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13 Spooktacular Days

Day 2 - October 20, 2013   

One of the key components of any Disney attraction, shop, restaurant, land, etc. is story. While creating a haunted house style attraction could be fairly easy for Disney, they of course decided to try and focus around a central story that would help guests understand how the mansion and the ghosts tie together.

Disney opted for the story of Captain Bartholomew Gore, a ship captain that disappeared out at sea. While the story may have changed throughout the years, the original idea still has remains creeping around the mansion to this day. For instance, from the very start the idea of butler and maids guiding guests was present along with the idea of guests coming into contact with the ghost of the mansion owner's bride. While the storyline of Captain Gore was eventually dropped, two nods to the original story can still be found in the Haunted Mansion to this day.

Disneyland's Mansion is set on the rivers in New Orleans Square, a perfect home for a captain of a ship to live! While the mansion doesn't exactly seem like the home to a ship captain, pay close attention to the weathervane on the exterior of Disneyland's mansion. Here guests will see that the weathervane is a ship (similar to the one found at the Liberty Square Riverboat's landing weathervane). In addition to the weathervane, to this day you can still find a painting of a ship captain found in the hallways of Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion.

As time went by several other ideas were tossed around involving characters like the Headless Horseman from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, scenes from the Mickey Mouse short Lonesome Ghosts, and many other ideas. Eventually the ideas from different variations began to combine together while the Disneyland Mansion's exterior was under construction. The overall storyline still wasn't in tact, postponing when the attraction would actually open from its original planned 1963 opening.

Walt would eventually explain to viewers on his television show that they were searching the world to give ghosts a home at the Haunted Mansion. A sign was placed outside of the mansion which 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."

Things were starting to come around for the mansion and the mode of transportation was decided upon! Guests would join their maid or butler on a tour in groups of 10-20 as spooky mayhem would occur. How did the attraction go from walking tour to a self guided Doombuggy? Stop by tomorrow to find out!

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