Alan “NORMNB8S” Mize
December 23rd, 2017
For this article, I’ll be writing out of my normal Haunted Mansion character. Since Halloween, I’ve taken a short hiatus from this blog and other social media activities to concentrate on health issues within my Family. I felt it important to return before Christmas to write this entry.
Christmas was difficult last year for The Enchanted Tiki Talk Family. Within hours after getting devastating news, we had lost our dear friend, Alan Mize. For myself, Keith, Sean, our friends, Matt and Scott. It was unimaginable that he was gone….just like that….he was gone.
The next few weeks were spent searching for answers, reminiscing and finding ways to remember his legacy. What really happened, is that the five remaining friends, some of which have never even met face to face, became Brothers.
The podcast took on a new look, with four occupied perches, instead of three….and one left open, in memoriam.
This blog is usually dedicated to the macabre of The Haunted Mansion. Leave it to the genius of Walt Disney, to put an attraction in the Happiest Place on Earth, that gives us a way to cope with death. From it’s witty and whimsical epitaphs to it’s singing specters, it’s been an unexpected source of healing in dealing with one of life’s most inevitable moments.
The Haunted Mansion was one of Alan’s favorite attractions evident by his avatar of Master Gracey. I suppose that was the catalyst for our friendship. It is only fitting that I’ll remember our conversations about the iconic attraction the most, and miss them the most.
So, this is Christmas…and amongst all the celebrating with Family and Friends, the gift giving and good food….the five friends…no, five Brothers…will be stealing moments away to remember the Brother that is gone, but never forgotten.
From all of us happy haunts in the mansion…. Merry Christmas and blessings to you and your family.
October 25th, 2017
Halloween is less than a week away and here at The Haunted Mansion inside the Magic Kingdom we’re counting down the days. With Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in full swing and all of the fabulous costumes in our Queue every night, October has been one Thrill after another, with a few Chills thrown in.
The week of Halloween, our Dear friends at Enchanted Tiki Talk have procured two frightfully fabulous fellows to bring you a very special edition of the Podcast. Join the Jamboree, as David Benter, the voice of Enchanted Tiki Talk, and Jordan Duncan, also known as Jordan Ghastly in the paranormal community, wax poetic about everything Haunted Mansion in a fun Enchanted Tiki Talk Spooktacular! You’ll hear all about Spooky hauntings from inside both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, learn a little about the Halloween Parties from both parks and hear favorite Mansion Memories from the listeners.
You might remember that the last time these two did a Halloween special for ETT Jordan got lost inside our Mansion. With a little help from Madame Leota, and some luck, he found his way out and returned to his Mortal life. He is a nine-year veteran of the Atlanta paranormal community and is a co-founder of Paranormal Georgia Investigations. He’s also a Historian, a researcher, podcaster, and part-time blogger. This past Summer, he helped lead the Historic Haunted Georgia panel to a standing room only crowd at DragonCon 2017. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @JordanGhastly, and on Facebook as Jordan Duncan.
We encourage you to tune in for this Hauntingly good time! And, as always, Dearies……Happy Haunting!
October 11th, 2017
Ahhhhhhh! Halloween time! The most wonderful time of the year! Night time brings a cool breeze with the rustling of leaves and Mortals dressed as their favorite characters! Of course, that means that we Spooks are very busy with extra haunting time put in at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, now happening at the Magic Kingdom Park!
If you’ve never been to the Halloween Party, you’re in for more treats than tricks! Your first trip down Main Street USA finds you in awe of the decorations, including the Mickey Pumpkin Head Lanterns lining the street. On Main St and throughout the Park, you will find Characters dressed in their Halloween costumes, ready to take the perfect picture with you! While you’re there, you may want to pop into The Emporium, to check out the special event apparel and other souvenirs, such as ornaments, pins and a special MagicBand! If you’re in a hurry to get to your favorite attraction, like say, the Haunted Mansion….Don’t worry! We have other locations in the park where you can search for your perfect souvenir!
Oh! I forgot to mention….you may want to pick up an event tote for all of the Treats and souvenirs you may collect during your visit! We have special treat locations set up for those of you with a sweet tooth! they are located on Main St USA, where you will also find our Allergy Friendly Center, and in several locations in Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland! If you do have a food allergy, see a Cast Member at any Treat location to pick up a special Teal Treat Bag.
Everyone knows I love Churros! But on these special nights the event desserts that are offered are unbelievable! The Jack Skellington dessert from Sleepy Hollow is one of my faves! I would also recommend our Haunted Mansion Portrait desserts, found at Liberty Square Market, Storybook Treats, Aloha Isle and Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies, but hurry….these selections sell out quickly!
Our evening also includes some very frightfully delightful entertainment! The Castle Forecourt Stage is the sight for the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular, hosted by those Sanderson Sisters! You’ll be able to choose from three separate performances throughout the evening. And if you’re into dancing, the Rockettower Plaza Stage holds the Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball all night long. Dancing isn’t my thing, but we do have several of our Ballroom Dancing Couples from the Haunted Mansion performing in the Mickey’s BOO-TO-YOU Parade! The parade begins in Frontierland and travels all the way down Main St USA at 9:15 and 11:15pm. Don’t forget our Happy Hallowishes Fireworks in the skies above Cinderella’s Castle! It’s a frightfully fun show!
We do hope you make arrangements to be with us! If you do, don’t forget to come pay your respects to us at the Haunted Mansion! And tweet me @DepartedDave when you do! I’ll have a special surprise for you! Until next week, Dearies…..Happy Haunting!
