Search the FAQ Archives

3 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - Internet FAQ Archives

Disney's Haunted Mansion Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Part 1/1

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Sex offenders ]
Archive-name: disney-faq/haunted-mansion
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 1996/10/31
Version: 1.4

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
      This document is Copyright (c) 1996, 1997 by Don Bertino, all rights
 reserved.  It is intended for public use, and may be redistributed
 freely printed or electronically in its complete and unaltered form
 provided distribution is done at no charge to the receiver.  Partial and
 other distribution means require the permission of the author.

 Send comments, suggestions, corrections to


I do believe in Santa Claus, Tooth Faire and the Easter Bunny etc..
8(:-)  The following document is describing what is done when some of the
999 ghosts go on vacation and some of the effects have to be done with
machines, smoke and mirrors....

 Questions answered in this post:
 1.  Comments from the maintainer, and credits
 2.  Who is the narrator, Madam Loeta and Little Loeta: Voice and Form?
 3.  Has anyone transcribed the script?
 4.  Was text removed from the original script?
 5.  Is the ride contained in the "Haunted Mansion Building"?
 6.  Do the ceilings  go up  or do the  floors go  down in the stretching
 7.  Between the  stretching room and  entering the  Doom Buggies: How do
     they get the busts to follow you?
 8.  What is a doom buggy and what is the cap. per hour?
 9.  How do they do the 5 Busts, Madame Loeta and Little Loeta?
 10. How do they  do the ballroom?  What is the  spider web on one of the
 11. Why is there a bride in the attic? (The story theme)
 12. Was there ever a hat box in the attic?
 13. As you leave the attic and enter the graveyard, Are the trees suppose
     to move?
 14. Is Walt Disney or Leslie Nielsen one of the singing busts in the
 15. How do they project a ghost into your doom buggy to
     "follow you home?"
 16. What are some of the graveyard tombstone sayings?
 17. Was the pet graveyard moved?
 18. Did   the   HM    recently   celebrates   its   25th   Anniversary?
 19. Was there CM in a suit of armor that walked around the HM?
 20. Can I get a copy of the music from the Haunted Mansion and where was it
 21. What was upgraded during the Sept 1995 rehab?
 22. Are their web pages with pictures from all the differant HM's?

             The Disney's Haunted Mansion (tm) FAQ

 General information
 1. Comments from the maintainer, and credits

 I just wanted to thank the people below, for without their help, this FAQ
 would not have been possible.

 Kimberly Dahl
 Rev Vandervort          (
 How Bowers              (
 Michael A. Deforest     (
 David C. Cobb           (
 Regan B. Pederson       (
 David Tomita            (
 Mark Keiser             (
 Mark Marcuse            (
 Tim Castro              (
 Russell Brower
 Loren Wilton            (
 Steve Ziolkowski        (


 2.  Who is the narrator, Madam Loeta and Little Loeta: Voice and Form?

 The  narrator's name is the  Late (and much lamented,) Paul Frees. He was
 not only a well know Voice Over artist in the industry, but had also done
 several  jobs  for  Glenn Larson  (creator  of  Knight  Rider, Battlestar
 Galactica,  and Buck Rogers.)  His distinctive voice can also be heard in
 several other Disney attractions such as "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln"
 (narrator),  and the now defunct "Adventure thru Inner Space" (narrator).
 Frees is perhaps best known for providing the voice of Boris Badanov, the
 villain of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.  You can actually see him in
 "The Thing", the original.

 Both  "Madam Leota" and "Little  Leota" use the faces of Disney imagineer
 Leota Thomas.  Leota Thomas (her maiden name was Leota Toombs) mainly worked
 in the model shop and could be seen in the Small World pictorial guide, now
 out of print, which showed several "making of" photos.  Thomas is the voice 
 of "Little Leota"  at the  end of  the attraction.  Unfortunately, she passed
 away two or three years ago. (1992/1993)

 Eleanor Audley  is the voice of Madam Leota (also Maleficent and Lady Tremain).

 Leota  Thomas's daughter, Kim  Irvine, is also  an Imagineer and works in
 Show Quality at Disneyland.


 3.  Has anyone transcribed the script?

 Written by Xavier Atencio.

   When hinges creak in doorless chambers and strange and frightening
   sounds echo through the halls, whenever candlelights flicker where
   the air is deathly still, that is the time when ghosts are present,
   practicing their terror with ghoulish delight.

   Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion.  I am your host,
   your Ghost Host.  Kindly step all the way in please, and make room
   for everyone.  There's no turning back now.

   Our tour begins here in this gallery, where you see paintings of
   some of our guests as they appeared in their corruptible, mortal

   Your cadaverous pallor betrays an aura of foreboding, almost as
   though you sense a disquieting metamorphosis.  Is this haunted room
   actually stretching?  Or is it your imagination?  And consider this
   dismaying observation: this chamber has no windows, and no doors.
   Which offers you this chilling challenge: to find a way out!  Of
   course, there's always my way.

