If you are a fan of the Disneyland Resort you are probably already familiar with the special overlays like Jingle Cruise, The Haunted Mansion Holiday and “it’s a small world” Holiday that the Disneyland Park receives during the holiday season every year. Taking a page out of Disneyland’s book last year, Disney World finally joined in on the fun by transforming their version of the legendary Jungle Cruise into the “Jingle Cruise” as well. Due to its popularity, the Jungle Cruise has made the switch once again this year beginning Friday, November 7. Here’s the scoop from Disney Parks Blog:
The popular Magic Kingdom Park attraction, Jungle Cruise, has gone “Jingle Cruise” again for the second holiday season in a row! The additions, which debuted in the park on Friday, November 7, offer guests the chance to experience a holiday transformation of this fan-favorite Disney attraction. Jingle Cruise is again themed as if the Skippers are once again homesick for the holidays and decorated the attraction queue and boathouse with homemade decorations, gifts and items from back home. (If you listen carefully, you may also hear a holiday-themed radio broadcast playing in the background in the queue). The boats have been renamed to receive holiday names and the skippers are getting guests laughing with additional holiday jokes. The jungle has also received new seasonal supplies. Unfortunately, some missed their final destination falling deeper into the jungle. In addition to being open during daily park hours, Jingle Cruise will also be in operation during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Parties.
In honor of the scariest holiday of the year, I thought it would be interesting to take a deeper look at Disney’s spookiest attraction: Haunted Mansion. Growing up I was always scared of anything having to do with ghosts and to this day I still try to avoid all things paranormal. My kids laugh every time I tell them the story about how I worked as a Scare Actor at a Haunted House in Kansas City one Halloween and that many of the visitors ending up scaring me instead of the other way around! I am truly a big chicken when it comes to scary stuff. However, I love the Haunted Mansion. Something about its perfect mix of supernatural with a touch of Disney magic and humor makes it more fun than terrifying. Here are 15 little known facts about Disney’s Haunted Mansion:
The Haunted Mansion was originally imagined as a walk through attraction.
Several times a year people are caught trying to spread their loved-one’s remains in the Haunted Mansion.
For years there were rumors that someone died of fright on a test ride of the Disneyland version and that is why it took so many years for it to open to the public.
In one of the versions considered, it was the bride that was to have “lost her head” instead of her many grooms.
The hitch-hiking ghosts, Ezra, Gus and Phineas, were given their names by fans.
Madame Leota in the Séance Scene is actually the face of the late Model Builder and Imagineer, Leota Toombs, whose face fit perfectly the dimensions for the crystal ball.
In the stretching room, the ceiling rises in Walt Disney World while in Disneyland you are in an elevator that is being lowered.
Fake dust and cobwebs are added inside the Haunted Mansion to make it look old.
On Madame Leota’s tombstone in the queue area, her eyes open and close and her face moves as guests walk by.
The raven that is seen several times throughout the attraction was originally going to be the narrator.
There are 13 candles on the birthday cake in the Grand Ballroom Scene.
The ghosts in the Grand Ballroom Scene are actually reflections of animatronics located above and below the Doom Buggy track. This is a variation of the “Pepper’s Ghost” illusion.
There are really only 107 ghosts in the Haunted Mansion not 999.
The caretaker and dog in the Graveyard Scene are lit differently to denote that they are living not dead.
With Walt Disney growing up in Kansas City and being friends with the Sauer family, it is thought that the Sauer Castle may have been an early inspiration for Walt Disney’s idea to add a Haunted Mansion to his theme parks. (I grew up in Kansas City as well. We referred to the Sauer Castle as Igor’s in my day and often drove past it during the Halloween season to see if we could witness anything creepy happening through the windows!)
Sauer Castle In Kansas City
In the spirit of Halloween, if you would like to “ride through” the Disney World version of Haunted Mansion, just check out this video!
Great news! Memento Mori Haunted Mansion-themed Shop Now Open!
Memento Mori, the Haunted Mansion-themed merchandise shop, is officially open in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom. Once considered the abode of Madame Leota, this shop is the destination for a variety of Haunted Mansion Authentic merchandise created especially for Disney Parks. The Disney Parks online store is now carrying select items from the Haunted Mansion Collection. Please click here to check them out!