Monday, April 9, 2012

"H" - A to Z Challenge - Walt Disney World

I'm gonna have to take this one slow...the head is acting up today. Stupid tumor!  So please be patient with me if there are any major typographical errors or run on sentences. I'll stay away from the pain meds as long as possible and hope the headache pills kick in...but I may have to eventually hit the hard stuff and then there is no telling WHAT I will be typing!

So, on to "H" - another letter than is almost as important as "D"..."why?", you ask?

The Haunted Mansion - My sister's favorite ride, my favorite ride, the first place we go to when we get to the Magic Kingdom, and home to some of the best Disney memories I have! It has sites dedicated to it's various incarnations (it's one of the few rides that each Disney park has their own variation on the theme instead of copies of the same thing over and over), it's a Marc Davis classic and, even though some of the effects are very cheesy, it doesn't matter! It's the Haunted Mansion!

During the day it's just as creepy!:

At night the 999 ghosts come out to play, waiting for their thousandth member:

During Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party:

I mentioned Marc Davis's influence (which I do allot because he had such a massive influence of me), but the Haunted Mansion is filled with Disney legends, none more so than the voice work. Madame Leota (the woman in the crystal ball), may sound familiar because she is voiced by Eleanor Audley (aka Maleficent and Lady Tremaine), the ghost host is Paul Frees (Ludwig Von Drake to those of us who worship the Duck and all his relatives), and one of the main singers is Thurl Ravenscroft, whose voice is just associated with Disney things (it's everywhere if you listen - Pirates, Country Bears, Tiki Birds, etc, etc, oh, and the was also the voice of Tony The Tiger - you remember, Frosted Flakes? They're GRRREEAATTT!).

I've mentioned this briefly before, but since I have a headache, and it tends to make my Asperger's come out more and I can't control my mouth, I've got a beef to get out. Parents, before you start filling your kids head with crap that they could repeat to someone else and make them look incredibly stupid...know what you're talking about! Case in point, a couple of years ago, Am and I dumbfoundedly listened to a mother tell her two children in the Haunted Mansion queue all about how the Ghost Host (aka Paul Frees) was Orson Wells and a bunch of other stuff that made her sound like she'd been dropping acid! She went on forever! Had she not been walking out of the ride and us in, she probably would have heard our rant! At least the people around us who heard her, also heard us, so they won't go repeating the stupidity! But now her kids will go off and tell someone else and either look stupid, or spread the stupidity even further! And who knows, maybe the mother got told it by someone else and accepted it as fact. Whatever the reason, if you don't know, don't repeat it (and for that matter, if you hear something that sounds fishy, it probably is)!!

The history to the mansion is utterly fascinating, and for those interested, I highly recommend Jason Surrell's book, The Haunted Mansion:  From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies. It's not just about the movie (which, depending on who you ask, couldn't scarcely be called a "movie", but I see it as not an interpretation of the Mansion, but a thing onto itself, so I actually kind of like it...if I thought of it as a dedication to the ride, I would be pissed!), but it's more about the ride and all it's various incarnations and it's history.

Finding decent video of it is damned near impossible, but I did find an OK one. Plus, it gives a good example of how other people's lack of consideration can ruin the ride for you (as evidenced by the loud talking and just general rudeness I saw throughout this whole thing). And just to get it out there..."NO FLASH PICTURES PLEASE" important! For those of us with light sensitivity, it hurts, and it's just friggin distracting (this is more prevalent on Pirates, but we'll discuss that when we get to "P"). You can get good pictures of the inside without flash, they just need to be tweaked when you get home (even with a point and shoot camera - which is all I use - preferably Sony in case you were wondering, but I'm a Sony freak, so it's not surprising).

Case in point - the Bride's attic:

And here is the video:

Moving on to Hidden Mickeys - What are they? Where do they come from? Are they done on purpose? Once you get Disney fever, do you see them everywhere? Answers? They are Mickey's head hidden in strategic locations pretty much everywhere brought to you by none other than Disney Magic to involve you in things and cause you to look deeply at areas you probably wouldn't notice before. They not only have their own websites, but they also have books written about them as well!

The Floor in the lobby at the Polynesian:

Wishes fireworks:

A chair cushion in the lobby of the Boardwalk Hotel:

The shrimp tanks on the Living With The Land ride

Dessert at La Hacienda de San Angel in the Mexican Pavilion in Epcot - with a Sorcerer's hat theme:

The dive tanks at The Seas With Nemo and Friends (mine, mine, mine) at Epcot:

And you see them everywhere? Yes:

The sky above Disney's Hollywood Studios:

Zachary's back:

Okra from a buffet meal at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi:

You also have Holidays Around The World - during Christmastime in the country pavilions in Epcot, they have their version of "Father Christmas" telling his or her story, and how he/she came to life in their country. I'm not a Christmas person, but this was pretty cool and I can say I've seen it once. I'm not going to go into a discussion about it because this has run on long enough and my head is killing me (Stadol, here I come!).

Hope you enjoyed "H"!


Mattysam said...

First, I am enjoying the heck out of this. I can't wait for October!

Second,I have the biggest smile on my face thinking about HM. The elevator ride gets me every time..."there's always my way...mwahahahahaha".

Third, I think you may be stretching it with the Mexican dessert. Hate to be a perv, even if I do come by it honestly, but the Sorcerer's Hat is not what I see there :-)


Kate said...

Phew, how relieved am I that I just bought a Sony camer! lol - its too ironic!

Nicki Elson said...

Oh, I hope your head is feeling better.

Too funny that we both not only posted about Hidden Mickeys - we each posted a picture of the same exact one. :) And see! You do see them everywhere. :)

Interesting stuff about the Haunted Mansion. I didn't know that was Maleficent's voice in the ball & Thurl Ravenscroft! I only knew him from the Grinch - will totally listen for him everywhere next time I go.

Hmm, I wonder if we'll jinx on another Disney alphabet thing???

Vickie said...

Haunted mansion is my all time favorite! Hidden mickeys are so much fun!