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And the Walt Disney World Magic Madness Champion is…

haunted mansion exterior - disney

You cast your votes, and the Magic Madness Champion is the Haunted Mansion!

As one of Magic Kingdom Park‘s opening day attractions, this Liberty Square classic has been a guest favorite for over 43 years.  To celebrate its win, here are 10 interesting facts you may or may not know:


haunted mansion ballroom - disney1.  The original name of the Haunted Mansion was to be Bloodmere Manor, and it would have told the story of the ill-fated Blood family.

2.  If you close your eyes and concentrate, you can almost hear the Ghost Host offering up his iconic greeting, “Welcome, foolish mortals.” That voice guests know so well belongs to actor Paul Frees. He is also known for voicing Disney duck Professor Ludwig Von Drake, Burgermeister Meisterburger (Santa Claus Is Coming to Town), Inspecter Fenwick (The Dudley Do-Right Show), Boris Badenov (The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show), and many, many others.

3.  Would you like to be the first to board your Doom Buggy upon exiting the Stretching Room? The wall that mysteriously opens can always be found underneath the painting of the girl with the pink dress and parasol.

4.  How do those busts of “Greatest Ghost Writers” keep their eyes on you as you ride past? They are not normal sculpted statues, but instead, they are impressions of the faces they depict. When correctly madame leota - disneylit, these inverted faces seem to follow you wherever you go.

5.  Madame Leota calls in the “spirits wherever they’re at” hundreds of times a day. Without the villainous voice talents of actress Eleanor Audley, would her séance be as memorable? Eleanor Audley leant her voice to two other famous Disney females prior to bringing “life” to Madame Leota: Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty and Lady Tremaine in Cinderella.

6.  The special effect known as a MAPO Flicker was developehaunted mansion organ - disneyd by Imagineer Roger Broggie. It mimics the look of a real flickering candle and can be seen throughout Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. MAPO stands for Manufacturing and Production Organization, which was a division of Walt Disney Imagineering. It was so named because the success of Mary Poppins funded the creation of the group. You can now have your very own MAPO Flicker, as the very same technology is used in a line of flameless candles sold on QVC known as Luminara. Show hosts often enjoy telling viewers of the technology’s origins.

7.  The black widow bride in the attic is named Constance Hatchaway. Pay close attention to the wedding portraits to see that as each husband disappears, she gains a new string of pearls.

8.  The vocally talented busts in the graveyard are named Phineas Pock, Uncle Theodore, Rollo Runkin, Ned Nub and Cousin A.

9.  Does the voice singing bass on “Grim Grinning Ghosts” sound familiar? It belongs to Thurl Ravenscroft who is known for another classic tune,IMGP3757 “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”.

10.  While they are often known simply as the “Hitchhiking Ghosts”, their names are actually Ezra (the tall one), Phineas (the one carrying a bag) and Gus (the one with a beard).


For more on the Haunted Mansion, check out these other WDW Radio podcasts and posts:

(Bust photo from the author’s personal collection.  All other photos ©Disney.)

Was the Haunted Mansion the favorite you chose to win Magic Madness?  If not, which one did you hope would win?  Let us know in the comments section.


KendallKendall began visiting Walt Disney World in 1991 with her family and has continued to visit the resort with her husband.  As a child, she and her family filled vacations with challenges such as “How many times can we ride Splash Mountain during SpectroMagic and the fireworks?” (Answer: 7)  Now, after marrying a converted Disney skeptic, she and her husband enjoy challenges such as “How many hours can we eat nonstop at the Food & Wine Festival?” (Answer: 4)