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  1. #886

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    Thumbs up Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustymuscle View Post
    OK, OK, let me quantify my posting of the HM movie draft design: I didn't have anything else to post that would get the point across. By no means was I calling for the HM's facade to be totally redesigned after the film.

    Let me try to paint a potential portrait of external changes in order to "flesh out" this question.

    Image the hue of the whitewashed facade slightly dimmer, an off-white, almost faded or stained white. The green adorning the wrought iron and storm studders dimmer as well, almost a murky moss green.

    Imagine green, well-laced ivy coiling around the mansion's pillars and posts, the leafy vines looking to almost suffocate the mansion. I see rose bushes seemingly unattended, allowed to grow wild and thorny, yet sprouting attractive vibrant red pedals.

    I foresee the removal of the pet cemetary, replaced by the entrance of a once-sealed shut mausoleum, the cement seal curiously broken, the door slightly ajar. The names of five men are listed as occupants, all bereaved by a single woman, one Constance Gracey.

    The family plot returns to the brushy hillside. The white hearse finally leaves. In its corner, above the small brick alcove in the mansion's front, a withered, weathered, and vine-entombed wrought iron gazebo stands. From it, soft, disarming music plays inside, music from a solitary music box playing a lonely, woeful tune.

    As per Bellhop's suggestion, the entrance garden will receive a tasteful selection of period-correct, stately statues and busts, only these mute occupants of the mansion will too be coiled and wrapped in overgrowth (imagine a woman's bust buried deep behind cypress trees, so encompassed with spidery vines that her hair looks disturbingly like the gargon portrait inside).

    This is what I am proposing. It's a complete departure from Walt's "let's take care of the outside" comment, but also retains a bit of reverance to his maxim, as the mansion will look aged, but not dilapidated.
    That is a vivid update for the exterior & I would welcome any of it in some capacity.
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  2. #887

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Oh, that's the whole point of my question, Data, was would you think "plussing" the exterior would help or hinder the mansion's appeal? If you say no, that's a valid answer.

    As for where my suggested modifications would go, let's work from this picture (since I have ZERO photoshopping skills):


    1) Spanish moss (found in abundance throughout the gulf coastal South) would drip from nearly every tree branch. Spanish moss is a pale, almost dead grayish-green and is why "weeping willows" look to weep. It's long, sinewy and specific to the area. It adds to the NOS theme, ultimately.

    2) Vines of ivy and coiling rose bushes would wrap around the mansion's pillars and latticing. They would be trimmed and positioned, but allowed to flourish and engulf the mansion like an abandoned mansion in the swampy Louisiana bayou would.

    3) The revised pet cemetery (not the secret one tucked behind the manse) would be pulled and put back where it should be. In its current place an ornate mausoleum would be erected with the names of Constance's past spouses.

    4) As the line queue wraps to the left and nears the back of the Fastpass garden, statues and busts of previous inhabitants would be featured, overcome with vegetation, and telling short Marc Davis-esque quips about them.

    5) The family plot would return to its rightful place on the hillside. Period.

    6) To the right, where the hearse currently is, will stand a wrought-iron gazebo.

    Yes, Data, similar to the Fastpass area, this gazebo would be fashioned as a sitting area for handicapped guests waiting to be loaded, or family members with children waiting to be escorted in. But, the ambiance would be more telling, as it will be the centerpiece of the mansion's new rose garden.

    Wild, thorny bushes would wrap and weave through the bars, exquisite (and very rare) black roses would grow freely sprinkled in between red and white roses. White for the repetitive weddings, black for the quickly following funerals, and red for...well, you can imagine.

    7) Lastly, the facade would be dimmed and stained to look like it has stood against two centuries of weather, death, and haunting. Glass would be clouded, iron painted to look distressed and rusted, and paint to look aged and discolored.

    Mind you, this is not my dream, but only an exploration in creativity. Would you be interested in seeing these changes implemented? Do you think this look would add to the allure and mystery of the mansion?

  3. #888

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    I think the outdoors should be kind of like ToT from WDW...I LOVE the theming down there with the broken fountain, overgrown areas, disrepaired pools and signs and such...it's so REAL...you know?
    Do NOT pull down on the safety bar, please...I will lower it for you...








  4. #889

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    I approve of every single one of those suggestions, Rusty, except for number 2, and number 7 to a certain extent. I think those'd be pushing it, but everything else is great. Regarding number 7, I think just a little bit of that would be okay, but I love the mansion's current paint job and level of distress.

    Also, I misunderstood you before; I thought you were referring to removing the old pet cemetery, not the one to the left of the house. Now I understand, and I have no qualms about Disney removing the one to the left.

    My favorite of your suggestions--and possibly the least expensive--is the Spanish moss. It adds so much to the Blue Bayou, and I think it'd do the same here.


  5. #890

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    I approve of every single one of those suggestions, Rusty, except for number 2, and number 7 to a certain extent. I think those'd be pushing it, but everything else is great. Regarding number 7, I think just a little bit of that would be okay, but I love the mansion's current paint job and level of distress.

    Also, I misunderstood you before; I thought you were referring to removing the old pet cemetery, not the one to the left of the house. Now I understand, and I have no qualms about Disney removing the one to the left.

    My favorite of your suggestions--and possibly the least expensive--is the Spanish moss. It adds so much to the Blue Bayou, and I think it'd do the same here.
    Glad to hear it. Mind you, I'm merely spit-balling for fun, but it's fun to paint a picture with words.

    Of course, this was the least drastic of my notions. I initially wanted the line queue, front acre, and Fastpass area totally demolished and a still, somber pond be poured in front of the mansion, the entrance steps to be a stone staircase circumventing the foot of the pool. From the shallow shores, I wanted large, shadowy cypress trees standing tall over the mansion's berm and facade, almost hiding the building from a distance.

