The Haunted Mansion FAQ list

I realize that is readily available to Internet users all over, but I found it to be so worthwhile and interesting that I wanted it on my site as well. This is a must if you' like the Haunted Mansion, and it is very well-done.

I DID NOT write this, I only put it on my site for reference. I take no credit, and accept no blame, for the contents herein. Enjoy! :-)

This document is Copyright (c) 1996, by Don Bertino, all rights reserved. It is intended for public use, and may be redistributed freely printed or electronically in its complete and unaltered form provided distribution is done at no charge to the receiver. Partial and other distribution means require the permission of the author.

Send comments, suggestions, corrections to


I do believe in Santa Claus, Tooth Faire and the Easter Bunny etc.. 8(:-) The following document is describing what is done when some of the 999 ghosts go on vacation and some of the effects have to be done with machines, smoke and mirrors....

Questions answered in this post:

1. Comments from the maintainer, and credits

2. Who is the narrator, Madam Loeta and Little Loeta: Voice and Form?

3. Has anyone transcribed the script?

4. Was text removed from the original script?

5. Is the ride contained in the "Haunted Mansion Building"?

6. Do the ceilings go up or do the floors go down in the stretching room?

7. Between the stretching room and entering the Doom Buggies: How do they get the busts to follow you?

8. What is a doom buggy and what is the cap. per hour?

9. How do they do the 5 Busts, Madame Loeta and Little Loeta?

10. How do they do the ballroom? What is the spider web on one of the columns?

11. Why is there a bride in the attic? (The story theme)

12. Was there ever a hat box in the attic?

13. As you leave the attic and enter the graveyard, Are the trees suppose to move?

14. Is Walt Disney or Leslie Nielsen one of the singing busts in the graveyard?

15. How do they project a ghost into your doom buggy to "follow you home?"

16. What are some of the graveyard tombstone sayings?

17. Was the pet graveyard moved?

18. Did the HM recently celebrate its 25th Anniversary? (

19. Was there CM in a suit of armor that walked around the HM?

20. Can I get a copy of the music from the Haunted Mansion and where was it recorded?

21. What was upgraded during the Sept 1995 rehab?

22. Are their web pages with pictures from all the differant HM's?

The Disney's Haunted Mansion (tm) FAQ

General information ===================

1. Comments from the maintainer, and credits

I just wanted to thank the people below, for without their help, this FAQ would not have been possible.

Kimberly Dahl

Rev Vandervort (

Roberta Brubaker (

How Bowers (

Michael A. Deforest (

David C. Cobb (

Regan B. Pederson (

David Tomita (

Mark Keiser (

Mark Marcuse (

Tim Castro (

Russell Brower

Loren Wilton (

Steve Ziolkowski (


2. Who is the narrator, Madam Loeta and Little Loeta: Voice and Form?

The narrator's name is the Late (and much lamented,) Paul Frees. He was not only a well know Voice Over artist in the industry, but had also done several jobs for Glenn Larson (creator of Knight Rider, Battlestar Galactica, and Buck Rogers.) His distinctive voice can also be heard in several other Disney attractions such as "Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln" (narrator), and the now defunct "Adventure thru Inner Space" (narrator). Frees is perhaps best known for providing the voice of Boris Badanov, the villain of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. You can actually see him in "The Thing", the original.

Both "Madam Leota" and "Little Leota" use the faces of Disney imagineer Leota Thomas. Leota Thomas (her maiden name was Leota Toombs) mainly worked in the model shop and could be seen in the Small World pictorial guide, now out of print, which showed several "making of" photos. Thomas is the voice of "Little Leota" at the end of the attraction. Unfortunately, she passed away two or three years ago. (1992/1993)

Eleanor Audley is the voice of Madam Leota (also Maleficent and Lady Tremain).

Leota Thomas's daughter, Kim Irvine, is also an Imagineer and works in Show Quality at Disneyland.


3. Has anyone transcribed the script?

Written by Xavier Atencio.

GHOST HOST: When hinges creak in doorless chambers and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls, whenever candlelights flicker where the air is deathly still, that is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight.

Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion. I am your host, your Ghost Host. Kindly step all the way in please, and make room for everyone. There's no turning back now.

Our tour begins here in this gallery, where you see paintings of some of our guests as they appeared in their corruptible, mortal state.

