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The development of the Haunted Mansion began in 1959. The original Haunted Mansion was to be a walk through ride, but was thought to be too scary. When the park first opened, Walt approached an Imagineer with an idea for a haunted house.

The project was handed over to Imagineer Ken Anderson, who devloped a series of sets and scenes that followed guests through a guided walkthrough of a "historical landmark" with the tour ending with an experience with the Headless Horseman in the graveyard. With priority given to the 1964-65 World's Fair, all production on the mansion came to a pause.

The exterior was constructed with nothing inside. For the better part of a decade the structure just sat there. Eventually, the project was handed over to Marc Davis, who is responsible for most of the scenes.

  color diagram

A color diagram used to guide the painting of the Mansion.

Fun Facts
Queue Details
Pet Cemetary
Stretching Room
Portrait Corridor
Load Area
Endless Hallway
Corridor of Doors
Séance Circle  
entrance to mansion
concept drawing Fastpass

The mansion began to take shape not as a walkthrough attraction but as a ridethrough.

Omnimovers were used from the sucessful Adventure through Inner Space attraction to move guests without letting them see the unnecessary details.

This allowed the designers to let the vehicle act as a movie camera.

The Imagineers knew they could never fit the entire attraction inside the mansion you see, so they dug a very deep "basement" and then a tunnel from the basement under the berm and the railroad.

The stretch rooms (there are two of them) take you to the bottom of the basement, then you walk down the tunnel (as you pass the changing pictures and the "windows" with the storm outside.

You don't get on the ride itself until you reach the exterior show building which is hidden behind the berm from guest view.

Grand Hall
Little Leota
Haunted Mansion plaque
    Shipley-Lydecker house (Baltimore)  

Imagineer Ken Anderson's early rendering of the Haunted Mansion exterior was copied almost identically from this photograph.

The reference work was titled Decorative Art of Victoria's Era by Frances Lichten, 1950.

Located at 2550 McHenry Street in Baltimore, the owner was Mr. Phillip Leydecker. The temple-fronted mid-Victorian mansion is flounced in crinoline fashion with a double row of black iron-lace porches.

The Shipley-Lydecker House as it was known, was built by Charles Shipley in 1803. It has a flat hipped roof surmounted by a cupola with a gilded weathervane and three round-arch windows.

Sadly it has been since torn down, but at least we still have the Disneyland replica.



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