From Steve Miller of the Disney Parks Blog:
I love visiting the Haunted Mansion in the fall, as there is something extra special about the attraction during the Halloween season at Disney Parks. Perhaps that is one reason why we waited until September to release the much anticipated Vinylmation – Haunted Mansion series #1. This limited release, mystery series has been in development for over a year, and contains a handful of the 999 happy haunts. I spoke with Disney Design Group artist Casey Jones about how he selected the characters for the series.
“We knew we couldn’t feature every single character from the attraction,” explained Casey. “So we selected a character from almost each of the different show scenes. This set gives us a strong foundation to build upon for a future Haunted Mansion series.”
One thing I noticed is that the series contains a lot of accessories. Eight of the figures have some type of accessory item, which Casey explained “helped add the essential touches for each character.”
I was happy to see that the Hatbox Ghost is included in this series. He is also featured on the packaging, which was designed by Thomas Scott with help from artist Dan Salgo. Thomas told me the packaging (which looks stellar) was a nod to a different kind of vinyl.
“We used the cover of the ‘The Story & Song from The Haunted Mansion’ vinyl album as inspiration for the packaging,” said Thomas. “We even used the unique ‘Haunted Mansion’ lettering found on that album as a nice tribute.”
One of Casey’s favorite figures is the singing bust, as he felt it translated the best to the Mickey Mouse-shaped canvas. (Look for the hidden Mickey on the back of the figure.)
To celebrate the release of this series, we will be holding two different release parties. On Friday, September 21, the series will be released at D Street at Downtown Disney West Side in Florida. Casey will be meeting with fans from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day. We will also release a one-of-a-kind custom 9-inch Mariner figure designed by Casey.
Casey will then make an appearance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 22, at D Street in the Downtown Disney District in California. That morning, we will release the mystery series; Casey’s one-of-a-kind, custom 9-inch Bride figure; and additional custom figures by Javier Soto, John Henselmeier, Julie West and Miss Mindy.
From Peter Sciretta on SlasherFilms.com:
Update: Disney blogger InsideTheMagic informs us that: “That sculpt has been around for years. It has nothing to do with the film. It was inspired by HBG but isn’t related to del Toro. Here’s a commercially-available version of that sculpt. Nothing new. (Still cool though…)” Original post follows.
At Comic Con 2010, Guillermo del Toro surprised the crowd at the Disney panel in Hall H by announcing that he would be producing (and probably directing) a new big screen adaptation of the classic Disneyland attraction The Haunted Mansion. The center of his plan is the reintroduction of the Hatbox Ghost, a character that appeared originally in The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland but was removed shortly after the attraction’s debut.
Illusion Industries has been creating concept designs for del Toro’s Haunted Mansion, andAICN found an image on their website which looks very much like a reimagining of the Hatbox Ghost. Hit the jump to check it out.
As Harry notes, this could be one of several things:
A sculptor at Illusion Industries could have just been a fan of Disneyland’s HAUNTED MANSION and of Bernie Wrightson and just did this because he knew that it must be sculpted by him because the world would destroy itself if it didn’t happen. It could be that Guillermo has asked a selection of companies to bid via creating a HATBOX GHOST and he’ll decide which companies work on it based upon their interpretation.
It sure looks creepy — I really hope this project happens. Del Toro called the Hatbox Ghost “one of the scariest” images created for the ride, but a character which he also considers “incredibly whimsical.”
“There’s a legend that it was discarded on the first day of the ride’s operation because it was too scary,” said del Toro. “I like that legend, but the reality is that the imagineers could not make the illusion work, so they took it out.”
Here is a bit of history on the character from wikipedia:
Because The Hatbox Ghost featured prominently in artwork and narration for popular Haunted Mansion record albums sold for many years at Disney parks, and because Disney continues to market the ghost’s image, he has never been forgotten and has become somewhat of a legend, complete with cult following. Many fans of the ride wish to see him returned and have gone so far as to circulate petitions calling for the figure’s restoration.
Last we heard, The Haunted Mansion was being written by del Toro and Mimic/Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark remake scribe Matthew Robbins. Del toro said he wanted to make a scary movie in live-action 3D, set in “a heightened reality, which is super designed, incredibly innovative, narratively and visually.” It would not be a comedy, and he would attempt to make “the Haunted Mansion the most haunted place on Earth” and “doing it by being true to the spirit and the art and the aesthetic of the original Imagineers that created the mansion.”
