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New Haunted Mansion Movie Is in The Works


Disney planning a new “Haunted Mansion” live-action movie, based on its 51-year-old Disneyland theme park ride, with “Ghostbusters” writer Katie Dippold attached. “The Haunted Mansion” opened at Disneyland in 1969 and was an immediate success, spawning similar rides at Walt Disney World in Florida and Tokyo Disneyland. Patrons are placed in a “Doom Buggy” riding through a haunted house with dozens of supernatural scares.

Disney used the ride as inspiration for its 2003 horror comedy with Eddie Murphy portraying a workaholic realtor who buys a mansion that turns out to be haunted.

The idea for the Mansion precedes Disneyland and WED Enterprises, dating to when Walt Disney hired the first of his Imagineers. At the time, the park they were developing the attraction for was supposed to be located across from the studios. In 1951, the first known illustration of the park showed a main street setting, green fields, western village, and a carnival.  Disney Legend, Harper Goff, developed a black-and-white sketch of a crooked street leading away from the main street by a peaceful church and graveyard, with a run-down manor perched high on a hill that towered over the main street.

After Disney’s death in December 1966, the project evolved significantly; the Museum of the Weird restaurant idea was abandoned. The Imagineers objected to a walk-through attraction’s low capacity, going so far as suggesting building two identical attractions to accommodate twice as many guests.

A solution appeared with the development of the Omnimover system for Adventure Thru Inner Space. Renamed the ‘”Doom Buggy”, the system’s continuous chain of semi-enclosed vehicles offered high capacity. The cars could be set to rotate in any direction at any point, allowing the Imagineers to control what guests saw and heard throughout the show. And because each car held from one to three people, it was a convenient way to divide guests into smaller groups — a better fit with the story of people wandering “alone” through a haunted house.

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