   Oh, I didn't mean to frighten you prematurely.  The real chills
   come later.  Now, as they say, "look alive," and we'll continue our
   little tour.  And let's all stay together, please.

   There are several prominent ghosts who have retired here from
   creepy old crypts all over the world.  Actually, we have 999 happy
   haunts here, but there's room for a thousand.  Any volunteers?  If
   you insist on lagging behind, you may not need to volunteer.

(The following two paragraphs alternate, depending on which expanding room
 you can down in.  If you linger and wait for the next expanding room, you 
 can hear both spiels.)

(Version #1)
   The carriage that will carry you into the moldering sanctum of the
   spirit world will accommodate you and one or two loved ones.  Kindly
   watch your step as you board, please.  We spirits haunt our best in
   gloomy darkness, so remember, no flash pictures, please.

(Version #2)
   And now a carriage approaches to take you into the boundless realm
   of the supernatural.  Take your loved ones by the hand, please, and
   kindly watch your step.  Oh yes, and no flash pictures, please.  We
   spirits are frightfully sensitive to bright lights.

   Do not pull down on the safety bar, please; I will lower it for you.
   And heed this warning: the spirits will materialize only if you
   remain quietly seated at all times.

   We find it delightfully unlivable here in this ghostly retreat.
   Every room has wall-to-wall creeps and hot and cold running chills.
   Sh, listen.

(During the last rehab in Sept 1995, these two paragraphs where added back in)
 * All our ghosts have been dying to meet you.  This one can hardly
 * contain himself.  Unfortunately, they all seem to have trouble
 * getting through.
 * Perhaps Madam Leota can establish contact.  She has a remarkable
 * head for materializing the disembodied.

   Serpents and spiders, tail of a rat
      call in the spirits wherever they're at.
   Rap on a table, it's time to respond,
      send us a message from somewhere beyond.
   Goblins and ghoulies from last Halloween
      awaken the spirits with your tambourine.
   Creepies and crawlies, toads in a pond
      let there be music from regions beyond.
   Wizards and witches wherever you dwell
      give us a hint by ringing a bell.

   The happy haunts have received your sympathetic vibrations and are
   beginning to materialize.  They're assembling for a swinging wake.
   And they'll be expecting me.  I'll see you all a little later.

   When the crypt doors creak and the tombstones quake
   Spooks come out for a swinging wake
   Happy haunts materialize
   And begin to vocalize
   Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize

   Now don't close your eyes and don't try to hide
   Or a silly spook may sit by your side
   Shrouded in a daft disguise
   They pretend to terrorize
   Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize

   As the moon climbs high over the dead oak tree
   Spooks arrive for the midnight spree
   Creepy creeps with eerie eyes
   Start to shriek and harmonize
   Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize

   When you hear the knell of a requiem bell
   Weird glows gleam where spirits dwell
   Restless bones etherealize
   Rises spooks of every size
   <villainous laugh>

   Ah, there you are.  And just in time.  There's a little matter I
   forgot to mention: beware of hitchhiking ghosts.  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.

   If you would like to join our jamboree
   There's a simple rule that's compulsory
   Mortals pay a token fee
   Rest in peace; the haunting's free
   So hurry back we would like your company

   Hurry back, hurry back.  Be sure to bring your death certificate if
   you decide to join us.  Make final arrangements now.  We've been
   dying to have you.


 4.  Was text removed from the original script?

 Yes, but during the last rehab it was added back in.

 Here's the deleted spiel, in order. It picks up after, "Shh...listen."

 "All our guests have been dying to meet you. This one can hardly contain
 himself. (Laughter) - [refers to Conservatory coffin]

 "Unfortunately,  they  all  seem  to  have  trouble   getting through..."
 [refers to Chamber of Doors]

 "Perhaps  Madame Leota can establish contact -- she has a remarkable head
 for materializing the disembodied"

 Then it continues with Leota's spiel.


 5.  Is the ride contained in the "Haunted Mansion Building"?


 The actual house is right next to the edge of the park.  The loading area
 and  subsequent   ride  are  actually   "outside"  the  park   in  a  big
 warehouse-style building.

 In CA, you go down so that they can get you under the railroad
 tracks that circumscribe the park's perimeter.


 6.   Do the ceilings  go up  or do the  floors go  down in the stretching

 Okay, first of all, the stretch room was designed out of necessity.  When
 the  Disneyland's Mansion (just the  building, not the ride) was built in
 1963  it was  still planned  to be  a walk-through  attraction.  For many
 years  the building was  just an  empty skeleton while  it waited for the
 Imagineers  to  finish up  with  their  World's Fair  business  and start
 working  on  it  again.   They  knew  they  could  never  fit  the entire
 attraction inside the mansion you see, so they dug a very deep "basement"
 and  then a  tunnel from  the basement  under the  berm and the railroad.
 When the attraction finally resumed construction in 1967 (I think) it had
 changed  to become  a ride-through.   The stretch  room takes  you to the
 bottom  of the basement, then  you walk down  the tunnel (as you pass the
 changing  pictures and the  "windows" with the  storm outside.  You don't
 get  on the ride itself  until you reach the exterior show building which
 is hidden behind the berm from guest view.  If you really want to see the
 show building, try the monorail.

