Review: The Unauthorized Story Of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion

The Unauthorized Story Of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion

*Disclaimer: I received one or more of the products mentioned in this post for free  in order to conduct a product review for my blog. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. This post may contain affiliate links. I will receive compensation for any purchases made through these links. I am disclosing this in accordance with Federal Trade Comission 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning The Use Of Endorsements And Testimonials In Advertising.”

Thanks to my friends at Theme Park Press, I recently had the opportunity to read The Unauthorized  Story Of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion. This book is a must read for any Haunted Mansion fan! Written by Jeff Baham, owner of DoomBuggies.com, the book is filled with Haunted Mansion history, trivia, and so much more.

The Unauthorized Story Of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion is a great source of information regarding the attraction’s history. I learned so much about the attraction’s history including where some of Walt’s fascination with haunted houses may have come from.  I’m always interested to know which imagineers worked on specific Disney project. In this book, Jeff shares about many of the imagineers who worked on the Haunted Mansion over the years and what each of them brought to the project. He also provides some insight into the politics of the company at the time. Even as an avid Disney history fan, I was able to learn so much more about the Haunted Mansion’s history through reading this wonderful book.

I have never had the opportunity to visit the original Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in California. So for me, it was fascinating to read about the experience of the Disneyland version of this classic attraction. As Jeff described the various elements of the Haunted Mansion experience at Disneyland, I thought of how the elements had be replicated at Walt Disney World. Many of them were duplicated, though some effects are featured in different areas of the Florida attraction. There are also elements of the original Haunted Mansion which are unique to the Disneyland attraction. I greatly enjoyed learning about the differences between the two Haunted Mansion attractions.

In the midst of Jeff’s account of the Haunted Mansion experience, he also described the inner-workings of the mansion. While reading The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion {affiliate link}, you will find out the technology behind some of the unique effects which make the Haunted Mansion the beloved attraction it is. You’ll learn why elevators are needed at the Disneyland attraction and what special techniques were needed to record the video for the singing busts in the graveyard scene. In this book, Jeff also shares how the technology for various effects, including Madame Leota and the hitchhiking ghosts, has changed over the years. Because no discussion of Haunted Mansion history would be complete without mentioning the infamous Hatbox Ghost, you’ll also learn the truth behind his early removal from Disneyland’s mansion.

One of my favorite things I learned from this book was the explanation of the Pepper’s Ghost illusion utilized in the Haunted Mansion. It’s quite possible this may be an easy concept for others to grasp, but I have been trying to understand exactly how this illusion works for quite a while. I knew the Pepper’s Ghost technique was used to make many of the mansion’s ghosts appear and then disappear, but I just couldn’t understand how this illusion worked despite the numerous explanations I had read. Jeff was able to effortlessly explain this technique as utilized in the Haunted Mansion in a way I could easily understand.

Filled with Disney history, little know facts, and insight into the Haunted Mansion’s inner-workingsThe Unauthorized Story Of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion is a fantastic read for any Disney fan!

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Kimberly's love of Disney began at an early age and grew even more when her family won a Walt Disney World vacation from a local radio station. She grew up visiting the parks every one to two years and is fascinated by Disney history and trivia. Whether at the parks or at home, Kimberly is constantly looking for hidden Mickeys. She enjoys sharing tips and helping others plan their Disney vacations. In addition to Frontierland Station, she can also be found writing for Park World Travel and selecting music for Park World Radio.

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