Friday, January 01, 2010
Freaky Fridays @ The Haunted Mansion: Your Doombuggy Awaits
As you leave the Changing Portrait Hallway, a sharp turn to the right takes you to the loading area where Doombuggies appear at a brisk pace, ready to take you into the depths of the Mansion. Along the way you’ll see plenty of eerily lit cobwebs and antique light fixtures, as well as a few creepy cast members who are ready to assist you into your Doombuggy.
Here’s an interesting story from former castmember Ron F:
One night, when I was working the graveyard shift (pardon the pun) for a Grad Night at the park, I was working the Front Load position on Haunted Mansion. This would've been around 3-4 a.m. In situations like that, they drop the crew down to one person working Front Load (when you first step into your DoomBuggy) and one person working both the Stretching Portrait Gallery and Back Load (bottom of the stairs to make sure the lap bar is down). When the crew is scheduled that way, the Front Load person can spend considerable stretches of time by him-or-herself alone in the Loading Area waiting for the next group to come down from the Stretching Portrait Gallery (because the room operates on a hydraulic arm, a minimum of guests is waited for to ensure enough weight to let the arm drop). I'd been down in the Loading Area alone for at least 20 minutes. The ride time is approximately 7 minutes, so it had been at least 10-15 minutes since the last guest group had left the attraction.
I'd heard the soundtrack for the attraction so many times at that point that I knew it by heart (I'm slightly autistic as well, so I commit these kinds of things to indelible memory). On that particular night at that particular time, I heard what sounded like children giggling softly. I assumed that a new group was coming down the hallway from the Stretching Room to the Loading Area. After a couple of minutes, I left the Loading Area and walked to the hallway. There was no one there. The Stretching Portrait Gallery was still upstairs and had not yet come down. And again, it had been at LEAST 10-15 minutes since the last group to go through the attraction would have already left.
From that day on, I listened intently to hear if that sound of softly giggling children was actually part of the soundtrack…and after months of continuing to work on the attraction, I never heard that sound again.
I cannot explain it…but it still gives me goosebumps to tell of it.
Well readers, another decade begins—I wish all of you a Happy New Year and look forward to sharing another year of posts and comments! See more Haunted Mansion (regular AND NBC) photos at my website.