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  1. #1

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    First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    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)

  2. #2

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    Wow, that's such a cool story. Thanks for sharing that.



  3. #3

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    Awesome story! Thanks for sharing! I remember I use to be terrified of the Haunted Mansion
    ...After a YEAR I finally was able to figure out my password again! I'm baaack! Woohoo!(:
    Disney is my life <3
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    Keep Disney the way Walt intended it!!


  4. #4

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    That is a great story, the HM is my favorite ride!

  5. #5

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    That's a really cool story. The restaurants sound interesting, although I'm not sure about having three of them. It's really cool that you've put so much thought into this. I was pretty much scared out of my socks the first couple of times that I went on it. I was mostly scared of the floor show and the graveyard scene.






    "Well I don't know about you folks, but it's way past my bedtime."

  6. #6

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    Quote Originally Posted by firstresident View Post
    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.
    They had actually talked about a restaurant in the mansion (like BB), but it never materialized in the final plans.
    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



  7. #7

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    Great story. I sure wish there were more from visitors in the 50's and 60's.

    I was wondering, what time did Disneyland close back then on the weekends?
    You can never run out of imagination. The more you use, the more you gain.

  8. #8

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    Quote Originally Posted by orbitalpunk View Post
    Great story. I sure wish there were more from visitors in the 50's and 60's.

    I was wondering, what time did Disneyland close back then on the weekends?
    Well, I seem to recall that it was open until 1:00AM at that time. Now, it seems like last month on 8/9/09, that the park closed at midnight!

    Thanks for all the wonderfull praise, folks, but I was hoping that you could pass along stories of what year you first went, how old you were, what was the experience like, etc. Or perhaps your most unusual HM experience, things like that!

    Greg Stone (First Resident of the Haunted Mansion)

  9. #9

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    Great story! Thanks for sharing!

    Since you asked for us to share our first trips to HM, here goes:

    I remember going with my dad when I was about 5. I had been before, but I don't have any memories of earlier trips. When we entered to foyer, I was very hesitant and tried asking the rather grim-looking female CM waht was going to happen. She just stared at me and closed the door. I was horrified and my dad just laughed at me. So I stood as close as I could to him and waited for the worst. But with a grown-up holding my hand, I was pretty brave....I never covered my eyes or hid my face. I just stared with wide eyes at everything. I absorbed every detail and was prepared for any ghostly mischief that may be directed towards me. The portrait hall seemed soooo much longer back then on my little legs; now it's over too soon. By the time We stepped into our doom buggies, I was in love. My favorite part was the party scene....mainly because it involved birthday cake! And my mother and I would joke about "little" Leota and call to eachother in our best impressions of her haunting voice!
    For those of you that are curious about my wedding:
    http://www.rocknrollbride.com/2011/0...heather-tyler/





  10. #10

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    I first visited HM fairly late in the game. I must have been in about fifth grade. I'd seen bits of promotional materials for the attraction that made me curious, and I'm sure I must have seen the facade as I walked by it, but for some reason I didn't end up actually riding it until fairly late into my childhood. I certainly wasn't scared of it on my first trip, even though I was somewhat of a fraidy cat in those days. (The Matterhorn's abominable snowman seriously creeped me out, even though I knew he was just an animatronic.) IIRC, I wasn't terribly impressed by the attraction at the time. Thought it was cool and all, but I thought Pirates did a better job with the same sort of genre, albeit with different subject matter. Took me a while to start appreciating the attraction's genius.


  11. #11

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    Beautiful story and what a cherished memory you have to pass on and on! And I love how you told it... maybe YOUR imagineering of the The Mansion, The Manor and The Crypt can be brought to Disney heads... I think it's a great idea!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Vickie
    ~Dead Men Tell No Tales~

  12. #12

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    Thanks everybody, those are wonderful stories, to be sure, and I hope that somebody has some pics to share???? maybe?

    Greg Stone (First Resident of the Haunted Mansion)

  13. #13

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    Also, forgot to mention, when I went in the Mansion on that first day, the Hatbox Ghost was nowhere to be seen, apparently he had broken down on the 7th or the 8th and they had not repaired him by the 9th. Of course, they could have just thrown a black blanket over him in the attic, and you wouldn't have been able to see him.
    Secondly, there is a mirror in the knocking doors hallway that was supposed to have a "Lady trapped in the mirror" effect. Well, the mirror is there, from day one, but the effect never was.
    Thirdly, the two way mirrors in the exit crypt didn't have the hitch-hiking ghosts sitting next to you. They had a projection onto a scrim behind the mirrors that had ghosts flying left to right, diagionally, and I think that a Marc Davis drawing showed this effect, as I remember seeing a flying knight. I don't know if this was an intentional effect that just didn't work out, and after it was installed, they decided that it looked too crappy and removed it, or if it was just a temporary effect to hold over until the HHG effect could be completed.
    Interesting side note: On that first day back in 1969, a kid from Whittier, CA had come with his family to spend the day, and he also had used every "E" ticket to go thru the Mansion. His name is Bill Taylor, and his family moved to Ohio shortly after that. He and I started talking online about 5 years ago, and I finally got to meet him and his wife on 8/9/09, when they came out to enjoy the mansion's anniversary! We were both at the park on that day in 1969, and then 40 years later, we finally meet! He loves the mansion as much (if not more) than I do! Amazing!

    Greg Stone (First Resident of the Haunted Mansion)

  14. #14

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    Quote Originally Posted by orbitalpunk View Post
    Great story. I sure wish there were more from visitors in the 50's and 60's.

    I was wondering, what time did Disneyland close back then on the weekends?
    I seem to remember that during peak seasons like Christmas and the summer the park would stay open til at least 1 a.m. and sometimes extend the hours past that til 1:30-2:00 am if the crowds warranted. The private parties lasted til at least 1am also. This was SOP until fairly recently (Pressler era?). I'm sure someone here knows when they started closing at midnight. It's too bad for guests that they close earlier now, because if you stayed late you could get a lot of rides in during the last few hours, but as a CM who worked way too many closing shifts I am sure todays CMs prefer the earlier quitting time.

  15. #15

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    Re: First Resident of the Haunted Mansion

    Great story - you've been with the Mansion from the very beginning! ;-)

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