I recently gave you Five cool facts about Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion and it was a great success. So, I’ve decided to follow it up with another post that has five more cool facts! Without further ado…
1. Madame Leota was played by Leota Toombs who was working for Disney’s WED team at the time. Her daughter recalls a story where she and her mother are strolling around Disneyland where it was not uncommon for her to get recognized. An adoring young fan came up, and once Leota confirmed it was her, the young fan replied with “I just have to ask you one question- don’t you get tired of sitting there with your head under that ball?”
2. On a similar vein, while Madame Leota is played by Leota Toombs, it is actually not her voice. The voice, though, you should probably recognize, as it’s none other than Eleanor Audley who played key villainess roles like Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty) and Lady Tremaine (step mother in Cinderella).
3. According to early specs, the trees in the graveyard scene towards the end of the attraction were supposed to be mechanical. They were going to have moving eyes and branches that would leap out towards the riders, and although the trees were designed to support such movement it has never actually been implemented.
4. The five singing busts at the end of the attraction were originally going to be acted and voiced by separate actors. But, the voice-actors did such a good job when they were shot, that they ended up using their voices, too. One of the busts is portrayed by Thurl Ravenscroft of “They’rrre ggggg-reeattt” Tony the Tiger fame.
5. In 2000, Disney hosted a very special $2,000 per plate dinner inside the Haunted Mansion. A small dining room table was setup in the queue in the portrait walking hall that guests enter after exiting the elevator at the beginning. Guests received dinner in the Haunted Mansion, a private ride, and a behind the scenes tour afterwards where guests got to see the Haunted Mansion with the lights on!
The attraction truly does have 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