Today our frightening journey ends through all of Disney's Haunted Mansions - the last of our terrifying adventure ends in the graveyard - let's hope there isn't any tombstones with our names on them!
The Graveyard and Ending
All parks (except Disneyland Paris):
The left hand of the ghost’s cloak near the opera singers forms a Hidden Mickey in the Florida version. Ghosts rise up from an invisible scrim, and a caretaker holding a lantern and his dog cower in front of the gate in fear. Ghosts pop up from the left and right sides of the buggy. Years ago, they used to scream and shriek, but they are now silent. A graveyard band plays an instrumental version of "Grim Grinning Ghosts". White marble busts, a Duke and Duchess, a Mummy, a Decapitated Knight, Prisoner and Executioner and a Hearse Quartet sing "Grim Grinning Ghosts", while a male and female opera singer try to overpower each other and an old man has trouble hearing. A jazzy rendition of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" composed by Buddy Baker plays in the background. For the 2007 rehab, Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion was given all-new graveyard singers, minus the Busts, the Mummy and Deaf Old Man, and the vocals seem to come from where the singer is located.
Walt Disney World:
To the right of the opera singing lady (her left) is a ghost resembling the grim reaper. He is holding up his left arm. Hanging from his left hand is a cloth with markings at the top that form a classic Hidden Mickey. The Grim Reaper is standing between the two white stone walls.
There is no graveyard scene at Paris. Instead, guests leave the Bride's Boudoir into the Manor's backyard where the Phantom stands before an open grave and laughs menacingly. Then the Doom Buggies pass an undead dog.
The Doom Buggies then travel underground, into some catacombs, and pass a series of coffins being opened by their skeletal residents. Four white marble busts come into view, bearing the expressive faces of four phantoms singing "Grim Grinning Ghosts".
As guests pass through a hole exiting the catacombs and enter Phantom Canyon, the supernatural version of Thunder Mesa, great rifts in the earth surrounding the buggies suggest that there is an earthquake happening. An eerie-looking figure is then seen standing before a ramshackle train station, offering guests train tickets to the underworld. This character is nicknamed Ezra (because he resembles one of the Hitchhiking Ghosts from the original mansion that was nicknamed Ezra by fans). Guests then pass a ruined town hall where a mayor stands, inviting guests to become the manor's 1000th ghost. (The Mayor's dialogue is made up of clips from the Paul Frees Ghost Host narration of the American versions of the Haunted Mansion). As he tips his hat, his head comes with it. A shootout follows between a bank robber fleeing a bank on a mule and a cowardly sheriff, with Big Thunder Mountain in the background. Guests see a pharmacy where a green-faced pharmacist drinks a deadly-looking medicine, followed by a saloon with a caved-in front wall. Inside it there is a dancing showgirl, a bartender, and a man playing a honky-tonk piano. Four invisible gambler figures play poker nearby.
Another figure of the Phantom leads guests into an open grave. As guests see the silhouette of the Manor ahead, they enter a dark passage and see Melanie's corpse pointing to the way out. The vehicles enter a subterranean chamber lined with large, gilt-framed mirrors in which a ghostly image of the Phantom can be seen above the guests' own Doom Buggies. This replaces the Hitchhiking Ghosts scene from the other versions. Then guests enter a wine cellar and disembark.
Much of Phantom Canyon was derived from a planned scene of a mining town called Dry Gulch in the never built Western River Expedition at the Magic Kingdom. Phantom Canyon is also based on a supernatural version of Thunder Mesa, per the backstory of both Phantom Manor and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Disneyland Paris.
Our 'ride' through Disney's Haunted Mansions may have ended...
But there's still plenty of interesting facts and history to share!
Tomorrow - changes within Disney's Haunted Mansions!