Tag Archives: Haunted Mansion



Del Toro Set to Write and Produce Film for Disney

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – July 22, 2010 –Guillermo del Toro surprised the 6,500 fans gathered today at Comic-Con with the announcement that he is currently developing a new film for The Walt Disney Studios based on the classic Disney theme park attraction, The Haunted Mansion.

“Dark imagery is an integral part of the Walt Disney legacy. After all, Disney himself was the father of some really chilling moments and characters – think Chernabog from Fantasia or Maleficent as the Dragon or the Evil Queen in Snow White,” said del Toro. “I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of my own adaptation of the original theme park attraction Walt envisioned and that remains- for me- the most desirable piece of real estate in the whole world!”

“Millions of people from around the world visit The Haunted Mansion each year, but no one has ever had a tour guide like Guillermo del Toro,” said Rich Ross, Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. “Guillermo is one of the most gifted and innovative filmmakers working today and he is going to take audiences on a visually-thrilling journey like they’ve never experienced before.”

Since August 1969, foolish mortals have dared to trespass on the macabre grounds of Disney’s Haunted Mansion. A hallowed landmark in Disneyland’s New Orleans square, it’s the dwelling place of 999 happy haunts dying to meet new visitors each day. The plantation-style of the mansion’s facade is a sweet deception for visitors. Inside, ghostly doom buggies line the hallways. Since its construction, the mysteries of the mansion have transcended the attraction with stories surfacing about horrifying encounters with the supernatural. Versions of the daunting edifice have been built at other Disney theme parks in Orlando, Tokyo and Paris.

Excerpt from San Diego Comic Con

On Thursday, it was reported that Guillermo del Toro would be producing a new version of The Haunted Mansion, but now we have the full discussion of the project from the man himself. Check out everything he had to say at Comic-Con after the break.

Guillermo del Toro: I went to Disneyland the first time when I was three years old, and I was a lump of fat about this big. And I fortunately was there the year the mansion opened, and I’ve been there every year at least once for the rest of my life. It’s one of those places that I go to… Literally, that’s how freaky I am, unfortunately.

This is a place where I go to when I need to think, when I need to relax and unwind. When we were going through the worst process of Mimic in 1997, we were doing post in Los Angeles and I would go on the weekend and ride it over and over again.

And to me, my man cave, my little house that I have… I have my own Haunted Mansion room with the gargoyles, the wallpaper, original art by Marc Davis, and so on and so forth. And I always felt that the Haunted Mansion told such stories without having to be done solely as a horror film. I thought that the clash or the poignancy of Claude Coates, Rolly, and Marc Davis created a unique flavor for the Mansion.

I would love to say we are doing the movie, it’s live-action. It is going to be in 3D. And we’re making the Haunted Mansion the most haunted place on Earth. And we are doing it by being true to the spirit and the art and the aesthetic of the original Imagineers that created the mansion.

We are not returning Eddie Murphy’s calls.


And we are not making it a comedy. We are making it into an e-ticket ride. We are going to make it scary and fun at the same time. But the scary will be scary. And to me, the mansion has to become the haunted house movie that a generation remembers and loves after being created by us. We are doing this by reintroducing… the mythology in the mansion will be done, and this is really for the hardcore fans, it is going to be created around the character we are reintroducing into the tale. And it is my biggest hope that we can reintroduce it right. And that is the Hatbox Ghost.

Disneyland Haunted Mansion Holiday Pictures





Some photos from the Haunted Mansion Holiday going on now at Disneyland. These photos are from MiceChat.com where you can find the latest news (and the coolest pictures) related to all things Disney and beyond.

Part 3: Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary

HIST_DLmansionWith the loss of their great visonary, the Imagineers debated over the design concepts of the haunted mansion, such as whether the haunted mansion experience should be scary, or funny. In the end, imaginers Marc Davis (funny), and Claude Coats (scary), combined their ideas, so the ride begins with spooky sets and chilling concepts, and eventually becomes “a swinging wake”, full of silly spooks, and ghostly gags.

Finally, after years of planning the New Orleans Square Haunted Mansion opened its doors, on August 9, 1969.

During this time the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom was being planned and constructed in Florida. So duplicates of each mansion prop and scene were constructed, with one staying in California, and the other going to Florida, to be stored until the WDW haunted mansion was completed.

LibertySquare_frontThe haunted mansion in Disney World was located in Liberty Square, and the façade reflects the Colonial architecture of the surrounding structures.   The façade is a mixture of Hudson River Valley, Dutch Gothic style, and of a particular mansion in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, called The Harry Packer Mansion.

The Liberty Square mansion was completed in time for Walt Disney World’s opening in 1971.

HISTtokyomansionAnother haunted mansion was built in Tokyo Disneyland.   It has the same architectural style as the Liberty Square mansion, but it is located in Fantasyland.   It also has been known to break Walt Disney’s “rule” of “taking care” of the outside, having a somewhat neglected appearance.

HISTphantommanorThe haunted mansion in Disneyland Paris, known as The Phantom Manor, completely ignores Walt’s decree, and returns to Harper Goff’s original concept of a ramshackle Victorian house on a hill.   Disneyland Paris, and The Phantom Manor opened on April 12, 1992.   This haunted mansion is l ocated in Frontierland, next to Big Thunder Mesa. Unlike the other Disney haunted mansions, Phantom Manor follows a specific story plot, of a jilted bride, and a phantom groom.