“Mortal Birthday Magic”
September 27th, 2017
On Friday, October 1st, 1971, Walt Disney World opened the Magic Kingdom to an estimated 10,000 visitors. Two property hotels were also debuted, the Contemporary Resort and the Polynesian Village Resort. This October 1st will mark the 46th year of operation for the Walt Disney World properties, but something else happened that same day.
Imagine if you were born on the exact day that Walt Disney World opened, each year sharing the same birthdate! Now imagine growing up loving Disney and creating special moments at Walt Disney World that only you can begin to understand because of your “Special Bond.” Finally, imagine that later in life that Magical Place, that shares your special day, HIRED YOU to be Public Relations Manager! This all happened to our very good friend, Cara Allen!
Cara began her career with Walt Disney World in 2004 and is the Public Relations Manager for Disney Cruise Lines. She is also a frequent contributor to the Disney Parks Blog! Yes…..you know we Haunted Mansion residents hold a very special fondness for our DP Bloggers! And besides….Cara has been a friend of our Happy Haunts from a very young age! When she first visited the Magic Kingdom she relates meeting Mickey Mouse, riding the Haunted Mansion and seeing Abraham Lincoln in the Hall of Presidents as her most extraordinary experiences. Her favorite Disney memory was sailing through Alaska on the Disney Wonder and if you ever have the privilege of meeting her, I’m positive you will make a good impression if you bring up Star Wars in the conversation.
There is much more to this amazing and talented young woman than that which is Disney related……although, you may say she brings that unique Disney Cast Member enthusiasm into other aspects of her life. In 2007, along with her husband, Paul, she co-founded a business that caters to the true animal lover called “Woof Gang Bakery.” Now a growing business and franchise, “Your neighborhood Pet Store” offers a place to go where they know your name….and your dog’s name and Birthday, too!! There’s that birthday thing again….you’ll get it! Their trademark slogan is, “Gourmet dog treats made with Love” but this boutique is much more than treats and products! Many locations now offer pet grooming, including a self service option, a doggie daycare and veterinary clinics. Today, they are recognized as the 11th largest pet retailer in North America. For more information and to find a location near you, visit them on the web at WoofGangBakery.com.
So, today we celebrate our friend and Cast Member, Cara Allen, and wish her the most Magical and Happiest birthday celebration so far! We’re pretty confident that celebration will include either a Cruise or a visit to the Magic Kingdom! It’s ALWAYS good to have you visit us, Cara! If you’d like to know more about this Fantastic Lady, follow her on Twitter @Cara1Allen and check out her blog at disneyparks.disney.go.com! Until next week, Dearies…..Happy Haunting!
“Happy 20th DoomBuggies”
September 20th, 2017
Every serious Haunted Mansion Fan knows what all 999 of us Happy Haunts have known for almost 20 years….DoomBuggies.com is Haunted Mansion Fan central! And this October, the website created by Jeff Baham is celebrating it’s 20th anniverary!
When you first enter the DoomBuggies website, IF YOU DARE….you are welcomed to the online documentary about Disney’s Haunted Mansion Attractions by a page full of delightful knowledge, beckoning you to venture further into the Spirit Realm. From their “Creepy Collection of Macabre Media” to their exclusive “Nuptial Doom”, a Haunting Tale of the Haunted Mansion Bride. It’s enough to……as they say, “Leave you shivering with Ghoulish Delight.”
The website was launched on October 31st, 1997 as “Chef Mayhem’s Unofficial Tribute to the Haunted Mansion” and by 1998 had added the “DoomBuggies” domain name. In 1999, Disneyland contacted Jeff to ask if he’d like to become a promotional partner for the “Art of the Haunted Mansion”.A 30th Anniversary event for the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park. DoomBuggies has also been involved in Walt Disney World’s “999 Happy Haunts Events” and the grassroots promotional push behind Disney’s Haunted Mansion film. It also serves as an ever present inspiration to director Guillermo del Toro’s effort to bring a fresh look of our Humble Abode to the big screen.
On the website you’ll also find a link to buy the official DoomBuggies handbook, “The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion”, written by Jeff with a forward by Disney Legend Rolly Crump, published by Theme Park Press. There are also links to assist fans in finding Haunted Mansion Collectibles and exclusive DoomBuggies “DoomWear” powered by CafePress, to help show your Foolish Pride!
And if all this wasn’t enough….this Amazing Mortal even has a Podcast DEADicated to the Haunted Mansion lore called the DoomBuggies SpookShow, available on Micechat.com, Stitcher, or Itunes. The show features interviews, announcements and history all about the Haunted Mansion and similarities. We must not forget to mention the show’s Ghost Host, Emmanuel Menjivar……he even gives us cold running chills! Lately the show has been a bit infrequent, but you can help by pledging your support of regular broadcasts. Jeff has set up a page at Patreon.com/doombuggies and has rewards available to those that become Patrons of the show.
All of us here at the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World would like to congratulate Jeff on his accomplishments and thank him for his Spirited support. If you’d like to join the jamboree, DoomBuggies will be hosting “A Night of Ghoulish Delight” at the Winchester Mystery house in San Jose, California on Friday, October 13th from 8-11pm. “Come celebrate two dastardly decades of DoomBuggies!” For more information on how to attend, visit the DoomBuggies Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter @DoomBuggiesWeb. Until next week, Dearies…….Happy Haunting!
September 13th, 2017
While Gathering my thoughts for this week’s post, I was not prepared to instead do another “In Memoriam” entry. Sadly, on Sunday, Francis Xavier “X” Atencio died at the age of 98.
X was hired as an artist by Walt Disney in 1938, contributing animation work to “Pinocchio” and “Fantasia” and creating stop-motion sequences for “Babes in Toyland” and “Mary Poppins”. However, he is best known for his work on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Haunted Mansion” attractions as a WED Imagineer.
