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Orange Bird Photo Hunt


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The Haunted Mansion Like You've Never Seen It

This blog was created partly to showcase how rides are made. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at parts of Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion. These original photos have never been posted online until now.

It's been over a year since we started this blog and I'm shocked that this is the first post entirely about The Haunted we've ever done.  Shocker because the Mansion has been #2 on my "Favorite Attractions" list since childhood-- right between Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise with Carousel of Progress, Tom Sawyer Island, PeopleMover, Country Bear Jamboree, Tiki Room, and Matterhorn following closely behind.  Also to add to the shock of there never being a Haunted Mansion post is the fact that a couple of us here at the blog have spent many many quality hours in every corner of the Mansion.  And what a dream that was. 

Ballroom Organist head.  Every few years animatronic head-skins wear out, become covered in fingerprints of engineers, or fade-- or all three.  Every few decades (it may seem) they get fixed. The colors need to be bright for the ghostly illusion to work- I'll say no more. 

Nice hands, buddy.

Nice neck, Lady.

Butyrate (clear plastic) makes up the outer shell of most every Disney animatronic figure- although the shell is almost never seen by guests except in the Mansion where it remains visible to give the illusion of transparent spirits. You'll notice it turns very yellow with time.

The howling sounds you hear outside in the queue area are those of this dog. A skeleton dog with a streak of hair on it's back moves forward and back with a bit of head movement.  You may have never noticed him there on the back hill of the cemetery across the singing busts unless he has clean layer of white paint.

(Above right) The backside of a pop-up head and tombstones. 

(Above Right) The underside of the bat-covered moving walkway at unload.

The now extinct spider and web. The Mansion spiders were identical to the ones you see in the Jungle Cruise temple. (And no, that ain't a freekin' hidden Mickey).

Guess who's who.  Junk piles collecting dust in a space behind the Grand Ballroom.  A portion of a projector- one of Madame Leota's projectors perhaps?  You can see bits of film still inside.

Broken fiberglass torch-holding hand you'll see above the unload walkway.  I'm sure you recognize the blue guy on the right.


This was not meant to unveil any special Mansion secrets- there are plenty of sites dedicated to that.


Related posts:

ABANDONED DISNEY: Country Bear Max (old animatronic dear head found under Haunted Mansion Track)

ABANDONED DISNEY Series Announced (with old Horizons animatronics found under Carousel of Progress)

I Miss Paul Frees

Hidden Mickey Controversy [Part 2]


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Reader Comments (21)

LOVE THE PICS!!!! Finally some great shots behind the scenes!

September 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric Ross

Thank you. There're plenty more where those came from.

September 7, 2010 | Registered CommenterMitch



September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPhil


September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam bell

Please, send me your old and broken ghost parts. I'm trying to get myself together.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterH. B. Ghost

Awesome! This is the stuff I crave to see! What I wouldn't give for a behind the scenes tour. Keep it up!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeni

Great article. As you said, it's about time The Haunted Mansion was paid tribute, as it is one of the all-time greats. Since many of you have a history at the attraction, a future article could include how some of the magic is accomplished(as much as your allowed). The pictures are fantastic!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWDWFanBoyBrett

Excellent! I can almost smell the wonderflex!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

That doesn't look like a projector to me, but the old style disc-based Audio-Animatronic control.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBassBone

Close, bassbone. See those spools above the letters 27? This a standard WED film loop cabinet. The film ran up and down over and over again for an endless loop. Chief and I watched them in action when we happened to get lost in the Mexico pavilion.

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

PS Mitch. BALLS OF STEEL my friend! Lay it on 'em!

September 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

Incredible post. I'm always amazed when more behind-the-scenes shots arise from these attractions. I've always wondered about the ghost "raincoats." Is that to make them look more ghostly, or to imply that it sometimes rains in the graveyard?

Great shot of the disembodied hitchhiking thumb.

September 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

That's right, Hoot!

Jordan- The clear raincoats are their clothes and since they are ghosts everything including clothing is translucent / transparent. The Ballroom ghosts have real clothing because the affect to make them look like ghosts is entirely different.

More photos to come. These are only a few of many.

September 9, 2010 | Registered CommenterMitch

Bassbone, check out the spools at the top of the cabinet. This is an endless loop film cabinet. The film ran up and down over and over with a clear window so the tech guy could see if the film was broken.

A friend of mine has one of the disk cabinets complete! (from Pirates) It's awesome but different from what we see here.

September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson

I am so glad that the mansion finally got a little tribute (and hope there will be many more ;) ). Thanks for posting!

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaster Gracey

Astounding! So that’s where all those robin egg wedding tuxes end up. Thanks enjoyed the pics very much.

September 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterphilphoggs

Those are some great pics! It's amazing the things they do at Disney!

September 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDisney Ornaments

Do you have ANY of those of the ORIGINAL CARETAKER? I have been working on a full sized replica for the past year and need some hard to find shots for painting, hair, and costuming. Behind the scenes shots are awesome...yet so RARE!

November 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric Ross

Eric, give me a holler.

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHoot Gibson


March 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpaul

That absolutely was a hidden Mickey on the spider. It's well documented and can be confirmed by just about any cast member.

March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

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