Get a Bit of a Backstory of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland!
It wouldn’t be the Halloween Season without some incredible Happy Haunts and there’s not better place than the Haunted Mansion. Today we pay tribute to the original Haunted Mansion at Disneyland which is currently closed to the general public but with us in spirit(s).
Disney is doing a #ThrowbackThursday and have joined forces with the Walt Disney Archives and Walt Disney Imagineering Art Collection to provide us with some interest insights that will have you shrieking (with delight!)
Our “grave” journey into the past begins with a look at the hauntingly beautiful mansion itself… The idea for a haunted house experience, which later evolved into the Haunted Mansion we know today, was included in a concept design sketch by Imagineer and Disney Legend Harper Goff all the way back in 1952, when Disneyland was still being conceptualized. Harper’s artwork originally placed the attraction adjacent to Main Street, U.S.A.
Designers originally wanted to make the outside of the mansion look rundown and abandoned. Walt Disney, however, wanted to keep the outside looking like a stately mansion, letting ghosts take care of the inside.
Inside the Mansion, there’s a labyrinth of spooky surprises! The Walt Disney Archives shared an early image of Imagineer and Disney Legend Blaine Gibson sculpting a “pop-up” ghost in 1968… with a confused frog looking on, too!
Illusions and special effects are part of what make the Haunted Mansion a beloved attraction. Imagineer and Disney Legend Yale Gracey was captured with the infamous Hatbox Ghost in this early photo. You may know that the Hatbox Ghost appeared in the Haunted Mansion for a short time around the opening of this attraction in 1969. However, he materialized to much fanfare once again in 2015.
These last three vibrant illustrations were created by Disney Legend Colin Campbell for the 1969 album “The Story and Song From The Haunted Mansion.” Colin’s original illustrations for the album reside in the Walt Disney Archives collection.
The spooky specter materializing inside the Haunted Mansion, Hatbox Ghost, was also featured on the record album artwork.
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