Each of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World is filled with amazing attractions that bring guests on adventures that are both classic and thrilling. Of all the attractions in the four theme parks, there is one in particular that is a fan favorite thanks to it’s in depth story, beloved characters, and amazing details. The Haunted Mansion can be found in the heart of Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom housed in a stately brick manor house. The attraction invites guests to tour the eerie home where nine hundred and ninety nine happy haunts reside causing all sorts of supernatural and humorous occurrences. From the moment that guests step through the wrought iron gates of the Haunted Mansion, they are surrounded by an amazing attention to detail created by the Imagineers. The level of detail adds to the overall story of the attraction as well as creates some amazing facts and interesting history that guests love to learn about. Here are the top ten mind blowing facts about the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
1. Chess On The Roof
The exterior of the Haunted Mansion is designed to appear as though it would fit right in with the stately homes in New York’s Hudson Valley. One of the Imagineers who contributed to the overall look of the attraction’s exterior was Claude Coats who had a long history with the Walt Disney Company. Coats was an avid chess player and he incorporated some of his hobby into the Haunted Mansion’s design on the roof. Guests who look up will notice that some of the decorative details on the roof of the attraction resemble chess pieces.
2. Ravenscroft’s Organ
Guests who take their time walking through the interactive graveyard featured on the queue of the Haunted Mansion will notice plenty of small details and entertaining elements including an eerie organ that creates music from beyond. Near the keys of the organ is the name Ravenscroft which pays tribute to the great voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft. Guests might recognize his voice from memorable characters throughout the Disney Parks including the lead singer of the busts in the Haunted Mansion’s graveyard, Buff the bison in the Country Bear Jamboree, and Fritz in Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.
3. Imagineer’s Graves
Scattered around the graveyard at the Haunted Mansion are plenty of tombstones that feature tongue in cheek epitaphs describing how the deceased met their end. Many of these tombstones actually pay tribute to the Imagineers who worked to design and create the attraction that guests enjoy today. Some examples guests can look for are Francis Xavier which honors X. Atencio, Claude which tributes Claude Coats, and Grandpa Marc which references Marc Davis.
4. Master Gracey
One of the most prominent tombstones in the Haunted Mansion’s graveyard belongs to the beloved Master Gracey who can also be found aging in an eerie portrait found in the foyer of the attraction. Master Gracey was named in honor of Yale Gracey who was the Imagineer in charge of special effects for the attraction. Gracey’s work is part of what gives the Haunted Mansion its spooky magic and it is only fitting that he receive a proper tribute for his work.
5. Madame Leota
Just before entering into the Haunted Mansion, guests pass by one last tombstone that occasionally opens its eyes to look around the earthly world. Madame Leota is a fortune teller who can also be found inside the Haunted Mansion summoning the spirits to materialize for guests. While Madame Leota is an iconic character for many guests, she has an equally interesting history. Leota Toombs was an Imagineer working for the company while the Haunted Mansion was being developed and Walt Disney personally chose her to model for the character. While Toombs’ name and face were perfect for the attraction, her voice was deemed not eerie enough, so renowned voice actress Eleanor Audley was brought in. Audley has previously voiced evil characters like Maleficent and Lady Tremaine and provided the spookiness to Toombs’ character.
6. Pepper’s Ghost
Once Madame Leota has summoned the spirits to appear for guests, they can be seen having a swinging party in the ballroom below. Guests can spot ghosts waltzing, dueling, celebrating a birthday, swinging from the chandelier, and even playing the organ. This eerie effect was conceptualized by Yale Gracey who was inspired by an illusion created by John Henry Pepper. The effect is referred to as Pepper’s Ghost and utilizes lighting and reflections to create ghostly figures
7. Hidden Mickey
Also found in the ballroom of the Haunted Mansion is a Hidden Mickey which can sometimes move around. Guests who look closely at the table below can spot three plates arranged to form a classic Hidden Mickey.
8. Constance’s Jewelry
The attic of the Haunted Mansion is home to the murderous bride Constance who worked her way through five husbands, killing them off one by one. Guests are given a glimpse into Constance’s evil past as they pass by memorabilia from each marriage. Guests can keep track of how many husbands Constance has killed by counting the number of pearl necklaces she is wearing- she gains another one with each husband she kills!
9. Hitchhiking Ghosts
Many guests absolutely love the final scene of the Haunted Mansion where three hitchhiking ghosts mysteriously appear in the Doom Buggies with them to cause eerie happenings and then follow them home. While many guests love the hitchhiking ghosts, they might not know that their names are Phineas, Ezra, and Gus.
10. Mr. Toad
After exiting the Haunted Mansion and making their way back towards Liberty Square, guests should look to their left just before passing back through the wrought iron fence. There, up on a hill, is a pet cemetery which is home to all sorts of tombstones and tributes, including one that honors a late Magic Kingdom attraction. In the back left-hand corner of the pet cemetery is a tombstone with a statue of Mr. Toad honoring the main character from the extinct Fantasyland attraction Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.