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  1. #1

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    Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    anyone have pictures? I haven't seen any all day Did any MiceChatters go?

  2. #2

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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    There are videos in the Haunted Mansion thread. it doesn't look like we missed anything.
    DisneyTwins
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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneytwins View Post
    There are videos in the Haunted Mansion thread. it doesn't look like we missed anything.
    U didn't miss much
    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



  4. #4

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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    Agree.
    DisneyTwins
    Since May 2003

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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    This is my feeling on the event.

    Everyone paid for the event.
    Then there was those who wanted to pay more.
    By paying more you would get a lunch
    Pay more get a dinner
    Pay more get a hotel room.

    Disney didn't see it that way.
    If you paid more you more special at the party than others
    Those of us who decided not to add on the extra cost were kept out of the entrance gates until all others (who paid more) entered.
    Once those with black lanyards (yeah, someone messed up on choosing the color, sure they are kicking themselves now) were let in, all face MAJOR (hitchhikers, leota etc) characters were pulled. The cake cutting that we thought we were going to be able to see, last minute they decided to let us see after all, however, kept us outside the gates (trees and bushes in the way) while the non black lanyard's were inside the gates and able to see perfectly. No one asked to be treated like kings/queens, just fairly.
    We all paid for the same party. Those who paid more already got the extra treatment (such as more gifts, hotel rooms and meals) prior to the party.
    2004 for HM party was great. Disney really dropped the ball on this party.
    And registration was a joke (almost 5 hours). I have gone to many parties in the past (bought lowel level tickets) and felt equal and got what I paid for. This party was far from feeling any of that.
    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



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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    DLFreak71 sorry to hear that!! but you should have knew when registration was 6 hrs long
    dude, where is my milkshake!

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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    Quote Originally Posted by Chewyoates77 View Post
    DLFreak71 sorry to hear that!! but you should have knew when registration was 6 hrs long
    Yeah.
    Everyone went the night before.
    The day of the event, the few that decided to do it that day said it took maybe an hour to register.
    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



  8. #8

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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    total bust!
    dude, where is my milkshake!

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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    Wow. I'm sorry to hear all that. I just wanted to eat with an Imagineer!
    ...After a YEAR I finally was able to figure out my password again! I'm baaack! Woohoo!(:
    Disney is my life <3
    Thank Walt for all he did! <3
    Future Imagineer <3
    Keep Disney the way Walt intended it!!


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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleImagineer View Post
    Wow. I'm sorry to hear all that. I just wanted to eat with an Imagineer!
    why would you want to eat an imagineer...just kidding
    i need to put my glasses on
    dude, where is my milkshake!

  11. #11

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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event


  12. #12

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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    Here's a report I wrote from my perspective of the event. Sorry it's so long. I didn't feel at all discriminated against by having the Hitchhiker package, I DID see the Hitchhiking Ghost characters (but no Madame Leota), and I didn't have any trouble getting up close to see the cake cutting. I guess it all depends on what you expect and where exactly you were physically for each various experience. Here goes:

    Disneyland’s merchandise events have become something that I really look forward to attending, at least when they’re related to my favorite attractions. I’ve only been to the former Nightmare events – no Pirates, Toad, Indy, et al, but was very excited to see an event for the regular Mansion as opposed to the Holiday version for once. I’d not known about the Happy Haunts Event in Florida years ago (which yielded some very nice merchandise) so it was extra special to be able to attend one right here in Anaheim.

    The ticket purchasing process was brutal – many months before the actual event and with a new twist: only one ticket could be purchased per transaction. As a result, I only ended up with a single ticket before the event completely sold out. Apparently this had been the case with many other guests, as there were a large percentage of solo attendees.

    The merchandise selection and subsequent RSP (random selection process) were painless, and I ended up getting every single item I had requested. This told me one of two things: either the edition size of the offerings was too large, or the economy had forced many people to not compete very heavily for the exclusive items. I was even able to “win” an item that was produced in an edition size of only 40, which was great.

    Merchandise pickup was staged at the Grand Californian Hotel and was offered on two days. I waited until the second day, which was the day of the actual event, figuring there was no rush. To my great delight, I was rewarded with absolutely no lines or waiting of any sort. Three cast members all helped me retrieve my purchases, and couldn’t have been more gracious. They also kept remarking about how easy I was to deal with – why some guests feel the need to become irate over anything during these events is beyond me. Almost 50% of the items I had purchased were not available on September 9th, but would be shipped in November at Disney’s expense. This had happened before at the Nightmare events and was no big deal. I made a note to call Disney, however, and change my address to my work address, since it’s not safe to receive high value shipments at my condo when nobody is home.