 Anyway, the stretch rooms (there are two of them) serve very nicely the
 purpose of getting guests down to the tunnel.  The DL Mansion opened in
 1969 and was a tremendous success.

 Now, Walt Disney World was opened in 1971, two years later.  And they did
 of course want a Mansion in it.  However, this time they were able to
 start from scratch.  They did not need the stretch room and tunnel
 because they were able to design it so guests would never have to go
 underground.  But the stretch room was such a popular effect at
 Disneyland they wanted to keep it.  This was accomplished by placing the
 entrance door in the hill that the Mansion stands on (this doesn't make
 any sense, but they did it anyway)  The hill, which you're not supposed
 to be able to see behind but can anyway, houses a jutting segment of the
 Mansion show building.  You walk into the hill into what we have to
 assume they meant to be the basement of the Mansion.  The Mansion does
 have a front door but nobody ever uses it.  Instead, you walk into the
 basement and the foyer's right there, in the basement.  Like at
 Disneyland the foyer leads into two stretch rooms.  In these, however,
 you don't go down at all.  The ceiling instead extends up into the
 Mansion, and when the exit doors open you don't have to go through the
 tunnel, the loading area's right there (because you're already in the
 show building).

(Regarding Disneyland: From:

 The scrim ceiling and the corpse above it and the entrire backdrop is indeed
 one piece.  But it is attached firmly to the top of the mansion.

 The walls are of course two pieces.  The lower piece attaches to the elevator
 floor and extends up to the lintel with the gargoils on it.  It *also*
 extends upward directly below each picture to the bottom of the picture,
 and extends the width of the picture frame.  In fact, the bottom (only)
 of the picture frames is attached to the lower wall.  

 The upper wall appears above and around the pictures, and includes the top 
 of the picture moulding, and the top attachment points for the sides of 
 the frame.  But here is the trick: when the elevator is up, the upper wall
 extends both down behind the lower wall for about 4 feet, *AND* up behind
 the cornice moulding, and thus behind the sides of the attic space for a
 number of feet.
 So how does it work?  The elevator starts down.  This of course lowers the
 bottom part of the wall, since it is attached to the floor of the elevator.
 As it lowers, the upper wall behind the lower wall becomes exposed.  At the
 same time, the vertical parts of the picture moulding (which is flexible
 rubber-like stuff) unroll around pullys behind the lower picture frame
 corners.  I think the pictures likewise unroll, but they may be held flat;
 I really can't tell easily.  If you are wondering how the upper wall can
 be going down behind the lower wall, when the bottom of the picture frame
 is attached to the lower wall, look closely at the nice *vertical stripe*
 wallpaper right at the outside edges of the picture frames in the distance
 between the frame and the lower wall.  If you look closely, you will see
 that the wall below the pictures is about 1/4" in front of the rest of the
 wall.  The vertical stripes on the wallpaper hide the split in the teo
 pieces of wall, as the split is right on the edge of a stripe.
 After about 4 feet of unrolling the pictures, the entire picture is exposed.
 And all of the upper wall that was hidden below the lower wall is used up.
 But you aren't far enough down to get to the lower floor, so the elevator
 has to somehow continue downward.  This is the point where people claim the
 top starts up, but that isn't what is happening.  When happens is that the
 lower wall part of the upper wall is used up, and hits stops on the back
 of the lower wall.  This effectively attaches the upper and lower walls
 and makes it one piece.  Since the lower wall is still going down, the
 upper wall has to follow.  And it does!  It starts exposing the top several
 feet that are hidden up beside the attic.
 Eventually the elevator is near the bottom of travel (within several inches.)
 The upper wall, which when up would have partially blocked the openings out
 of the attic, is now down and clearing them.  The crossfade effect occurs
 showing the skeleton, lit from the side.  As the lights black out and the
 scream crossfades, the elevator, when it is in adjustment, reaches the
 bottom level and the doors open.  (Of late it has been mmuch out of
 adjustment, and hunts for the level for several seconds, thus the doors
 open late after the lights come up and the sound stops.)
 So to redo the ascii art, you have something like this:
 (These drawings are a cross-section of the edge of the elevator, not
  an elevation picture as Jed drew.)
     Top position.  Attic dark, minimal picture exposed.
                   /  <- attic attached at top to building structure
 Hidden upper    ||  Attic space
 wall        ->  ||
                 + <- picture frame top
 Extra picture  || <- upper wall
 frame rolled   || <- Picture
 up          -> ||
     Pulley  -> U|+  <- picture frame bottom (attached to lower wall)
                 |-- <- top lintel of lower elevator wall
 Hidden upper    ||
 wall        ->  ||
                  |  <- elevator wall
 Elevator door -> |
                  --------------  <- elevator floor
 Note that the upper wall bottom has to stop above the top of the elevator
 door when it is open on the upper level.  This is why there is only about
 four feet of wall behind the elevator, and the upper wall has to extend
 with two different movements.  Also note the upper wall extends up past
 the sides of the attic a ways.
     Partial extension, all of bottom of upper wall exposed:
                   /  <- attic attached at top to building structure
 Hidden upper    ||  Attic space
 wall        ->  ||
                 + <- top of picture frame
                 | <- upper wall
 Picture is now  |
 unrolled     -> |
                 | <- Picture
     Pulley ->  U|+  <- picture frame bottom (attached to lower wall)
                  -- <- top lintel of lower elevator wall
                  |  <- elevator wall
                  --------------  <- elevator floor
 There is now no upper wall hidden behind the lower wall.  The latches
 on the bottom of the upper wall engage with the latches on the lower
 wall.  This causes a slight shock to the upper wall as it begins to move
 downward with the lower wall, and is the cause of the quiet "boom" like
 sound that is heard at this point.  If you close your eyes at this point
 and believe your ears, you will find that the elevator does not change
 speed, even though there is a slight shock as the upper wall latches.