That’s the end of my three part series on the Disney Haunted Mansions. If you want the definitive history of the haunted mansions, I recommend that you purchase Jason Surrell’s excellent book, “The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies“.

Doombuggies.com is also a great web site dedicated to the Haunted Mansions!

Sources: History Text (haunteddimensions.raykeim.com)

Part 2: Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary

HIST_DLmansionDisneyland opened on July 17, 1955, without a haunted mansion. Within three years, Walt decided to expand Disneyland, to include a new land called “New Orleans Square”, which would contain new shops, restaurants, and a haunted mansion. The foundation for the façade of the Plantation style mansion took place in 1962. Early concepts for a neglected looking house were replaced with Walt’s preference, a clean, well-preserved façade, which matched the pristine look of the rest of the park. Walt said “We’ll take care of the outside and let the ghosts take care of the inside”.

HIST_DLmansionEven though the façade was completed, it was an empty shell for years due to storyline problems and other distractions such as the 1964 New York World’s Fair, where Disney built the first version of “It’s a Small World”, among other state of the art attractions.

On December 15, 1966, Walt Disney died of lung cancer.

To be continued…

Sources: History Text (haunteddimensions.raykeim.com)

Part 1: Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary


August 9th, 2009 was the 40th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. September 9th, 2009 (09/09/09) begins festivities related to this event. I have been a Haunted Mansion fan most of my life and will be blogging on the history of the HM over the next 10 days. I have collected HM items for many years; some which I have since sold and still regret. So, get into a Doom Buggie, pull the bar down, and come along for the ride.


HISTgoffsketchWalt Disney began developing the concept of a haunted mansion nearly 20 years before it was actually constructed. Versions of a haunted house attraction appeared in early concept art during the initial planning of what would become Disneyland.   Walt had planned to build a small “theme park” on a parcel of land across the street from his Burbank studios.   Disney’s art director, Harper Goff, created a concept sketch for the proposed park called “Church, Graveyard, and Haunted House”, which depicted a gothic haunted house on a hill.

HIST_mapOriginally, the haunted mansion was going to be located on an off-shoot of Main Street, at a dead end. Then it was going to be built in Frontierland (shown left in an early concept drawing).   But eventually the whole project was put on hold.

Plans for the new park outgrew Walt’s eleven acre lot, so he purchased a much larger plot of land in Anaheim.   He used the talents of artists from the motion picture industry to create the highly imaginative park.   These artists and engineers became known as “imagineers”.

To be continued…

Sources: Main Photo (micechat.com)
                 History Text (haunteddimensions.raykeim.com)

Family Wins Night In the Disneyland Haunted Mansion

Sarah Tully, Orange County Register

b78535642z120090810095126000gc9j40cj1_lgThe Sutton family survived an overnight’s stay in the room with no windows or doors at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. But they didn’t get much sleep.

The mansion’s occupants simply wouldn’t let them: They stuffed the family with chocolate and soda. They groaned, screamed and cackled. Hitchhiking ghosts and a butler serenaded the visitors. A video camera was on the four family members all night.

And when the Suttons finally dozed off, the butler startled them awake.

But the family didn’t mind.

“Sleeping is for rookies,” said Jessica Sutton, 12.

The Sutton family of Santa Clarita won a night’s stay inside the classic attraction in a 95.5 KLOS radio station promotion for the Haunted Mansion’s 40th anniversary.

Daughters Jessica and Stephanie, 10, got the most votes among kids in a talent contest for singing “Happy Birthday” with a dog singing in the background. The girls brought their parents, Tim and Cyndi Sutton.

The family moved in at midnight after the park closed Sunday and left at 6 a.m. this morning.

moreMansion0002lgThe parents prepared their youngest daughter, who can be frightened sometimes, for a scary experience by playing spooky sounds and turning out the lights before bedtime at home. On Sunday afternoon, the family took a two-and-a-half hour nap at the Disneyland Hotel.

Although they were tired this morning, the Suttons were still thrilled after admittedly one of the best night’s they’ve ever had.

The family, who visit Disneyland about once a month, started the night with a tour of the mansion while Disney employees set up three twin beds and a coffin in the chamber at the beginning of the ride. That’s the elevator that stretches as guests first enter.

After the tour, Disney treated the family to a dessert banquet, including tomb-shaped chocolates, brains with raspberry sauce and cheesecake eyeballs.

“That was just to keep us up all night,” Jessica said.

Then the family was led into the suite, where they got visits from hitchhiking ghosts. A Web cam from KLOS was on them as viewers from around the world watched. Tim Sutton wrote on a specially created blog, disneyjoe.wordpress.com, which got messages from as far away as Singapore and Israel. The family spent time playing cards, but their stay was frequently interrupted by creepy noises or warnings of critters on the loose.

Jessica chose the coffin for a bed. But both girls ended up in beds with their parents.

At the end of the night, each family member was given a key to return — in the afterlife.

My Haunted Mansion – You have got to watch this!

With this being the 40th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, I had to share this YouTube video with you. An HM fan (Nautilus) created his own Haunted Mansion under his railroad table. The YouTube video is below.

To see some great pictures of his Haunted Mansion, I have also included a link to his site via MiceChat. Enjoy!