DLNT Reporter Hayley Nance was at the Disneyland resort this past weekend, and has some newsworthy photos to share…
Jolly Holiday Bakery has quite a crowd
The Adventureland entrance getting some TLC
Main Street refurbishment
Haunted Mansion is closed for holiday removal
Looks like the loading gates have been removed
A tunnel has been constructed to protect guests from the construction
Over in DCA, the parade route work in front of Mermaid is still underway
Buena Vista Street
We cant figure out if that lettering was there before, or if it just was really faded.
The memories float has been removed
The improvements on the shuttle area have begun
While this isn’t exactly Disneyland related news, I think it is very important that we take a look at what was revealed today over in Orlando. For the past few months, the hitchhiking ghost scene in the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom has had temporary projections in place of the mirrors. Today, the “new” mirrors were revealed. Phineas, Ezra, and Gus are now executing some ghostly gags through the use of new infrared technology. Guests are now seeing their heads “vanish” before their very eyes and ghosts not only sitting in the vehicle with them, but also on top of their Doombuggy. The technology also recognizes if there is one, two, or even no one in the Doombuggy and gives different effects accordingly as you’ll see in the provided video. The Disneyland Haunted Mansion still has the original mirror scene but, the rumor is that this is just the first version of this scene to be tested while Imagineering works out the kinks with the system. Once this test and adjust period is through, expect to see the effect improved through some simple software updates and then rolled out to the Haunted Mansion here in Anaheim and around the world.
Its been 40 years since the Grim Grinning Ghosts first opened their doors and invited guests into the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. Take a look back to the beginning with Walt and the Imagineers who created the beloved attraction. From stretching rooms to hitch hiking ghosts the 999 Happy Haunts never disappoint and always invite guests to hurry back!
According to the OC Register’s Around Disney blog:
The Sutton family survived an overnight’s stay in the room with no windows or doors at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. But they didn’t get much sleep.
The mansion’s occupants simply wouldn’t let them: They stuffed the family with chocolate and soda. They groaned, screamed and cackled. Hitchhiking ghosts and a butler serenaded the visitors. A video camera was on the four family members all night.
And when the Suttons finally dozed off, the butler startled them awake.
But the family didn’t mind.
“Sleeping is for rookies,” said Jessica Sutton, 12.
The Sutton family of Santa Clarita won a night’s stay inside the classic attraction in a 95.5 KLOS radio station promotion for the Haunted Mansion’s 40th anniversary. (Read a story about the Haunted Mansion celebration HERE)
Daughters Jessica and Stephanie, 10, got the most votes among kids in a talent contest for singing “Happy Birthday” with a dog singing in the background. The girls brought their parents, Tim and Cyndi Sutton.
The family moved in at midnight after the park closed Sunday and left at 6 a.m. this morning.
The parents prepared their youngest daughter, who can be frightened sometimes, for a scary experience by playing spooky sounds and turning out the lights before bedtime at home. On Sunday afternoon, the family took a two-and-a-half hour nap at the Disneyland Hotel.
Although they were tired this morning, the Suttons were still thrilled after admittedly one of the best night’s they’ve ever had.
The family, who visit Disneyland about once a month, started the night with a tour of the mansion while Disney employees set up three twin beds and a coffin in the chamber at the beginning of the ride. That’s the elevator that stretches as guests first enter.
After the tour, Disney treated the family to a dessert banquet, including tomb-shaped coffins, brains with raspberry sauce and cheesecake eyeballs.
“That was just to keep us up all night,” Jessica said.
Then the family was led into the suite, where they got visits from hitchhiking ghosts. A Web cam from KLOS was on them as viewers from around the world watched. Tim Sutton wrote on a specially created blog, disneyjoe.wordpress.com, which got messages from as far away as Singapore and Isreal. The family spent time playing cards, but their stay was frequently interrupted by creepy noises or warnings of critters on the loose.
Jessica chose the coffin for a bed. But both girls ended up in beds with their parents.
At the end of the night, each family member was given a key to return — in the afterlife.
