Happy Birthday ~ Haunted Mansion DL! August 9, 1969


“Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion! I am your host, your ghost host. Kindly step all the way in please and make room for everyone. There’s no turning back now.”  ~ voiced by Paul Frees

August 9, 1969 ~  The Haunted Mansion opens to the public in New Orleans Square at Disneyland.  The classic and beloved attraction was opening with much promotion and created quite a buzz among Disney goers.  The promotions included the “I Scream” Sundaes that were sold at Carnation Plaza!

The official Grand Opening wasn’t until August 12th, but guests were able to go in and visit all 999 Haunts.  Madame Leota, the famous floating head in the seance room and creepy little ghost at the end of the ride (ie Hurry baaack!!), is modeled after Disney Imagineer, Leota Toombs (Thomas).  The famous Ghost Host is voiced by Paul Frees, and the classic song from the ride, “Grim Grinning Ghosts”  was lead by Thurl Ravenscroft, who also was the voice of Tony the Tiger.

The Haunted Mansion eventually made it’s way over to Walt Disney World, of course.  This ride is a classic.  It envelops all that Disney began with, the original magic.  I think the Haunted Mansion is on everyone’s “must-do” list whether you’re visiting Disneyland or Disney World, I know it’s on mine!  As I sit here and write this, I can hear the sounds of the organ playing during and in between commentary from our Ghost Host… can you?  Once you visit the Haunted Mansion, you never forget it, and have the drive to go back.  It’s part of the Disney experience.  As a child, I was terrified of Haunted House attractions, and would never go.  The Haunted Mansion is different.  Yes, it’s a little spooky, and my pulse still does race when I’m on the ride, but it’s fun.  It’s Disney!   So today we wish the original Haunted Mansion a very Happy Birthday!  Thanks to Walt and the Imagineers for all the memories!  Here’s to many more years to come!

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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