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Daylight Strikes Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris

posted on March 9th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


The Haunted Mansion, and the different versions of it at Disney Parks around the globe, are among my favorite to write about because they have such great storylines – and stories – to tell.

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In today’s sunrise shot, which was snapped by photographer Tom Bricker, you can see the sun rising over Phantom Manor at Disneyland Park (in Paris). Not only is it a lovely shot, but this photo actually illustrates a cool fun fact about the attraction: Unlike other Disney Parks around the world, this Haunted Mansion-type of attraction actually appears in Frontierland. (At Walt Disney World Resort, you can find it in Liberty Square, at the Disneyland Resort in California it’s located in New Orleans Square and at Tokyo Disneyland, it’s in Fantasyland).

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Finish that Disney Parks Sign: Doombuggies at The Haunted Mansion

posted on February 24th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


One of my favorite ride vehicles is the Doombuggy at The Haunted Mansion. I simply love that the “Ghost Host” kindly lowers the bar for you as you begin your tour.

Have you noticed this new sign at the attraction’s entrance? It details how many individuals fit inside on Doombuggy. But what is the missing word here? You tell us. We’ll update the post with the correct answer later today!

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Read the rest of this entry »

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Haunt Your Disney Side Winners Celebrate with Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 12th, 2015 by Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks


If you remember our “Haunt Your Disney Side” contest, the grand prize was an experience only Disney Parks could deliver – a private party inside the Haunted Mansion followed by an overnight stay in Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park. Our winners, The Kummer family from Florida, recently joined us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we wanted to share with readers.

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The Krummers kicked off their dream Disney Side celebration with an unforgettable after-hours party inside the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom Park. Their visit included a special performance by the Cadaver Dans, visits from spirits and late-night snacks inside the attraction.

Cinderella Castle Suite  Ready for the Winners of the 'Haunt Your Disney Side' Contest Haunt Your Disney Side Winners Celebrate with Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience at Magic Kingdom Park

After the spooky Haunted Mansion visit, the family headed to Cinderella Castle where Major Domo welcomed the family with a special proclamation. The Krummers spent the night in the Castle Suite – decorated especially for the occasion.

Thank you to everyone who entered the “Haunt Your Disney Side” contest. Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for one-of-a-kind opportunities like this in the future.

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Digging Up Details About Memento Mori Shop in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World

posted on October 31st, 2014 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


Memento Mori, the new Haunted Mansion-themed shop, recently opened in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom Park. This location is the destination for new Haunted Mansion Authentic products at Walt Disney World Resort. In recent weeks, I’ve enjoyed hearing guests’ reactions and seeing photographs from their visits to the shop. Since it’s Halloween, I caught up with my Walt Disney Imagineering partners to dig up a few interesting details about the shop that you may not know.

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You may recall that it is rumored the little shop was the abode of Madame Leota. While she disappeared long ago, many of her belongings are still located in the shop such as a beautiful portrait that was possibly created during the time she lived in the area.

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The shop’s name was inspired by a gravestone found in the graveyard scene inside the attraction. The Victorian-era phrase “Memento Mori” reminded people of that age “to live life to the fullest as everyone is mortal.”
There are two different signs found outside the shop. The larger sign has an eyeball-like graphic that looks like it follows you when passing by the location.

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Merchandise cast members wear costumes that are slightly different than the maid and butler costumes from the attraction. I love the unique Madame Leota-inspired broach that female cast members wear (yes, the merchandise team is considering making it a retail item in the future).

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The broach also inspired a mirror found on a wall inside the shop. The mirror’s frame is basically a larger replica of the broach.

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One of the coolest new things in the shop is Spirit Photography, which is another way for Guests to pursue the mysteries of life. This special kind of photography has been known to touch the spirit world, revealing the secrets that lie beyond.

Outside the Spirit Photography room, you will find some recreations of the earliest form of photography known as “daguerreotype.” I also liked the wallpaper found inside the photography area.

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While visiting the shop to get photographs for this story, I had my portrait taken. After a few moments, I was presented an 8-inch by 10-inch, lenticular image that revealed my spirited Disney Side. No reservations are needed for this experience.

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999 Happy Haunts: The Organist Pipes A ‘Swinging Wake’

posted on October 31st, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today, we’ll celebrate the Halloween holiday with our final look at one of the Haunted Mansion residents. Today, we’re heading inside the Grand Hall area of the mansion to learn more about the Organist.

In the Grand Hall, a collection of spirits have materialized for a grand celebration with music provided by an Organist at the far left of the room.

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(Art by Garrett McGill)

This character plays a waltz version of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” while ghostly couples dance nearby. Did you ever notice that there are skulls floating out of the organ instead of musical notes?

For more Happy Haunts, check out the posts below:

Halloween Tricks (and Treats) with an Optical Illusion Inspired by The Haunted Mansion

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Gary Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor


Inside the Haunted Mansion, anything can happen. As things go bump in the night, your eyes also play tricks on you. “Is this haunted room actually stretching?

In 2011, we debuted a Haunted Mansion-themed optical illusion that featured our phantom friends, The Hitchhiking Ghosts.

This year, we’re back with another Halloween treat (and a trick) for fans of the classic attraction. A haunted hallway with a floating candelabra serves as the inspiration for this apparitional optical illusion.

