31 Days of Halloween with
The Kelly Society
Welcome spooky fans! It's Vivien and Donna here from The Kelly Society, always here for your paranormal elimination needs. But for now, we are celebrating the Haunted Mansion!
The construction of the Haunted Mansion began in 1961, but Disney engineers were pulled off the project to construct and exhibit attractions for the 1964 New York World's Fair. But with the spirits help, opening day for Disney's Haunted Mansion materialized in 1969.
Technology used in the Haunted Mansion displays
Imagineers Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey assumed the task of filling the mansion with the spooks and frights that we all love to this day. They had the job of filling soundstages and coming up with scenes to occupy the mansion. However, with such a big task, the two Imagineers eventually had a team accompany them.
With new technology and new techniques they acquired from the World’s Fair, Imagineers were able to come up with what is now known as the “doom buggy” for their ride vehicle. For the ghosts, the team worked on many audio-animatronics to bring some after-life to the attraction. But, Crump and Gracey needed a way for these animatronics to appear more ghost-like. So they had to take a page out of the history books to bring one of the most clever uses of this particular technology to the Haunted Mansion.
Here are just some of the delightful images from our beloved spooky ride, which also redecorates as the Nightmare Before Christmas from October - December each year under the title: Haunted Mansion Holiday.
Haunted Mansion Holiday
And now for the origins of Madam Leota in the crystal ball:
Madame Leota is a ghostly character from the The Haunted Mansion franchise. Originally conceived as a character to be featured in Disneyland's version of the attraction, Leota's character has been expanded, to be featured in multiple Disney attractions, as well a feature film. She was originally portrayed by Leota Toombs (whom she was named after) while Eleanor Audley voiced her.
Before we go, Donna and I need to share a funny story from an Disney Imagineering engineer. In an interview, he shared that one morning they came into their workspace to find a broom dropped on the floor. They'd forgotten to turn off one of the animatronic creatures in construction the night before and the clean up crew ran out without cleaning a thing!
Thank you for celebrating the Haunted Mansion with us. It truly is our favorite ride and next time you enter Disneyland or any of the Disney parks, be sure to visit the mansion with all its eccentric spooks!
And - Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts!
There’s that Haunted Mansion
Hatbox Ghost again.
I’ll just ignore it.
Have an magical Halloween!
Vivien and Donna