A couple of weeks ago (Heck I think it was almost a month ago already) I posted a thread entitled "The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming." I would like to thank all those who posted in thread for helping me come up with some pretty killer ideas. I would also like to thank the people over at Visions Fantastic for helping me out as well. Now I have come up with and put together an entire refurbishment for one of Disneyland's most beloved attractions. Rather than posting a ride through I'm simply going to go foward and post a list of bullet points on what has been changed within the walls and grounds of the mansion.
I would really like to know what you think of these ideas. I understand some of you might not like some of them while others of you might like some of them. I don't really care how you feel I just want to know what you think. Several other "Imagineers" and I worked very hard on this and we want to hear your feedback.
Also I am full well aware that the mansion is due for a small refurbishment following the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay of this year. I heard something about the hatbox ghost returning along with new effects for the stretching room and load area along with interactive hitchhiking ghosts. But just because the mansion might actually be getting all this doesn't mean it's going to stop me from dreaming in the blue sky. I'm just going to post in my opinion what needs to be changed and if Disney pulls out something different than there's nothing I can do about it. This is just for fun and I am full well aware of that.
So without further to do here is the list of changes to be made during the Haunted Mansion's upcoming x-scream makeover:
- The queue will be returned to its original splendor under Walt's rule of letting the ghosts take care of the inside and letting us take care of the outside. This means that all the overgrown plantlife that's there now will be trimmed or removed, all of the trees surrounding the perimeter of the mansion will be trimmed as not to obstruct the view of passing guests, all of the lawns will be mowed and brightned to perfection, both the mansion and the phantom hearse outside will be given a new coat of fresh white paint (It's a somewhat dark shade of white, kind of like french vanilla ice cream only brighter), all of the walkways and paths will be re-paved and painted a shade of grey to match the colors of the newly-repainted mansion. All of the lampposts which have been missing from the queue for some time now will be returned to their original spots and provide warmth and light for guests wishing to tour the mansion at night. Spherical bunches of bright orange and yellow daisies will be placed around the base of each post, just like they were when the mansion opened back in 1969. All of the gravestones in the pet cemetary will be given actual carved-in epitaphs (Not just painted stickers or whatever the heck they are) and given a new color to blend with their surroundings better. The monkey grave only present during Haunted Mansion Holiday will now be a permanent resident of the cemetary. All of the poles in the winding part of the queue will be repainted and removed of all scratches, chips, and chunks of gum, along with all the surrounding gates and brick structures located throughout other portions of the queue. All the windows will be removed of any blemishes (Or all together replaced) while the shutters (Or shudders I'm not sure how you spell it) will be repainted or again replaced. All of the windows and doors which cannot be reached by guests will receive the same treatment. The telescope looking out towards the Rivers of America will return to its original spot a top the mansion's second story balcony while all of the furniture and other decorations already up there will be replaced by newer versions of their former selves.
- An anteblum gazebo will be added to the hill normally occupied by jack-o-lanterns during Haunted Mansion Holiday. Several new decorations such as a loveseat and table hosting two wine glasses and a wine bottle will be added to go along with the new scene.
- An invisible ghost will now sit on the second story porch at night in a rocking chair, listening to the music of a nearby music box: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmLIK5vszlc"]YouTube - Phantom Manor Music Box[/ame] to create an unsettling/nervous mood. Every now and then the music box will stop with a clunk, the ghost will get up, walk over to it (With matching footsteps) and turn it back on before sitting down again.
- I forgot to mention this earlier but not all of the lampposts will be entangled in daisies. Some of them will be entangled in golden poppies while others will poke out from inside well-cut hedges and bushes. Also several little trees will be planted throughout appropriate portions of the queue. The really large tree in the pet cemetary now will be cut out a replaced by a very-well groomed pepper tree.
- The lights in the windows next to the mansion's "front door" will glow again as they did many years ago. Most notably seen in this Disney sing along song. You can catch a glimpse of it as the villains run between the pillars: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eavo08IXduQ"]YouTube - Disney Villains 'Grim Grinning Ghosts'[/ame]
- All of Paul Frees' narration has been taken and digitally remastered, giving the original vocal track a rather eerie sound as if he is actually talking to us from another dimension.
