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  • [Idea] The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

    Hello everyone! I'm not really a social butterfly on these forums so I guess I'll start here by sharing some of my ideas with you all! Before I begin I'd like to give myself a little introduction here.

    I am an aspiring drama teacher, actor, and singer who has always had a passion for Disney theme parks. When I was little my parents would always take me to Disneyland every other week where I would have a blast, visit all of my favorite Disney characters, and be able to close my eyes on all of the scary rides, lol. Back in the day my favorite attraction was the Country Bear Playhouse, but now I have moved the bears over in favor of my current favorite attraction: the Haunted Mansion.

    I really don't know why it's my favorite attraction. It always scared the crud out of me when I was little, especially during Haunted Mansion Holiday when my phobia at the time (Scary Teddy) popped up all over the place. I have long since gotten over that phobia and now the creaking floors and doors of the mansion have found a place in my heart. On my most recent trip to the park (This past Wednesday, my birthday) I even wore my vintage Haunted Mansion poster t-shirt all day. Anyhow enough about my unnatural obsession with the manor...Anyways the last ride of the day I rode Haunted Mansion Holiday simply because I think the effect of it works much better at night then it does in the day. I was getting pretty excited up until I stepped into the loading area. You could see almost everything you wouldn't usually find in a haunted house. The floor, the exit signs, the air conditioner vents, the walls, the control panels, everything. And I thought, "Wow this is a bit odd." I don't know if it's because of all the black lights in the big Scary Christmas postcard but still. Things got even worse for me in the Seance Circle. First of all you could see all the strings holding up the floating tarot cards, plus their shadows being reflected upon the walls. Moving on to the Grand Hall I didn't see too many problems, save for the fact the organist's hat was falling off. (His stove pipe top hat was only hanging on by a hair on the back of his head, it looked kind of funny to tell you the truth.) And then in the attic you could see the track the doom buggies are running on, plus the scuffed up garage thing to your left as soon as you enter the attic. The graveyard was suffering a lot as number one, you could see the ceiling in full sight, plus the glow in the dark star stickers pasted to it, and you could see the screen (Or scrim, I'm not sure) keeping the ghosts away from you and your doom buggy. Also a lot of the animatronics were moving really slowly and incorrectly, the king and queen weren't even moving up and down on the seesaw, they were just stationary along with their daughter who wasn't swinging back in forth from the tree. The pop up ghosts are visible from behind their grave and can easily be seen before they jump out at you. I was scared by one ghost however, the one that hides behind the stone coffin in front of the queen and king. It was a hag-ish one and it really surprised me since it jumped up fast and I had no idea it even existed. Also when the other banshees popped up you could see the metal pole they're attached to plus the little hole in the ground they retract back into. The exit ramp back into the real world wasn't working (You had to walk up it without it moving for you) and the hidden pet cemetary was overgrown with weeds but I don't think that really matters since a good portion of the public don't even see it to begin with.

    I love the Haunted Mansion dearly and I really don't want to see it close down (Knock on wood that it doesn't close down) and I really don't want to see it lose its magic in the coming years. I know the Haunted Mansion Holiday has a much brighter color scheme and lighting pattern than the usual mansion but you can still catch several of the things I noticed in its regular form as well.

    So this got me thinking of how one can make the mansion better and more magical (Or should I say "Creepier") for the public. I am veteran of Imagineering over on the Visions Fantastic website and I decided why don't I take a break over at MiceChat and introduce something I like to call the open brainstorming thread.

    What this kind of thread is, is a bunch of people come together and share ideas on how they can create something new, or improve something old or current. This means that anyone and everyone can come in and share their ideas with the rest of the MiceChat world! This thread as you can already tell is about improving the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, so open up and share your ideas, come on don't be shy!
    "Y'all come back now, ya hear?"

  • #2
    Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

    Is it really that bad? I was there in the spring and everything seemed fine to me... at that ride anyway.

    On the brainstorming subject, I know some people will not like me for a "cloning", but I really love the MC Escher stairs scene in WDW's Haunted Mansion, and perhaps that scene could be somehow incorporated into DLR's version. I don't know where it would fit though... The only place I can think of it is possibly either right after where you get on the Dune Buggies and you're going up and its really dark, or possibly while your on the speed ramp after you get off.

