A Broken Arm...
This week, we take a look at the Music Room from the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion. Everything in this scene appears to be normal, well, for the mansion anyway. It looks as though an item in this room has decayed a bit more than what most people notice. Sitting atop the piano is a five arm candleabra, or... wait... four arm! Yes, the candleabra is missing an entire arm, candle and all. Reports say that many years ago when a maintenance worker was doing nightly rehab for the scene an accidental bump broke the arm off in entirety. Most people wouldn't notice something as small as this, so instead of fixing the candle, they just rewired that arm to complete the circuit for the entire thing and it has been missing an arm ever since. The arm missing is the one on the front of the candleabra, closest the doombuggy track.
We're watching you...
This week we take an indepth look at a prop in all mansions, that at one time was meant to be a little more... animated. Everyone who has been to the mansion realizes that another creepy staple of the ride are the griffins that quietly sit and watch as we enter the boundless realm of mist and decay or as we begin our ascent from the music room to the second floor.
At one moment in time those stately creatures paid a little bit more attention to the passing buggies. Yes, at one time they were intended to slowly turn their heads with each passing buggy. Blueprints have listed that the griffins are "Animated Props." Other blueprints list that the griffins have a line of pivot for their neck movement. However, blueprints are changed and changed often so its hard to tell whether or not they really were meant to. However, there is one little piece of evidence that shows they had more of an intention to create the effect. The next time you are at Disneyland or Phantom Manor, when the crowds die down, ask a cast member if you might be able to see the griffin up close. If you get that chance, make sure to take a trip to City Hall aftewards and fill out a compliment form. If you never get that chance, to see it up close, I have included a picture of the griffin below.
Many mansion fans know the gate plaque outside of the entrance to the Haunted Mansion by heart. It is an icon of our favorite attraction. Many fans also know the stylized look of the Ruben font anywhere it may appear, whether it is on the sign or somewhere outside of Disney property, it can usually be picked out in an instant. So we know that the Ruben font is fairly old, pre-existing the year the plaque was sculpted. So, where did "the" at the top of the plaque come from? The answer might lie within Rolly Crump who has shared that during the construction of the mansions effects, he and Yale Gracey often looked at the 1913 Popular Mechanic book, "The Boy Mechanic." The cover to Book 1 of the series shows a young man building a sailboat but in the title, "The" is very similar to that on the gate plaque.
Whether or not it is the inspiration for the actual word on the gate plaque might never be known. But, here are pictures of the book cover as well as the word The from the gate plaque for you to decide for yourself.
Welcome Foolish Mortals!
As the first post of the month, we look at the Disneyland Foyer. Yes, it appears that that once "boring" room seems to have a little more mystery than we thought.
Everyone knows the story of how the Raven was to be possessed by the Ghost Host and that is how we heard the narration. However, it is interesting to note that, even after the attraction was switched to internal audio via the doombuggies and there would be no need for the the Raven to speak, he would remain in all of the original areas there was to be dialog. One of these places was to be the foyer. In blueprints a few months before the attraction was finalized, there is an area in the Foyer above the cornice ledging where the raven sat. Sadly, the raven isn't there today. Below is a piece of the blueprint showing the Raven in the foyer and also a small schematic of the internal workings of the Raven, a little more complex than we thought...
Welcome to May!
Greetings Ghost Fans!I would like to welcome you all to another new month of the Ghost Relations Department. I want to thank everyone who have e-mailed me to help with new posts in the future. With this new information I can hope to provide better posts with more visual aids to help the posts. Congratulations to the Disneyland mansion which just received its newest addition to their attic. If you have not heard nor seen any of the new changes yet and wish to be surprised, I will only say this, The bride has an axe to grind. Within the next week I will most likely post photos of the attic as well as some new information about the effects and give a little insight as to who are included in these new effects.Now for the monthly reminder... When you visit any Haunted Mansion, show the utmost respect for other visitors, the attraction itself, and the Cast Members who try hard to provide great entertainment. I also suggest that if you notice a Cast Member going above and beyond in their duties to make the experience memorable, that you take a short trip to City Hall and fill out a compliment form. This is one of the few ways to let a Cast Member know that they did a great job.If you have any tips as to new items that I could include in this blog, please e-mail or Instant Message me. I am more than willing to give proper credit, or full anonymity can be retained. I hope you enjoy this months posts,-Ghost Relations Dept.