Walt asked X to script the Pirates attraction, which led to his writing the lyrics for “Yo Ho, A Pirates Life For Me” set to the music of George Bruns. The attraction and musical inclusion was so successful, it made it an easy call to have him also script the Haunted Mansion and famously write the lyrics to “Grim Grinning Ghosts”.
Being the show writer, X was responsible for incorporating more than a decade of ideas into the final version of the Haunted Mansion that we know today. In providing the script and the musical backdrop, heard in different arrangements throughout the attraction, our Humble Abode wouldn’t be what it is without him. Until next week Dearies…..Happy Haunting!
“My Final Resting Place Coming To A Screen Near You”
August 30th, 2017
Welcome back to my weekly distraction from the never-ending Queue lines that pass my Final Resting Place here at the Mansion! Of course, it is those lines that make my immortal existence all the worthwhile! Imagine our excitement when we found out that someone was making a Documentary about….well, Foolish Mortals!
It is called “Foolish Mortals: A Haunted Mansion Documentary” and it is the brainchild of James H. Carter II, director and host of the Creepy Kingdom Podcast. It’s a film that focuses on the fan culture surrounding the Haunted Mansion and is a “Love Letter” to those fans. I will admit, that I fell in love with this idea from the start….there have been so many things written and said of the factual attraction and history, but never of the thing that gives the attraction life… the fandom!
In the film you will find interviews and stories ranging from everyday fans to celebrities, and to designers that actually worked on the attraction. You’ll hear conversations of why people love the ride so much and how it has inspired them creatively. After witnessing this delightfully spirited piece of art, you may be compelled to visit us here…where you will be welcomed with open arms, of course!
The film recently debuted at the D23 Expo in Southern California and is scheduling premiers in other locations. Our Orlando Premier is set for September 22 through the 24th at Spooky Day in the Parks at Coronado Springs Resort, Walt Disney World. There is an exact date coming, forthwith. Tickets are available at spookydayintheparks.com under the Bizarre ticket and includes access to the Spooky Day Bizarre and more!
All DVD’s that are pre-ordered from their site before 9/1 will be shipped by 10/26, those ordered between 9/2 and 12/1 will be shipped 12/11. For information on how to order the DVD or about the film and it’s happenings, go to foolishmortalsdoc.tumblr.com and follow them on Twitter @FoolishMortalsD and @CreepyKingdom. Please support, share and honor this wonderful film, about wonderful people, from all walks of life, sharing a common love. Then come see me and my 998 friends for a big group hug! Until next week, Dear Ones……Happy Haunting!
“Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party”
August 16th, 2017
Welcome back to the Moldering Sanctum of our Blog! Here we celebrate the boundless realm of the supernatural that lies within the Haunted Mansion. Oh, I didn’t mean to frighten you prematurely! In fact, I didn’t mean to frighten you at all! You see, this week we’ll be talking about a “Not So Scary” celebration….Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
That time is quickly approaching us…. August 25th, to be exact! Time to dress up as your favorite Disney Character and collect delightful treats, enjoy Villainous entertainment and the Family-friendly frights of the Boo-Too-You Halloween Parade!
Back this year like never before is the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular hosted by those wickedly fun Sanderson Sisters. I’m happy to announce that Disney Merchandising is expanding on the Sanderson Sisters and the Hocus Pocus brand with new event merchandise featuring the likes of the trio that includes t shirts, a limited Magic Band design and a glow in the dark ornament. Always a crowd pleaser, the Boo-To-You Parade will feature some of our 999 Happy Haunts from the Haunted Mansion. Don’t expect yours truly to be included, as I always get stuck holding down the Queue lines….oh well.
The Happy HalloWishes Firework Show will again light up the night sky and look for the Cadaver Dans singing and spreading their morbid sense of humor all over Frontierland. They’re quite a fright! Don’t forget there are Trick-or-Treat locations throughout the park with complimentary candies and snacks galore! And if you have an extra sweet tooth, you may want to attend the Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party where you can indulge in Halloween themed confections and specialty drinks. A separate ticket is required to attend at an additional charge.
While the entire Park will certainly take on a Spooky feel, you’ll want to make sure you spend adequate time with us here at The Mansion. There will be spooky surprises and storytellers just outside our gates…and, well….I might have a surprise or two waiting for you in the Graveyard before you enter to board your DoomBuggy! Watch my Twitter account @DepartedDave as I will be “Live Tweeting” on select nights!
As you know, I often recognize followers of the blog or Twitter account, fans of Enchanted Tiki Talk or awesome Disney cast Members for their work to keep us all informed on what we love. This week, I’d like to spotlight a Disney Fan and fellow blogger who recently purchased her tickets to MNSSHP and will be visiting us in just a little over a week, Ally who goes by @coffeepixiedust on Twitter. She writes a blog called Running on Coffee and Pixie Dust and also has a channel on YouTube by the same name. I believe you can reach both of her sites from her Twitter account. Ally, thanks for being so involved in the Disney Community and, as you know….We’re dying to see you! Until next week….Happy Haunting!
“Happy 48th Anniversary”
August 9th, 2017
Today, the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Resort celebrates the 48th anniversary of it’s opening on August 9th, 1969. However, there has been some confusion as to whether or not that date is the correct day of opening to the public. Allow a ghost to explain.
After Walt’s death in 1966, Marc Davis had stepped up to oversee not only the design at WED, but also the construction, installation and operation at Disneyland for the Mansion. We heard of rumors that the Haunting was set to start in October, the perfect time of the year for a scare! But by late July, the Imagineers were testing the ride system without passengers and Marc was being pressured by Disneyland operations to move the date up for opening.
