As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
Yay! My Monday Theme Park Press reviews are back! Over the years, I’ve heard MANY people say that the Haunted Mansion is their favorite Disney attraction. If you are one of those people, then you will especially appreciate this review (and you’ll want to head right over to Theme Park Press and buy it – link at the end!) Let’s go . . .
About the BookWelcome, Foolish Readers!
Join your new Ghost Host, Haunted Mansion expert Jeff Baham, for the definitive history of Disney’s spookiest attraction. Sprinkled with photos, Baham’s book contains everything there is to know about the Mansion, with never-before-told stories and comprehensive coverage of the Haunted Mansion’s colorful past and its chilling presence at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and other Disney theme parks.
The Machine in the Ghosts
Beginning with the Haunted Mansion’s original (but never realized) incarnation as “Bloodmere Manor”, Baham pulls back the shroud on the clever effects that haunt the Mansion, including Ken Anderson’s plan for a cyclorama-enhanced Headless Horseman, Yale Gracey and Rolly Crump’s creative wizardry and “happy accidents”, Bob Gurr’s Doom Buggies, the technology behind Madame Leota’s crystal ball, and the controlled chaos of the Ballroom Scene.
You’ll learn why X. Atencio’s idea for a raven narrator was ditched in favor of the now infamous Ghost Host, whether a screaming man caught in a spider web once dwelt in the Mansion, and how technology exorcised the Hatbox Ghost.
Only Ghost Stories, of Course
There’s more to the Mansion than mere mechanics. More than perhaps any other Disney attraction, the Haunted Mansion is powered by story: the scenes and spirits you witness from your Doom Buggy all play roles in the overall narrative of the Mansion, and if you don’t know the story, you’ll miss out on a lot of the fun, and a few of the scares, too.
Baham clues you in about such things as why the Mansion is there, who built it, how it became haunted, and the dastardly deeds done by some of its residents in their corruptible, mortal states.
A Taste of What’s Inside
From the comfort of your Doom Buggy you’ll read:
- How Walt’s boyhood experience with the haunted Sauer Castle may have inspired Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion
- Insider accounts of the creative clashes between Disney Imagineers over whether the Mansion’s haunts should be humorous or horrific
- An analysis of the ride, scene by scene, with insight into how the effects work, delightfully eerie trivia, and anecdotes from Mansion Imagineers and Cast Members
- The stories behind some of the Mansion’s many denizens, including the Hatbox Ghost, the Knight, the Sea Captain, the Raven, the unhappy couple Constance and George, and the Ghost Host himself
- Extensive, exclusive commentary by Mansion designer Rolly Crump
- A summary of the most notable Mansion collectibles released by Disney over the years
There’s always room for one more, and this time you’re it: come experience the Haunted Mansion with the “lights on” and learn its ghostly history, its sinister secrets, and why this Disney attraction continues to happily haunt fans young and old.
About the Author
Jeff Baham has been a Haunted Mansion fan as far back as he can remember—at least back through 1973, which is his earliest memory of breaking his treasured Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion record album and crying inconsolably (until his mother relented and bought the first of numerous replacements that would follow through his childhood years).
More recently, Baham is known for founding and operating DoomBuggies.com, a Haunted Mansion fan website that has become a focal point for Mansion fandom to congregate and share stories, learn facts, and enjoy a common bond. DoomBuggies.com has contributed to numerous Disney parks’ Haunted Mansion events, and was an invaluable resource to Walt Disney Pictures during the production of The Haunted Mansion, starring Eddie Murphy. Baham also served a full term on the Disneyland Creative Advisory Council.
Even more recently, Baham contributed to the Walt Disney Records Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary CD and Box Set, and founded the Mousetalgia podcast, a weekly show dedicated to the exploration of Disney in today’s society, emphasizing theme park culture and exploring the past, present, and future endeavors of the people who have imagined Walt’s happy place into existence. Listen to the show at Mousetalgia.
In 2013, Baham started The DoomBuggies Spook Show, a podcast about the history of the Haunted Mansion and other “spooktacular similarities” that might appeal to fans of the attraction. Find the show by visting DoomBuggies.
Heidi Says . . .
I thought this was going to be a trivia type book about the Haunted Mansion, but that was not the case at all! This book is SO MUCH MORE than that! If you love history (like I do), and you love the Haunted Mansion, then you’ll really be interested in this book.
This book starts off with Walt Disney’s vision for the Haunted Mansion. Unlike some other business owners I know, though, he didn’t just get an idea and run with it immediately. No! The Haunted Mansion took YEARS from that first spark of an idea to the actual first ride through the mansion.
During those years many different men took the helm with many different ideas. All were good, but different. You’ll read all about them in the book. You’ll learn which house inspired the architecture of the original Disneyland Haunted Mansion, and later the Walt Disney World version as well.
While the book’s main focus is the Disneyland attraction, there’s plenty about the Walt Disney World version to keep WDW lovers interested as well.
I’m telling you, if you love the Haunted Mansion, you’re going to love reading this book!
Why not head over to Theme Park Press and learn more about this author and his book? While you’re there, be sure to check out their always-growing line of Disney-related book.
I have some other reviews coming up the next few Mondays, but stay tuned. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Ears & Bubbles by Bobby Burgess on Monday, October 27th.
***This post made possible by Theme Park Press. ***