The Haunted Mansion is one of Disney World's most popular opening day attractions of all time. Opening in 1971, The Haunted Mansion has captured the attention and created curiosity for park guests for many years. Taking a stroll in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom, you can see a grand brick mansion sitting on a mysterious hill.
But what is it that makes this attraction so popular? What makes park guests return to the mansion all the time? We may never know for sure, but here is a list of things that you may not know about Disney World's Haunted Mansion to get you guessing.
1. Park guests have spread the ashes of loved ones at the Mansion
This was the most shocking (and disturbing) fact of all. It's been reported that there have been park guests that have brought ashes of their loved ones into the park and have spread the ashes on the cemetery or inside the mansion itself. Not only is it illegal, but Disney Cast Members just vacuum and dispose of the ashes.
2. Madame Leota was actually a Disneyland employee
Madame Leota's face was played by Disneyland Imagineer Leota Toombs (yes, that's actually her name). Madame Leota was voiced by iconic voice actress Eleanor Audley who is the voice behind two of Disney's most wicked women, Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty) and Lady Tremaine (Cinderella).
Madame Leota's crystal ball is no longer on a stand, she's now floating over her table summoning spirits.
3. This singing bust is NOT Walt Disney
In the attraction, there are five singing marble head busts that sing "Grim Grinning Ghosts." Many park guests are convinced that one of the five busts is Walt, however this is incorrect. It is actually the face and voice of Thurl Ravenscroft, who is known for the voice of Tony The Tiger (They're Grrrreeeaaat!) and sang the original You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch!
4. There's a wedding ring stuck in the concrete line to the Mansion
While waiting in line to enter the Mansion, look closely and you'll find a wedding ring stuck in the concrete path. It is believed to be the wedding ring of the Bride in the Attic. However, it didn't start that way.
"At one point a story circulated that the Bride's ring was embedded in the exterior exit path of Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion. The object was actually what remained of a crowd-control stanchion that had been cut down. It was removed during 2007's Re-Haunting. In 2011, when the new interactive queue was added, an "official" Bride's ring was embedded in the path to honor the popular legend."
5. You die on the ride and become a ghost (Fan-Theory)
There are many backstories for the characters of the attraction and there are also fan theories/conspiracies about the ride. One of the most well-known and popular fan theory about the Haunted Mansion all essentially have the same idea. If you look it up on any search engine they all more or less say the same thing:
The Haunted Mansion, an attraction in Disneyworld, is a pretty dark ride, already. To make it even creepier, this theory states that "you" commit suicide at the end of the ride and become a ghost.
At the beginning of the ride the ghost host (the narrator) says the only way to escape the mansion is to die, and he shows that he hanged himself. Near the end of the ride there's a moment where the ride vehicle turns around backwards and you go off a balcony, which according to this theory represents you jumping to your death.
Before this part of the ride the ghosts are all trying to scare you, but afterwards they sing excitedly and invite you to party with them. (The Grim Grinnin' Ghosts song.) The only human character in the ride, a groundskeeper, appears after the balcony drop. He faces toward the riders and seems terrified of you.
Pretty freaky, huh? This isn't necessarily true, just a theory thought up by fellow fans. However, it does make you sit back and wonder.