I’d like to remind everyone about our upcoming fan meets at the Disneyland Resort on Saturday August 1st and Sunday August 2nd. First up on Saturday:
Come enjoy an evening of fun on Saturday, August 1st, with the WDWNT Network and Disneyland News Today staff at Disney’s California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort. Among the fun and surprises, here is a schedule of group gatherings that will be a part of the unofficial fan meet:
4:00 PM – Meet outside the Blue Sky Cellar for distribution of “free gift” Group walk through the Blue Sky Cellar
4:30 PM – Meet directly in front of the Blue Sky Cellar to watch the Pixar Play Parade
5:30 PM – Group meet n’ mingle (and possibly some eating) at Bountiful Valley Farmer’s Market
6:30 PM – Meet for group photo and showing of MuppetVision 3-D in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot
7:15 PM – Meet for group ride on Mickey’s Fun Wheel in Paradise Pier
8:00 PM – Meet in front the former Orange Stinger attraction (Silly Symphony Swings construction walls) to watch Disney’s Electrical Parade
Then on Sunday:
Come enjoy an afternoon of fun on Sunday, 8/2/09 with the WDWNT Network and Disneyland News Today staff at Disneyland Park. Among the fun and surprises, here is a schedule of group gatherings that will be a part of the fan meet:
3:00 PM – Meet n’ mingle and group photo at Carnation Gardens on Main Street U.S.A.
3:30 PM – Meet for group showing of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland
4:15 PM – Meet for group ride on the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland
5:00 PM – Meet for group ride on Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square
5:45 PM – Meet for group ride through the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square
6:30 PM – Group meet n’ mingle (and possibly some eating) at the Hungry Bear Restaurant
7:30 PM – Meet for group ride on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Critter Country
8:00 PM – Meet in the hub on Main Street U.S.A. to view “Magical – Disney’s New Nighttime Spectacular of Magical Celebrations In the Stars”
You can R.S.V.P. (although not necessary to attend) and get more information on Facebook about the Saturday meet at this link or our forums at this link and the Sunday meet at this link or our forums at this link. These will be the first fan meets the WDWNT Network has done at the Disneyland Resort, and we hope you come by and enjoy the fun with us!
WDWNT’s very own Chris Lastrapes was at the Disneyland Resort celebrating his birthday this past Thursday, and shares with us a few photos of the latest happenings around the Resort:
Workers were working outside the gates of The Haunted Mansion up to it’s soft re-opening Thursday afternoon.
The attraction was closed early in the day.
The painting of Mickey’s Fun Wheel is pretty much done. Just a little bit left to do on the stars.
Lots of work going on in the Paradise Pier lagoon.
We’ll end this short photo report with the new covering for Mr. Potato Head.
Our very own Chris Lastrapes is currently on location at the Disneyland Resort and reports to us with the news that The Haunted Mansion has re-opened early from its refurbishment. According to Chris, nothing much is new, except for some fresh coats of paint.
Stay tuned to Disneyland News Today as I will be visiting the Resort tomorrow, and will bring back plenty of pictures of The Haunted Mansion.
According to the OC Register:
Disney fans snapped up several hundred hotel-and-park packages — for as much as $475 each — within minutes of their going on sale to celebrate Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion’s 40th anniversary.
“I think this just speaks to the legacy of the Haunted Mansion and the appeal it has to our guests,” said Mary Murray, director of merchandise for Disneyland.
Four packages for Sept. 9 went on sale earlier this week, some of which included exclusive seminars discussing the Mansion’s history with top Imagineers like Tony Baxter and Kim Irvine, hotel stays, food and merchandise.
The first two tour packages – titled “Grinning Ghosts” and “Foolish Mortals” — cost $475 and $430, respectively. They sold out within five minutes of going on sale online Tuesday morning, Murray said.
The Dearly Departed and Hitchhikers packages were $250 and $85, respectively, and sold out within two hours after going on sale Wednesday morning, Murray said.
She said that Disney wouldn’t comment on exactly how many tickets were available for the packages, but said several hundred had been up for sale.
The packages follow the Haunted Mansion’s back story of the Black Widow Bride — “Has she found her soul mate or will another groom meet his doom?” reads the Haunted Mansion anniversary site.
Below is a synopsis of what each package includes, or you can find out by clicking here:
Grinning Ghosts, $475: A dinner, a seminar with top Imagineers Tony Baxter and Kim Irvine, a night in the Grand Californian Hotel, a meal and desert, admission in the evening to both Disneyland and California Adventure, photo opportunities, rides and merchandise.
Foolish Mortals, $430: The same benefits as the Grinning Ghosts, but includes a night at the Disneyland Hotel instead of the Grand Californian.
Dearly Departed, $250: Same as the above, but includes fewer parting gifts and no hotel stay.
Hitchhikers, $85: This includes admission to Disneyland, but not California Adventure, no dinner or hotel stay, and only one gift.
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