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    • #3
      Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

      It's not as bad as I made it sound to tell you the truth. Yes all those things I said are true, but the real reason I posted this thread is so I could see what you guys would do if you were able to give the mansion a refurb yourself.

      Your idea for the MC Esher staircase scene has struck me with inspiration. Instead of adding the entire scene in the mansion, why not add a painting of it where ghostly figures inside wander around in search of a way out. I really wish I knew where I could fit something like that in though. It may seem kind of out of place in the Corridor of Doors, maybe the Portrait Corridor but then again that room is pretty much filled as it is.

      What do all you foolish mortals think?
      "Y'all come back now, ya hear?"

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

        During the regular Haunted Mansion you could see the strings holding up Leota's instruments, pop-up ghosts hiding behind their gravestones, the poles for the blast-ups, the speed ramp doesn't always work, etc. But yes, during the Holiday layover you do see a lot more that you shouldn't see because it's so darn bright in there. Personally, just like a lot of people, I think the best way to fix the Mansion would be to get rid of the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

          I honestly think it would be nice if the added some fog and floating steps metioned above in some areas. Some scenes could be spruced up with more detail, namely Leota's Room. curtains could be d along the wall along with faux stone vaulted walls and ceiling. A small fog machine could puff smoke at the base of your doom buggy, hiding the track as you enter the attic, hiding the service wall as well to your left. Fog could also be added along the track in the graveyard as well to hide the track and ground lighting.
          POTC uses fog so I don't see why haunted mansion can't either. It would create a more eerie set in the attic, as well as add some realism to the graveyard. The attic could also use a redo as well. I would really like to see the popping heads come back, and maybe some more self playing instruments (ie harp, etc.) to make the scene more creepy.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

            Over the years, VF gained many, many members whose only goals were to increase thier popularity and their post count, so I found MiceChat and rarely post on VF anymore.

            MiceChat is a much different environment as you will soon notice, MANEATINGWREATH, so it'll be interesting how this thread will differ from its VF counterparts.

            If I could add my two cents, I'd make all lighting much more direct as to not get many leaks onto walls and ceilings (namely in the graveyard). Make Constance a three-dimensional mannequing to be projected on, and give the loading area a dark ironwork makeover to subtly add to what little is already there.

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            • #7
              Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

              Originally posted by WDITrent View Post
              Over the years, VF gained many, many members whose only goals were to increase thier popularity and their post count, so I found MiceChat and rarely post on VF anymore.
              What's VF? If it's not against the rules to tell me.


              I also agree about Constance. I really like the darker story she adds to the Mansion, but I hate the way she looks. Have you ever noticed that she looks so bad, as soon as you get close to her, a curtain suddenly blocks your view of her?

              I also have a problem with Madame Leota. She's too bright and I see RGB trails. Not cool. I literally got a headache in the seance room last time I visited the park, and I couldn't really look around much or else I would see RGB trails.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                They should return the old pop-up ghosts to the attic, but with a new twist. They should have a lightning flash in the conservatory, and during that flash a camera takes a digital picture of you and your fellow rider in the Doom buggy. Then face recognition software extracts your faces from the image. Then when your Doom buggy reaches the attic, the pop-up ghosts appear, but they have your face projected on them as you go by them. The projection would work similar to the Madame Leota or the Phantom 5 singers. Either your face or your Doom buggy-mate's is on each pop-up ghost as you go by it.

                [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBMKaWxwXmc"]YouTube - Haunted Mansion Blast-up Ghost (in 3D)[/ame]

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                  I agree with the low floor fog idea. That would rock.
                  Perhaps some wind chill directional fans. A few areas that give you that extra cold chill, perhaps built into the buggies.
                  DTL :love:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                    Originally posted by Noski View Post
                    Is it really that bad? I was there in the spring and everything seemed fine to me... at that ride anyway.
                    The graveyard scrim was clearly visible when I rode the ride Dec. 2 (last group of the night). I have poor night vision, so I can only imagine how bright the ride looks to normal people.
                    Current hat total: 100 of 100 - completed!