     Full extension.  Upper wall is now completely exposed.
                   /  <- attic attached at top to building structure
 Attic windows    |
 now open     ->  |  Attic space
 Upper wall now  |
 all exposed  -> | <- upper wall
                 + <- top of picture frame
 Picture is now  |
 unrolled     -> |
                 | <- Picture
     Pulley ->  U|+  <- picture frame bottom (attached to lower wall)
                  -- <- top lintel of lower elevator wall
                  |  <- elevator wall
                  --------------  <- elevator floor
 The upper wall is now completely exposed.  The attic windows are now clear,
 and the crossfade can be done to the top of the scrim.  The elevator should
 be at or nearly at the bottom level, so that the doors can open just after
 the scream, but before the lights come back up.

 7.   Between the  stretching room and  entering the  Doom Buggies: How do
      they get the busts to follow you?

 The busts are actually inverted.  Like they actually took a mold of a
 bust, made a thin material that lets light thru.

 They  sold under the name Living  Image.  I have only found the small one
 (the  box being 4  x 5 inches  and the bust  being 1"x1 1/2".  There is a
 small  mirror in front near the bottom that you need to use to reflect as
 much  light as you can on the face.  There is a male face (Lincoln's) and
 a female face (??).

 They sell for $7.99 and can be shipped.  Their address is:

 (A division of Spencer)
 Downtown Plaza #919
 545 Downtown Plaza
 Space #2089
 Sacramento, CA  95814
 (916) 441-DAPY

 They sell this effect in the Toontown Gag Factory around Halloween.


 8.  What is a doom buggy and what is the cap. per hour?

 Doom  Buggy  is the  show  name  for Disney's  OmniMover  system.  It was
 initially  developed for the "Adventures  in Inner Space" attraction by a
 team led by Bob Gurr.

 The  cars, linked  together, move  forward via  a 12-volt  electric drive
 train.   The vehicles  themselves have  no means  of locomotion. They are
 driven  by a series of  ten motors located throughout the ride.  Each car
 can  also be rotated 180 degrees--from facing forward to facing backward.
 This  rotation, combined  with scalloped  design of  the car,  allows the
 designers to control what the guests see at any given time.

 Each  car is  also  equipped with  3 speakers.  The  sound (which  is not
 stereo,  as commonly reported) is  transmitted to odd-numbered cars via a
 narrow  band transmitter. The signal (once received) is then passed on to
 the even-numbered car behind it.

 They are changing out the old Radio Frequency receivers on the cars to new 
 digital chips and adding the "missing script" back in.  It should be down
 to all the  cars by now (02/01/96)

 Disneyland's Haunted Mansion has 131 cars, with a guest capacity of 2,618
 guests  per hour,  granting 2.25 guests  per car,  assuming no ride stops
 (wheelchairs  or  slow  guests).   A typical  hour  at  full  capacity is

 WDW's Haunted Mansion has 160 cars, due to its longer track, with a guest
 capacity of 3,200 guests per hour.


 9.  How do they do the 5 Busts, Madame Loeta and Little Loeta?

 The 5 Busts, Madam Leota (in the crystal ball) and Little Leota used to
 be 16mm film projection from the front onto head statues. A while ago
 they were replaced with laser discs and video projection. Little Leota
 and the 5 Busts front projection.