- New speakers have also been implemented into the foyer, making it seem as if the Ghost Host is on your shoulder, above your head, far away in another corner, or crawling around on the ceiling. You really feel as if he is moving around the room unseen.
- The Stretching Room has been completely remastered, both look-wise and sound-wise. As of right now there are only seven speakers in there. Now there are a total of seventy. A good portion of them are hidden in new demonic grillwork installed around the perimter of the floor. For an example of this new grillwork please refer to the concept art on page fifty four of your Haunted Mansion from the Magic Kingdom to the Movies book by Jason Surrel. If you don't have one you should easily be able to pick up the concept pretty easily.
Like the foyer, the Ghost Host now floats around the room with his new crystal clear audio, hopping from shoulder to shoulder, wall to wall, and head to head. Again it sounds as if he is walking (Or flying) around the room unseen.
- Thanks to all the new speakers in the stretching room the walls now make a horrible creaking sound when they "stretch." It seems as if you can actually hear the ancient wood behind the walls creaking and moaning as they move in their supernatural haze.
- The old thunder and lightning effect remains, however it too has been digitally remastered and plussed, becoming ten times louder and ten times more realistic than before. Several bats have joined the Ghost Host's corpse up in the cupola as well, screeching and fluttering away in a frenzied panic. Thanks to the new sound system it sounds as if they have flown down into the gallery with us in hopes of finding their own way out.
- The Ghost Host's corpse has been redressed in a dazzling new wardrobe complextion while his rotting body is now lit up by blue lights hidden in the surrounding walls. This new lighting system is meant to get the attention of the dazzled crowd below. The rope holding up our host's corpse can be heard snapping as his horrid scream falls down from the ceiling, right behind us, and to the floor, accompanied by an even louder crash than before. The sound effect is so loud it makes the walls and floor vibrate a little as if he actually just hit the floor.
- An ethereal wind fills the room whenever our Ghost Host speaks. Even then as we first enter the stretching room and even after the Ghost Host has spoken it sounds as if there is a silent wind running through the room and materializing around the portraits.
- After the corpse has fallen and we've reached the same level as the portrait corridor we here the whole "Stay together" spiel. The doors open as usual, only there's a new twist just as they slowly open up. The gargoyles slowly move their heads and whisper "Stay together..." as we leave, childishly laughing and giggling as we exit their lair.
- Other new features have been added to the stretching room. First off the whole room has been given new wallpaper, just like the kind seen in Tokyo's stretching room: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtzwkOS0SFI"]YouTube - Haunted Mansion (Tokyo Disneyland) Pt. 1[/ame] The four portraits have been lit up even brighter, thanks to some new lights hidden above them. It won't be as if they were in spotlights though, it'd be as if they were just naturally blending in with the light. The portraits themselves have been replaced by new and much more beautiful versions of themselves, still retaining their creepy old selves.
- Like in Tokyo the lights almost immediately fade out in the stretching room as the Ghost Host says: "Of course...there's always...my way..."
- The Portrait Corridor has also been suited with the new sound system (Along with the load area), making good old Paul sound as if he his floating around the room once again.
- All the paintings have been remastered (Or replaced by new versions of their old self) to become even more eerie and mysterious than before. Like they do in the current version of the mansion they change into some ghastly image whenever the lightning flashes on the other side of the hall, which reminds me...The ghostly windows across from the portraits have been replaced by new window panes and now overlook a much more sinister environment than before; a very ominous swamp-like atmosphere similar to the blue bayou. Every now and then in a flash of lightning you can see the shadow of a restless spirit out in the bayou, its even larger shadow briefly project onto the adjacent wall. The windows now harbor a rain-like effect as well, similar to the Tiki Room with a few subtractions from it to make it seem more realistic.
- The Medusa painting will resemble Marc Davis' original painting more, simply because it looks a lot better than the one that's there now.
- The busts at the end of the hallway are now pale blue in color.