All of the trickery was done without the use of any video special effects. At the end of the short video, the spooky secret is revealed. Happy Halloween!

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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Halloween at Disney Parks

posted on October 25th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


With Halloween less than one week away, celebrations are now in full swing at Disney Parks.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Transforms Magic Kingdom After Dark

Here at the Walt Disney World Resort, guests are enjoying Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party fun at Magic Kingdom Park. At the Disneyland Resort, families are having a blast at Mickey’s Halloween Party and Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland park, and Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure.

Be sure to click through the gallery above for a look inside all of the fun.

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999 Happy Haunts: Here Comes The Bride

posted on October 24th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week our Happy Haunts series is taking a look at the true lady of the house – The Bride. (This character’s storyline varies a bit at Haunted Mansion attractions around the world, so we’ll focus mainly on her appearance at Magic Kingdom Park).

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(Art by Morgan Davidson)

Imagineer Ken Anderson developed one of the first storylines for the Bride, who was a young woman named Priscilla set to be wed to a sea captain named Captain Gore. Throughout this version of the attraction – which at first was being developed as a walk-through experience – guests would follow Priscilla as she found evidence that her love was actually a wicked pirate. Priscilla then vanished and was never seen again, although her spirit presence in the mansion was said to have driven the Captain mad. In another version of the Bride’s storyline, Walt Disney himself was set to narrate the attraction (think of Walt as the “Ghost Host”), and was to reference a bride character who had “lost her head” before the big day.

The Bride’s storyline was finally solidified when Imagineers Marc Davis, Claude Coats and X. Atencio were handed the project in the mid-1960s. Set in a creepy, cluttered attic full of shadows and surprises, the Bride waited for guests at the end of the room with a red pulsing heart and a flowing dress. Over the years, her storyline became more prominent, with wedding mementos placed throughout the attic, a louder thumping heartbeat, and the tune of the Wedding March plunked on a harpischord in the background. Later changes indicate that it was the groom that really lost his head inside the mansion: the Bride currently holds an ax, and nearby portraits of the happy couple reveal a headless groom when the lightning flashes.

In the artwork above, artist Morgan Davidson gave the Bride a Halloween twist. What do you think? Tell us in the comments section below!

For more Happy Haunts, check out the posts below:

10 Things To Know About The Haunted Mansion Theme ‘Grim Grinning Ghosts’

posted on October 23rd, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Of all the Disney Parks attractions with catchy theme songs, I sure don’t mind when this one gets stuck in my head. “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” the theme of The Haunted Mansion, is both merry and spooky at the same time, and is perfectly fitting for one of our guest-favorite attractions.

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As our Halloween celebration continues, here are 10 things you may not know about this tune.

  1. The success of the catchy theme song, “Yo Ho Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me),” at Pirates of the Caribbean spurred interest in creating a similarly compelling tune for the (then under-construction) Haunted Mansion attraction. Without “Pirates” we may never have had “Ghosts!”
  2. “Grim Grinning Ghosts” composers Buddy Baker and X. Atencio were proven to be Disney songwriting successes when put on the project. Atencio had penned lyrics to the song “Yo Ho Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me)”, while Baker’s theme park contributions included scoring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Carousel of Progress.
  3. Popular voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft sang baritone for the track. His voice can also be heard in “One Hundred and One Dalmatians,” “The Sword in the Stone,” “Mary Poppins,” “The Jungle Book” and “Pete’s Dragon” among other Disney films.
  4. Thurl’s quartet, The Mellomen, also contributed harmony to “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” The group had previously lent their voices to “Alice In Wonderland,” “Peter Pan” and “The Jungle Book.”

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  1. The arrangement of the tune progresses throughout the attraction, starting off on an eerie piano in the library and funeral scenes, then bolder as organ music in the dining room and a whooping party in the graveyard scene.
  2. “Grim Grinning Ghosts” hits a high note in the graveyard scene, where a set of singing busts await “to shriek and harmonize.” Did you know that each of these busts has a name? They are: Rollo Rumkin, Uncle Theodore, Cousin Algernon, Ned Nub and Phineas P. Pock.
  3. The face of singer Thurl Ravenscroft appears on one of the singing busts – Uncle Theodore, which you can identify at Magic Kingdom Park attraction as the “broken” bust.
  4. Buddy Baker, X. Atencio and Thurl Ravenscroft have all been named Disney Legends in years past for their contributions to Disney Parks and films.
  5. The pop band Barenaked Ladies did a cover of “Grim-Grinning Ghosts” in 2003 for the film “The Haunted Mansion” which starred Eddie Murphy.
  6. A reference to a “Grim Grinning Ghost” (note “ghost” is singular, not plural) appears in the William Shakespeare poem “Venus and Adonis” which was completed in 1593.
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This Week in Disney Parks Photos: Residents of The Haunted Mansion

posted on October 18th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Well, they aren’t exactly photos, but I think some of the coolest images we shared this week appeared in our “999 Happy Haunts” series, in which we’re taking a closer look at the residents of The Haunted Mansion attraction.

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Each post in the series focuses on a different ghost or other resident of the mansion – and each post features a unique piece of artwork created especially for it by a different artist.

Two more posts are set to run in this series. Which image is your favorite so far? Tell us in the comments section below.

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