The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is a classic attraction that is loved by millions. It’s acquired quite a fan base since it originally opened on August 9th, 1969. Many people don’t know just how rich the Mansion’s history and backstory are, so I thought I’d share five cool facts about it.
1. Although Walt and his team had vivid imiginations, the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland had a lot of design inspiration from the Shipley-Lydecker House in Baltimore, Maryland. The design teams also visited Hearst Castle and the Winchester Mystery House (in San Jose, CA) for additional inspiration.
2. The busts whose eyes follow you as you walk into the mansion was an effect that was accidentally discovered by imagineers Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey. There was a vacuum-formed bust of Abraham Lincoln in the WED warehouse that they were working on and when the lighting was right they discovered the new effect.
3. The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland is set in New Orleans Square. The decor is so realistic and convincing that in 2006, Mayoral Candidate (in New Orleans) Kimberly Williamson Butler accidentally used a picture of New Orleans Square in one of her campaign ads.
4. The omnimover trains, aka Doom Buggies, run along a continuous 786-foot track. There are 131 Doom Buggies which travel at 1.4 miles per hour. Although this speed is slow, the Haunted Mansion is still able to churn through over 2,600 guests per hour.
5. It didn’t last long, but for a short period of time the Haunted Mansion actually had live actors within the ride, too. For example. a cast member played a knight that would pop out throughout the ride to scare guests. In one instance, a knight accidentally had his nose broken when an overly scared guest struck him. This was one of the reasons the live actors were deemed a bit too much for the attraction.
The attraction has a long and intricate back story with many more fun facts. If you’re a Haunted Mansion superfan, you can read the whole story in this new book “The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion” by Jeff Baham.
Are you a Haunted Mansion superfan? if you are, I’d love to hear your comments. And, if you’re craving more Disney insight be sure to check out these other fun articles:
- Blue Bayou: A Review
- Fun facts about the Disneyland Hotel
- Cool things you didn’t know were right by Big Thunder Mountain