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  1. #31

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    We can reconstruct things a little bit, anyway. They announced in advance that they were going to have soft openings for the CMs Thursday and Friday nights (the 7th and 8th) from 7 until midnight. That much is obvious from this now-famous backstage poster:



    But they ran a full-page ad in the Saturday LA Times, announcing that the HM was open. They had to have purchased the ad the day before at the latest. That means that they already knew before the second night of CM previewing (at the very latest) that they were going to go public the following day. Maybe the first night (the 7th) went so well that they made a spot decision to just go ahead and open to the public on Saturday the 9th. They bought the ad, let the second night of CM previewing go ahead as planned, and the rest is history.

  2. #32

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    I bet human nature just won out. It's hard to keep in a surprise, especially one that huge.

    And they were just dying to share it.

  3. #33

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    The Full page ad from August 9 displays some of Marc's gallows humor:



    I remember the opening of the Haunted Mansion quite well. What was interesting about it was there was absolutely no pre publicity or anticipation, and after it opened there wasn't any of the regular hoopla like brochures, flyers, printed booklets and the like. After the big splashy press openings for Small World, New Orleans Square, Pirates and New Tomorrowland, the Mansion just literally opened with no prior notice.

    It opened with only five weeks left of the summer season, it did not appear in the ticket books as an "E" coupon attraction until that September (sometimes they would list the ride in advance with a proviso like "opening August 1969"), and once it did open the press event was surprisingly low key. I remember they strictly forbade any TV video, and almost all the reporting was write ups in newspapers.

    My family always went to Disneyland the second week of August, and I remember the first time I stood in line looking at the antebellum mansion under a warm mid morning sun. Even though we rode it that morning, I remember it was even more exciting the second time while waiting in line at night. I remember the lighting thru the magnolia trees was beautiful. The second time we went on it that evening I got the ghost haunting license.


  4. #34

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddHackett View Post
    The Full page ad from August 9 displays some of Marc's gallows humor:



    I remember the opening of the Haunted Mansion quite well. What was interesting about it was there was absolutely no pre publicity or anticipation, and after it opened there wasn't any of the regular hoopla like brochures, flyers, printed booklets and the like. After the big splashy press openings for Small World, New Orleans Square, Pirates and New Tomorrowland, the Mansion just literally opened with no prior notice.

    It opened with only five weeks left of the summer season, it did not appear in the ticket books as an "E" coupon attraction until that September (sometimes they would list the ride in advance with a proviso like "opening August 1969"), and once it did open the press event was surprisingly low key. I remember they strictly forbade any TV video, and almost all the reporting was write ups in newspapers.

    My family always went to Disneyland the second week of August, and I remember the first time I stood in line looking at the antebellum mansion under a warm mid morning sun. Even though we rode it that morning, I remember it was even more exciting the second time while waiting in line at night. I remember the lighting thru the magnolia trees was beautiful. The second time we went on it that evening I got the ghost haunting license.

    Fantastic. Nothing about the HM I love more than early history, so this is pure gold to me. Todd, a question: Do you know how far in advance they needed to buy that ad? I'm thinking you only needed a day, but I could be wrong. I guess I'm curious as to when they decided to go public on the 9th. It strikes me as a sort of spot decision rather than something long-planned, what with the 12th "official opening" coming up, which seems like it was announced more formally (but I could be wrong about that as well).

  5. #35

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    Interesting stuff. I guess if the opening was played down (no Tv video, etc.) then I could see them just opening for business on the 9th and planning the press event for the 11th. Maybe they thought since it was such a long time coming, they wanted to get it open for guests as soon as possible...?

  6. #36

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    ....and I'm surprised that Mickey wasn't the Chief Ghost Catcher

  7. #37

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    So what were the press reviews? Were there any negative ones? (can't imagine there would be!)

  8. #38

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    I want to know where you got this amazing item!!


  9. #39

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    I know this has been a contentious issue for years (esp here on MiceChat), but from all the evidence presented in this thread, it seems like this was the sequence:

    Aug 7-8: Soft Openings for CMs
    Aug 9: Opened quietly to general public
    Aug 12: Original Official opening and press review opening

    Is that right? I added those dates to the Disney Timeline

  10. #40

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    Mojave, that looks pretty good to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by skoolpsyk View Post
    So what were the press reviews? Were there any negative ones? (can't imagine there would be!)
    It got great reviews. I don't know of any negative ones. In fact, the only negative press review of the HM I've seen occurred about a year later when they were going to re-run the Osmonds' Disneyland Showcase show that first aired in March 1970 and focused on the HM, and one TV reviewer said the show features the HM along with DL's other "and better" attractions. Since there is no POTC in the show, the reviewer apparently thought the new HM was inferior to things like the Jungle Cruise and Small World.

