The past few months I have been lazy, hence the lack of updates. I’m going to post more stuff soon, but I wanted to write a post about my backstage tour at the Haunted Mansion while it’s still fresh in my mind. Yesterday I finally got to go on the Behind The Scenes Tour of the Haunted Mansion. After attempting to get on this for 2 years now, I was sucessful in my final attempt. I hauled my butt out of bed at 6am to meet inf ront of the ride for 7am. If you’ve never been in the Magic Kingdom all alone, its the most unreal experience ever. It’s the busiest theme park in the world, with over 17 million guest per year, and your standing in the middle of Fantasyland and Liberty Square all alone. Except for the occasional maintenance worker and truck. The tour started promptly at 7am, with all 20 of us excited to see all the secrets inside. We had two guides, one was a woman named Ginger who was quite the personality and according to her name tag she was from Los Angeles. The other woman I can’t remember her name, but she was a great guide as well. We started in the main load and worked our way walking through the ride and checking out some really cool things. One thing I had no idea about was the fact that there are hidden Jack Skellingtons in the ride. Reason being is that WDW was supposed to get the Haunted Mansion Holiday, like at Disneyland, but they decided after a survey that there are too many international guests to close the ride down for an extended period each year for the changeover, so it was nixed. What the Imagineers did as an homage to this was hide 6 Jack Skellingtons within the ride itself, all which can be seen when riding but only if you know where to look and can snap a picture quick enough. The two main ones are a book on the floor with Jack on the cover, and a book on the table with The Nightmare Before Christmas title. Both are in the library scene right beside the so called “donald” chair. The rest are hidden in the attic scene, one is a Sally plush figure under one of the tables, there is another Jack Skellington book on the left hand side of the second husband, and finally a Jack plush and snowglobe on the right side just as your leaving the attic. The tour shared many tidbits about the ride and was one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever done. W got to walk down the endless hallway and see all the details that no one ever sees, but are there just in case. I think the coolest fact I learned was about the Madam Leota floating crystal ball. Apparently since they changed this effect out, Disney has the proprietary technology rights to the projection effect on her face. And according to our tour guides, there is a $500,000 bounty on her head. Literally. So people try to steal her out of the ride. Since Disney is super smart, they installed a security system like no other. If someone tries to jump out in this scene, there are mats in the floor that stop the ride and alert the castmembers as to where the person jumped out. The coolest part is the crystal ball immediatly is pulled to the top of the ceiling by a wire, thus protecting it from thieves. They do have a backup which we were shown, but I’m not at liberty to share where it’s located. The last part of the tour was through the ballroom scene. The most famous and cool part of the ride. We actually had to walk past the moving animatronics, the dancers and all the ghosts, to get into the other side of the ballroom. We got to walk around the empty ballroom, as the animatronics are on one side of the glass, and using the Peppers Ghost effect they seem to appear on the other side. Lastly, they took us into the stretching room and had us listen in silence to all the effects that most people overlook, such as the gargoyls telling you to get out if you stay in the room too long. They finally had us lie on the floor looking up as the room reset itself, meaning we saw it come down at us! Overall, this was probably one of my favourite experiences this year!
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