Well, I've had a number of PM's and one public comment about my handle, so I wanted to offer the backstory on why I am the "First Resident" of the Haunted Mansion.
In August of 1969, I found out that the Haunted Mansion was going to open. Several L.A. based newspapers had "bleeps" about the opening on August 9th, 1969, and I had worked all summer to attend the last week before going back to school. This was something that I had been looking forward to since I first saw the mansion in 1965 or 1966, and read the sign that was sitting in front of the Mansion. By the time August 9th came around, I had saved up a whopping 30.00 for myself, and my girlfriend at that time to spend the whole day, from opening to closing at the park. When they dropped the rope on Main Street, which was placed back at the Emporium, if memory serves, my girlfriend and I ran like crazy, heading for the Mansion!
There was nobody in the park, and the only holdup was that I had longer legs than my girlfriend, so I had to slow down, in case she might fall from running too fast. When we got to the mansion, I asked the CM at the front door if we were the first, and she replied that we were the first ones in this morning. My girlfriend was afraid to go in, thinking that something or someone would jump out at us, and I told her "Relax, it's DISNEY, they wouldn't do something like that" All the same, she wanted me to go first, so I was the FIRST to step over the threshold on that day.
After I showed my girlfriend that it was just an empty foyer, and the floor wasn't about to fall away, she joined me in the mansion. We stood for many long minutes, waiting for others to show up before they would start the show. Only about 12 or 14 people were in the foyer, and the female CM shut the doors, with us inside! The famous Paul Frees narration started, and my girlfriend held onto me for dear life.
The whole mansion really smelled old and moldy, perhaps since it had sat for so many years before they completed the final construction. As we exited the mansion, my girlfriend was excited, and we both agreed that it would be best to ride the mansion again, before too many people showed up. All in all, we rode thru a total of 4 times each, since that was an "E" ticket ride at that time.
But, after riding the mansion just before the park closed, and walking out of the park totally amazed about the Haunted Mansion, I felt as if that place was almost "Home" to me, and I have felt that way every since. If I could buy a piece of land here in California, and build my own house, it would be the Mansion, nothing less would be home!
AND, from that day to this, I have always thought about how great it would be if Disney were to create a resturant next to, or behind, the Haunted Mansion, like they did with the "Blue Bayou" resturant and POTC.
I have thought about little else, and have worked out every detail to this resturant, which I call "The Mansion, The Manor, and the Crypt"
The Mansion, of course would be the main floor, and would serve dishes like you might find at any "Denny's" or similar resturants. The Manor would be upstairs on the second floor, and would have a more 4 star resturant menu, serving steak and seafood, and higher quality dishes. The Crypt, which is my baby, would be a combo of "McDonalds" "Taco Bell" and several other fast food places, and would be located downstairs, under the mansion. All the booths would be in the crypts, and the ordering counter would be a couple of metal caskets!
I plan to create a website with blueprints, artwork and photos of different designs that I have for this three in one resturant, hopefully it won't get blasted too much!
Anyway, that is why I have the username of "First Resident" as I have never really left the Mansion, my heart belongs there, and I really love the place.
Please share with me your first encounter with the mansion, and any other ideas that you may have, we can all enjoy the experience!
Greg Stone (First Resident of the Haunted Mansion)