    Next door to the pickup area was the event “store”, where one could purchase any leftover merchandise not sold during the RSP. One sample of each item, including those that were not yet available and those that were sold out, was displayed in an excellently themed environment with cobwebs, props and artwork to complete the look. I had left my camera in the car, thinking I would need both hands to carry all the merchandise back, so I could only snap pictures of this area with my cell phone.

    Everything looked much better in person than on the website, as it usually does. It was tempting to pick up more items than I’d originally requested, but I refrained, thinking of my already-battered budget. However, there was a surprise offering that wasn’t in the RSP – a new box set of Haunted Mansion music that included a reproduction of the original vinyl album as well as two CDs and two lithographs. Much of the material was formerly available, but it was mentioned that there were some previously unreleased tracks included on one of the CDs, and that was all it took to snag my interest. At an edition size of 999, I wasn’t worried about it selling out that evening, but figured I might as well pick it up then while it was convenient.
    Despite there being maybe 10 other guests total between these two experiences, there were more than enough cast members. One was stationed every several feet in the corridors, dressed in the attraction’s costume, and there were at least 10 available for merchandise pickup and then another 10 for the Event Store. Additionally, there were salaried cast members everywhere. Many seemed frazzled from obviously rushing to put the event together, while others were so impressed and excited at the result that they couldn’t resist showing other bigwigs around, pointing out how great and wonderful the store setup was or how amazing the new vinyl/CD was. It struck me as a bit unprofessional in front of the public, but the overall mood was quite happy. I spotted Ed Grier, Disneyland Resort’s current President, for the first time in person in the hallways of the Hotel. He was sporting his usual nonplussed expression, reminding me of many past captioned photos on fan sites such as this one that spoke of the same phenomenon.

    The merchandise I ordered had been pre-sorted into a cloth bag printed with the Mansion’s 40th Anniversary logo on it, which was a nice touch and much more sturdy than Disneyland’s regular plastic bags. I dropped everything off in the car and then went into the Park. Disneyland was closing in 17 minutes, but Main Street was left open for an additional hour, so I just hung out in Town Square. Many others were doing the same thing, most likely in anticipation of leaving the Park and then being let right back in with the private party.

    We were instructed to wait near the Kennel outside the main entrance starting at 9pm, with admission beginning at 9:30. The crowd size was not large – perhaps 200 or 300 at most, which surprised me. There was a 3-piece band playing somber tones under a Monorail beam, which was a nice touch. Eventually, all those that had been lucky enough to get the higher priced packages including the dinner over at DCA were ushered across the Esplanade. With them, the crowd now looked more like 500-1000 attendees – still much smaller than I’d imagined. Tony Baxter was present in the crowd speaking to guests - he’s always a welcome sight to see.

    Many guests were dressed in period costumes to resemble the ballroom scene in the Mansion. The best, however, was the gentleman dressed as the man with no trousers and striped boxers in one of the stretching portraits. He was accompanied by two ladies; one of whom was dressed as the lady on the tightrope holding the parasol. Very clever on both counts.

    The gates did not open until around 9:45, and I heard a few guests voicing their concern that the event would begin before everybody made their way over to the Mansion. Walking down Main Street, everyone was taking their time. This would be a theme of the whole evening, that nobody was rushed or flustered, adding to the tone of the Mansion’s theme. Many stopped to take pictures with no guests in them, parking cameras on various trash cans and railings to take advantage of good night photography.

    We were directed to enter the area via Frontierland. The entire Rivers of America area was filled with smoke and extra lighting. Again, many were taking pictures from various angles, including myself. Tech Services had done a very nice job of lighting the area and also adding some projections on the ground.

    Everyone waited in the queue of the Mansion and surrounding areas, and after about 10 minutes Constance and the Groom stepped out on the balcony of the Mansion and gave a very brief speech, followed by a “cake cutting” which was done with a hatchet similar to the one Constance holds in the attraction. After this, the pair wandered toward the center of the balcony to watch guests enter, and there was silence, except for the sound of something falling to the ground in the cake area. It was a small giggle moment, as it was obviously awkward and felt unrehearsed. The couple then sauntered toward the back of the balcony and disappeared, only to return a few minutes later and remain stationed in the center watching guests enter the Mansion and occasionally making comments to them.