 Madam Leota's video image is transmitted thru a fiber bundle up inside
 the hollow head, then lensed out to cover the face. This allows the
 table  her crystal  ball is  on to  wobble.  The problem was that the
 fiber optic cables kept breaking.  They slowed up the wobble but to the
 point where you couldn't notice it, so now it does wobble at all...

 FYI,  WDW's are all  still done with  16mm projectors. I guess our ghosts
 are scared of modern technology.  :)


 10.  How do they  do the ballroom?  What is the  spider web on one of the

 The  ghosts in the ballroom  is probably the nicest (and simplest) effect
 known   as   "Pepper's   Ghost"   and   has   been   popular   since  the

 All you are looking at is a reflection in the clear reflective
 "windows"  that cover  the entire  balcony that  you are looking through.
 (You can see the windows if you look closely enough.)  Both above
 and  below you,  there is  a reproduction  of the  space you  are looking
 forward  into; so  the actual  audioanimatronics are  going through their
 motions  ABOVE, BELOW AND BESIDE you. Since the space you are in is dark,
 you  can see both what  is lit through  the window (the ballroom set) and
 what  is REFLECTED in the  window (the audioanimatronics.) To give you an
 example:  when you  walk toward  a sliding  glass door  at night, you see
 yourself as well as what is outside. The amount you see of either depends
 on  how much light is falling on you or what is outside. Disney makes the
 ghosts  appear to fade in and out by simply dimming and fading the lights
 on the actual audioanimatronics above and below your "doom buggy".

 As you're going through it look and you'll notice what's supposed to look
 like  a spider web  on one of  the sheets of  glass.  (It's on one of the
 last  ones you see)  The story I heard behind this (from a HM Cast Member
 and a good friend of mine) is that one night somebody actually shot
 through the glass, leaving a bullet hole.

 This  was confirmed by Mark  Keiser (Retlaw 72-76 Security 77-81)  Summer
 1974  "The guy that shot there  presumably also shot the hole in the last
 or  second  to  last  window   of  the  Primeval  World  diorama.   Later
 investigation determined the hole to be .22 caliber (in both places), and
 bullet fragments matched (courtesy of Anaheim PD) the holes in Adventures
 in Inner Space (he shot up the snow flakes)."

 There  is another bullet sized  hole beneath the duelist on the right, so
 perhaps a deranged guest was shooting at "the man with the gun".

 They  knew that to replace the glass they'd have to take the roof off the
 building  first, so they  decided to simply  disguise it as a spider web.
 BTW, there is a spare pane in the back lot.

 A  bit of  trivia: the  organ being  played  by the  mad organist  in the
 ballroom is the actual movie prop organ from 20000 Leagues Under the Sea.


 11. Why is there a bride in the attic?

 The  bride was a  character from  one of the  earliest treatments for the
 mansion  who "made the  cut." At one  point, the whole  ride was going to
 revolve  around  the bride's  story.  This  idea was  revamped  for EDL's
 Phantom Manor.

 Regan B. Pederson ( posted about the Phantom Manor:

 The Groom (I'll call them the Groom, the Bride and the Phantom because I
 don't know what their real names are supposed to be) owns most of
 Frontierland.  He falls in love with the Bride, and they are engaged.
 Before they are married, though, she wants to return back east to visit
 with her family.  While she is gone the Groom has a lavish, extravagant,
 beautiful house built on a hill at the edge of the Rivers of the Far
 West.   The  site overlooked  Frontierland  and  could be  seen  from all

 The house is no sooner built than it is haunted - by the Phantom.
 Unfortunately for the Groom, the Phantom has fallen in love with the
 Bride as well.  The Groom plans a magnificent wedding party for the night
 the bride would return.  She promised him she would arrive in her wedding
 gown, ready to go.  The magical night arrives.  The Groom dresses up, the
 guests arrive, the cake is made, and the Phantom was there.  Just before
 the Bride arrived the Phantom hung the groom from the tower of the house.

 The Bride arrived at the house and couldn't find her fiancee.  After
 searching the entire place (but never looking up) she sits at the edge of
 the ballroom and cries as she watches what should have been her wedding
 party go on.  Then, she looks behind her, and outside the Phantom is
 there laughing.  She realizes what he has done but there is nothing she
 can do about it, and the Phantom condemns the Bride to live with him for
 the rest of their eternal lives in the house.

 Okay, well, that's pretty much the story as I know it.

 One of the disadvantages of Phantom Manor is that due to budget
 constraints the Imagineers had to work the story into scenes that have
 existed at the storyless Haunted Mansion for years.  Everything has been
 updated and improved and worked into the story as much as possible, but
 it's obvious that the Imagineers struggled here.  Another problem is that
 the story had to be made visually apparent so that you could understand
 it no matter which language you speak.  There is no narration in the
 "doom buggies", the Phantom only speaks to you in the foyer and stretch
 room.  It's in French anyway, so if you don't understand it you're out of
 luck.  Incidentally, Vincent Price did the original Phantom narration.