                    Duckland
                    : Stroll through downtown Duckburg, making sure to tour Scrooge's Money Bin, then cross the Audubon Bay Bridge to St. Canard. Visit Liquidator's Splash Pool, and don't forget a stop by Bushroot Gardens!

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                    • #11
                      Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                      Originally posted by Casey Jr View Post
                      POTC uses fog so I don't see why haunted mansion can't either.
                      HM uses projection effects in numerous scenes - you've got Madame Leota's head, Constance, the ghosts rising out of the crypts in front of the attic, the singing busts, and "Little Leota", all of which depend on you looking at projected video without knowing it's projected video. If there's stuff suspended in the air, such as fog, the beams of light are going to be visible and the effects will be utterly ruined. Here's my Photoshopped preview of what it'd look like - I made it another time I was explaining this. The inset is a different view using the Phantom Manor version. Same deal.



                      Now, with very clever use of ventilation, perhaps it'd be possible to use fog in some areas, but again, extreme caution would be necessary. Things are already bad enough with the rainbow effect caused by the newer projectors.

                      Also...I have my own opinions on how to improve HMH, but a lot of you won't like them.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                        Feel free to share them Datameister, I for one love seeing other people's opinions!

                        VF stands for Visions Fantastic Madame_Leota, by the way that's an awesome avatar pic you have there.

                        Someone please clarify if the scrim in the graveyard does anything. Between you and me they should just cut it out entirely. I too went on December 2 (My birthday) and passing through the graveyard I noticed that not only was the scrim visible, but it had yellow smudges in it. No idea what they were but they were really gross and distracting. Also the graveyard's ceiling was so visible in fact that you could see the little tiny holes in the roof tiles. There were about six or seven air conditioning vents visible as well, but I already mentioned those in my first post. I think its there to make it look like the graveyard is filled with fog without actually using a fog machine. I don't think it works all that well to tell you the truth. I mean it's cool, but you can probably catch my drift.

                        And I agree with all of you one hundred percent that Constance's appearance can be improved. Last time I saw her she looked like a cross between Jay Leno and Princess Peach. There are a lot of ways in which the attic can be improved.

                        First of all I'd repaint the entire room and tear out all of the old lighting fixtures and put in some new ones. The new paint scheme will give the attic an even more rotted and rustic look than before, plus the allowing of it to match up with the new lighting of the attic. The new lights will shine mainly on objects of note in the attic, including the piano, wedding portraits, and Constance, casting them in a bluish purple sort of light. I'm pretty sure it's called a black light but it may have some other different name. If you're still lost like I am, take a look at the video Bob Weaver posted above. The color of the pop up ghost's surroundings will be the main light shown upon all major objects, props, and set pieces in the room. Every other thing in the attic will blend in the shadows to help create the eerie environment. The rest of the attic will go through a somewhat drastic makeover, including the restoration and return of some old friends...

                        As soon as you enter the attic the first thing you'll notice is the "Wedding March" which continues to play dolefully in the background. The bride's heart beat has also returned, getting louder and louder as you go throughout the attic. Directly to your right is the first sign of something amiss. A painted portrait of Constance, a beautiful young maiden. This portrait is actually a long lost resident of the Haunted Mansion; April. That's right Marc Davis' classic painting has made a grand return to the manor. Constance is rather enchanting, her unsmiling face has a sort of magical effect on the eyes. Nearby sits an opened hatbox, closely surrounded by piles upon piles of junk. Over to the left on a rotting wooden chair sits a wedding portrait of the woman we saw earlier (Constance) and a handsome young man. With a slicing sound the man's head suddenly disappears. Without warning his green and disembodied head leaps from within the opened hatbox, shouting "I DO!" As it retreats to its containment the groom's head reappears in the portrait. This pop up ghost effect occurs next to every other wedding portrait in the attic, save for the wedding portrait sitting next to Constance. Each and every head pops out of an opened hatbox, in memorium to the famous hatbox ghost.

                        Right beneath the portrait of Constance and her second husband rests an old and tattered newspaper explaining the mysterious disappearance of Constance's previous husband. One of these newspapers appears next to every new groom she gets, peaking at the portrait of her fifth and final husband.