    I rode the attraction and was disappointed that not a single special element had been added for the Event. In past years, there were sometimes added cast members throughout the ride, or in the case of the first Nightmare event, a large scroll in the Attic that showed everybody’s name in attendance. Nothing to be seen this time around other than a nice, uncrowded ride through the classic version of the attraction.

    Near the exit, a camera crew was set up to interview random guests. I’m not sure what the footage was to be used for, but I heard mention of Disney.com. There was a similar setup in the actual queue off to the side in the lawn area, this time with an actress dressed in Mansion costume interviewing folks. There was also a band playing on a raised stage at the attraction entrance. One song I happened to hear was a cryptic version of It’s a Small World. Nobody seemed to take notice of this gag which I thought was rather funny.

    There were 3-4 stations for distribution of the cake and beverages. I had forgotten my redemption card to get a piece, so I missed out. I was hoping that later on in the evening they would start to allow guests to take whatever was left, but the cast members were strict on this one. The cake looked very nice with red cake and gray frosting, and was pre-cut into slices on small plates. The drinks looked like a choice between fruit punch and lemonade, and could only be had at the same time as the cake.

    Once again, as at the hotel areas, there was an overabundance of salaried cast members mixed in with the crowd, most of whom were not actively doing anything other than looking nervous or wanting to be part of the action themselves. Denny Newell, show director of parades, was on hand directing the flow of events, so it was obvious that he had been named director of this event. Denny seems to have garnered quite a roster of responsibilities in recent years with parades, shows, special events, even the implementation of the new Pixie Hollow – quite a departure from past years when there were multiple people in charge of Entertainment. I assumed that the layoffs earlier this year may have included some of his counterparts, adding more work to his own routine.

    By 10:45, everybody had ridden the attraction and the line was nonexistent. Many were simply lingering in the area, taking advantage of how empty it was, snapping pictures and just enjoying the wonderful ambiance. I hadn’t mentioned before, but several cast members from Entertainment were present in excellent Mansion-style ghostly attire, wandering through the crowds as couples, in complete silence. They added a lot to the atmosphere, as did the three men playing the Hitchhiking Ghosts, who were also available for photo taking. Around this time, the band exited and walked towards the Frontierland train station. I’m not sure if they were taking a break or they were done for the evening, as I left shortly thereafter.

    Le Bat en Rouge was open for business, but there was nothing event-specific in the stores. Still, it was nice to be able to browse the store without regular guests everywhere. This was also a great time to get some night shots of New Orleans Square without many guests. I ran into a very nice couple whom I’d met during the Tiki Room 45th merchandise release back in 2007, and it was great to see them again.

    Exiting through Adventureland, there were cast members stationed the entire route back to the front exit directing us with their flashlights. Since so few people were leaving at any given time, you pretty much had the Park to yourself at that moment. The entire event had a very quiet and peaceful tone to it, different from the game booth carnival-style atmosphere I’d remembered from one of the Nightmare events, but actually more enjoyable in my opinion.

    Overall, I thought it was a lot of fun. There were elements where Disney’s typical rushed and unplanned behaviors reared their ugly heads, but I think most of us have come to expect that and simply ignore it, looking more toward the unique experiences we have when events such as these take place.

    I do think, however, that in the future, Disney should reconsider the rule of only allowing one guest per transaction on the tickets, because while it did permit more people to attend than otherwise would have, it also netted many singles who weren’t able to get pairs of tickets and share the experience with friends. I, for one had wished I could have brought several different people who would have really enjoyed this as much as I did. I also felt that, while it’s great to have such a small, intimate event, Disney really didn’t need to cut off the ticket sales at quite such a low number. Things never felt overly crowded and I personally think they could have added another 300 guests without affecting the show.
    Please consider the environment before printing useless emails

  13. #13

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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    Quote Originally Posted by SpectroMan View Post
    We were instructed to wait near the Kennel outside the main entrance starting at 9pm, with admission beginning at 9:30. The crowd size was not large – perhaps 200 or 300 at most, which surprised me.
    People who had lined up early were actually not happy when told there was no line, but when those who paid for dinner arrived, later told there was a line (so bad management communication)

