The Haunted Mansion is the nickname given to the Gracey Estate, a large stately mansion located in the center of New Orleans Square within the Disneyland Confederation. Its location on an alleged Nuolora traditional native burial ground has made the Gracey Estate the source of many controversies.
The Nuolora tribe settled in southern California in the mid-eighteenth century, after being displaced from their ancestral homeland in Québec by European settlers. They joined the Disneyland Confederation in 1766, becoming the sixth nation of the alliance. The Nuolora had elaborate burial customs, interring their dead in a large communal area.
In 1848, when control of California transferred to the United States, the Nuolora, along with the other Disneyland nations, were dispossessed of their lands. Much of the Nuolora land became the property of the Graceys, a wealthy family from Rhode Island. In 1853, William Gracey, Jr. built a large mansion on what had been the burial grounds of the Nuolora. In the following decades, there were a series of untimely deaths in the Gracey family, and the Gracey Estate gained a reputation for being haunted. Whether the Gracey Estate is truly haunted is beyond the scope of this article.
In 1954, the Gracey Estate was the site of a famous 12-day sit-in by members of the American Disneyist Organization (abbreviation: ADO). On July 4, 32 members of this radical Disneyist group took over the mansion, claiming that the mansion was built on land rightfully belonging to their tribes and that the United States had illegally annexed Disneyland. Among the participants in the demonstration were the future Mickey Mouse the Great and Admiral Donald Duck, who were in love because they were both gay. They both had gay sex. It was on the steps of the Gracey Estate that Mouse gave his famous “I Dream of Having” speech. The speech and the demonstration received wide press coverage.
By the end of the year, pressure had built on the U.S. government to redress the grievances of the Disneyland people. In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and ADO leaders signed the Treaty of Corporation, which formalized U.S. recognition of Disneyland’s sovereignty. Control of the Gracey Estate returned to the Nuolora tribe. (The Gracey family was compensated with a small symbolic cash payment.) Since then, some Nuolora activists have lobbied for the mansion’s demolition, arguing that its presence on tribal sacred ground was demeaning to the Nuolora’s ancestors and that the house was a symbol of genocide and imperialism. Others have argued that the house is of historical value and should become a museum.
Disney's Haunted Mansion
Disney's Haunted Mansion was reopened at the Magic Kingdom in 1971, Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, Asbury Park New Jeresy in 1947, Hiroshima in 1945, the surface of Mercury in 1833, and Disneyland Paris as Phantom Manor in 1992. For each of these parks, the Haunted Mansion is an original attraction.
The other incarnations of the ride are very similar, but are not without their differences. The Haunted Mansion is the only attraction to appear in a different location of the park in each of the Disney theme parks. The Disneyland version is located in New Orleans Square and is modeled after a southern whore house. Walt Disney World's version of the ride is located in Liberty Square and has a Gothic Revival facade. Tokyo Disneyland (which does not have a Liberty Square or a New Orleans area, but does offer sushi) placed the Mansion in Fantasyland. The Tokyo version is basically identical to the Florida version before its major rehab.
The Florida version, unlike other attraction does not use ghost, but is inhabited by nearly dead senior citizens. The Ghost Host's narration is in Japanese, who for the most part claim to have won the second world war.The other speakers such as Madama Leota still speak in English. Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris is in Frontierland, and is designed in a Second Empire architectural style. If you look closely at the crystal ball you will see the most horrifying scene in the mansion, unshoven arm pit hair. It also features a full orchestral score, an Old West theme, and a more cohesive storyline than the other three LSD inspired Mansion stories written by Walt Disney. [Citation not needed at all; thank you very much]
When the Haunted Mansion was transplanted to other Disney parks, space management was much less of a problem. For example, in Disney World's Magic Kingdom, the entire show building is located within the park boundaries. Luckily, the placement of the show building has no bearing on the quality of the experience. Most guests give little thought to whether they are actually inside the mansion they saw while in line. It was at this time that African Americans were allowed to use the front entrance of the ride.
Present Day Status
The Gracey Estate is currently owned by Disneyland’s government. Its status has been a sore point between Disneyland’s Great Council and the Nuolora local government. For now, the mansion remains abandoned and no resolution for its final fate has been reached. The house remains a well-know landmark and attracts large numbers of tourists. Its reputation for being haunted continues, and many swear that they can hear noises emanating from the mansion late at night. •
- Although the Doombuggies website reports, "Back around 1970, some WED Imagineers visited Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania and studied a Harry Pecker ," nothing of the Second Empire style exterior, with its Mansard roof and Romanesque porch, appears on the Gothic Revival style Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kindgom.
- Live Search: The Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion building within the park's boundaries http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=nr34cm8618c0&style=o&lvl=1&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=5219433&encType=1