There are plenty of attractions throughout Walt Disney World that have achieved a particular status with guests thanks to their incredible stories, thrilling experiences, amazing details, and much more. One of the most beloved attractions can be found in the Liberty Square section of the Magic Kingdom and invites guests to step through a wrought iron gate towards an impressive manor home. The Haunted Mansion appears orderly on the outside, but the inside is home to nine hundred and ninety nine happy haunts who cause all sorts of supernatural occurrences that can be both humorous and eerie. Many guests absolutely love to experience the Haunted Mansion several times on each trip to Walt Disney World to enjoy the amazing details that help to bring the experience to life. While many guests might be familiar with some details and characters of the attraction, the Haunted Mansion is home to many facts that are somewhat hidden or represent something that might be a secret. From Imagineer tributes to Hidden Mickeys, there are plenty of amazing facts and hidden details to enjoy in this beloved attraction. Here are eight totally cool things about the Haunted Mansion for guests to discover on their next Walt Disney World vacation!
1. Yale Gracey’s Inspiration —
Before stepping into the Haunted Mansion’s foyer, guests have an encounter with the home’s master. The interactive graveyard that guests pass through features the grave of Master Gracey, who eloquently requests no mourning on his behalf. Guests encounter Gracey again once in the foyer in the form of an aging picture that depicts the master aging from young man to skeletal remains. While Master Gracey might just seem like a character that the Disney Imagineers created to supplement the story of the Haunted Mansion, he actually pays homage to one individual responsible for many classic moments of the experience. Yale Gracey was a master at illusions, and he created many of the amazing effects that guests enjoy on each ride through the Haunted Mansion including the iconic waltzing ghosts in the ballroom.
2. A Familiar Voice —
After checking out the aging portrait of Master Gracey in the foyer, guests move into the stretching room where the only entrance suddenly closes leaving them stranded. The walls then ominously begin to groan and stretch while guests are properly introduce to their narrator for the experience. The Ghost Host welcomes guests and serves as a guide for their supernatural journey through the attraction, and many guests might find his voice familiar as it can be heard in other various locations throughout Walt Disney World. The Ghost Host was voiced by Paul Free who also gave his vocal talents to the auctioneer in Pirates of the Caribbean and was the original narrator of the Hall of Presidents.
3. Hidden Donald —
After boarding their Doom Buggies, guests begin to move through the Haunted Mansion and pick up on some eerie occurrences. Just after passing through a long corridor featuring a series of doors that appear to be holding in some pretty frightening things, guests encounter a seemingly endless hallway with a floating candelabra. While the scene itself is riveting, guests should direct their attention to the left hand side of the hallway to spot a suit of armor and a chair. The chair features an abstract pattern that actually forms the face of a Hidden Donald, including his hat!
4. Madame Leota —
Perhaps one of the most well-known and beloved characters in the Haunted Mansion is Madame Leota who can be found with her head inside her crystal ball hovering in her séance room. Madame Leota serves as the connection with the nine hundred and nine happy haunts, and she summons them to materialize and socialize in front of guests. Madame Leota is actually played by Imagineer Leota Toombs who was hand chosen by Walt Disney to portray the character. While Disney loved Toombs’ face, he thought her voice was too sweet so voice actress Eleanor Audley was brought in. Audley had previously voiced Disney villains such as Lady Tremaine and Maleficent and was the perfect complement to Toombs’ face.
5. Little Leota —
Madame Leota can be found a second time in the Haunted Mansion at the very end of the experience after guests have encountered the three hitchhiking ghosts. Little Leota can be found up above beckoning guests to join the happy haunts so long as they bring their death certificates. This representation of Leota features both Leota Toombs’ face and voice, which is recognizably sweeter and les ominous than Eleanor Audley’s.
6. Thurl Ravenscroft —
The graveyard scene features in the Haunted Mansion is arguably one of the most recognized scenes from any Disney attraction, and many guests love the mayhem of the ghosts enjoying their swinging wake. While moving through the graveyard, guests pass by a group of singing busts that are leading the rendition of “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” The lead voice in the group is that of Thurl Ravenscroft who was a very talented and popular voice artist. Ravenscroft can also be heard as the voice of Fritz in Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and his name can be found on the organ in the interactive graveyard outside the doors into the Haunted Mansion’s foyer.
7. Hidden Mickey —
As guests reach the end of the graveyard scene and begin to enter into the crypt where the three hitchhiking ghosts are found, they should be sure to look behind them and to the left hand side of their Doom Buggies. Found there is another small crypt with a floating and eerie looking shadowy figure with one arm extended up above it. Guests who focus in on the extended hand of the figure can spot a classic Hidden Mickey in the shadow!
8. Mr. Toad —
After exiting the Haunted Mansion, guests walk down a short pathway before passing through the gate again back into Liberty Square. Just before the gate, guests should pause and look up to the left hand side to spot a pet cemetery up on the hill. Those who look closely in the back left hand corner can spot the grave of Mr. Toad previously found in Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride that used to exist where The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh now resides.