    Quote Originally Posted by SpectroMan View Post
    We were directed to enter the area via Frontierland. The entire Rivers of America area was filled with smoke and extra lighting. Again, many were taking pictures from various angles, including myself. Tech Services had done a very nice job of lighting the area and also adding some projections on the ground.
    Was nice. 2004 was better

    Quote Originally Posted by SpectroMan View Post
    I rode the attraction and was disappointed that not a single special element had been added for the Event. In past years, there were sometimes added cast members throughout the ride, or in the case of the first Nightmare event, a large scroll in the Attic that showed everybody’s name in attendance. Nothing to be seen this time around other than a nice, uncrowded ride through the classic version of the attraction.
    I know in 2002 those who ate inside the mansion had gravestone w/ their names on them

    Quote Originally Posted by SpectroMan View Post
    There were 3-4 stations for distribution of the cake and beverages. I had forgotten my redemption card to get a piece, so I missed out. I was hoping that later on in the evening they would start to allow guests to take whatever was left, but the cast members were strict on this one. The cake looked very nice with red cake and gray frosting, and was pre-cut into slices on small plates. The drinks looked like a choice between fruit punch and lemonade, and could only be had at the same time as the cake.
    I believe at 11 PM you could eat as much cake as you'd like (it was pretty good) and drink as much punch as you'd like.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpectroMan View Post
    By 10:45, everybody had ridden the attraction and the line was nonexistent. Many were simply lingering in the area, taking advantage of how empty it was, snapping pictures and just enjoying the wonderful ambiance. I hadn’t mentioned before, but several cast members from Entertainment were present in excellent Mansion-style ghostly attire, wandering through the crowds as couples, in complete silence. They added a lot to the atmosphere, as did the three men playing the Hitchhiking Ghosts, who were also available for photo taking. Around this time, the band exited and walked towards the Frontierland train station. I’m not sure if they were taking a break or they were done for the evening, as I left shortly thereafter.
    2004 I thought was a great party (as was 2002--sorry missed 2001 but heard it was great ---best party so far TOT's).
    It was nice they put "dead" characters in the party, but I would have preferred if they had taken the money and done like 2004 and had games to play w/ cheesy, but fun prizes.


    Quote Originally Posted by SpectroMan View Post
    Overall, I thought it was a lot of fun. There were elements where Disney’s typical rushed and unplanned behaviors reared their ugly heads, but I think most of us have come to expect that and simply ignore it, looking more toward the unique experiences we have when events such as these take place.
    Actually, I feel different about that (not to say the way you feel is not correct--I'm glad you had fun). I don't expect to see unplanned behaviors from Disney. Especially so many. Tickets purchases, to 5 hour registration lines, to saying there are no lines (at the event) then there is a line, and allowing only certain ppl to see all of the event when we all paid to be at the same event (if they paid for dinner, then what happened there is great...load it up...but the event was the base of the purchase and we all paid our dues).

    Quote Originally Posted by SpectroMan View Post
    I do think, however, that in the future, Disney should reconsider the rule of only allowing one guest per transaction on the tickets, because while it did permit more people to attend than otherwise would have, it also netted many singles who weren’t able to get pairs of tickets and share the experience with friends. I, for one had wished I could have brought several different people who would have really enjoyed this as much as I did. I also felt that, while it’s great to have such a small, intimate event, Disney really didn’t need to cut off the ticket sales at quite such a low number. Things never felt overly crowded and I personally think they could have added another 300 guests without affecting the show.
    I do agree. Many ppl pointed out two per entry would be perfect. It would allow couples, friends etc to be in the same group (many husbands and wife's either didn't get dinner together or didn't get to be at the event at all together). Because they chose 9/9/09, they shot themselves in the foot and centered everything around 999. I agree 300 or more wouldn't hurt the event.
    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



  14. #14

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    Re: Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary Event

    You can see my pics and video at my flickr page!
    Haunted Mansion 40th - a set on Flickr

    Here are some highlights!






    Link to cake cutting video:
    George and Constance Cake Cutting on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Grim Grinning Ghosts band video:
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9d9J3XhT3c]YouTube - Grim Grinning Ghosts HD[/ame]

    Enjoy!

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