                        Constance remains in her usual spot, only this time she is not a projection, she is a full blown audio animatronic. Directly beneath her sits the final version of the April/December portrait, a withered old hag version of the black widow bride in the middle of December. Her molding wedding cake has grown in size, this time featuring bride and groom figures on the top layer, only the groom's head is missing. Constance herself is quite a sight, a withered old spirit with a face so wrinkled and old it appears to be a skull from a distance. Her beady eyes glow red while her heart continues to beat blood-red from beneath her gown. The boquet of flowers/hatchet she holds in her hand remains to be a projection while the rest of her does not.

                        Over across the way is the hatbox ghost himself, in all his glory. Appearing almost exactly as he did in the earliest of the mansion's years, old hatty now functions through the magic of plastic and lights. You see Hatty's face is made out of crystal clear plastic, only his eyes, nostrils, and teeth outlines are painted black. All the other facial details have been carved into his face the same color as the plastic used to construct his head in the first place. A brilliant white light from within his hollow torso zaps on with every sling of the bride's hatchet, causing it illuminate into his skull and make him appear to have a face. With every other slice of the axe, the light almost immediately shuts off and makes his head "disappear." Meanwhile the hatbox he holds lights up right away to reveal his disembodied head inside. This effect is much easier than the previous. A fully sculpted and colored head sits inside the hatbox and waits to be lit up from the inside, as simple as that.

                        Also the HMH can go down for a serious refurb as well. It's been the same thing virtually year after year (Save for the gingerbread house) and well I think it's time for a change. It's time to give it some new twists and turns to make it even better than it has ever been before. Some of ideas may not be all that favorable, but how do these sound?

                        - An all new soundtrack which only features seldom references to songs from the film, feeding more off of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" and classic Christmas carols gone wrong, including "Carol of the Bells," "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen," "Sleigh Ride," and "Jingle Bells." These will be lush and creepy orchestrations guaranteed to send shivers down anyone's spine. I'm thinking whoever did Phantom Manor's soundtrack can do this one too, I really love his or her work with it.

                        - Oogie Boogie's portrait has returned to the stretching room. If someone has a picture of it please post it! ")

                        - The Halloween Town street band outside the portrait corridor's first window on the left are gone. I would have kept them but the new atmosphere of the attraction calls for their zany removal.

                        - The changing portraits in the Portrait Corridor now do the same as their year-round counterparts; change with each and every flash of lightning and crackle of thunder, only briefly changing into something nasty.

                        - A doleful boy's choir humming "Grim Grinning Ghosts" will somehow be a part of the loading area and portrait corridor's background music. Very similar to the choir heard on Phantom Manor.

                        - The current load area's lighting has been toned down to hide all unnecessary objects from view. The new load area features several monsters from Halloween Town decorating a rather large and dead Christmas tree. Like previous load area fill-ins they are all two dimensional and brightly painted cut-outs. The Merry/Scary Christmas banner remains at the bottom, along with the face-changing Mayor.

                        - The man-eating poinsettias now grow from all points of the Corridor of Doors, from behind doors, from ceiling corners, chandeliers, everywhere. They also growl to whatever Christmas carol that fits in with the new soundtrack for this particular part of the attraction.

                        - Scary Teddy has vacated the seance circle and been replaced by Oogie Boogie whom now takes up residence in the fancifully-furbished seance chair. Madame Leota remains but now features new dialogue she shares with Oogie whom summons up all the restless spirits of the world to come and celebrate Christmas and Halloween in the Haunted Mansion. The floating tarrot cards have been joined by floating presents and treats despite the fact the seance is no longer about the thirteen days of Christmas. Somehow or another the strings holding up the floating objects and their casted shadows will be removed. The music here will most likely be a mutated and whispy violin rendition of "Carol of the Bells" or "We Three Kings."

                        - The graveyard's ceiling will be hidden from sight while an actual snow machine will be placed towards the cemetary's exit, creating a winter terrorland for all the good little ghouls and boys to enjoy. The new music played here will be a combination of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" and many classic Christmas carols, mainly "Sleigh Ride."