Your cadaverous pallor betrays an aura of foreboding, almost as though you sense a disquieting metamorphosis. Is this haunted room actually stretching? Or is it your imagination? And consider this dismaying observation: this chamber has no windows, and no doors. Which offers you this chilling challenge: to find a way out! Of course, there's always my way.

Oh, I didn't mean to frighten you prematurely. The real chills come later. Now, as they say, "look alive," and we'll continue our little tour. And let's all stay together, please.

There are several prominent ghosts who have retired here from creepy old crypts all over the world. Actually, we have 999 happy haunts here, but there's room for a thousand. Any volunteers? If you insist on lagging behind, you may not need to volunteer.

(The following two paragraphs alternate, depending on which expanding room you can down in. If you linger and wait for the next expanding room, you can hear both spiels.)

(Version #1) The carriage that will carry you into the moldering sanctum of the spirit world will accommodate you and one or two loved ones. Kindly watch your step as you board, please. We spirits haunt our best in gloomy darkness, so remember, no flash pictures, please.

(Version #2) And now a carriage approaches to take you into the boundless realm of the supernatural. Take your loved ones by the hand, please, and kindly watch your step. Oh yes, and no flash pictures, please. We spirits are frightfully sensitive to bright lights.

Do not pull down on the safety bar, please; I will lower it for you. And heed this warning: the spirits will materialize only if you remain quietly seated at all times.

We find it delightfully unlivable here in this ghostly retreat. Every room has wall-to-wall creeps and hot and cold running chills. Sh, listen.

(During the last rehab in Sept 1995, these two paragraphs where added back in)

* All our ghosts have been dying to meet you. This one can hardly * contain himself. Unfortunately, they all seem to have trouble * getting through.

* * Perhaps Madam Leota can establish contact. She has a remarkable * head for materializing the disembodied.

MADAM LEOTA: Serpents and spiders, tail of a rat call in the spirits wherever they're at. Rap on a table, it's time to respond, send us a message from somewhere beyond. Goblins and ghoulies from last Halloween awaken the spirits with your tambourine. Creepies and crawlies, toads in a pond let there be music from regions beyond. Wizards and witches wherever you dwell give us a hint by ringing a bell.

GHOST HOST: The happy haunts have received your sympathetic vibrations and are beginning to materialize. They're assembling for a swinging wake. And they'll be expecting me. I'll see you all a little later.

GRIM GRINNING GHOSTS: When the crypt doors creak and the tombstones quake Spooks come out for a swinging wake Happy haunts materialize And begin to vocalize Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize

Now don't close your eyes and don't try to hide Or a silly spook may sit by your side Shrouded in a daft disguise They pretend to terrorize Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize

As the moon climbs high over the dead oak tree Spooks arrive for the midnight spree Creepy creeps with eerie eyes Start to shriek and harmonize Grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize

When you hear the knell of a requiem bell Weird glows gleam where spirits dwell Restless bones etherealize Rises spooks of every size

GHOST HOST: Ah, there you are. And just in time. There's a little matter I forgot to mention: beware of hitchhiking ghosts. They have selected you to fill our quota, and they'll haunt you until you return. Now I will raise the safety bar, and a ghost will follow you home.

GRIM GRINNING GHOSTS: If you would like to join our jamboree There's a simple rule that's compulsory Mortals pay a token fee Rest in peace; the haunting's free So hurry back we would like your company

LITTLE LEOTA: Hurry back, hurry back. Be sure to bring your death certificate if you decide to join us. Make final arrangements now. We've been dying to have you.


4. Was text removed from the original script?

Yes, but during the last rehab it was added back in.

Here's the deleted spiel, in order. It picks up after, "Shh...listen."

"All our guests have been dying to meet you. This one can hardly contain himself. (Laughter) - [refers to Conservatory coffin]

"Unfortunately, they all seem to have trouble getting through..." [refers to Chamber of Doors]

"Perhaps Madame Leota can establish contact -- she has a remarkable head for materializing the disembodied"

Then it continues with Leota's spiel.


5. Is the ride contained in the "Haunted Mansion Building"?


The actual house is right next to the edge of the park. The loading area and subsequent ride are actually "outside" the park in a big warehouse-style building.

In CA, you go down so that they can get you under the railroad tracks that circumscribe the park's perimeter.


6. Do the ceilings go up or do the floors go down in the stretching room?

Okay, first of all, the stretch room was designed out of necessity. When the Disneyland's Mansion (just the building, not the ride) was built in 1963 it was still planned to be a walk-through attraction. For many years the building was just an empty skeleton while it waited for the Imagineers to finish up with their World's Fair business and start working on it again. They knew they could never fit the entire attraction inside the mansion you see, so they dug a very deep "basement" and then a tunnel from the basement under the berm and the railroad. When the attraction finally resumed construction in 1967 (I think) it had changed to become a ride-through. The stretch room takes you to the bottom of the basement, then you walk down the tunnel (as you pass the changing pictures and the "windows" with the storm outside. You don't get on the ride itself until you reach the exterior show building which is hidden behind the berm from guest view. If you really want to see the show building, try the monorail.

Anyway, the stretch rooms (there are two of them) serve very nicely the purpose of getting guests down to the tunnel. The DL Mansion opened in 1969 and was a tremendous success.

Now, Walt Disney World was opened in 1971, two years later. And they did of course want a Mansion in it. However, this time they were able to start from scratch. They did not need the stretch room and tunnel because they were able to design it so guests would never have to go underground. But the stretch room was such a popular effect at Disneyland they wanted to keep it. This was accomplished by placing the entrance door in the hill that the Mansion stands on (this doesn't make any sense, but they did it anyway) The hill, which you're not supposed to be able to see behind but can anyway, houses a jutting segment of the Mansion show building. You walk into the hill into what we have to assume they meant to be the basement of the Mansion. The Mansion does have a front door but nobody ever uses it. Instead, you walk into the basement and the foyer's right there, in the basement. Like at Disneyland the foyer leads into two stretch rooms. In these, however, you don't go down at all. The ceiling instead extends up into the Mansion, and when the exit doors open you don't have to go through the tunnel, the loading area's right there (because you're already in the show building).


7. Between the stretching room and entering the Doom Buggies: How do they get the busts to follow you?

The busts are actually inverted. Like they actually took a mold of a bust, made a thin material that lets light thru.

They sold under the name Living Image. I have only found the small one (the box being 4 x 5 inches and the bust being 1"x1 1/2". There is a small mirror in front near the bottom that you need to use to reflect as much light as you can on the face. There is a male face (Lincoln's) and a female face (??).

They sell for $7.99 and can be shipped. Their address is:

Dapy (A division of Spencer) Downtown Plaza #919 545 Downtown Plaza Space #2089 Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 441-DAPY

They sell this effect in the Toontown Gag Factory around Halloween.


8. What is a doom buggy and what is the cap. per hour?

Doom Buggy is the show name for Disney's OmniMover system. It was initially developed for the "Adventures in Inner Space" attraction by a team led by Bob Gurr.

The cars, linked together, move forward via a 12-volt electric drive train. The vehicles themselves have no means of locomotion. They are driven by a series of ten motors located throughout the ride. Each car can also be rotated 180 degrees--from facing forward to facing backward. This rotation, combined with scalloped design of the car, allows the designers to control what the guests see at any given time.

Each car is also equipped with 3 speakers. The sound (which is not stereo, as commonly reported) is transmitted to odd-numbered cars via a narrow band transmitter. The signal (once received) is then passed on to the even-numbered car behind it.

They are changing out the old Radio Frequency receivers on the cars to new digital chips and adding the "missing script" back in. It should be down to all the cars by now (02/01/96)

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion has 131 cars, with a guest capacity of 2,618 guests per hour, granting 2.25 guests per car, assuming no ride stops (wheelchairs or slow guests). A typical hour at full capacity is 2000-2400.

WDW's Haunted Mansion has 160 cars, due to its longer track, with a guest capacity of 3,200 guests per hour.


9. How do they do the 5 Busts, Madame Loeta and Little Loeta?

The 5 Busts, Madam Leota (in the crystal ball) and Little Leota used to be 16mm film projection from the front onto head statues. A while ago they were replaced with laser discs and video projection. Little Leota and the 5 Busts front projection.

Madam Leota's video image is transmitted thru a fiber bundle up inside the hollow head, then lensed out to cover the face. This allows the table her crystal ball is on to wobble. The problem was that the fiber optic cables kept breaking. They slowed up the wobble but to the point where you couldn't notice it, so now it does wobble at all...

FYI, WDW's are all still done with 16mm projectors. I guess our ghosts are scared of modern technology. :)


10. How do they do the ballroom? What is the spider web on one of the columns?

The ghosts in the ballroom is probably the nicest (and simplest) effect known as "Pepper's Ghost" and has been popular since the turn-of-the-century.

All you are looking at is a reflection in the clear reflective "windows" that cover the entire balcony that you are looking through. (You can see the windows if you look closely enough.) Both above and below you, there is a reproduction of the space you are looking forward into; so the actual audioanimatronics are going through their motions ABOVE, BELOW AND BESIDE you. Since the space you are in is dark, you can see both what is lit through the window (the ballroom set) and what is REFLECTED in the window (the audioanimatronics.) To give you an example: when you walk toward a sliding glass door at night, you see yourself as well as what is outside. The amount you see of either depends on how much light is falling on you or what is outside. Disney makes the ghosts appear to fade in and out by simply dimming and fading the lights on the actual audioanimatronics above and below your "doom buggy".

As you're going through it look and you'll notice what's supposed to look like a spider web on one of the sheets of glass. (It's on one of the last ones you see) The story I heard behind this (from a HM Cast Member and a good friend of mine) is that one night somebody actually shot through the glass, leaving a bullet hole.

This was confirmed by Mark Keiser (Retlaw 72-76 Security 77-81) Summer 1974 "The guy that shot there presumably also shot the hole in the last or second to last window of the Primeval World diorama. Later investigation determined the hole to be .22 caliber (in both places), and bullet fragments matched (courtesy of Anaheim PD) the holes in Adventures in Inner Space (he shot up the snow flakes)."

There is another bullet sized hole beneath the duelist on the right, so perhaps a deranged guest was shooting at "the man with the gun".

They knew that to replace the glass they'd have to take the roof off the building first, so they decided to simply disguise it as a spider web. BTW, there is a spare pane in the back lot.

A bit of trivia: the organ being played by the mad organist in the ballroom is the actual movie prop organ from 20000 Leagues Under the Sea.


11. Why is there a bride in the attic?

The bride was a character from one of the earliest treatments for the mansion who "made the cut." At one point, the whole ride was going to revolve around the bride's story. This idea was revamped for EDL's Phantom Manor.

Regan B. Pederson ( posted about the Phantom Manor:

The Groom (I'll call them the Groom, the Bride and the Phantom because I don't know what their real names are supposed to be) owns most of Frontierland. He falls in love with the Bride, and they are engaged. Before they are married, though, she wants to return back east to visit with her family. While she is gone the Groom has a lavish, extravagant, beautiful house built on a hill at the edge of the Rivers of the Far West. The site overlooked Frontierland and could be seen from all around.

The house is no sooner built than it is haunted - by the Phantom. Unfortunately for the Groom, the Phantom has fallen in love with the Bride as well. The Groom plans a magnificent wedding party for the night the bride would return. She promised him she would arrive in her wedding gown, ready to go. The magical night arrives. The Groom dresses up, the guests arrive, the cake is made, and the Phantom was there. Just before the Bride arrived the Phantom hung the groom from the tower of the house.

The Bride arrived at the house and couldn't find her fiancee. After searching the entire place (but never looking up) she sits at the edge of the ballroom and cries as she watches what should have been her wedding party go on. Then, she looks behind her, and outside the Phantom is there laughing. She realizes what he has done but there is nothing she can do about it, and the Phantom condemns the Bride to live with him for the rest of their eternal lives in the house.

Okay, well, that's pretty much the story as I know it.

One of the disadvantages of Phantom Manor is that due to budget constraints the Imagineers had to work the story into scenes that have existed at the storyless Haunted Mansion for years. Everything has been updated and improved and worked into the story as much as possible, but it's obvious that the Imagineers struggled here. Another problem is that the story had to be made visually apparent so that you could understand it no matter which language you speak. There is no narration in the "doom buggies", the Phantom only speaks to you in the foyer and stretch room. It's in French anyway, so if you don't understand it you're out of luck. Incidentally, Vincent Price did the original Phantom narration.

THe floor plan of Phantom Manor is almost identical to the Haunted Mansion. The intercoms, emergency exits, break area, etc.. The vehicles were modified so that there instead of the front of the "clamshell" lowering down, there is just a bar. There must be some minor modifications, though; because there are only 130 vehicles in Phantom Manor.


12. Was there ever a hat box in the attic?

Yes. More specifically, there was a "Hat Box Ghost." But he didn't last very long. Here's how the attic scene was to work: after making the right turn in the attic, the bride would appear on the left. Then you would see the groom (the Hat Box Ghost) on the right, holding a hat box. (He was located in the exact position that the bride is now.) The groom's head would slowly disappear, then reappear inside the hat box. Then the cycle would reverse. This effect was achieved much the same way as the ballroom ghosts, using reflective glass. Apparently, the effect didn't work well in this location, so the figure was removed and the bride repositioned in its place.


13. As you leave the attic and enter the graveyard, Are the trees suppose to move?


According to blueprints that are in the Haunted Mansion Office, the trees as you go down into the graveyard are listed as "Mechanical Trees", but there is nothing mechanical about them.

These trees were recently gone over with a flashlight and a fine toothed comb. 8(;-) There was NO mechanisms inside, only steel framework covered with heavy foil, then painted.


14. Is Walt Disney or Leslie Nielsen one of the singing busts in the graveyard?


It is NOT Leslie Nielsen or Walt Disney. These images were created in or before 1969, Nielson was much younger then.

"Grim Grinning Ghosts" is sung by the Mell-O Men, a barbershop-type Quartet (Max Smith, Bill Cole Stevens, Bill Lee and Thurl Ravenscroft).

The 5 Singing Busts were rumored to be the Mell-O Men also, but at this time, we are not sure who they are... Except for the broken head is Thurl Ravenscroft, also known as the voice of Tony the Tiger. We will try to straighten it who is who in future versions.


15. How do they project a ghost into your doom buggy to "follow you home?"

The mirrors that you are looking into are one-way mirrors or 50% mirrors. They are the ones security use to check shop lifters or police use in interrogation rooms (I know I have been watching too much TV :-) The ghosts are in sync with the doom buggy going by and have a weak light put on them. This allows you to see both your reflection and the ghosts thru the mirror.


16. What are some of the graveyard tombstone sayings?

Here is a complete list of WDW's Haunted Mansion tombstones, and in some cases, which Imagineer they reference to.

RIP GOOD FRIEND GORDON now you've crossed the river jordan

RIP in memorium uncle myall HERE YOU'LL REST FOR QUITE A WHILE (Chuck Myall - Art Director)

REST IN PEACE COUSIN HUET we all know you didn't do it

HERE RESTS WATHEL R. BENDER he rode to glory on a fender (Wathel Rodgers - illusionist, mechanical genius)

HERE LIES GOOD OLD FRED a great big rock fell on his head

AT PEACEFUL REST LIES BROTHER CLAUDE planted here beneath this sod (Claude Coates - Art Director, Master of Paint Effects and Lighting)

RIP MR. SEWELL the victim of a dirty duel (Ted(?) Sewell - Engineer/Draughtsman(?))

IN MEMORY OF OUR PATRIARCH dear departed grandpa marc (Marc Davis illustrator, idea man, funniest Imagineer)

REQUIESCAT FRANCIS XAVIER no time off for good behavior RIP (Xavier Atencio - scriptwriter, and lyricist, Grim Grinning Ghosts

DEAR DEPARTED BROTHER DAVE he chased a bear into a cave

MASTER GRACEY LAID TO REST no mourning please at his request (Yale Gracey - illusionist)

HERE LIES A MAN NAMED MARTIN the lights went out on this old spartan (Bill Martin - Art Director)

One other stone has set in the area. After John Sullivan retired as President of the Magic Kingdom, a tombstone was erected for approximately two weeks.

Disneyland Haunted Mansion Pet Cemetery

FREDDIE the Bat 1847 We'll Miss You

OLD FLYBAIT He Croaked August 9 1869

ROSIE She was a poor little Pig but she bought the Farm 1849


Beloved Lilac Long on Curiosity... Short on Common Scents 1847

There is a cat surrounded by little mouse grave markers. One that says "Fi Fi" Those below are found on the red brick wall.

In Memory My Rat Whom I Loved Now He Resides in the Realms Up Above

Here lies Long Legged Jeb Got tangled up in his very own web

October 10 1867

(long snakey grave marker) Here lies my snake who's fatal mistake was frightening the gardener who carried a rake

July 11 1864

Over on the wall near the railroad:

Theo Later

U.R. Gone

Ray N. Carnation

Dustin T. Dust

Lev Itation

G.I. Miss You

I Trudy Departed

Rust in Peece

I.L. Beback

M.T. Tomb


17. Was the pet graveyard moved?

No, copied!

Actually the old graveyard was not moved or changed, you can still see it if you take the wheelchair entrance into the Foyer, see for yourself!. They did pull molds off some of the animals to create a new graveyard out front. This is just one of many "Show Enhancements" that Show Quality Imagineers (like Kim Irvine) are continually doing. Like the Little Mermaid and Aladdin scenes in Storybook, the Apple and Book in front of Snow White, Music in New Orleans Square, penny pressing elephant and Shrunken Ned in Adventureland Bazaar.


18. Did the HM recently celebrates its 25th Anniversary? (

On a hot Tuesday, August 9, Disneyland celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Haunted Mansion opening. The day started with Veteran Imagineers "X" Atencio, John Hench, Sam McKim, Bill Justice, as well as current Imagineers Dave Mumford, Russell Brower, and Archivist Dave Smith being escorted to chairs set up in front of the Mansion gates.

The gates were closed and shrouded in spider webs and drapery. Dead leaves were scattered in front and several big oval signs declared the event. The Make-Believe-Brass was costumed in Mansion Host green butler garb and began to play some dirgefull tunes. An "Undertaker"-looking M.C. took the podium and proceeded thru some ghoulish pater with 2 cutsie Mansion Maids. The Undertaker introduced "X" Atencio, who talked briefly about designing and building the Mansion. The Undertaker then brought out Mickey in a snappy tux. Mickey and the Undertaker opened the locked gates and invited all to join them in a ride thru the Mansion.

I sat with "X", Sam and John as they reminisced about the early days, the changes, the old stories. Moments of pure gold for me!

Roberta Brubaker Disneyland Facilities Maintenance


19. Was there a CM in a suit of armor that walked around the HM?


In 1986, a live person walked around the HM. He was in the area between the coffin and Madam Leota's room. It was a great effect but one, it was not cost effective and two, people were hitting and doing other things to the CM and three, guest complaints. The CM had a remote to stop the ride when this happened and it became such a problem it was discontinued.


20. Can I get a copy of the music from the Haunted Mansion and where was it recorded?

There are a few Haunted Mansion records out there. The best by far, is ST3947, an LP w/ 12 page book. It features Thurl Ravenscroft as the Ghost Host, and Ron Howard as a teenager who (along with his girlfriend) are forced to spend a night in the Haunted Mansion. This does not have an orange cover though, it is blueish, with lots of ghosts and the mansion on it. One big plus about this album is you get to hear Madame Leota's complete poem.

The only thing you will find on CD is the Haunted Mansion song "Grim Grinning Ghosts". It's on various Disney CDs.

DQ1257 Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of a Haunted House 1964 Disneyland Records Format: LP

ST3947 The Haunted Mansion 1969 Disneyland Records Format: LP, gatefold cover, 12 page book (featuring Thurl Ravenscroft and Ron Howard)

LLP339 Walt Disney presents The Haunted Mansion 19?? Disneyland Records Format: 45 and book

Also, a couple of possibly interesting bits of info: According to Russell Brower, Buddy Baker told him that the actual pipe organ used for the recording of the HM music was located at MCA Whitney studios in Glendale, CA (right around the corner from WED) but the building is now gone. (Russell remembers seeing it once, but did not know at the time it was THE organ :( ....) It was a huge theater organ with lots of stops and effects. Buddy Baker went on to say that the Grand Hall organ solo (ballroom) was an improvisation, and he told the organist to get wilder and wilder with it each time he played it.


21. What was upgraded during the Sept 1995 rehab?

Loren Wilton ( wrote:

The seance table was changed to float about 2 (or maybe more) years ago when the head was changed from a front film projection to an internal video projector. That was the same time Little Leota turned very green, when they replaced her film projector with a video projector too. However, I think the table has been broken for at least a year now.

Thankfully they have redone the LL video to change her face back to more natural colors, which really does play better in that scene. As others have mentioned, they also added long while hair, that practically forms a bridal veil for her.

A non-inclusive list of the things I noticed being changed (and NOT changed) when I went thru once a few days ago:

The new old hearse on the walkway outside. (Which according to the CM newletter, carried Brigham Young) The bunny graveyard is the same from the previous refurb. A missing light fixture by the East door of the house. Possibly new (and more appropriate!) wallpaper in the foyer. (Much better than the last wallpaper, but still not as good as the original custom flocked wallpaper.) The scrim at the top of the elevator has been repainted. Not as good as the original scrim; VASTLY better done than the previous attempt. Newly done streching paintings on the walls. The obvious sound system improvements. Possibly a new wig on the corpse? I did not see any sign that the corpse *physically* starts to fall just before the lights cut, but since I was right under it I could have missed this. The screens for the paintings in the hall have been redone. I wish though they would go back to the original effect where the paintings *flashed* from new to old each time the lightning struck outside the windows! The path right at the enterance to the loading belt has been redone slightly to make it wider and possibly easier for people to get on. The collector rails and brushes for the doombuggy audio have been refurbished, and the tracks have probably been moved to digital repeaters from the old carts. I couldn't tell if the amps had been replaced or not. Not all of the cars have been sufficiently refurbished; of the three speakers in the car I had, the right one was dead. The audio tracks for the first segments up to the ballroom have been remastered and probably moved to digital repeaters. I suspect that the speakers in the doors have also been replaced. There are no substantive changes up to the start of the ballroom. Everything you see in those sequences was there before from the last refurb; it has just been made to work again. The audio in the seance room has been rebalanced slightly in favor of some of the instruments. Probably new speakers and remastered tracks. The first major change is the audio in the ballroom. I don't know if the low voices at the start of the scene were there before, and have now been turned up to the place where thay can be heard; or if they have been added. Certainly I never remember hearing them before, and many of the tracks have been rebalanced. I don't recall any changed animation in the ballroom other than the outfit on the organist. Most of the attic animation is the same as it was. Added is the piano (or is it a harpsichord? I forget) with the phantom player, and the bride is finally an impressive and appropriate character. (I had always before felt that she was totally inapproprate and out of place, ever since they added her in 15 years back or so). The popups have been redressed slightly, as has much of the attic itself. The attic audio has been completely redone. *Very* *well*. Nothing changed on the exit to the graveyard. The dog still doesn't shivver like it used to, nor did I hear it whining. The gravedigger's knees are knocking again. I don't recall if he was following the cars with a startled expression as he originally did. Only one owl on the branch over the jazz group. More wigs; more veils. Rebalanced (possibly *un*balanced) audio on the quartet. Many audio levels changed and the sound cleaned up. I couldn't recall if there were any added or changed tracks. Nothing different on the playoff. Little Leota now has long white hair and isn't green anymore!

From: (Steve Ziolkowski)

Just returned from a routine trip to Disneyland and I was amazed by what I saw. It's only been two weeks since the last time I was there, and the folks at Disney have truly outdone themselves. There is an old hearse out front which has a harness that appears to be on a horse, but you can't see the horse. Neat. In the gallery, (the stretching room) they have put up a new ceiling that looks really great. It doesn't sag, or bunch like it used to, and the paintjob on it is really convincing. (A tad light in value, compared to the rest of the ceiling, but hey. it's ok!) They also replaced the sound system, and used the descent dialog from the Mansion in Florida. When the lightning and thunder go off, you can feel it in your guts, and the falling body screams so she gets louder as she falls. WOW! The queue has been expanded where you walk on to the moving platform to board your vehicles, there is now enough space for two to walk abreast, instead of one, like it was before. This is great as well. They now use the *entire* recorded dialogue, instead of the abridged version, including the quip about Madame Leota having a remarkable head for materialising the disembodied... COOL! But the best thing, better than anything else, is the attic scene. They got rid of all those annoying and cheesey heads and bodies popping out of various bric-a-brac in there (don't worry, there are some left) and replaced it with an amazing scene of a shadow playing a depressing wedding march on an old, semi-destroyed piano. Unlike the shadows in Phantom Manor and Florida, however, which uses a silly looking cardboard cutout placed directly over the piano, they used what appears to be a video projector that shows a live action person dressed up who actually hits the notes correctly! It's a three quarter view which adds to the realism! UNBELIEVABLE! AND that's not all! The bride now looks really scarey. Her hair is white and she looks really unhappy and dead, and there is wind blowing and every now and then this voice intones... "I DO".

Awesome, huh?

Return to my Disney page

Return to my home page