Haunted Mansion: Grand Hall

Once the spirits sense a guest's sympathetic vibrations, they assemble for a swinging wake in the Grand Hall. Or so the Ghost Host says. The "wake" concept seems to be contradicted by the fact that there is a birthday cake on the table, although this may not be a mistake since, for all we know, ghosts might have annual wakes to celebrate the number of years they've been dead. Guests pondering this point may want to take an even closer look at the long table -- Mickey Mouse's head is sitting on it, at the end opposite the cake.

The ghostly dancers in the grand hall were the first large-scale color holograms ever used. In the decades since the ride opened, large three-dimensional holograms have become commonplace, but for the time it was quite revolutionary. Unfortunately, all of the holograms were installed backwards, so the female ghost dancers appear to be leading (not that anyone under the age of forty will notice).

There are several interesting ghosts depicted in this room, including:

  • The Ghost Host (in his introduction to the room, he says they'll be expecting him)
  • Pepper's ghost (magicians know who that is)
  • One of the hitchhiking ghosts from the end of the ride, hanging from the chandelier

The entire grand hall is separated from guests by enormous panes of glass. These panes are so large, that the house's basement had to be installed, then the glass, and then the balance of the house. This explains why a nasty crack in one of the panes has been decorated like a spider's web instead of repaired.

There's an interesting story behind the broken glass. In the ‘70s, a guest who was more than a little bit paranoid was riding the Haunted Mansion, and was thrown into a panic by the sight of the two pistol-dueling ghosts in the room. Fearing for his life, he pulled out a gun and tried to shoot back. The thick glass cracked but deflected the bullet (it, unfortunately, hit an old woman with a heart condition who was riding in another Doom Buggy). The man was quickly caught, but Disney decided not to prosecute since he had been acting in self-defense. To prevent another tragedy of this type, Disneyland now has a strict policy against firearms on the Haunted Mansion.

Other interesting facts about the grand hall:

  • The organ being played by ghostly hands is a prop from the film The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band with its pipes replaced
  • There's a piece of wallpaper missing that's shaped exactly like a kangaroo
  • The room is available for weddings, banquets, and bar/bat mitzvahs

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Haunted Mansion
Home | Design and Construction | Exterior | Music
Picture Gallery | Corridor of Haunted Portraits
Endless Hallway and Conservatory | Corridor of Doors
Séance Circle | Grand Hall | Attic | Graveyard | Exit
Behind the Show | Haunted Mansion Holiday | Marketing
2007 Script

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