 THe  floor plan  of  Phantom Manor  is  almost identical  to  the Haunted
 Mansion.  The intercoms, emergency exits, break area, etc..  The vehicles
 were  modified so  that there  instead  of the  front of  the "clamshell"
 lowering  down,  there  is  just  a   bar.   There  must  be  some  minor
 modifications,  though; because  there are  only 130  vehicles in Phantom


 12. Was there ever a hat box in the attic?

 Yes.  More specifically, there was  a "Hat Box Ghost." But he didn't last
 very long. Here's how the attic scene was to work: after making the right
 turn in the attic, the bride would appear on the left. Then you would see
 the  groom (the Hat Box  Ghost) on the right,  holding a hat box. (He was
 located  in the exact  position that the  bride is now.) The groom's head
 would  slowly disappear, then reappear inside the hat box. Then the cycle
 would  reverse.   This effect  was  achieved  much the  same  way  as the
 ballroom  ghosts, using  reflective glass.  Apparently, the effect didn't
 work  well in  this location,  so the  figure was  removed and  the bride
 repositioned in its place.


 13. As you leave the attic and enter the graveyard, Are the trees suppose
     to move?


 According to blueprints that are in the Haunted Mansion Office, the trees
 as  you go down into  the graveyard are listed as "Mechanical Trees", but
 there is nothing mechanical about them.

 These  trees were recently gone over with a flashlight and a fine toothed
 comb.  8(;-) There was NO mechanisms inside, only steel framework covered
 with heavy foil, then painted.


 14.  Is Walt  Disney or Leslie  Nielsen one  of the  singing busts in the


 It is NOT Leslie Nielsen or Walt Disney. These images were created in
 or before 1969, Nielson was much younger then.

 "Grim  Grinning Ghosts"  is  sung by  the  Mell-O Men,  a barbershop-type
 Quartet (Max Smith, Bill Cole Stevens, Bill Lee and Thurl Ravenscroft).

 The  5 Singing Busts were rumored  to be the Mell-O Men also, but are not.
 We are  not sure who  they are...   Except for  the broken head is
 Thurl  Ravenscroft, also known  as the voice  of Tony the Tiger.  We will
 try to straighten it who is who in future versions.


 15. How do they project a ghost into your doom buggy to
     "follow you home?"

 The mirrors that you are looking into are one-way mirrors or 50% mirrors.
 They are the ones security use to check shop lifters or police use in
 interrogation rooms (I know I have been watching too much TV :-)   The
 ghosts are in sync with the doom buggy going by and have a weak light
 put on them.  This allows you to see both your reflection and the ghosts
 thru the mirror.


 16. What are some of the graveyard tombstone sayings?

 Here is a complete list of WDW's Haunted Mansion tombstones, and in some
 cases, which Imagineer they reference to.

 RIP GOOD FRIEND GORDON now you've crossed the river jordan

 RIP in memorium uncle myall HERE YOU'LL REST FOR QUITE A WHILE
 (Chuck Myall - Art Director)

 REST IN PEACE COUSIN HUET we all know you didn't do it

 HERE RESTS WATHEL R. BENDER he rode to glory on a fender
 (Wathel Rodgers - illusionist, mechanical genius)

 HERE LIES GOOD OLD FRED a great big rock fell on his head

 AT PEACEFUL REST LIES BROTHER CLAUDE planted here beneath this sod
 (Claude Coates - Art Director, Master of Paint Effects and Lighting)

 RIP MR. SEWELL the victim of a dirty duel
 (Ted(?) Sewell - Engineer/Draughtsman(?))

 IN MEMORY OF OUR PATRIARCH dear departed grandpa marc
 (Marc Davis  illustrator, idea man, funniest Imagineer)

 REQUIESCAT FRANCIS XAVIER no time off for good behavior RIP
 (Xavier Atencio - scriptwriter, and lyricist, Grim Grinning Ghosts

 DEAR DEPARTED BROTHER DAVE he chased a bear into a cave

 MASTER GRACEY LAID TO REST no mourning please at his request
 (Yale Gracey - illusionist)

 HERE LIES A MAN NAMED MARTIN the lights went out on this old spartan
 (Bill Martin - Art Director)

 One  other stone  has set  in the  area. After  John Sullivan  retired as
 President  of the Magic Kingdom, a tombstone was erected for approximately
 two weeks.

Disneyland Haunted Mansion
Pet Cemetery

the Bat
<upside down> We'll Miss You

He Croaked
August 9

She was a poor little
Pig but she bought
the Farm


Beloved Lilac
Long on Curiosity...
Short on
Common Scents

There is a cat surrounded by little mouse grave markers.

One that says "Fi Fi"

Those below are found on the red brick wall.