The schedule that was agreed upon was to have a two-day soft opening on August 7th and 8th, where Cast Members would be the first to be spooked by the 999 Happy Haunts between the hours of 7pm and Midnight. Then there would be a “sneak preview” for the Press at Midnight on Monday the 11th and Tuesday the 12th, with the attraction finally opening to the Public later that morning with normal business hours. As Cast Members moved through the Mansion, various problems were cited and fixed, or removed….such as The Hatbox Ghost. When Saturday the 9th came, readers of the LA Times saw a full page ad saying that the Mansion was open for business, finally. But, wait…..that’s three days early! What of the Press event? The Press event still happened on the days decided, but in the meantime, Marc decided on a less fanfarious, and truly memorable date of 8-(9)-1(9)6(9) to mark the Anniversary of this wonderfully Spirited attraction. It was quite remarkable, people that just happened to be at Disneyland that day found entry into what was previously an abandoned home, now fitted with Wall-to-Wall Creeps.
With an early opening, Marc not only secured a memorable date for the Anniversary, but bought time for his Imagineers to ready the tenants for the throngs of people that would show up to Disneyland park the following Saturday, a one day record attendance of 82,516 that stood for years to come. As one reporter said,”Disneyland visitors can expect a perfectly frightful time at the park from now on, for the most perfect of fun-scares, the long awaited Haunted Mansion is now open.”
The rest, as they say, is History……48 years in the making and still giving our Guests a Fright. Whether be it here at The Magic Kingdom or at that original stately Old House on the Hill….there’s always room for one more! Until next week…Happy Haunting!
August 2nd, 2017
On July 27th, 2017…at the age of 83, Marty Sklar, Imagineer, Disney legend and International Ambassador for Walt Disney Imagineering, passed away at his home in Hollywood Hills, California. I could spend hours writing about Marty’s many achievements, awards and contributions to every single Park built in the Disney repertoire worldwide, but for this short tribute….I’ll point toward the very single thing that hits home with Haunted Mansion Fans when thinking of Marty Sklar…the sign.
Rumor had it, that Marty Sklar was asked to write the text for a pre-opening sign, or as he put it, “Real Estate Sign Copy”, in 1963. But, later research and consensus among Imagineers proved that the actual date the sign went up was in January, 1965. It was to whimsically announce the “Coming Attraction”, whose facade sat empty since 1963. As Marty described it, the sign was inspired by a trip to the United Kingdom, where Walt had told some reporters that he was there to search the “Old Castles” and “Country Manor” homes for Ghosts willing to reside in his Haunted Mansion. His promise to the willing Ghosts: “We’ll take care of the outside, if you take care of the inside.”
It is presumed, that for the next almost five years, the Ghosts slowly began to move in and create the ambiance that would finally greet guests in 1969. Ghosts and Guests that strolled past the Old Spook House saw the sign that read: NOTICE! All Ghosts and Restless Spirits. Post-lifetime leases are now available in this Haunted Mansion. don’t be left out in the sunshine! Enjoy Active Retirement in this country club atmosphere- the fashionable address for famous ghosts, ghosts trying to make a name for themselves…and ghosts afraid to live by themselves! Leases include License to scare the daylights out of guests visiting the Portrait Gallery, Museum of the Supernatural, graveyard and other happy haunting grounds, for reservations send resume of past experience to: Ghost relations Dept. Disneyland. Please! Do not apply in person.
Yours truly was VERY excited about the Graveyard part! It is my observation that this sign is not only a key contribution in the story of the Haunted Mansion, but the very component that raised the structure from it’s empty facade, to it’s new life for the wall-to wall creeps that inhabit it. The 999 Happy Haunts that answered your call salute you, Marty Sklar! Until next week my Dear Foolish Mortals, Happy Haunting!
“It’s The Most Wonderful Two Times Of The Year”
July 26th, 2017
The holiday seasons are creeping up on us. It’s so exciting to hear people in line at the Mansion speak of their plans to attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and the Very Merry Christmas Party! Mortals all over are purchasing their tickets for the extra dose of fun and planning their itineraries. How do you go about planning your trip? Do you use one of the many online tools that Disney provides to aid in your planning? Do you brush up on your “Parkology” by requesting the yearly Vacation Video? For some, planning is as easy as a phone call to their trusted Disney Vacation Planner. Yes! People do that for a living, you Foolish Mortals!
Most of you know that our own Sean Duffy, or “TikiBird Sean” as we call him, works as an independent Travel Agent along with his better half, Sharon at MousePros. They also happen to be a proud sponsor of our parent show, Enchanted Tiki Talk. You can reach them for all of your Disney Vacation questions at mousepros.com, call 973-317-8845 and email Sharon at email@example.com. Sean and Sharon are among the best in helping find the Magic in your vacation.
Now…here at Disney we are a Family….so naturally we get to know people like Sean and Sharon who help “Guide” our Mortal Guests through the ins and outs of the Magic Kingdom. I would be remiss not to mention another Mortal who is wonderfully adept at shepherding families through their Disney Quest and known for her love of our Haunted Mansion…..the exquisite LeaAnne Dollar. The Spirits have known her for quite some time now….in fact, her love of Disney goes all the way back to her childhood. What a wonderful thing to see someone’s love of Disney come full circle, where they can live out their lives helping others discover hidden Magic they might not otherwise notice! We couldn’t be prouder! It’s like a Reunion when we see her and the Family approaching our gates! How lucky we are to see them as much as we do! With her job as a Travel Agent Specialist at Mickey’s Travel, LeaAnne has the unique opportunity of making a huge difference in the special memories that a Family takes home with them. And if you ask her, she may just be able to make a difference in “Who” a Family takes home with them! We ghosts have been known to follow Guests home….and there isn’t one in the 999 of us that wouldn’t go the extra mile for LeaAnne! The next time you think of visiting the Magic Kingdom, consider allowing one of these truly special people help make your visit all that it can be….and more! You can contact LeaAnne at LeaAnne@MickeysTravel.com and follow her on Twitter @Leaannedollar! We’re Dying to see you this Halloween!! Until next week, Happy Haunting!
