One of the most popular attractions in all of Walt Disney World can be found in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square. The Haunted Mansion is an eerie attraction which invites guests into a stately manor where nine hundred and ninety nine happy haunts are waiting to cause all sorts of spooky moments. Guests who are brave enough to enter into the attraction first pass through an interactive graveyard before being welcomed in an ominous stretching room by the disembodied Ghost Host. The Haunted Mansion is beloved by many guests as it features classic scenes like the ballroom, attic, and stretching room as well as favorite characters like Master Gracey, Madame Leota, and Constance the murderous bride. Featuring wall to wall creeps and hot and cold running chills, the Haunted Mansion is as full of secrets and wonderful facts as it is scares. Guests may think that they know all that there is to know about the attraction, but there are plenty of secrets to be found inside the gates. Here are seven facts and secrets about the Haunted Mansion that guests are sure to love discovering on their next Walt Disney World vacation!
7. Master Gracey’s Inspiration —
Most guests who are fans of the Haunted Mansion will recognize the name Master Gracey as it is his manor home that they are enjoying. The Master can be seen aging to skeletal form in a transforming portrait in the foyer just before entering into the stretching room and guests are sure to feel his ominous presence. While Master Gracey may seem like a fictional character, he was named in homage of Imagineer Yale Gracey who help to create many of the eerie effects found throughout the attraction.
6. Leota’s Namesake —
Another easily recognizable character that is beloved by many guests is Madame Leota. The ghostly figure can first be encountered in the graveyard just before entering into the attraction in the form of a tombstone. Guests who stare long enough will notice that Madame Leota even opens her eyes occasionally to check out the living world. Once inside the Haunted Mansion, guests again encounter Madame Leota who conducts a séance to stir up the spirits who live in the home to come out to socialize. Madame Leota was named in thanks to Imagineer Leota Toombs whose face was used for the character. While Walt Disney loved how Leota Toombs looked as the spooky character, he found that her voice was too light for the role and instead looked to voice actress Eleanor Audley who had previously voiced villains like Lady Tremaine. Thus, the Madame Leota that guests can see in the séance room features the face of Leota Toombs and the voice of Eleanor Audley, however guests can hear Toombs’ real voice in the form of Little Leota at the end of the attraction beckoning guests to hurry back.
5. Mr. Toad —
An attraction that many guests used to absolutely love in the Magic Kingdom was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride which was found in Fantasyland where The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh can currently resides. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride brought guests on a whirlwind drive with Mr. Toad that ultimately ended with a trip to hell. While many guests were sad to see the original attraction leave, Mr. Toad can still be seen today in the pet cemetery outside of the Haunted Mansion.
4. Pepper’s Ghost —
The most iconic moment of the Haunted Mansion is when guests enter into the ballroom and see all of the ghosts materializing below either waltzing, celebrating a birthday, dueling, or playing a ghostly organ. The magical and eerie effect is created by using a classic magician’s trick called Pepper’s Ghost named after its creator. The effect uses special lighting and mirrored reflections to create ghostly figures which guests can enjoy.
3. The Original Narrator —
When the Haunted Mansion was being created and conceptualized, Imagineers did not originally intend for the disembodied Ghost Host to be the main narrator of the experience. Instead, it was planned that an ominous raven would appear at pivotal moments of the experience to provide guidance and narration. While this ultimately did not end up being so, guests can still notice the raven with the glowing red eyes in many scenes where the Ghost Host drops in to share some information.
2. Hidden Mickey in the Ballroom —
In addition to many eerie facts and secrets, the Haunted Mansion is also home to several Hidden Mickeys which can be found throughout the attraction. Guests who want to spot a relatively easy and classic Hidden Mickey should look at the long banquet table in the ballroom scene. There guests can spot a trio of dishes which form a Hidden Mickey.
1. Hidden Mickey in the Graveyard —
A harder Hidden Mickey to spot in the Haunted Mansion can be found near the end of the graveyard scene. Guests who look backwards to the right hand side of their Doom Buggy just before entering into the crypt with the Hitchhiking Ghosts can spot a crypt with a ghostly Grim Reaper figure. Guests who look in the hand that the Grim Reaper has extended upwards can spot a classic Hidden Mickey.