In Memory My Rat
Whom I Loved
Now He Resides
in the Realms Up Above

Long Legged
Got tangled
up in his
very own web

October 10

<snake>(long snakey grave marker)
Here lies my snake who's fatal mistake was frightening the gardener who 
carried a rake

July 11

Over on the wall near the railroad:

Theo Later
U.R. Gone
Ray N. Carnation
Dustin T. Dust
Lev Itation
G.I. Miss You
I Trudy Departed
Rust in Peece
I.L. Beback
M.T. Tomb


 17. Was the pet graveyard moved?

 No, copied!

 Actually the old graveyard was not moved or changed, you can still see it
 if  you take the  wheelchair entrance into  the Foyer, see for yourself!.
 They did pull molds off some of the animals to create a new graveyard out
 front.  This is  just one of  many "Show  Enhancements" that Show Quality
 Imagineers  (like  Kim Irvine)  are  continually doing.  Like  the Little
 Mermaid  and Aladdin scenes in  Storybook, the Apple and Book in front of
 Snow  White, Music  in New  Orleans Square,  penny pressing  elephant and
 Shrunken Ned in Adventureland Bazaar.


 18.   Did   the   HM    recently   celebrates   its   25th   Anniversary?

 On a hot Tuesday, August 9, Disneyland celebrated the 25th Anniversary
 of the Haunted Mansion opening. The day started with Veteran Imagineers
 "X" Atencio, John Hench, Sam McKim, Bill Justice, as well as current
 Imagineers Dave Mumford, Russell Brower, and Archivist Dave Smith being
 escorted to chairs set up in front of the Mansion gates.

 The gates were closed and shrouded in spider webs and drapery. Dead
 leaves were scattered in front and several big oval signs declared the
 event. The Make-Believe-Brass was costumed in Mansion Host green butler
 garb and began to play some dirgefull tunes. An "Undertaker"-looking
 M.C. took the podium and proceeded thru some ghoulish pater with 2 cutsie
 Mansion Maids. The Undertaker introduced "X" Atencio, who talked
 briefly about designing and building the Mansion. The Undertaker then
 brought out Mickey in a snappy tux. Mickey and the Undertaker opened the
 locked gates and invited all to join them in a ride thru the Mansion.

 I sat with "X", Sam and John as they reminisced about the early days,
 the changes, the old stories. Moments of pure gold for me!


 19. Was there a CM in a suit of armor that walked around the HM?


 In 1986, a live person walked around the HM.  He was in the area between
 the coffin and Madam Leota's room.  It was a great effect but one, it was
 not cost effective and two, people were hitting and doing other things
 to  the CM and three, guest  complaints.  The CM had a remote to stop the
 ride when this happened and it became such a problem it was discontinued.


 20. Can I get a copy of the music from the Haunted Mansion and where was it

There are a few Haunted Mansion records out there.  The best by far, is
ST3947, an LP w/ 12 page book.  It features Thurl Ravenscroft as the narrator
Pete Rendouet as the Ghost Host, and Ron Howard as a teenager who (along with
his girlfriend) are forced to spend a night in the Haunted Mansion.  This does
not have an orange cover though, it is blueish, with lots of ghosts and the 
mansion on it.  One big plus about this album is you get to hear Madame 
Leota's complete poem.

The only thing you will find on CD is the Haunted Mansion song "Grim Grinning
Ghosts".  It's on various Disney CDs.

DQ1257  Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of a Haunted House
        1964    Disneyland Records      Format: LP

ST3947  The Haunted Mansion
        1969    Disneyland Records      Format: LP, gatefold cover, 12 page book
        (featuring Thurl Ravenscroft and Ron Howard)

LLP339  Walt Disney presents The Haunted Mansion
        19??    Disneyland Records      Format: 45 and book
Also, a couple of possibly interesting bits of info:   According to Russell
Brower, Buddy Baker told him that the actual pipe organ used for the 
recording of the HM music was located at MCA Whitney studios in Glendale, 
CA (right around the corner from WED) but the building is now gone.  (Russell
remembers seeing it once, but did not know at the time it was THE organ 
:(  ....) It was a huge theater organ with lots of stops and effects.  Buddy
Baker went on to say that the Grand Hall organ solo (ballroom) was an 
improvisation, and he told the organist to get wilder and wilder with it 
each time he played it.


 21. What was upgraded during the Sept 1995 rehab?

Loren Wilton ( wrote:

The seance table was changed to float about 2 (or maybe more) years ago
when the head was changed from a front film projection to an internal video
projector.  That was the same time Little Leota turned very green, when
they replaced her film projector with a video projector too.  However, I
think the table has been broken for at least a year now.

Thankfully they have redone the LL video to change her face back to more
natural colors, which really does play better in that scene.  As others
have mentioned, they also added long while hair, that practically forms
a bridal veil for her.

