In continuing with our Halloween Celebration for the month of October, I thought we’d do some fun facts for one of the most beloved attractions at Walt Disney World, The Haunted Mansion. Sure, we love the Haunted Mansion, and we think we know a lot about the attraction itself, but it would certainly be fun to learn more. So, here’s part one of our fun facts for the Haunted Mansion, some you may know, some you may not, but we hope you enjoy reading nonetheless!
The headstones in the Graveyard outside the Haunted Mansion are inspired by the people who actually helped create attraction! They read as follows:
• Rest in peace, brother Huet. We all know you didn’t do it.
• R.I.P., good friend Gordon. Now you’ve crossed the river Jordan.
• Master Gracey laid to rest. No mourning, please, at his request. Farewell.
• At peaceful rest, he’s brother Claude. Planted here beneath this sod.
• Here lies good ol’ Fred. A great big rock fell on his head.
• Here rests Wathel R. Bender. He rode to glory on a fender.
• Dear departed brother Dave, He chased a bear into a cave.
• Here lies a man named Martin. The lights went out on this old Spartan.
Once you walk into the Haunted Mansion, you are greeted by your tour guide, your “Ghost Host,” voiced by Paul Frees. You might find it interesting to know that Frees provided the voice of characters for many animated cartoon classics, including Boris Badenov from the the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show.)
Be sure to check out one of the last tombstones, on your left just before you enter the mansion, which honors the late Walt Disney Imagineer Leota Thomas (Toombs). Every few minutes, Leota’s head leans forward, opens its bright green eyes and then closes them again. Leota is also the inspiration for the Fortune Teller inside the Haunted Mansion, Madame Leota!
The theme song for the Haunted Mansion, “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” was lead by Thurl Ravenscroft. Mr. Ravenscroft was also the voice of Tony the Tiger, the mascot for the cereal Frosted Flakes!
I know there is much, much more ground to cover regarding the Haunted Mansion, but no worries, we’ll get to it! Stay tuned for a continuation of our Haunted Mansion Fun Facts!
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