- The load area is now a half-house half-outdoors room, a sort of border between our world and the next if you will (Page sixty one of your Haunted Mansion book). The ceiling and walls become transparent and wirey before fading into the crisp night sky. The carpet beneath morphs into a cobblestone path as a small graveyard appears alongside the trail and across the doombuggy track to a lesser extent. The endless void remains, only it is now time times more effective and the floor beneath it has been slanted to keep any trash thrown in by a naughty guest out and away. The ceiling has been hidden by a foggy scrim, while all the normally visible walls are hidden by darkness or a new prop of some kind. The bat stanchions along the trail have been repainted a much brighter gold in color.
- Various screams and other ghastly sounds now fill the load area, made possible through several new speakers placed randomly throughout the place with each one set at a different volume level. A good portion of these screams come from the Corridor of Doors while others come from the old attic, new sounds recorded by Disney, and clips from "Chilling Thrilling Sounds from a Haunted House" which was a record and casette tape released by Disney many years ago. The screams come from all points of the room (Similar to the Ghost Host) and can really get the attention of an unsuspecting guest. One gag I hope will work out is having guests board and the doombuggy and suddenly be taken in by a scream coming out from the void or back towards the portrait corridor. Suddenly the bar would float down and touch them unexpectedly, causing quite a fright and laugh for those smart enough to pay no attention to the ethereal moans and shrieks dancing in the distance.
- The Spanish narration by the Ghost Host has been removed, and Paul Frees' original lines about not pulling down the safety bar have been reinstalled.
- The griffin statues towards the entrance of the grand staircase have been polished up and made to look as if they have always been there and are perfectly normal statues. However, as you pass them by their eyes light up and follow you, just as the Sinister Eleven portraits do at Tokyo and Disney World.
- The area normally occupied by Scary Teddy and the Christmas presents during Haunted Mansion Holiday is now pitch black and filled with even more screams, shrieks, and moans. Some of the moans are now in the doombuggy to make it seem as if an invisible specter is in your carriage with you.
- All of the doombuggies have received rPod technology (Ride Pod) which was just recently given to the doombuggies of the Florida mansion in their big refurbishment back in 2007 (My how time flies). This new sound system rids of any static you might hear and delivers a crystal clear audio rendition of everything you need to hear on board. rPod is also at a decent volume level to make sure that you can't hear the Ghost Host's narration in the buggy next to you, which is a frequent problem every now and then, especially in the Seance Circle and Endless Hallway.
rPod also makes it sound as if the Ghost Host is actually materializing in the interior of your doombuggy, making the whole experience even creepier than before.
- Every doombuggy has received a fresh coat of paint and been slowed down a reasonable amount of speed. This has been done so the ride will make less stops throughout its journey and allow guests to take in as much as they can.
- The candelabra in the endless hallway is now much more fluid in its movements while a new scrim has been added along with the mirror behind the candel being polished up for that extra shine. The lighting has also been fixed up here as well to make the chamber seem more ominous and foreboding. The hot and cold running chills effect is back in action as well. If you don't know what I'm talking about on the Ghost Host's line about hot and cold running chills you would feel a really hot wind followed by a really cold wind right afterwards. Well that's back and running once more. Also when you look down the hallway you might here a terrible shriek (The Kurt Russel and the Osmonds special where they visited the Haunted Mansion you could hear a cat screeching on the other side).
- The Conservatory has been pretty much left untouched, save for more color in the dead flowers, a new paint job for the coffin, and a new green light bulb has been screwed in to brighten up the after life of its trapped occupant.
- Like almost every other portion of the ride the Corridor of Doors has been given a new sound system. Only this sound system trails throughout a vast majority of the hallway. It now seems as if all the unseen ghouls haunting the corridor are actually following your doombuggy as you go, getting closer and closer until you turn into the seance circle and escape. The sound is of a very crisp and clear quality like never before.
- New black and white family photos have been added to the corridor along with a revivsed hatchet man painting which now resembles the one seen in my current avatar. Yes it has the following eyes like its Sinister Eleven counterpart. Those weird face plaque things in the corridor now will be replaced by new portraits while several family portraits only seen in the Florida version of the ride will now find a home here. The long-lost family portrait hand-drawn by a cast member will most likely be hung alongside the hatchet man or across the way from the conservatory.
This guy will also finally get his own family portrait:
Along with several of the ghouls seen on the bottom of this page of the Long Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect. Mainly the first, fifth, and tenth will be added since the rest are already there or are going to be implemented. The portraits seen in post number 860 will be added as well.
Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Part 6: A Prequel in Time, The Unrelenting
- Gone from the corridor is the continous clacking noise. Instead the corridor is filled with a horrible roaring sound as if a huge beast is jumping up and down on a bed upstairs. All the doors are now much more active than before, many of them doing things never even heard of before. For example, one door now has a face and set of hands that push themselves out towards your doombuggy, the breathing door is now much more visible, one door almost bends itself completely out of place, and another door has been given an eerie green light behind it with a pair of skeleton hands attempting to pry it open.
- The now repainted grandfather clock remains while it has been joined by the eerie demon wallpaper seen in the corridor of doors. There's a twist here however, as we make our way by the eyes of the wallpaper light up an eerie green in color, just like they do at Phantom Manor. The gonging of the clock is heard throughout the corridor of doors as well, along with all the screams of the trapped goblins and ghouls attempting to get through to us.
- The corridor of doors has also been given new lighting. Now the lights flicker as we pass growing very bright, then very dim, then a regular warmth, then dim again. Some of the cobweb-adorned chandeliers now sing around as well.
- The entire seance circle will be expanded in size to make way for a new scene. A bizarre octagon-shaped room will be the new seance circle (Very similar to the one seen on page sixteen of the Haunted Mansion book). There will be two levels to this new room, the first level which is a pretty simple area which is basically a wall lined with griffin statues holding up various tapestries with bizarre markings scribbled upon them. The second story features a rotting balcony running alongside several doors and curtained windows. As Leota speaks her spells and incantations the doors will occasionally open up and slam shut in the blink of an eye while the window curtains will suddenly be thrust apart to reveal dozens of terrifying spirits just dying to get in (Just like the concept art seen on page thirty two). Tapestries will also hang from the sides of the balcony.
- Leota will float around the room once again, along with the table beneath her and the chair which serves as a perch for the raven. The wires making Leota fly will be much better hidden than before.
- Leota's spellbook will now be lit by a bright spotlight.
- Leota's ball will be polished up while Leota herself will now be projected from the inside to make her seem more realistic and eerie. She also won't just float around in one spot, she'll float around many different parts of the room.
- Candelabras will be placed in various points along the fence surrounding the Madame's seance table.
- A voodoo doll will be placed on Leota's table along with a fortune-telling card baring the face of Dr. Facilier upon it along with several of his "friends from the other side."
- All of the floating musical instruments and furniture in the seance have been repainted, replaced, or simply refurbished to glow in the new and eerie black lights of the room. The wires holding them up are now hidden as well while their shadows now reflect much more prominently upon their surroundings.
- The glass in the Grand Hall has been cleaned with a new material so the maitenance crews won't have so much trouble cleaning it up at night.
- All of the ghosts will be given new costumes and wigs to make them seem more "lively" while the lights used now to make the Pepper's Ghost Effect have been replaced. Each ghost has their own individual spotlight now to make them pop out more.
- The attic has gone through yet another major refurbishment. Since a lot has happened here I'm just going to go over it as if it was a ride through:
"As the sounds of the ghostly party slowly fade into the distance, the Doom Buggies carry guests into the heart of any good haunted house: the Attic - a musty, dusty realm filled to overflowing with hundreds of family heirlooms, knickknacks, and curious, in addition to several assorted ghosts, ghouls, and goblins whom have taken residence in the attic in hopes of terrorizing guests and telling them the stories of their bloody pasts. An eerie heartbeat fills the attic, along with a demented harpischord version of the "Wedding March" getting louder and louder as we proceed through the rotting rafters of the attic.
Slowly moving into the attic we stare at a collection of junk surrounding a wedding portrait between a young man and woman. Lit by an eerie purple light several pieces of junk obviously belonging to the couple surround the portrait supposably telling the young couple's story. A couple of these artifacts include a black and white photo of Big Thunder Mountain and several miners standing outside a parked mine train, making it known that this young man might have worked for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Company at some point in his lifetime. Several mining tools can also be found throughout the area. A painting of a beautiful woman (Marc's famous April/December portrait) also finds a home here, a name printed across the top: "Constance." An opened hatbox lies in the middle of the floor. Suddenly one can hear the nearby slice of a hatchet. The groom's head disappears from the portrait before reappearing again. Suddenly a ghastly disembodied head wearing the exact same hat as the man in the portrait leaps from the opened hatbox shrieking with fright before going back down again.