“Yipee It’s D23”
July 19th, 2017
When Walt first put out the word that he would soon be offering a “New” and roomier Mansion located in Florida, yours truly was one of the first Volunteers to Happily Haunt the new location. It wasn’t an easy move, though. The Ghost Relations Dept. misplaced my casket, inadvertently sending it to Marceline along with items for a Disney reunion display. Nevertheless, since my move, I have been dying to visit my original Haunting grounds where I first established my post-lifetime lease.
So naturally, when I heard that D23 would be inviting a few “Guests” to travel to California for the 2017 Expo, I excitedly started making plans to attend. I knew that many dramatic and exhilarating announcements would be made over the weekend of the gathering and I wanted to be there for it. I won’t go into exactly what Disney revealed….I”ll direct you over to the Experts on the ETT Podcast for that. The boys go over every little detail in this week’s episode that was disclosed, right down to the artistic concepts, but….I digress. The invitation never came.
At first, I thought it a mistake…an…. oversight, perhaps? But, as time drew near I realized I, again, would not be returning to the Old Ghost House I first inhabited. I was overlooked, for most likely one of the more popular Ghouls. I wasn’t going to let it bother me. Besides, I had plenty to do at the Magic Kingdom. It’s my home now and I have many people that come visit me. Good people…like DVCMary (@DVC_99 onTwitter) and Penny Stephens, who I think I will get to see at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party this year, (@pennyluvsdisney on Twitter). It’s Mortals like them that make a Specter feel wanted…I mean, I don’t even have to be Scary, per say. But again, I digress.
So, Friday I’m here taking care of business as usual….you know, patrolling the lines from the Graveyard…and I get this Tweet from Tiki Keith (@dolewhipdailey). It says,”Looks like you have another guest!” So, I open the Tweet that originated from @OutsideOfficeCo and there’s a picture of The HitchHiking Ghosts at the D23 Expo, you know, doing their thumbing for a ride thing? Only standing there in front of them with his thumb out is someone else! IT’S FREAKIN’ OSWALD! THE FREAKIN’ LUCKIEST RABBIT I KNOW! He’s there at D23 reppin’ the Mansion instead of me!! WHAT??!!
So, there you have it! Another Expo gone and went….yet another non invitee. Not even use of the HeadStone that so many have come to know and love for it’s witty, yet grossly truthful conveyance of my demise. Maybe someday, the wonderful people at Disney will come to their senses and recognize us Grave Dwellers for the important role we play in setting the ambiance for the attraction. Maybe someday I’ll get my turn at Immortal Greatness! Until next week my Dear Mortals, Happy Haunting!
July 12th, 2017
When you hear the term, Swinging Wake, I’m sure the words conjure up memories and visions of Ghostly Apparitions dancing in circles around a ballroom, raising glasses to toast the living, and having a genuinely good time in your presence. What exactly is a Swinging Wake? To be specific, we see it as a non stop celebration of life. It’s our way of connecting the After-life to the happiness that our Mortal Guests are experiencing and bring with them when they visit us.
Here at the Magic Kingdom, we look forward to all the special people we meet with every new day that greets us. Our Mansion attracts some of the most loyal fans that, ultimately, become part of our Disney Family. For myself, it’s been a Disney Family that has grown tremendously since being asked to be involved with this Blog and The Enchanted Tiki Talk Podcast Family.
Like The Haunted Mansion, The Enchanted Tiki Talk Podcast has many loyal listeners that shine brightly in their lives. One beacon of life that cannot be ignored comes from our Dear Friend, Sara Michael. Sara has been spotted many times sporting her ETTP T-shirt while visiting the Parks. I can’t tell you how excited it makes me feel to see someone walk past my Resting Place wearing the ETTP Logo! It gives me CHILLS! What I can tell you about this Fabulous Mortal, beyond her love of Disney, is that she is a loving Wife, a caring advocate of Animals, and a pleasantly unfailing presence to those that she calls friend. We Spirits celebrate Life because of people like Sara. If you would like to join in our Celebration of Sara, you can follow her on Twitter @NuttyNugget and on Instagram @Sarakineticenergy.
Until next week, Dear Ones……..Happy Haunting!
“The Hatbox Ghost”
July 5th, 2017
Welcome back for another foreboding entry, sure to produce a cadaverous pallor with our corruptible, mortal guests. This week, we venture to the Disneyland Resort to visit with an old friend, the HatBox Ghost.
“Hattie”, as his friends may call him, was an original resident at the Haunted Mansion when it first opened it’s doors to preview on the nights of August 7th and 8th, 1969. While it is confirmed that he was present for both these nights, and for the opening to the public on August 9th, the exact date he would completely disappear is unconfirmed and widely discussed. What exactly happened to the old codger? Walt Disney Imagineering has it’s explanation, but….we Ghosts have a hunch that involves the Black Widow Bride, Constance…..which makes his return all that more surprising.
Nevertheless, return he did. On May 9th, 2015, Hattie agreed to return to the Old Haunted House in New Orleans Square. Fans of The Haunted Mansion rejoiced! While the other residents, especially those of the Sister mansions, wondered just how the folks at Disney convinced Hattie to once again reside in the same attic with the murderous opportunist…i mean…lovely bride.
