It’s the details like this beautifully scripted sign that keep me hunting for more embellishments, more stories and more avenues for my imagination to wander down (there’s no turning back when that happens!). This sign can be found in the hearse at the entrance to the Haunted Mansion. Reservations to what you ask? The swinging wake inside, of course! Better get in quick. (Wait for it……..) I hear there’s room for one more.
Finding a way out of the Haunted Mansion is not much of a challenge but finding the desire to leave might be. As if the ethereal E-ticket experience wasn’t already enough to have you plotting stow away strategies for another ride through, Little Leota beckons you to hurry back as you unwillingly glide up the escalator.
Look alive. That’s what the artist who crafted these bats that adorn the stanchions of the Haunted Mansion must have had in mind. I’ll admit that they are still a cause for concern as a place to rest my hand. I love them. Speaking of bats, Bats Day is this weekend and I hear they are celebrating 15 years of spooky trips to Disneyland. Congratulations and run amuck!
The cadaverous palette of the Haunted Mansion goes further than one might realize in setting the stage for what’s to come inside its doors. The air of foreboding can be felt across the Rivers of America, just as soon as the unsettling structure comes into sight.
Lovely Little Leota bids you farewell as you make your exit from the Haunted Mansion, beckoning you to “Make final arrangements now!” and “Be sure to bring your death certificate”. As humorous as these comments may be, the way this glowing little spectre delivers them is enough to send a shiver down your spine and raise a few hairs. That’s the truly great thing about the Haunted Mansion; it strikes a balance between fright and fun. What fun the three of us had, the night I took this picture. We enjoyed the gracious hospitality of a few Haunted Mansion cast members who allowed us the additional time needed to capture some of our favorite scenes. It’s people like them that make visits to Disneyland truly magical and people like us hurry back!
It seems like it’s been too long since I’ve worked on a picture of the Haunted Mansion. Rectifying that problem tonight was a lot of fun. Every picture is different and it’s rare that the flow of one is ever similar to another but I can say that I took my time on this image more than I usually do. Partly it was fun. Partly it was having inspiration and drive to go after what I wanted this picture to be. This angle is one that I was rather happy to find. I’ve loved this stone structure with its warmly lit wooden door and for a long time, wanted to share it here in some way. I always get a sort of lighthouse feeling from it. Maybe it’s the stone in particular, but this rustic treasure, on the backside of the Harbor Galley, sits next to the Rivers of America and New Orleans Square, a port city. In my own imagination, I see this structure oceanside with cold, tempestuous waves thrashing against it, trying to tear it down. To have a dreary feeling like that pairs so well with the Haunted Mansion. Its ship weathervane plays into my notion nicely, as do some of the backstories to the mansion, where the owner was a drowned, murderous sea captain. I hope you enjoy tonight’s picture, with its hot and cold running chills. Remember, there’s no turning back now!