From the very beginning there has always been a plan for a Haunted House attraction at Disneyland. But what form it would take and where it would be located – those questions were definitely open to discussion.
The original proposal was for a side street off Main Street with a dilapidated but interesting building … see these Harper Goff drawings
Soon, the ideas for New Orleans Square were coming together, and the decision was made that this was the right place for the attraction. Artists continued to draw run-down Haunted Houses like those appearing in many theme parks until Walt put his foot down. He said it could be scary as they liked inside but the outside would be clean and well maintained just like the rest of Disneyland.
The final facade of the Mansion was based on an existing house in Baltimore, the Shipley Lydecker House (proposed for use by Ken Anderson).
Hmm, that DOES look familiar!
The exterior of the mansion was built in 1962-1963 and then it sat there for 3 years before construction on the attraction began in earnest. The ride didn’t open until 1969. Though various materials posited opening dates as early as 1963.
(Photo from Doom Buggies)
If you don’t know the Doom Buggies website – I highly recommend it!
Here's a page from Laurie showing off the Haunted Mansion facade (in its Holiday glory)
So cool. I hadn't seen that pic of the original house in so long. Thanks for the reminder! And yes, that Doom Buggies site is awesome!
Very cool! Love laurie's page too
I remember as a little girl living in Northern Cal, the kids in the neighborhood would talk about the new rides at Disneyland as we visited them. The Haunted Mansion opened when I was 10 and was a BIG deal in our neighborhood.