Some of us that knew Hattie from the beginning wonder if he’ll visit some of the other Park’s Mansions, such as ours here at the Magic Kingdom. We speculate that an answer to that may come some day from our friends at Disneyland Park and the Disney Parks Blog, specifically our good friend, Erin Glover.
Erin is the Editorial Content Director for the Disneyland Resort. Her job is to oversee all the wonderful stories you read on the Blog about Disneyland. She is also directly involved in the Parks Blog Meet-Ups such as the Halloween celebration, Creepy Cruise Meet-Up! She began her career at Animal Kingdom in 1998, so she’s well known by the Spirits here at Liberty Square! While she professes that Cars Land is her favorite place to be at her southern California home, we know that she has a particular fondness for DoomBuggies! And when it comes to communication with our Spirit friends at Disneyland, she’s the first person Madame Leota contacts! For more about Erin, follow her on Twitter @gopluto and on the Disney Parks Blog at DisneyParks.com/Blog.
Until next week, dearies……Happy Haunting!
“Until The Afterlife Never Do Us Part”
June 28th, 2017
How many of you Foolish Mortals have ever visited the Magic Kingdom while celebrating one of life’s achievements or milestones? The Cast Members here at Walt Disney World can certainly tell many stories of Weddings and Birthday celebrations, Family Reunions and engagements, and….OH! Anniversaries!
So, you HAVE celebrated something while in the Parks…..hmmmmm?? I can say I’ve witnessed many a happy moment here at The Haunted Mansion. What’s that? You’re surprised that people ACTUALLY celebrate life’s moments here at a…..well, how should I say it?….place that smolders in the AFTERlife? Well, of COURSE THEY DO! I would bet my last tooth to say that our Mansion witnesses more to-do’s than any other attraction other than Cinderella’s Castle!
I’ve witnessed many clever ways for a man to propose to his lovely lady. Who doesn’t get emotional over the sight of someone down on bended knee right smack in front of a Graveyard? Why, it sends chills right through me! I’ve seen Birthday celebrations get out of hand….cake and frosting on my Headstone! Not an easy one to explain to the cleanup crew! We also have many Families that hold reunions at the Parks….Madame Leota has a field day preparing for their arrivals! But, what gets me best…is when one of our so very precious couples come back home to visit us on the Anniversary of their Wedding Day….and there are no Hatchet Wounds to be found!
Recently, two very Dear people came to visit us celebrating their 13th Wedding Anniversary….that’s right, 13! What a wonderful number! We congratulate Will and Nicole on their tremendous love for one another, their love of Family, and their love of The Haunted Mansion! For these two, we will gladly waive our Token Fee….for now. You can catch up with Nicole on Twitter @blondefabulous and check out her Blog….. blondefabulocity.blogspot.com Until next time…..Happy Haunting!
“Ghost Writers Unite”
The Spirits have been quite vocal about recognizing some of their favorite Cast Members for all they do to keep the public informed about the exciting happenings throughout Walt Disney World. For the 999 Happy Haunts that reside inside our Mansion, a few of those CM’s stand out as Honorary Haunts, and from time to time we will introduce them to you.
This week, we again visit our friends at the Disney Parks Blog to spotlight a Dear Lady that isn’t afraid to scare up a chilling story or two to share about our beloved Mansion. Jenn Fickley-Baker was hired as a writer by Disney in 2001 and joined the Disney Parks Blog team in 2011. Her passion for writing and her love of Disney comes through in her many Blog posts that spotlight what’s happening inside The Magic Kingdom. She gives readers the ability to feel as if they’re right there in the Park experiencing everything first hand. From stories pertaining to Halloween Happenings or Christmas Celebrations, Jenn has it covered. What we love most about this fabulous Mortal is the way she gets involved in the Disney Parks Blog Meet-Ups she helps arrange and Host. Anyone who has attended one of these special events can attest to the level of detail involved in planning an experience to remember for lucky guests! We also love how Jenn gets into the “Spirit” of things by allowing the wonderful Disney Make-up artists to put her into character! It’s like she’s one of us! For more information on Jenn, catch her blog at disneyparks.disney.go.com and follow her on Twitter @DisneyParksJenn. Until next week…..Happy Haunting!
June 7th, 2017
Get Your Grub on, Mortals!
This week, on The Enchanted Tiki Talk Podcast, I spoke of some rumors that have been swarming the Magic Kingdom like a perch of a thousand Bats. A new restaurant themed after the Haunted Mansion could soon be coming to the delight of Foolish Mortals, young and old. Imagine, entering through a heavy, creaky door, to be welcomed by one of our personal Butlers into a seemingly familiar foyer. There, you wait….enjoying a sudden, lovely thunderstorm outside the windows, while you gaze at the numerous Family Portraits adorning the walls, until your table is ready inside our spacious Dining Room. Once inside the Dining Room, you realize you’ve witnessed the ghosts that materialize for your dining pleasure, before. There’s Pickwick, hanging from a chandelier…..the Gentlemen Duelists….our “Ghostess of Honor” blowing out her birthday cake candles….”Great Caesar’s Ghost”…..and a sinister Organist, playing manically, every half hour to the joy of several ballroom dancers on the adjacent floor. Don’t forget to ask your Serving Maid for a list of devilishly Delightful desserts. As your dining experience comes to an end, you exit through a cemetery, where your’s truly might possibly be located. Don’t forget to take a photo with the Caretaker and his Dog, and heed the warning from Madame Leota to be wary of HitchHiking Ghosts!
