Sunday, August 9, 2009

August 09: Welcome Foolish Mortals

On this day in 1969, Disneyland's Haunted Mansion opened to the public for the first time in the park's New Orleans Square! A dark ride attraction, its roots date back to even before the completion of Disneyland in 1955.
Walt Disney himself always wanted to include a haunted house in his park and asked some of his first Imagineers (such as Harper Goff, Ken Anderson, Marc Davis and Claude Coats) to create it. It took many years to develop and finally build just the structure of the mansion. As of 1963, the Haunted Mansion sat visible to guests - but completely empty on the inside! It took another 6 years to flesh-out the storyline and complete the attraction (and unfortunately during that time Walt passed away).
Among the attraction's most important components ... the song "Grim Grinning Ghosts (The Screaming Song)" written by Buddy Baker and Xavier Atencio. The music for the theme song was written Baker (already an accomplished composer who scored may of Disney's films). Baker's "Grim Grinning Ghosts" melody is used in a wide variety of variations throughout the attraction. The now-famous lyrics were penned by Francis Xavier Atencio (an Imagineer who originally started as an animator).
The Haunted Mansion quickly became a favorite of park guests and versions were later added to Disney's other parks around the world.

Click HERE for more August 09 Disney History.

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