A non-inclusive list of the things I noticed being changed (and NOT changed)
when I went thru once a few days ago:

   The new old hearse on the walkway outside.  (Which according to
    the CM newletter, carried Brigham Young)
   The bunny graveyard is the same from the previous refurb.
   A missing light fixture by the East door of the house.
   Possibly new (and more appropriate!) wallpaper in the foyer.
   (Much better than the last wallpaper, but still not as good as the
    original custom flocked wallpaper.)
   The scrim at the top of the elevator has been repainted.  Not as good
   as the original scrim; VASTLY better done than the previous attempt.
   Newly done streching paintings on the walls.
   The obvious sound system improvements.
   Possibly a new wig on the corpse?
   I did not see any sign that the corpse *physically* starts to fall just
   before the lights cut, but since I was right under it I could have
   missed this.
   The screens for the paintings in the hall have been redone.  I wish
   though they would go back to the original effect where the paintings
   *flashed* from new to old each time the lightning struck outside the
   The path right at the enterance to the loading belt has been redone
   slightly to make it wider and possibly easier for people to get on.
   The collector rails and brushes for the doombuggy audio have been
   refurbished, and the tracks have probably been moved to digital
   repeaters from the old carts.  I couldn't tell if the amps had been
   replaced or not.
   Not all of the cars have been sufficiently refurbished; of the three
   speakers in the car I had, the right one was dead.
   The audio tracks for the first segments up to the ballroom have been
   remastered and probably moved to digital repeaters.  I suspect that
   the speakers in the doors have also been replaced.
   There are no substantive changes up to the start of the ballroom.
   Everything you see in those sequences was there before from the last
   refurb; it has just been made to work again.
   The audio in the seance room has been rebalanced slightly in favor of
   some of the instruments.  Probably new speakers and remastered tracks.
   The first major change is the audio in the ballroom.  I don't know if
   the low voices at the start of the scene were there before, and have
   now been turned up to the place where thay can be heard; or if they
   have been added.  Certainly I never remember hearing them before, and
   many of the tracks have been rebalanced.
   I don't recall any changed animation in the ballroom other than the
   outfit on the organist.
   Most of the attic animation is the same as it was.  Added is the piano
   (or is it a harpsichord?  I forget) with the phantom player, and the
   bride is finally an impressive and appropriate character.  (I had
   always before felt that she was totally inapproprate and out of place,
   ever since they added her in 15 years back or so).
   The popups have been redressed slightly, as has much of the attic itself.
   The attic audio has been completely redone.  *Very* *well*.
   Nothing changed on the exit to the graveyard.
   The dog still doesn't shivver like it used to, nor did I hear it whining.
   The gravedigger's knees are knocking again.  I don't recall if he was
   following the cars with a startled expression as he originally did.
   Only one owl on the branch over the jazz group.
   More wigs; more veils.
   Rebalanced (possibly *un*balanced) audio on the quartet.
   Many audio levels changed and the sound cleaned up.  I couldn't recall
   if there were any added or changed tracks.
   Nothing different on the playoff.
   Little Leota now has long white hair and isn't green anymore!

From: (Steve Ziolkowski)

Just returned from a routine trip to Disneyland and I was amazed
	by what I saw.  It's only been two weeks since the last time
	I was there, and the folks at Disney have truly outdone 
There is an old hearse out front which has a harness that appears to
	be on a horse, but you can't see the horse. Neat.
In the gallery, (the stretching room) they have put up a new ceiling 
	that looks really great.  It doesn't sag, or bunch like it
	used to, and the paintjob on it is really convincing. (A tad
	light in value, compared to the rest of the ceiling, but hey.
	it's ok!)  They also replaced the sound system, and used the
	descent dialog from the Mansion in Florida.  When the lightning
	and thunder go off, you can feel it in your guts, and the 
	falling body screams so she gets louder as she falls.  WOW!
The queue has been expanded where you walk on to the moving platform to
	board your vehicles, there is now enough space for two to walk
	abreast, instead of one, like it was before.  This is great
	as well.
They now use the *entire* recorded dialogue, instead of the abridged
	version, including the quip about Madame Leota having a 
	remarkable head for materialising the disembodied...  COOL!
But the best thing, better than anything else, is the attic scene.
	They got rid of all those annoying and cheesey heads and
	bodies popping out of various bric-a-brac in there (don't worry,
	there are some left) and replaced it with an amazing scene
	of a shadow playing a depressing wedding march on an old,
	semi-destroyed piano.  Unlike the shadows in Phantom Manor
	and Florida, however, which uses a silly looking cardboard cutout
	placed directly over the piano, they used what appears to be
	a video projector that shows a live action person dressed up
	who actually hits the notes correctly!  It's a three quarter
	view which adds to the realism!  UNBELIEVABLE!  AND that's
	not all!  The bride now looks really scarey.  Her hair is white 
	and she looks really unhappy and dead, and there is
	wind blowing and every now and then this voice intones...
	"I DO".


 22. Are their web pages with pictures from all the differant HM's?

Yes!  Steve Ziolkowski  has put together two great web pages at:

And Kevin Anderson has:

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index ]

Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:

Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM