Stories Behind the Scenes at Liberty Square

Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion

From: Katie 25 JUN 01

I went to Walt Disney world a few years ago and while i was standing in line, this little girl in front of us with her family was very close to not riding the ride. She was afraid of the ghosts inside and she told her family that while waiting. The cast member who was standing outside the doors saw that she was very close to not riding, and that she was really very scared, pulled out a park map and said to the girl, "This is a magic map. If you hold it up in front of your face," the cast member also demonstrated holding the map, "you can hide from the ghosts and they can't touch you or scare you. So when your in the mansion, just hold the map up and they can't scare you. Ok?" Needless to say, the little girl did go on the ride and she seemed to have had a very good time at the exit.

From: anon 22 MAY 01

On my highschool spring break we went to WDW. A friend of mine was teasing the "so serious" ghost host at the Haunted Mansion, in entry way. She was trying to get him to smile. Well, after the intro and waiting to board the ride, we noticed the same guy helping to board people into the cars, there must have been a shift change. He looked at us intently...and after we boarded, we went into the initial darkness and all of a sudden that same host appeared next to our cart with a flashlight in front of his face and said, "Have a Nice Ride!" We both screamed and were scared he was going to pop out again on the way through!! It was really funny.

From: BChampli 12 MAR 01

One day while we were at Disney World we ventured to the Haunted Mansion (which would have made my day. We went through the extreamly long line (it was a hot day and the Haunted Mansion has air conditioning). We listened to the foyer spiel and loaded into the Stretching room on the right. I had recieved a new camera for my birthday and it did not have to flash to take a good picture. When it came around the time that we saw the ceiling dissappear the lights did not completley go out on the lower set. We could all see the scrim and the ceiling pattern. Many people who have been there before asked the attendant was that supposed to happen? Later on we went into the ride again but they were only loading the left the rest of the day. I guess they didn't want to let the age old question be awnsered "How Did They Do That?"

From: Katie 26 MAR 00

A few years ago when I was standing inline for Haunted Mansion, there was a little girl waiting with her parents in front of me. She was terrified of the ghosts inside, and the noises that could be heard outside the Mansion. One of the ride operators, the one that opens the door and talks to you before the ride begins, saw how close the little girl was to crying took out a map of disney world. She handed it to the girl, and explained how it was a magic map, and if she held it over her eyes, the ghosts in the mansion wouldn't be able to see her. So, the girl went onto the ride, feeling a bit more confident with her 'magic map'. I just thought it was a nice story about how disney employees are very helpful and do actually care about guests!

From: anon 08 SEP 99

My wife is from Colombia, and never had the chance to see Disney as a child. It took her to Disney for her fist time in life, just months after we began our romance, in December, 1996. It was magical for her, and made me feel like a kid again (we're 30+). On our first trip through the haunted mansion, just after the car passes the piano, then turns to slant backward, toward the hermit with his dog, prior to the singing ghosts, the ride stopped. I had dreamed, as a younger kid, of catching this moment alone with my girl, and here it actually happened. There we were, in the darkness, as if laying down, for about 3 minutes, in each other's arms. It's a moment we'll remember for all our lives, at least as magical as child-hood memories from the '70's. By the end of the day, she was tired and ready to leave. She had never seen the parade, and said she was too tired to stay. We walked through the castle, aware that the parade was on it's way. As we entered main street, I noticed an empty spot right on the curb, just the parade reached our location. I grabbed her in my arms while facing away from me, hugged her, and faced her gently toward the parade. She relaxed as she heard the music, and stayed with me in the most perfect spot I've ever found for viewing the parade. Two of the characters noticed tears in her eyes and pointed to her playful gestures - she was a kid again, for a few minutes.

From: Karen Chong 31 DEC 98

I have been to WDW almost every year for the last 26 years. (I'm 26 yrs. old) When I was younger, I was very scared of the Haunted Mansion. It took me a while to work up the courage to actually get on the ride. When I was about 8 yrs old, I finally had made the decision to do it. We were there during October...a very slow time for WDW. My parents took me to the Haunted Mansion first. (I'm sure they didn't want me to chicken out) We were the first(and only ones)in line, and I was boasting to them that I wasn't scared at all. I must have been louder than I thought because the cast members inside started HEAVILY rattling the doors. I'm sure the entire park heard my screams! In the end, my whole family was laughing so hard, we all enjoyed the ride.

From: Gary Barnes 21 JUL 96

Back around in 1991, I went through the Haunted Mansion in WDW. Just when you get into the moving vehicle, you go through a hallway with pictures and self-knocking door knockers before you get into the mansion. Right when you clear the hallway, the moving car swivels and you face a corner of the hallway. Now in all my years going to the parks, this was the first time it has ever happened. There was actually a knight in shining armor there just standing with a battle axe. You would think that is was a dummy, but it actually moved and ran out to grab you. Now if you're not expecting this, is scares the willies out of you. That only happened to me once.

From: anon 21 APR 06

To confirm Gary Barnes's story of the knight on the Haunted Mansion: I am 13 years old. The Haunted Mansion TERRIFIES me, so to try to help me out a bit, my father bought a book for me called The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies. I have read it so many times, I actually wore out the spine and had to get another copy. ANYWAY: A few years ago, the fine folks at Disney decided that The Haunted Mansion needed a change. Something new, something random. So they said, "What if we put Cast Members all dressed up in there, make them pop out every now and again?" They did. They had a Phantom of the Opera-esque character in the queue to greet guests and a knight in the ride that would sometimes pop out at you. This entire gig was cancelled because it was too scary. The knight sometimes scared people so badly that they would strike out at him. Unfortunately, his armor was not as protective as his predecessors, and the Cast Member would end up with a pretty bruise. The knight that Gary saw was hiding in a very good spot, all that is in that corner (at least in the WDW version anyway) is the organist's shadow-thing. The knight may also have hidden in the graveyard, or with the Hitchhiking Ghosts.

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