Sonora. They decided they were going to try to walk people through in groups of seven. So they did some mock-ups of rooms. The rooms were about 50 x 80 feet each to get a mob in the middle and then if you were short and in the center of the group you wouldn't see anything anyway. So that was out. Then nothing happened for a while but then the Omnimover was perfected.

    It was funny; before we built it, Claude Coats and I were working on some kind of model, I don't know what it was, but anyway we got the model all done and I came in one morning and I said to Claude, "Claude, I've got a good idea for the Haunted Mansion." He said "What's that?" I said, "Why don't we just put in an old Bayou in about three feet of water and we could take them through in boats." We would have complete crowd control. We'd have keen illusions; we could have stuff coming out of the water and reflecting. We'd have the wallpaper peeling off the wall. He said, "Yes, that sounds keen. Why don't you suggest that to Walt?" Just a little later Walt came in. Claude says, "Hey Walt, Fred has a keen idea for the Haunted House." Claude tells him and he says, "We've got too many boat rides already." After that we built the Pirates ride and Small World. [Laughs] So that idea went down the tube."

    So apparently it was just a very brief idea by Fred that Walt shot down before even any conception of it was made.
    As usual, Walt was right. Haunted Mansion boat ride?

  8. #728

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    That's a very interesting theory, HBG. I suppose since they could never come up with the right idea, they just always went back to the walk-thru idea for Mansion, while the Pirates idea was solved very easy thanks to the World's Fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by HMF View Post
    Except the pianist pre-dates the Constance theming by 11 years 'unless of course they were playing with existing characters like the Bride herself.
    That didn't stop them from changing the character of a 40 year old portrait to insist on tying her into a new backstory.

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    From the now-official biographical snippets:

    "Constance's penultimate husband, as she continued her ascent of the social ladder, was Reginald, a celebrated railroad baron, gambler, and world-renowned gourmand." etc.
    This is a quibble, but you'd think they might put "accomplished musician" in there too if the piano player was supposed to be him. Of course, they don't mention being a big-game hunter either, and the attic junk suggests that he was. Another thing is, why would the groom be playing the bridal march? Isn't that someone else's role?

    Nevertheless, it's possible that they modeled the look of Reginald partially on the piano guy, just to suggest a possible identification between the two.

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Quote Originally Posted by TightropeGirlLover View Post
    That's a very interesting theory, HBG. I suppose since they could never come up with the right idea, they just always went back to the walk-thru idea for Mansion, while the Pirates idea was solved very easy thanks to the World's Fair.



    That didn't stop them from changing the character of a 40 year old portrait to insist on tying her into a new backstory.
    I don't buy the Petecleaver thing. The basis for the Constance character has been there since Day 1.

  11. #731

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHatboxGhost View Post
    I should be in bed or writing. But I'm wide awake, easily distracted and found these shirts that are really cool:





    They're available at The Ghastly Ones.

    Forgive me for being off-topic and non-Disney. There's a definite HBG vibe in the design and I think that some of you may like these also.
    Actually, you're not off topic at all. The Ghastly Ones (who are a really kick-butt modern goth surf band) have done a cover of 'Grim Grinning Ghosts' which can be found in various places online. Shag did a Haunted-Mansion-Poster-style album cover for them at one time, which you can find on doombuggies.com under media--and on google images if you look around.
    There are a lot of bands who have done covers of the song, or taken the melody to use for other things. The Bomboras did a cover once upon a time--they used the basic melody and changed it to meet their sound, but GGG can definitely be heard throughout--I think it's "Beyond the Sound of Time" but I can't remember specifically.
    dreams. come. true.

  12. #732

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post
    From the now-official biographical snippets:

    This is a quibble, but you'd think they might put "accomplished musician" in there too if the piano player was supposed to be him. Of course, they don't mention being a big-game hunter either, and the attic junk suggests that he was. Another thing is, why would the groom be playing the bridal march? Isn't that someone else's role? .
    If you remember in the first Surrell book he mentions that there are many Musical Instruments in the Attic which relate to the Graveyard Band. Also the arguement could be made as to why those instruments ended up in that spot of the WDW Attic could be as a sort of stand-in for the piano player.
    Last edited by HMF; 08-15-2009 at 03:24 PM.

  13. #733

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    Lightbulb Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Quote Originally Posted by HBG2 View Post
    Who told you it was a woman? For one thing, it's voiced by a man (either Jimmy Macdonald or Dal McKennon).
    Hmm... Well I guess it's time for another trip back to 2003, when I first started reading up on the history and effects of the mansion. If I remember it right, I believe I read it on "Haunted Mansion FAQ" where the "scream" in the stretch room was credited to a "Billie Burke" who was also credited as the Soprano opera singer in the Graveyard Jamboree. I might have to look it up again.
    Last edited by Mr.Fenwright; 08-15-2009 at 03:26 PM. Reason: spelling

  14. #734

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    It's time again for another game of lets track the WDW Attic props before and after.

    The Attic WDW pre-refurb

    first of which the chair hanging from the beam is now in the Frank Tableaux

    The second piece is the suit of armor which is virtualy in the same area as it was before. (Could not find a pic)
    The wooden thing hanging on the wall (whatever it is )is now hanging near the Hatrack.


    As for that thing peeking out behind the hatboxes.
    WDW Attic 2002

    in the left of this picture you see that that head-shaped piece of cloth was a stand-in for the statue whose head was accidentaly knocked off. As already noted the Buddah was put into the Marquis tableaux.
    Last edited by HMF; 08-29-2009 at 08:33 PM.

  15. #735

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    Re: Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect vs The Army of Darkness, or the Thread 5

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHatboxGhost View Post
    If you don't mind my asking, what does this mean?

    Thank you.
    What I meant to say was that I waited with my sister and brother at the end of our group. Luckily since it was later and they were restricted to only using one elevator there was enough of a gap to be able to request that a buffer of doombuggies be placed before and after ours so that hopefully our flash wouldnt disrupt anybody else. And the CM was generous in allowing it.

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