Off To Never Land....

Think of a wonderful thought....
the Dapper Dans, churros, fresh hot popcorn, the Flag Retreat Ceremony, the wildest ride in the wilderness, sitting at the Hungry Bear waving at passerbys on the Mark Twain, the brakes needing a little work, the room actually stretching, nightly fireworks, the Frontierland music loop, Shrunken Ned, Dole Whips, Scot Bruce rocking and rolling at the Tomorrowland Terrace, and on and on....all of the wonderful things Disneyland contains that remind me of never growing up.

This is per request….

Back in the 1960′s, even before the Haunted Mansion opened, Disneyland was busy promoting the upcoming attraction gaining suspense and curiosity from the guests. There were several promotional photos taken of Yale Gracey, head designer and creator for many of the Mansion’s spooks, which featured glimpses of what the ghosts would look like. The most popular picture featured Gracey with what’s known as the Hatbox Ghost. He was a short, hunched over, scary looking little man, holding in his hand, a hat box. More photos emerged and Disney used this frightening little guy for a lot of it’s merchandising at that time.

So, what’s the big deal about this particular ghost? Well, it’s because he simply isn’t in the actual Haunted Mansion attraction.

Hatbox’s claim to fame was to be the illusion of his face disappearing off of his body, and reappearing inside the hat box. When the ghosts were placed into the Mansion, Hatbox was put in the attic scene.

The Hatbox Ghost was installed inside The Haunted Mansion and in place for cast member previews on the nights of August 7 and 8, 1969. Almost immediately, it became apparent that the effect had failed, as ambient light in the attraction’s attic scene prevented the specter’s face from disappearing fully, despite the turning off of its designated spotlight. Attempts were made to remedy technical problems, but the effect wasn’t convincing enough, and the ghost was decommissioned after a few months.

While it is unknown what became of The Hatbox Ghost, there are speculations as to his fate. Because the Hatbox Ghost has been featured prominently in artwork and narration for popular Haunted Mansion record albums sold for many years at Disney parks, and because Disney continues to market the ghost’s image, he has never been forgotten and has become somewhat of a legend, complete with his very own cult following.

Some of my 2014 favorites from Disneyland’s Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch.

The graveyard inside Haunted Mansion Holiday is covered with nearly 7,500 square feet of snow. More than 20 gallons of UV paint is used to enhance the snow’s eerie glow. Nearly 1,000 tiny, orange lights decorate the trees.

Each night, more than 100 jack-o-lanterns shine their ghoulish light and about 400 flickering candles create the ghostly glow on the façade of the Haunted Mansion during the Halloween season.


That is the number of graveyards in Disneyland. 

Four in the Haunted Mansion
One in Frontierland
One on Tom Sawyer Island
One along Storybook Land Canal
One in Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage


That is the number of graveyards in Disneyland.

Four in the Haunted Mansion
One in Frontierland
One on Tom Sawyer Island
One along Storybook Land Canal
One in Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Benjamin Silverstein M.D.’s door is located on Disneyland’s Main Street next to a mezuzah. Benjamin was not a real person, rather, the facade was created specifically so that there would be a fitting place in the park to place Hanukkah decorations.

Tarzan’s Treehouse (formerly the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse), was modeled after a real tree. A Moreton Bay Fig that still stands less than two miles north of the park. The tree is located at 410 N. West Street in Anaheim.

Yo Ho…..
20 unsavory acts are mentioned in the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song “A Pirates Life for Me”
How many can you name?

Burning Up the City

In the Tower of Terror’s Library, look for the shelf with the books that are initialed T.Z.
Each one of those books contains the titles of the most popular episodes of the original Twilight Zone tv series.

Inside Disneyland’s Main Street Train Station, look for a shelf high overhead that serves as the station’s lost and found.
You’ll find a bone belonging to Pluto, the Genie’s lamp, the White Rabbit’s pocket watch, and several other familiar items…my favorite is a wooden leg engraved with the name “Smith,” a reference to a corny “Mary Poppins” joke.