There were enhancements made to the Jungle Cruise (something "gnu") and the Enchanted Tiki Room, but there wasn't much hoopla surrounding those either. There's no "Jhonny Depp" type of hook to focus a promotion around (thank goodness). As for the mansion, there have been changes to be sure, but it's still the mansion.
I'm very much in favor of overnight improvements that come quietly. You are not necessarily anticipating anything to begin with, which means your experience is improved (as opposed to being let down by the curse of over-hype).
All true enough, but what fascinates me is the absolute nature of the difference. With the HM there is nothing, literally nothing. Not even a little sign out front, saying "Something new is waiting for you inside," or whatever. I remember TV ads when they put the Yeti in the Matterhorn. I even remember a local TV spot for the opening of the lower deck of the Columbia in 1964!
How amazing would it be to have guests be able to take tours through the mansion (or any ride for that matter) Sort of like an Imagineering tour geared toward students or what not thinking of joining the Disney ranks. Or it could be just loyal fans wanting to get an in-depth look. You could have an Imagineer guide you through and point out trivia, and give historical info about the ride. That my friends would make big bucks.
Special after-hour tours (for more-than-you've-got-buddy bucks) could be a winner.
Okay, one more for tonight. Wondering about the spooky hand shadow (this is the WDW version):
It's great, it's creepy, and I suppose it's generic enough to frustrate any attempts to track it to a specific inspiration. But if there is a specific inspiration, I'd say this scene from near the end of the classic silent film, Nosferatu (1922), stands as good a chance as any of being the one. The vampire approaches, and the shadow of his hand clutches her heart...
Speaking of Nosferatu, anyone ever seen Shadow of the Vampire? Creepy movie about how Nosferatu was made and how it was a real vampire.
Yeah I made myself watch it when I first heard Willim Defoue would be the Green Goblin and I never really seen him anything except Platoon, but yeah that movie was alright, could have been better. Too odd I rememebered
I agree that Shadow of the Vampire was too weird, but DaFoe was incredible in it. As for the Mansion inspiration, I hadn't thought about the scene you mentioned HBG, but every time the hand moves over the clock or I watch the organist in the attic I think about the iconic shot of Nosferatu's shadow climbing up the stairs. Still creepy after all of these years!
Edit: Oops, just watched the scene again. We're pretty much talking about different parts of the same scene. My bad.
Last edited by SilentDante; 06-07-2007 at 08:05 AM.
As for the Mansion inspiration, I hadn't thought about the scene you mentioned HBG, but every time the hand moves over the clock or I watch the organist in the attic I think about the iconic shot of Nosferatu's shadow climbing up the stairs. Still creepy after all of these years!
Hadn't thought of the phantom pianist, but yes, I suppose there could be some influence there too. The hand shadow effect is used effectively in more than one place in Nosferatu.
Here's a couple from the justly famous, iconic shot you mention.
Possible influence? Maybe indirect, if not direct.
Of course, already in 1955 Disney had recognized the creepy potential of "gobo" shadows in Snow White's Scary Adventures, with the witch, as discussed earlier in this thread:
Don't let this wretched skit fool you: both of them are entertaining, talented performers. Sandy Duncan was hot stuff in 1974, sort of an "America's Sweetheart," gal-next-door type. No surprise that she linked up with Disney now and then.
Thanks for the bios. I'm young, but being a theatre person, I'm familiar with their work. And I agree. Very talented. I LOOOOOOVE Ruth Buzzi.
"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see? " - Alice
"If his brain's ran down, how can he talk?" - Jack Pumpkinhead
"It happens to people all the time, Jack." - Dorothy
"It seems the words on my mug are right: 'It is hard to soar with Eagles when you work with Turkeys.'" - Sam the Eagle
Just so we are clear on this one. What happened for the special was that they removed a small string of the buggies and then put the carpets down over the slots like HBG said. However, they did not remove all of them.
That makes sense. I imagine that they removed a string of buggies, and then moved that same gap from section to section for each location shoot.
One of the shots in that skit was a nice clip of the wraiths flying in through the ballroom windows:
Incidentally, "wraiths" is a good term: that's what my blueprint calls them.
It occurred to me how seldom you see photos of those guys. To this day, there are a number of underphotographed, underappreciated ghosts and effects in the HM. I'm sure that a lot of it is due to the sheer difficulty of capturing some of them with a camera, but for others I can't figure it out. Here's a short list:
--The first window in the changing portrait hall, with its nifty storm tableau
--The window tableau behind the moving coffin in the conservatory
--The window wraiths in the ballroom
--The arriving guests below the wraiths get some, but not much, lens time
--The guy on the mantlepiece and the Aunt Lucretia bust there
--The crypt shroud by the opera singers
--The blast-up in front of the tea party
--The various loops of rising scrim wraiths in the graveyard
For some of these, I've never seen a single photo. For some others, maybe one, maybe two, of variable quality.
On the topic of the often-forgotten scrim wraiths...
I just realized that they are similar to part of Fantasia, the "Night on Bald Mountain" sequence, where all the ghosts are being raised from the grave (half of the scene, clip here on youtube)
Back in an earlier post, I argued that there was a mound of evidence that the HM did NOT open on Saturday, Aug 9, 1969, like everyone always says, but a week later, on August 16. See: Long-forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect?
Actually, only one of the items points specifically to the 16th. The others all require a date after the 9th, but they do not give a precise day.
Well, folks, it turns out that the best candidate is neither the 9th nor the 16th, but the 12th!
Here's an article I just got hold of from the Los Angeles Times, dated Tuesday, August 12, 1969. Notice the opening line and the caption to the photograph, where it explicitly says the public opening is "today":
This jibes well with an article published the same day in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, which speaks in its opening line of the ghosts moving in at midnight:
Recall that the "sneak preview" for the press took place the night before, August 11:
An August 12th date makes sense of some personal data as well. I know that I rode the HM Thursday of opening week. If it opened Aug 16th, that means I rode it Aug 21st. I have a letter from my cousin dated Monday, Aug 25th, thanking me for my most recent letter, which mentioned my trip to the newly-opened HM, and she presses for details. She also apologizes for her tardy response to my letter, which she only saw an hour earlier after she got home from a church camp. Well, if I dashed off a letter to my cousin immediately after getting home on Thursday the 21st, it's barely possible that it got to Portland, Oregon by Saturday, the 23rd, and it's also possible that my cousin saw my letter on Monday after getting home from camp and assumed incorrectly (and without looking at the date) that it had been there for awhile, when in reality it had only just arrived Saturday. That would explain the needless apology. But it's a tight squeeze and it requires some special pleading.
But with an August 12th opening, my visit falls only two days later on the 14th, and all data are explained comfortably, including the newspaper articles.
So, unless some really hard evidence is forthcoming that says otherwise, I conclude that--
The Haunted Mansion opened to the public on
Tuesday, August 12, 1969.