The Original Haunted Mansion Press Release from 1969

Here’s an item I found in an old file cabinet. This is the original press release Disneyland issued in 1969 to announce the grand opening of the Haunted Mansion.

For nostalgia sake, it is fun to read how Disneyland described the attraction back in the day. Iconic items like Madame Leota, the ballroom organist, and the hitchhiking ghosts get the appropriate mentions. But other characters, like the  headless guardsman and the dueling portraits get equally prominent mentions.

The press release says the Haunted Mansion cost $7 million to build and took 10 years to develop. It says the attraction has a ride capacity of 2,616 per hour (assuming two people per doom buggy). In the real world, it is a good day if they can get more than 2,000 per hour with the frequent stops for guests with disabilities.

Also of note, the press release ends by stating the Disney company had a total capital investment of $150 million in the theme park. They never include these types of details in press releases nowadays, so it is interesting to see the ride capacity and financial information getting this much attention in the official press release.

Update: Daveland Blog has some great photos of the Haunted Mansion in its opening year.

 

  • hyhybt

    Interesting find! You may, though, want to re-read it. Madame Leota, dancing in the great hall, and a seance circle are all mentioned.

    • DadLogic

      Thanks for the note. I’m not sure how that got past me. I updated the article accordingly.

      • hyhybt

        Well, they don’t stand out particularly. Whether that’s because they didn’t know what would stick with people or wanted everyone to figure that out themselves…
        I’ve only been once, to the one in Florida, and the thing that stuck out most and sort of poisoned the otherwise fun experience was the giant spiders. I hear they’re gone now, and good riddance :)