As offered on the Podcast, I listed a few suggestions that several of our residents have come up with for menu items, such as….Barbecued Bat Wings, Little Leota’s Lentil Soup, HitchHiking Ghost’s Chicken Thumbs, and Brother Dave’s BearClaws….a wonderful breakfast treat! What would your menu suggestion be? Tweet them to me @DepartedDave and we may feature them on a future Blogpost or Podcast! One of my Mortal Friends, @woodysquarebush and his wife, suggested “Grim Grinning Ghoulash” and “Hatbox Toast.” We love those suggestions! Who doesn’t love toast?! Until next week, Dearies…..Happy Dining! Nom Nom Nom!
May 31st, 2017
“Avast Ye Scurvy Dogs”
Every now and then, we Haunted Mansion Ghosts like to explore throughout the Magic Kingdom and enjoy the Magic that happens at some of the other attractions. With the recent release of the 5th Theatrical version of The Pirates of the Caribbean, “Dead Men Tell No Tales” I thought it might be a perfect time to recognize one of my favorite attractions, other than the one I reside in. There are a few similarities to both attractions, the most obvious being that both are “Dark” rides and provide much relief from the Florida heat. But did you know, that Marc Davis, who created much of the artwork for the Haunted Mansion, also did so for the Pirates attraction? He is responsible for the overall interior design of the project. Who doesn’t love the memorable song, “Yo-Ho, a Pirates Life for Me?” The lyrics for that song and the beloved Haunted Mansion’s “Grim Grinning Ghosts” were written by Francis Xavier Atencio ( X Atencio to those that knew him). X is also the voice of the original Jolly Roger Skull and Crossbones you encounter just before the boat plunges down the first waterfall in Disneyland. Of course, there are also “Ghost” Pirates! All this Pirate talk makes me think that this is a great time to introduce one of my Twitter friends, Kevin. He goes by @TerriblePirate7 and is a self proclaimed “Wanna Be Pirate”. He hails from Ohio, like so many other great people I know, and isn’t shy about reminding everyone that he’s the “Disney Felons League” fantasy football champion. We Ghosts have no use for Fantasy Football, but I thought it an important mention to a Mortal from Ohio. Thank you, Kevin….for being a friend to the Spirits at Walt Disney World! Until next week, my Dear Friends…Happy Haunting!
May 24th, 2017
“Grab A Good Book Mortals”
Here at the Haunted Mansion we have a vast library of priceless first editions….only ghost stories, of course. We boast marble busts of the greatest Ghost Writers the literary world has ever known. They have all retired here, and keep watch over their Mortal life’s works. Why… Fans have even written books about our Humble Abode….but we’ll get into that another time…. for now, I’d like to introduce you to this week’s Fan Spotlight. R.J. Crowther Jr. (@RJCrowtherJr) is a Sci Fi/Horror writer and a bookseller with the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore located in San Diego, California. You may call him Rob….While I’m sure Rob frequents the home of those Happy Haunts on the left coast a bit more, he’s a true Haunter of both Ghastly Mansions and all things that bump in the night! Rob recently got a “behind the scenes” look at how we roll at the Disneyland Mansion and was so impressed with the welcome he got from the staff and our 999 Happy Haunts, that he gave a #CastCompliment shout out to Ghost Hostess, Danielle! Its the Cast Members that make our Magic work! Check out Rob on Twitter and all the happenings at Mysterious Galaxy Books by following @RJCrowtherJr and @MystGalaxyBooks! And don’t be alarmed if you see him hand in hand with his shadow, it’s one of the many things we Ghosts love about this Wonderful Mortal! Until next time, Dearies…..Happy Haunting!
Kindly watch your step as you board, please, and heed this warning….the Spirits will only appear if you remain quietly seated at all times. One of the most famous voice overs in Disney Park history is that of “The Ghost Host”, voiced by actor Paul Frees. Throughout your tour, the Ghost Host provides a “voice” for the Happy Haunts residing in the Mansion, although, as revealed in the portrait Chamber, he is actually one of us! Remember…..when finding a way out, there’s always my way! Listen closely, the next time you are exiting the Portrait Chamber, for faint voices urging you to stay together and for those stragglers….to get out! The voice over work in the Haunted Mansion certainly is an important part of your experience, as it is in the rest of the Park. Voice overs can be heard in every attraction, every land, and just about every turn you make throughout Walt Disney World One of the voices I’m sure you’ve heard during your visits is that of my good friend, and mortal volunteer, Chris Reid. With announcements from Disney Springs, Club Disney, Atlantic Dance Hall, and Star Wars Weekends. Chris has been heard all over! He even voiced the 2015 and 2017 New Years Eve celebrations! Chris is an avid fan of The Haunted Mansion and even has a “Wallpaper” tattoo on his arm to prove it. I’ve purposely included a picture for evidence! We look forward to having him visit us to pay his respects, he’s such a polite young man! If you are interested in finding out more about Chris, visit his website at chris-reid.com or follow him on Twitter @ChrisReidVoice. Until next week…..Happy Haunting!
