2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the Haunted Mansion. In celebration, radio station KLOS 95.5 hosted a chance to win a sleepover in the attraction. Contest winners, the Sutton family, spent the night on August 9, 2009, the Haunted Mansion's birthday! Here is Joe Sutton's blog about his family's night in the mansion:
Another celebration will be held on 09.09.09 (representing the 999 happy haunts no doubt). The ticketed event sold out fast! Foolish mortals paid $430 for a night at the Disneyland Hotel, admission into Disney's California Adventure park (after 6:30 PM), admission into Disneyland park (after 9 PM), a "spirited seance" seminar with Tony Baxter, Kim Irvine and others, a wedding "feast or famine" dinner, spine-tingling toast & cake slicing at the Haunted Mansion attraction, ride through the Haunted Mansion attraction, haunting photo opportunity, the opportunity to purchase 40th anniversary Haunted Mansion themed merchandise by random selection and commemorative gifts. Complete information about this event can be found here:
The Haunted Mansion has seen some changes over the years. In 1984 the Corridor of Doors was home to a "living" suit of armor. The idea was axed after scaring guests a too much. I was one of those lucky kids scared by the "living" suit of armor. To this day I still expect the now stationary suit of armor to spring to life!
In 2001 the "Haunted Mansion Holiday" premiered, but Imagineers wanted something more permanent. In 2005 Imagineers created a new special effect in time for Disneyland's 50th anniversary.Madame Leota's head materialized in a floating crystal ball, called the "floating Leota effect." An ornate bookstand holding an ancient spell book hides some of the technology required to create this illusion. Hidden Disney: Look closely at the "death" figure. It is a cloaked version of the tallest Hitchhiking Ghost (or Hatbox Ghost). The spell is the same recited by actor Dean Jones when he accidentally calls forth Peter Ustinov in the 1967 Disney movie,Blackbeard's Ghost. "A spell to bring your eyes and ears one who is bound in limbo. Kree Kruh Vergo Gebba Kalto Kree."
In 2006 Imagineers added the story of Constance, the Black Widow Bride. An ill-fated bride as part of the attraction dates back to Disney Legend Ken Anderson's first 1957 storyline. Hidden Disney: In each wedding portrait, Constance collects a new string of pearls every time she gains (and loses) a husband and his wealth. You can read more about the re-imagineering of the Haunted Mansion here:
We wish the Haunted Mansion another 40 years of happy haunts! ºoº