                        - The hitchhiking ghosts have returned for the holiday season, hazaa! This time they are dubbed "holiday travelers" and each feature their own costume to wear on their journey home for the holidays. These costumes include our own and chubby Phineas in a Santa suit, Ezra in a Jack Skellington coat (The black and white one), and Gus in a little elf costume. Lock, Shock, and Barrel still pop up in the mirrors while each of the mirror's borders say a different saying, these sayings being "There's no place like home for the holidays," "I'll be home for Christmas," and "Sandy Claws is coming to town!"

                        Now what do you foolish mortals think?
                        Last edited by MANEATINGWREATH; 12-06-2009, 08:16 PM. Reason: Incomplete
                        "Y'all come back now, ya hear?"

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                        • #13
                          Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                          Also I was thinking there might be a way to get the pop up ghosts hidden in the graveyard. Is there anyway to do this without entirely breaking the prop? That hole it hides in must not be all that big for its head to remain above the ground. Although it probably has all the wires and poles beneath it so maybe that's why they stick out so high. Maybe they could entangle the graves in bushes or something like that to hide them.
                          "Y'all come back now, ya hear?"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                            I agree with Datameister. There are simply too many light-based effects for fog to be a good idea. For more evidence, I would use POTC as an example. In POTC, because of all the fog, you can easily see the spotlights used to light specific figures and find their source, which "spoils the magic." Also, it makes it extremely humid in the show building (although that can be justified by the tropical theme of that ride, but definately wouldn't work in the Haunted Mansion).

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                              Originally posted by MANEATINGWREATH View Post
                              Feel free to share them Datameister, I for one love seeing other people's opinions!
                              Well...I happen to think that by far the easiest way to improve the Haunted Mansion would be to let it stay open year-round, rather than shutting it down for 4-5 months every year. I find HMH to be a garish, overly bright mishmash of conflicting visual styles that ruins gags like the disappearing stretching room ceiling and the hitchhiking ghosts mirrors. The original HM is a brilliant work of Imagineering that doesn't rely on overstimulation of the senses and recognizable characters, and it's a shame it's really only available from February through August. Especially because I usually don't get to go during the summer, which means there are only 4-5 months during the year in which I have any real chance of riding one of my favorite attractions. If Disney stopped putting so much time and money into HMH every year, they could use it for much better stuff, IMO.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                                I'm suggesting the use of fog, not haze. Huge difference. If they where to use a heavier colder fog, it will stay on the ground and not rise. This allows lights and projectors to work unhindered, but gives the floor of the ride (or certain parts of the ride) an added effect of your ghostly visit.
                                I'd love to see it on the floor while your waiting in line once you've entered the mansion as well.
                                DTL :love:

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                                • #17
                                  Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                                  And just to clarify, they are using haze in pirates, not fog
                                  DTL :love:

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                                    I'm not going to assert that it absolutely could not ever work...it's not like I've tested it within the attraction or anything. But even if the fog is dense and chilled and low-lying, I still worry about the air above being slightly less than totally clear. It wouldn't take much to make it so you could see the beams, and if they're even slightly visible, the effect is utterly useless.

                                    Logistics aside, I don't think I'd want to see fog within the mansion itself...that'd seem weird, even if it's supposed to be a supernatural fog. It'd be most appropriate in the graveyard scene, but again, you've got the singing bust projections pretty close to the ground there. Perhaps it'd be best to have fog machines around the outside edge of the scene? The "ground" slopes up at the sides, so the fog would roll down toward the track while dissipating, creating some nice, creepy atmospheric effects that disguise the true size of the room.
                                    Last edited by Datameister; 12-11-2009, 02:51 PM.

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                                      What about fog in the wait line once inside the Mansion? That's moreso where I see it more magical!
                                      DTL :love:

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: The Haunted Mansion: X-Scream Makeover Home Edition, Open Brainstorming

                                        Maybe the fog can come in at night for the queue. We could also give the mansion some creepy new lighting for the evening hours to attract more guests inside. But during the day it would look just as peaceful and quaint as it was back in its opening year.
                                        "Y'all come back now, ya hear?"

                                        Comment

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