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Why haunted houses have suits of armor


Over on Long Forgotten (a Haunted Mansion blog that is so fantastically great that every post is a cause for celebration), there's a new post about suits of armor and haunted houses that reveals (among other things) that the helmet of the famous armor by the Haunted Mansion's infinite corridor was originally an ornamental piece worn by Martin Luther's archenemy Albrecht von Brandenburg, the indulgence-flogging Archbishop of Mainz. What's more, there's a damned good reason why they only used the helmet (click through to find out why).

For me, though, the highlight of the piece was this excellent description of why suits are armor are inherently spooky:

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Papercraft Hatbox Ghost from the Haunted Mansion


Here's a downloadable papercraft version of the Hatbox Ghost, the semi-legendary animatronic ghost from the early days of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. Great craft project for the long weekend!

Make Your Own Hatbox Ghost HERE!

More audio memoirs of Rolly Crump, pioneering Imagineer


Jeff sez, "After the success of It's Kind Of A Cute Story and More Cute Stories Vol 1, Disney Legend Rolly Crump is proud to announce the release of More Cute Stories, Volume 2: Animators and Imagineers (CD/MP3). This high-quality recording includes nearly an hour of all new stories about the people Rolly worked with at WED and the Disney Animation Department, as told by Rolly himself."

More Cute Stories, Vol 2: Animators and Imagineers

Disneyvision: strobing zoetrope holotank filled with glitchy rubber characters


I scored the damndest crapgadget yesterday: Disney's Disneyvision is a little box styled like a vintage TV. Where the tube would go is a flexible plastic wand attached to a variable motor, lit by a strobing white LED. You put a wiggly rubber 2" characters on the wand (effectively sticking the wand up its butt), turn on the motor and the light, and the strobe creates a zoetrope effect that makes it seem like the characters are energetically dancing.

But the damned thing is the variability -- the resonant frequencies of the characters' appendages kick in at different motor-intensities and the strobe-frequency produces even more surprising choices. There's a sweet spot where the characters appear to be in a kind of holo-tank, dancing or fluttering, but there's also a whole range of totally glitched-out possibilities in which the character flicker through what appears to be a kind of hilariously horrible video malfunctions.

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Disneyside's social media memefest

As previously mentioned, I’m doing a six-week stint with Disney Imagineering in Glendale, and today I got to spend the day hanging out at Disneyland for the launch of Disneyside, an initiative that asks Disney fans to share photos and videos of themselves having fun at the Disney parks.

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Doombuggies Spook Show: a history of the Haunted Mansion


Jeff Baham writes, "DoomBuggies.com, a tribute to Disney's Haunted Mansion attractions, has commemorated its 16th anniversary with the launch of an audio podcast called 'The DoomBuggies Spook Show' (MP3/Subscribe). The podcast promises interviews with Disney legends and luminaries, Haunted Mansion history, news, and features on other haunted attractions and related events. The first episode features the history of Imagineer Rolly Crump's 'Museum of the Weird,' a proposed eerie Disneyland attraction that was never developed, and Marvel Comics' attempts to resurrect the Museum of the Weird as a new comic series and franchise."

DoomBuggies Ep. 1: Seekers of the Weird (Thanks, Jeff!)

Haunted Mansion theme, chiptunes edition

Happy Hallowe'en, y'all!

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Great Haunted Mansion fan-art


On Neatorama, Jill Harness rounds up her favorite pieces of Haunted Mansion fan art, and she's got some spectacular picks. I couldn't resist Icaron's MLP/stretching portrait mashup!

13 Great Pieces of Haunted Mansion Fan Art

Followed From the Mansion: scary Haunted-Mansion-inspired short

Ricky sez, "In a follow-up to last year's 'Missing in the Mansion' short shot at Disneyland, the Daws brothers have just released 'Followed from the Mansion' - another Haunted Mansion-inspired short, this time answering the question of what happens when a ghost follows you home."

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Disney's Jungle Boat Cruise goes Christmas: Jingle Cruise

This fall, I am living out my boyhood dream, working as a contractor for Disney Imagineering on all sorts of secret things I can't mention here. But last week, I previewed materials for a new project that I can mention, because it's now official: the Jungle Boat Cruise at Disneyland and Walt Disney World is getting a Christmas show called "Jingle Cruise," with new jokes, decor, and awesome. The description on the official announcement is kind of sparse, but as someone who is privy to inside knowledge, I can attest that this will be amazing.

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Excellent audio history of the Haunted Mansion

In this episode of the Stuff You Missed in History Class podcast, there's an absolutely delightful history of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion (MP3). The hosts explain how the company wrangled and wrangled for more than a decade, trying to find the right design for a Disneyland haunted house, and how the project that emerged is the synthesis of three warring styles that converged brilliantly.

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Functional, animated Disneyland map Hallowe'en costume

Kirby sez, "Rob Cockerham built himself a working, wearable Disneyland costume for Halloween this year. Yes. Working!"

And his own mouth forms both the gates of the castle and the mouth of Monstro the Whale in the Storybookland Boats. Rob, you win the Internet today, even if your Splash Mountain makes you lopsided.

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Mickey Mouse in Ghoul Friend

On Metafilter, Filthy Light Thief provides excellent context for Mickey Mouse in Ghoul Friend , a delightful horror-themed seasonal Mickey cartoon that's one of 19 new toons.

It's one of 19 new shorts that are part of the new Mickey Mouse series of shorts that are inspired by the 1930s era Disney shorts. If you'd like to see more, 11 of the shorts are currently available to view on YouTube (in a playlist with two bonus behind the scenes clips), from the DisneyShorts YouTube acccount.

Mickey Mouse in Ghoul Friend

PRI's Studio 360 on Disney parks


The PRI Show Studio 360 has released a great episode in its "American Icons" series, this one dealing with the Disney themeparks (MP3). I was delighted to be interviewed for it, and they've included our complete, unedited interview with the piece.

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The REAL reason the Florida Haunted Mansion's elevators go up


On the always-amazing Passport to Dreams Old and New, a fantastic piece of detective work about the evolution of the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion. FoxxFur starts with the observation that the traditional story about the Florida stretch rooms going up (unlike the California Mansion, whose stretch rooms descend) is that the water table was too high to permit a descent, but quickly demolishes that. From there, she undertakes some remarkable detective work in exploring the inspiration and thinking that went into the Florida Mansion's design.

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