The Haunted Mansion @ Walt Disney World

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DancinBelle
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The Haunted Mansion @ Walt Disney World

Post by DancinBelle » Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:29 am

The Haunted Mansion is almost ready to open to the public. Disney Insider, a free email newsletter from Disney, has been running articles about the changes to the attraction.

[b]Making the Haunts Even Happier[/b]

That old, creepy, uninhabited mansion -- you know, the one where you sometimes hear mysterious sounds and see eerie apparitions? I think something's going on up there. Ever since June, I seem to hear weird noises in the dead of night ... noises suspiciously like hammering and sawing. But none of the 999 permanent residents seem to be leaving the joint. Is it possible that that place is going to get even SPOOKIER?

That's right -- in case you haven't heard the news through the ghoulish grapevine, the Magic Kingdom Park's venerable Haunted Mansion is getting a facelift. New details are being added to reward sharp-eyed spookhunters, and some high-tech magic is being put to use to create old-fashioned thrills. Kathy Rogers, Senior Show Producer for the attraction, told us what to expect if you dare to venture through the doors of this most beloved attraction, which is slated to reopen this month.

"For several months, our team has been "illusioneering," making the invisible, visible," explains Kathy. "For example, a previously unseen wing of the Mansion has been revealed for the first time. Observant Guests will see more of the 999 happy haunts cavorting on a seemingly endless staircase leading to secret realms. Watch closely and you'll see evidence of these residents -- their glowing footprints, candles going out -- is it the wind or did someone blow them out? It's for you to decide. Other haunts reveal themselves in the mansion's infamous Corridor of Doors -- don't blink or you'll miss the clues!"

The Haunted Mansion is one of the Disney Theme Park attractions that have inspired legions of passionate fans. The last thing anyone wanted to do was to change the experience in a way that would disappoint Guests, and Kathy and her team were acutely aware of the necessity to "strengthen the story, and not change it." So in many cases they expanded on the lore that already existed -- as in Kathy's own favorite addition: "In the attic the long, sad tale of Constance on her wedding days finally comes to light. For almost 40 years, our Guests have come face to face with Constance the bride. Now it's time for them to meet her and her grooms face to face -- all five of them! They all loved Constance," she laughs. "In fact, you could say they lost their heads over her."

In addition to adding to the story, the Imagineers are taking advantage of some technological advances since the Mansion first saw the light of day. You won't be overwhelmed with high-tech bells and whistles that disturb the eerie atmosphere, but, Kathy promises, "Imagineers constantly look for new ways to combine compelling stories with new technologies. As we've worked to enhance Haunted Mansion, we've added a few surprises that may make the ghosts seem a little closer than before."

So whether it's your first visit to the Mansion or your hundredth, when Guests are allowed to enter that elegant but eerie house again, keep your eyes peeled. You never know when you'll stumble across the evidence of a haunt you haven't encountered before! And remember -- there's always room for one more.

[b]"Eek"-Streme Makeover [/b]

[i]Behind the screams of the creepy new touches at The Haunted Mansion[/i]

"When hinges creak in doorless chambers
and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls,
Whenever candlelights flicker and the air is deathly still,
That is the time ghosts are present,
Practicing their terror with ghoulish delight."

These eerie words of the Ghost Host are like poetry to the millions who consider The Haunted Mansion one of their all-time favorite Walt Disney World® attractions. This fun-and-frightful landmark is a genuine classic with so many clever effects and superb details, it never fails to amaze and mystify. And yet, come this fall, a few strange things will have occurred—wondrous things that only add to the overall magic, always reverently faithful to the original vision.

One of the things that you'll notice will be astonishing new digital audio effects, using some of the newest technology. "We have taken this new technology and incorporated it into The Haunted Mansion, always careful to maintain the integrity of the original show for all its many fans," Walt Disney Imagineering Principle Media Designer Joe Herrington told us. "Everything they've loved is there, but we've added to it to make it an even more incredible show."

"Could it be that these walls are actually stretching?"

"There are certain things that are sacred territory, like the Ghost Host," he continued. "But in the past, his voice just plunked around the room. We've gone a lot further now. Now he has the power to float around you and the other Guests." (Sometimes he can get creepily close!)

"Now once we got our friend the Ghost Host floating around the room just like a real ghost in an extremely believable way, we decided to bring the little gargoyles to life and let them have fun as well," said Joe. "We put a few bats in there and let them fly around and a few other things too. So now we have more of an ambiance, a texture."

The Imagineers were so dedicated to getting the sound quality perfect, they actually built a full-scale replica of the Stretch Room in their Glendale, California, studios for meticulous testing. Joe assured us that the results were definitely worth the effort. "It's a very noticeable difference, like night and day."

"Wall-to-wall creeps, hot and cold running chills..."

While the Stretch Room is the prime showcase for this new sound technology, a similar effect of a floating Ghost Host is replicated as soon as you climb aboard your "doom buggy" to tour the upstairs hallways, ballroom, attic and graveyard. And as you explore, you may spot some other unnerving sights in addition to the classic scenes. You never know what might materialize! (Look for more in a special video in the October issue of this newsletter.)

Voice actor royalty retain their thrones

The bride adds the only new voice to The Haunted Mansion; all the original ghostly voices will still be there to chill you. The Ghost Host narration—acclaimed as one of the finest vocal performances in any medium—remains the domain of Disney Legend Paul Frees, whose many other roles include Boris on Rocky and Bullwinkle.

And speaking of mediums, continuing as Madame Leota's voice will be Eleanor Audley, who also voiced Lady Tremaine in Cinderella and Malificent in Sleeping Beauty. And thanks to state-of-the-art sound, their voices and all the other atmospheric effects will sound even better—or worse, depending on your point of view—than ever.

We don't know about you, but we're just dying to float over to the Magic Kingdom® Park this fall to see and hear it all!

icandrawem2
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 12:02 am

Post by icandrawem2 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 12:47 pm

OK i finally rode the updated version of the haunted mansion on sat night...wow it was incredible. My favorite addition will have to be the Escher-ish staircases with the glowing footprints...Still trying to figure out how they did that effect, im thinking it must be projected onto the stairs since the footprints kinda get bigger as they fade away...very neat though.

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