    This would, ultimately, be improbable. Patrons wouldn't be able to photograph the mansion until standing directly before it (which is, as you can imagine, far more menacing) and the constant shade and canopy would cause mildew and mold to build up if left unattended. These are logistical nightmares that shoot my idea out of the water.

    The pond, though, would look to be once outlined with brick and cobblestone, but broken and sunken over the years, ultimately absorbed by the soft Louisiana earth. I did like the forlorn statue from the original HM movie design sitting at the water's edge and would want to bring her back too. But, alas, I think this would completely change the mansion's "stately" feel for more of a foreboding one.

    I appreciate Gaston's input, but unlike the TOT's garden, I'm afraid broken plaster and exposed pylons would make the HM look too close to the original Davis drawing where the mansion looked completely abandoned to which Walt immediately vetoed. Rather, I wanted the aging to be done via paint hues and gradients. It's not that the pillars are rotted, they only look old.

  6. #891

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    I like the image painted there, it sounds beautiful....
    But again I bring up the mausoleum's placement.
    I couldn't see it where the pet cemetery is now, not in current position anyway. Any house that has the family plots RIGHT next to the entrance must scare off a lot of people, but--while in instances such as this, that may be the point--it isn't probable. Realistically, a house would more likely have the cemetery or the mausoleum obscured from direct view so as not to unease the skittish.
    I refer to past talks in The Thread about the extended queue area and its past appearances, one such point being that at one point there was a small cemetery back there with some of the more famous (and now gone) headstones. That would be what I would bring back, if in fact taking the mausoleum in its place, and use it as a little 'discovery' in the queue for guests. It's so shaded in that area also, it would be perpetually dark and forboding in that area to add to the ambiance.
    Also, I couldn't see the gazebo where the hearse is--it would make the front too 'busy' to the eye. I kind of like the hearse--gasp!, I know--but not the way it is now. I would think almost abandoned as if in a hurry, like the horse was just taken, as if someone had to get away from there very fast. I'd also keep the door open on the back, make it pitch black in there, and have the sound effect of a heartbeat coming faintly from within.
    But that's just me.
    Last edited by CaitlinMcFly; 12-13-2007 at 05:37 PM. Reason: i'm a grammar nazi to myself.
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  7. #892

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    OK, Bellhop, I see your argument. The mausoleum would look better hidden among the trees and in full size. But, the main point is that the kooky, misplaced pet cemetery needs to go. What then, would you want in place of it?

  8. #893

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Just a garden is all that would be needed, like an overgrown rose garden, or something pretty with faded grandeur.

    And I reread my last few posts here--I sounded pushy. Sorry for that. Just a lot on my plate right now.
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  9. #894

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Just to be nit-picky...

    The DL Haunted Mansion is nearing it's 30h Anniversary in which is likely to undergo a certain undisclosed period of closures for additional effects, characters, modifications, and the like (including several new effects found at WDW).
    Make that the 40th Anniversary. The 30th Anniversary was in 1999.
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  10. #895

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Quote Originally Posted by ste3ve View Post
    Just to be nit-picky... Make that the 40th Anniversary. The 30th Anniversary was in 1999.
    Crap... you're totally right. That's my mistake.

  11. #896

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    Quote Originally Posted by ste3ve View Post
    Just to be nit-picky...



    Make that the 40th Anniversary. The 30th Anniversary was in 1999.
    Speaking of....
    I was asked on a MySpace HM board if there were going to be any special merchandise released for the 40th in 2009. Does anyone have any info?

  12. #897

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    since we're talking about lost effects and changes, does anyone have any thoughts on the additions to the attic? personally I think the bride figure shouldve stayed silent and mysterous
    giving her face and more voice seems to have taken away some of the errie mystery from the story. As for madam leota, I read that originally the table that the crystal ball set on was supposed to tip and rock slightly and after that effect broke down permanantly the whole center table rig sat still for all of these years. does anyone else think that suspending the crystal ball above the table might be a little too much? maybe I"m a little old fashioned in that repect but I kinda preferred it the old way. couldnt they have simply revisioned the original table idea? any thoughts?

  13. #898

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    I actually like the Leota floating ball. It makes the scene more vibrant without really taking anything away. As for the bride, I'm torn. I love the decapitating paintings in the attic, but I'm not entirely sold on Constance. I've always chalked it up to an incompletely realized and not quite believable effect, but maybe it is the fact that she's talking that bothers me. I hadn't ever considered that. That being said, I wasn't a big fan of the original bride. She always looked too robotic to me and she somehow didn't fit in up there in my mind (not sure why). It needed some kind of improvement, I'm just not sure they nailed it.
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  14. #899

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    I suppose the floating leota ball soesnt matter much as long as the image inside and the voice are the same

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    Re: Son of "Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect," or The Thread 2

    I think the attic always has been--and, in some ways, still is--the attraction's weakest scene. When I was young, it was the area I always forgot about, and upon riding, I'd start to think, Huh...is this new? Oh, I guess not. It never really impressed me. The old brides always creeped me out in a good way, though they were certainly among the least impressive animatronics in the park, as far as motion goes.

    To me, Connie just doesn't fit in with the rest of the attraction in terms of overall feel. It's not just the fact that she looks too flat, or that it doesn't feel as "60s" as some of the other parts of the ride. It's not just the fact that she speaks. It's a combination of really subtle things, but I really don't have much to complain about. Like I said, it was never my favorite scene to begin with, and I don't think it's significantly better or worse now. I basically accept it as a necessary transition between the awesomeness of the ballroom and the zany fun that is the graveyard.

    Regarding Madame Leota--I like it when she floats and I like it when she doesn't. Both are cool.


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