Another wedding portrait appears up ahead between a different man and that same woman as before. Another opened hatbox rests nearby while several artifacts labeled the "Mark Twain Trading Company" lie nearby. A scale model of the Mark Twain Riverboat rests on a nearby crate (Presumably filled with tea as evident by a nearby teapot resembling Mrs. Potts and tea cup resembling Chip). The slice of the hatchet can be heard once again, making the groom's head disappear before reappearing again. Shortly afterwards yet another gruesome disembodied head wearing the same exact hat as the pictured groom jumps out of the hatbox with a scream before going back down again.
Nearby yet another wedding portrait appears, this time between the same girl as before and a much fatter man. Again the man's head disappears and reappears, shortly followed by a disembodied head wearing the same exact hat which jumps out of a nearby hatbox. This time a dusty-old harpischord appears in the light of a flickering gas lantern (The sister to this lantern can be seen in the queue of the Jungle Cruise) the shadow of a phantom pianist pounding away at its keys playing the "Wedding March" in a melancholy manner. Several artifacts relating to the Jungle Cruise lie about the place, including the trophy head of a water buffalo, (From an actual water buffalo animatronic from the ride) a tiger skin rug, a model globe, and several guns and other hunting gear. The chair the man sits upon in the portrait is also located here. Across the way on the other side of the attic is another wedding portrait where the groom's head disappears and a similar disembodied head leaps out from a hatbox. Back on the other side we see the ghost of the bride seen in these pictures herself, standing next to a moldy wedding cake (The groom cake topper on top is missing his head) and a grand wedding portrait depicting Constance and her fifth and final husband George. As usual the groom's head disappears, but there is no hatbox to accompany him this time, only artifacts relating to a grand wedding between he and his bride. Constance herself sits towards the exit of the attic, her ghostly dress billowing in the wind. Constance is now a full-out audio animatronic figure, baring a rusted hatchet in her hands, which shines in the dim light of the room. Constance's gruesome face resembles that of a skull, with only a few scraps of flesh here and there remaining. Her eyes glow orangish-yellow as her tiny black pupils stare us down as she emits several witty wedding-related phrases every fifteen seconds or so. The same portrait of her that appeared at the beginning of the attic (April/December) appears here as well, only now she is an aged hag with a hatchet in her hand, rather than a flower as she was holding in the original portrait.
Across the way on the other side of the attic is the ghost of George. A skeletal figure wearing an immense cape, a fancy top hat, and clutching a wooden cane in one hand with a large hatbox in the other. The ghost's (Hatbox Ghost if you haven't figured it out) cane shakes wildly as his ghastly, skeletal grin vanishes with the slice of the hatchet. As a matter of fact his entire head disappears, leaving his top hat suspended in the air. Suddenly his head reappears within the hatbox he holds, soon after reappearing back on his shoulders."
- The Graveyard has been given a new sound system as well, speakers featured in now almost every point of the area. A professional choir has recorded a cover of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" which is only heard lightly as you exit the attic and fall backwards down the hill. The jazzy background music is also a lot louder now, mainly the tamborine. I don't know why I just think it makes the place more "zany."
- The ceiling is now unable to be seen by guests as it has been painted over and scraped of all the glow in the dark star stickers placed upon it. Instead it has been replaced by the night sky effect seen in the Blue Bayou of Pirates of the Caribbean, complete with the rolling clouds and seldom stars. No air conditioning vents or work lights are visible anymore.
- All of the animatronics have been gutted and rebuilt with new, much more advanced features. This will not only make them have more advanced movements, but it will make them look like actual ghosts. Every ghost now glows a dark shade of violet, just like the ghosts in the Haunted Mansion at Tokyo Disneyland.
- The scrim keeping riders and ghosts apart has been removed as it doesn't really work in supposed to be looking like fog. It is also full of holes and other unneccessary blemishes, so it has been given the boot.
- Vincent Price's trademark laugh heard in Phantom Manor (And Michael Jackson's "Thriller") can now be heard in the background of the king and queen scene.