May 10th, 2017
I often have fans ask me on my Twitter account, “What’s your favorite thing about living in the Haunted Mansion?” My reply is always the same….it’s my interaction with the guests. There’s nothing better than seeing Mansion Fans quickly making their way to our entrance right after rope drop! The early grave robbers are always the most knowledgeable and pay attention to every detail of the queue. They linger as long as possible in each scene before boarding their Doom Buggy. You can just “feel” their excitement. I have always said that Haunted Mansion fans are the true enthusiasts that breathe life into the rest of the Magic Kingdom….of course, I am a bit biased. However, it’s not just the guests that are fanatical about our Humble Abode…. Cast Members are just as faithful to our 999 Happy Haunts. Allow me to introduce my favorite Cast Member and Haunted Mansion devotee, Steven Miller. Steven is the Merchandise Communications Manager with Disney Theme Park Merchandise. He started his career in the Walt Disney World College Program in the Summer of 1997 at Pleasure Island and served as an official representative of Disney with the 2001-2002 Walt Disney World Ambassador Team. He is also the Host of “Disney Parks Blog Unboxed” where each month you can see the Disney Delivery Guy bring in some new merchandise for Steven to reveal. We Ghosts are so fond of this CM that we call him our “HM Pal”. He has even dressed up as one of us to celebrate occasions close to our, as Constance would describe it…..”Beating Hearts.” He is dashing, dapper, and a huge fan of Twin Peaks….why, he even has a kitty cat named “Kevin Flynn.” So, all 999 of us take our hats off, to this fine gentleman, and thank him for being such a good friend to our Dearly Departed residents! We can’t wait to see what cool HM merch may show up next at Memento Mori and Shop Disney Parks App! But….may I suggest something in the theme of yours truly, hmmmm? Until next week, Dearies……..Happy Haunting!
May 3rd, 2017
Welcome Foolish Mortals……
Please do not scroll down on the blog….I will scroll for you! HaHa! Only kidding, dear ones! A ghost needs to keep his sense of humor sharp, now doesn’t he? It’s not easy coming up with one-liners and witty remarks daily on the Twitter account. The last thing one wants is to over-do the same stale old jokes, right? So, some days I rely on the Haunted Mansion fans to get me in the Haunting mood for a good days scare….and that they do! Allow me to introduce to you four outstanding young ladies…… @PrincesssMeggss, @shhaaddiicckkss, @Ann_MWheless and @_maaggiiee. These happy and energetic Mortals are about the biggest Disney Fans you will ever meet, and they love the Haunted Mansion. On each trip to the Magic Kingdom they “Look me up” and join in making our Swinging Wake one not to forget! A few trips ago, they even brought their “Death Certificates” and we started making their “Final Arrangements” to become…shall we say, Charter Members of our exclusive club? It has truly been my honor to interact with them during their visits…I mean, how can you go wrong with someone who’s motto is, “Disney is Life?” And who’s dream is to be a performer at Disney? Hard to argue with that. Plus they laugh at my jokes….I mean, hey….what can I say? Sometimes I just DIE laughing at myself! Until next week, Dearies…..Stay BOOtiful!
April 26th, 2017
April 26th, 2017
To this weeks edition of The Swinging Wake! Today I’d like to ask one question of our Guests at Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion…..what’s your hurry? I observe so many of you…..running up to the door to be the first to enter the Portrait Chamber, or passing by quickly with FastPass in hand! Even when in line, so many are too involved either with cell phones or eagerness to get inside. But, what of the grounds surrounding you? Yours truly resides on those hallowed grounds. Be a friend and stop what you’re doing to pay your respects to the Dearly Departed laid to rest in the Family Plot or in our many Crypts located within our Queue area. Did you know there’s a Murder Mystery to be solved? Stop to interact with the Dread Family Busts for clues to this family’s demise! Our Composer’s crypt offers a musical challenge and The Sea Captain’s Crypt contains Captain Culpepper Clyne pickled in brine. Fond of reading? You may enjoy the Library Crypt where haunted books spell out a cryptic message that only you can decipher! If these activities don’t excite you or you’re just in a hurry, like most mortals are, a wave or simple gesture towards the cemetery side will suffice in keeping these ground dwelling haunts…..Happy. Many of you do take the time to say hello to me during your visits and its so appreciated! Your pictures and interactions on Twitter keep me feeling alive! so to speak. Recently, one of my favorite Mortals, Eric Darmofal @edarm1221, took his family on a trip to Walt Disney World and stopped by to pay his respects. He even brought me a Churro! Now thats what I call a true offering! It’s an honor to have friends like Eric follow me on Twitter….and I follow back! Look me up for some Spooky Fun, I’m @DepartedDave! Until next week, My Dearies……Hurrrry Baaaaack
Greetings, Foolish Mortals!
April 19th, 2017
Allow me to introduce myself…..I’m Brother Dave, Resident Ghost of The Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World…. I chased a bear into a cave. You may hear me from time to time on Enchanted Tiki Talk in my segment, “Haunted Mansion Minute.” Well….with the reintroduction of The Enchanted Tiki Talk Blog, I have been asked to be a voice from beyond the grave once a week. So every Wednesday, you can expect some Thrills and Chills to come to your inbox! I will also feature a fan interaction from my twitter account that best represents the Haunted Mansion “Spirit” that all 999 Happy Haunts strive to display!
Recently, our resident spooks had the honor of hosting royalty to our humble abode, Princess Anya! Anya has been fighting Leukemia since she was five years old and is still on the bone marrow registry looking for that 10/10 match. Her Dad calls her, “Princess Anya, the Overcomer” and one visit to her Facebook page will convince anyone of that! Anya had a well deserved break meeting new friends and having a blast at Walt Disney World before she returned home to New Jersey. We hope she returns to visit all of her favorite attractions and characters real soon! Until then, we will light our candle of hope that this beautiful young lady reaches full recovery and shines her life like never before to the world! You can follow Princess Anya’s progress on Facebook at her page, Princess Anya The Overcomer and on Twittter @1PrincessAnya. For more information on how to be a life saving donor, go to join.bethematch.org/cure4anya. It is this Happy Haunt’s mission to interact with WDW Guests as they visit a place that brings smiles to their faces and help create that moment of Magic that allows them to feel as special as we know they are. There’s always room for one more, so please….hurrrry baaaaack!