    Quote Originally Posted by I Heart Disneyland View Post
    I want to know where you got this amazing item!!

    stuff from the park: Souvenir Friday- Haunted Mansion Press Pin

  11. #41

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by ♥disney.princess♥ View Post
    Well, I know its a lot of money and its like a big party, but i didnt realize it was allready this weekend.
    According to Disney the HM is 40 on 8/9/09.
    The party for the mansion (merchandise) is on 9/9/09 (tickets sold out and were on sale back in January).
    You know... 999 happy haunts
    plus it looks cool.
    There is a cocktail party on 8/8/09 (prob. sold out)
    Quote by Al:
    To that end I'd like the Internet community to join me in reminding the Disney company that "it all started with Walt." As you can see below we've created some T-shirts, plus a few simple graphics that you can copy and paste into your websites to let folks know how you feel.
    -Al Lutz



  12. #42

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    I've worked in film publicity, and I know to place a display ad in the Times it probably had to be submitted by Wednesday at the latest for a Saturday printing in the L.A. Times.

    I know from talking to Marc that the Haunted Mansion that summer did not open in July as they hoped. I think the chief factor as far as the "quiet" opening was there had been so many promises since 1962 that the HM would open in 62, 63, 64, etc. that they decided to focus on getting it open and then promoting it after that.

    I remember the only picture shown of the HM on Tv was that organist picture from the L.A. Times article. I remember after it opened the only souvienir for years was the HM magic trick book. I remember the postcard book didn't come out for at least a year after it opened even though the pics were taken before the opening. And I remember they announced there wouldn't be any booklet like Pirates or Small World because they didn't want to reveal any of the illusions and how they were done.

    I remember being very disappointed when I played that Ron Howard 1970 record the first time because there was no Paul Frees on it! It was very trying times for a kid like me who was obsessed with the HM in 1969 and there weren't any souvienirs!

    I can recall that I bought my first HM Secret Panel Chest in the summer of 63. And I don't remember them being available for sale in the summer of 1969.

  13. #43

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    Thanks for all of your insight Todd. A BIG Welcome to MiceChat!!!

  14. #44

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddHackett View Post
    I remember the only picture shown of the HM on Tv was that organist picture from the L.A. Times article. I remember after it opened the only souvienir for years was the HM magic trick book. I remember the postcard book didn't come out for at least a year after it opened even though the pics were taken before the opening. And I remember they announced there wouldn't be any booklet like Pirates or Small World because they didn't want to reveal any of the illusions and how they were done.

    I remember being very disappointed when I played that Ron Howard 1970 record the first time because there was no Paul Frees on it! It was very trying times for a kid like me who was obsessed with the HM in 1969 and there weren't any souvienirs!

    I can recall that I bought my first HM Secret Panel Chest in the summer of 63. And I don't remember them being available for sale in the summer of 1969.
    Well, I'm going to have to quibble about some of this, I'm afraid. After our visit on August 14, only a week or two later our church youth group had a DL outing (and I was the insufferable know-it-all since I was the only one who had seen the HM; come to think of it, I'm still an i.k.i.a., but anyway...). On that trip I bought the "Story and Song" album and my brother bought three HM postcards. There is no room here for false memory as far as the record album is concerned. We had to play it on our old Magnavox monaural phonograph until Christmas 1969, when my mother got a nice RCA cabinet stereo. We were thrilled to be able to hear the stereo separation on the record after listening to mono for months. Again, that had to be Xmas 69 because it was still in Simi Valley, and Xmas 70 was here in San Jose. (We moved in late Spring of 1970.) There was one more church outing to DL a little earlier in that same Spring and it was then I bought the "12 Funtastic Scenes" fold-out (plus a great Randotti skull). I had that postcard set before the move because I would sit in our back yard in Simi and try to draw Ezra (in the HHG photo.)

    So souvenirs were available. On the other hand, I am total agreement on Paul Frees. I thoroughly disliked the fact that the record didn't have the "real" Ghost Host and didn't use the "real" script.

  15. #45

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    Re: The Haunted Mansion did NOT officially open August 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by ToddHackett View Post
    I've worked in film publicity, and I know to place a display ad in the Times it probably had to be submitted by Wednesday at the latest for a Saturday printing in the L.A. Times.

    I know from talking to Marc that the Haunted Mansion that summer did not open in July as they hoped. I think the chief factor as far as the "quiet" opening was there had been so many promises since 1962 that the HM would open in 62, 63, 64, etc. that they decided to focus on getting it open and then promoting it after that.

    I remember the only picture shown of the HM on Tv was that organist picture from the L.A. Times article. I remember after it opened the only souvienir for years was the HM magic trick book. I remember the postcard book didn't come out for at least a year after it opened even though the pics were taken before the opening. And I remember they announced there wouldn't be any booklet like Pirates or Small World because they didn't want to reveal any of the illusions and how they were done.

    I remember being very disappointed when I played that Ron Howard 1970 record the first time because there was no Paul Frees on it! It was very trying times for a kid like me who was obsessed with the HM in 1969 and there weren't any souvienirs!

    I can recall that I bought my first HM Secret Panel Chest in the summer of 63. And I don't remember them being available for sale in the summer of 1969.
    Thanks for sharing these great stories!
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