- The Phantom Five are now in high definition and projected from the inside, just like Madame Leota.
- Speakers have been placed in front of all the graveyard ghosts, to make it seem as if the vocals are actually coming from the ghost they are supposed to belong to. Ghosts who have long since been silent now feature their own singing voice recorded by a professional voice actor.
- There is a voice track in the graveyard exclusive to Tokyo Disneyland. I don't know what ghost it belongs to but it is very eerie. It is kind of a "la, la, la, la" kind of thing. I don't know if you know what I'm talking about but you can hear it at around 9:18 of this video. It will be somewhat loud and prominent like it is at Tokyo Disneyland:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnL4ZE__g2M"]YouTube - ??????????????????[/ame]
(I think it's coming from the ghost sitting upright in the open coffin)
- The raven a top the exit crypt's entrance is now lit by a couple of blacklights while several unseen childish spirits can be heard giggling and singing to "Grim Grinning Ghosts" from the outer sides of our doombuggy.
- All of the pop-up ghost mechanisms will be replaced by new, and much more powerful mechanisms. This will make the new ghosts jump out extremely fast and unexpected, causing quite a few shocks for some riders. They will then stay suspended behind their hiding place for a couple of seconds before quickly ducking back down. Their mechanisms will now be hidden from view (Behind another gravestone or plant or something) while each pop up emits a horrible scream once it has leapt up from hiding. Each pop up has been given a new head so they all don't resemble each other, meaning a lot of the family portraits seen in the corridor of doors will be realized once again in the form of a pop up. Again each pop up head will be different.
- The hitchhiking ghosts have been replaced by up to date animatronics, meaning they are much more advanced than the ones we have now. First of all the scrim in front of them has been removed while they are now lit up by black lights. Each ghost is violet in color and sways in time with the graveyard music which can still be heard echoing loudly in the distance. Their movements are a lot more fluid and there thumbs and arms move a lot better than before.
- Each ghost appears green in the mirror and moves a lot more than they did before. Also each ghost does something different than their previous self. Phineas puts his elbows on the safety bar, Ezra puts his arms around guests' shoulders, and Gus puts his hands on the safety bar.
- The Ghost Host's dialogue goes as follows: You enter the crypt and he says "Ah there you are, and just in time! There's a little matter I forgot to mention; beware of hitchhiking ghosts!" You then move foward and pass the second mirror where the Ghost Host begins to speak again. "They have selected you to fill our quota, and they'll haunt you until you return! Now I will raise the safety bar, and a ghost will follow you home!" That would be the final word heard in the doombuggy, no "Please exit by stepping away from the vehicle with your left foot first."
- The mournful closing song is now much louder than before and echoes throughout the crypt.
- Little Leota is now projected from the inside through high definition.
- That grunting laugh recorded by the guy who voiced the Indian Chief in Peter Pan has been brought back much louder than before while ghastly voices (Similar to the gargoyles in the stretching room) beckon us to hurry back in whispered little voices.
Here are some other changes that I forgot to mention:
- The Ghost Host's dialogue about the ghosts having trouble getting through and asking Madame Leota for help will be returned to the attraction in the appropriate places.
- All of the exit signs are no longer lit up. They will now light up only in case there is an actual emergency requiring an evacuation or anything like that. The work lights will also turn on in case of an emergency.
- Corey Burton will record several new lines for the Ghost Host which will only be heard in several different situations: If a rider is taking flash pictures, if someone has their external video lights on, if someone is standing up or trying to get out of their vehicle, or if a couple of riders are vandalizing the attraction. Each bit of dialogue will be very witty and be written by the same person who wrote the script for Haunted Mansion Holiday as he or she is pretty good at writing stuff for the mansion. This new narration won't require cast members having to talk over the PA for guests to stop doing what they're doing that's wrong.
- If a guest hops out of there doombuggy the attraction will stop until her or she returns or is taken in by security. This will be the same case for anyone who throws something or is caught vandalizing the attraction in some other way.
- The shriveled old dog next to the mummy and old man is a ghost again.
Expect to see my changes for the Haunted Mansion Holiday soon.
Other than that what do you all think? Is there something you really liked here? Or is there something you really didn't like? Please let me know, I'm just "dying" to hear your feedback.