Friday, 31 October 2008

This Is Halloween

Happy Halloween to all the dear readers of DF'82!
I hope you've enjoyed your trip around Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris, and your introduction to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party over at Walt Disney World.

Have a safe and fun Halloween, and if you can't be good, be careful! Watch out for the ghouls and goblins - they might put a spell on you, but this is Halloween so try not to have Nightmares (before Christmas, that is!). It's really not so scary, and thank you for letting me be your Ghost Host.

Did you get those references to some favourite Halloween-themed movies and songs?

Thursday, 30 October 2008

More Around Boot Hill

Carrying on with our brief Halloween look at the Boot Hill Cemetery at Phantom Manor, we are introduced to several new tombstones...

One of my favourite sets of tombstones ever (?!), these introduce us to the infamous humour of the Imagineers. Can you get the running joke amongst these graves?

These ones tie in nicely to the Frontierland setting of the Manor:

1802 -1866
Complete with his Cowboy Boots.
Buried with a very apt item - some bar-room doors.

Our final graves for this trip show Mary Murphy and Frank Ballard. Now, with every Haunted Mansion there are hundreds of stories attached to the attraction, but only the Imagineers know the real answers. I have heard that Mary Murphy Ravenswood is actually the daughter of Henry and Martha, not Melanie as in my previous post.

I may need a research trip to figure this out more, but I personally think Melanie is Henry's daughter, and that the sole unmarked grave on Boot Hill could be her resting place. But as I said, that's a story for another time.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Not Quite Boot-Strap Bill...

In the approach to Halloween, where better to be than the Boot Hill Cemetery at the Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris?

The Graveyard is one of my favourite places in Frontierland, and the resort itself. It's so full of detail and descriptions, that it really puts you in the right frame of mind for the Manor. Tying up to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad across the river, the entrance to the Cemetery shows the following motif:

No. 39

And if you look carefully, you can still see some sticks of dynamite that have been left behind amongst the rocks.

Of course, don't get too comfortable with the area - we are in a Cemetery attached to the Phantom Manor. Things are bound to get spooky sooner or later...

If you enter into the Boot Hill area, you will be met with a large mausoleum for Martha Ravenswood and Henry Ravenswood. The plaque below stating:


Those of you Disney geeks will recognise those names as being integral characters in the Phantom Manor legend. Henry struck gold in the town and bought himself a large Victorian Mansion - Phantom Manor - but both he and his wife were killed in a devastating earthquake that shook the town of Thunder Mesa. They had a daughter, Melanie, who's story is also a very interesting one - but I'll leave that for another day.

So, it is here that Henry and Martha have been buried. That means they're dead, right? Well you would think so - but at night you can hear some very strange noises indeed coming from inside the graves. It couldn't be someone knocking, could it?

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Something Spooky This Way Comes...

The general area around the Phantom Manor is really what makes this Haunted Mansion stand out from all the rest. The fact that it is set in Frontierland, also, plays a role in the spookiness and eeriness of the Manor.


Just past the Manor itself, and the nearby Boot Hill Cemetery - which I will be discussing tomorrow - is Geyser Plateau. This Plateau is best viewed from the Thunder Mesa Riverboat, where you can experience the hot springs and steam that rises from the Geyser and the mud puddles. The landscape is very similar to that of the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming - tying in nicely with the Frontierland theme of the area.

Of course, I don't think Yellowstone has quite the same boneyard that we have here. It really is an eerily silent place...


Even though it's right next door, sometimes it's very hard to see the Phantom Manor through the steam and the spray. It's almost as if it's trying to hide itself from us... But it's just a building, and these are just special effects - right?

Monday, 27 October 2008

The Garden Pavilion

To enter the Phantom Manor, you must first go through the Garden, which intensifies the mystery of the manor through whispering winds, laughter and jovial voices heard in the distance, with the faint sound of clinking glasses and folks enjoying a banquet.

One of my favourite parts of the Garden is the Garden Pavilion, an area in which I'm sure the inhabitants of the manor enjoyed afternoon tea several times. Of course, what makes it all the stranger is that the Pavilion has been left untouched since the last tea party was held. With all the dust and the strange noises, it looks as though that last tea party was a long time ago...


By seeing the Pavilion in the night rain, you can see another reason why Phantom Manor in Disneyland Resort, Paris, is one of the most haunting of them all.


The Manor itself houses 92 Audio-Animatronic characters, 58 special effects and 54 animated props. You access the ride in the Manor through Doom Buggies - similar to other Haunted Mansions throughout the world.


Without going into too much detail, the attraction starts in the Foyer, which then moves onto the Doorless Chamber. Following the bride and the spooks, you travel through the Music Room, the Wedding Reception area, the Bride's Boudoir, the Graveyard, a Western town called Phantom Canyon featuring a Saloon and an Apothecary, finally travelling through the Manor's Garden and into the Wine Cellar.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

The Phantom Awaits

To coincide with Halloween, I thought it would be interesting to have a little look at the Phantom Manor - the Haunted Mansion of Disneyland Paris. Over the next few days, I'd like to introduce you to some of the interesting aspects of the Phantom Manor, inside and outside the building. Hopefully it won't get too scary for all of us!


The Phantom Manor opened with the park back in 1992, and is situated high up on a hill in Frontierland, overlooking the Rivers of the West. Of course, similar to its brothers in the other Disney parks, the Manor is home to 999 happy haunts - with room for a thousand, of course.

Here is what the Berlitz Guide to Euro Disney tells you about the story of Phantom Manor:
Home of one of Thunder Mesa's founding families during the gold rush, it fell into decay after the patriarch's daughter was jilted on her wedding day and never seen alive again. [p50]
As you travel throughout the manor, you are introduced to the woes of the bride-to-be and the wicked Phantom that torments her (who, interestingly enough, is played by Vincent Price).


The Ghost Host and the commentary are all in French, which can make it a little hard to follow for all non-French speakers. But, in a way, that can make it all the spookier...

Of course - the perfect time to visit the Phantom Manor is at night. Enter, if you dare. The Phantom awaits.


Friday, 24 October 2008


Just because it's Halloween in Walt Disney World doesn't mean it's not Halloween in any of the other Disney parks around the globe.

Disneyland Paris, my 'home' park, if you can call it that, celebrates this season with just as much effort as its sibling. Here you can see a leaflet that helps us all get ready for Halloween - and Halloweenisms. I thought this would be helpful with only one week to go until the day itself!

Please, don't have nightmares.





Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The Devil's In The Details

Let's stay out of the dark for the time being, and have a look at one of the other fantastic aspects of the Mickey's Not So Scary Party - the Cast Members. This years Cast Members were very differently dressed from the visiting public - so you couldn't miss them in a crowd.


And don't forget that Goofy's Candy Company are the proud sponsors of the Halloween festivities. You can trick or treat for delicious candies - or sweeties, as we say in the UK - all over the park. If you had been there 2 years ago, maybe a special Princess would have been helping you with your candy...


Don't forget to check out the fantastic Main Street Gazette blog. Ryan has written this great piece about the scarecrows that are scattered around the entrance to Main Street U.S.A. Drop by his blog and give him some Royal love!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Can You Remind Me What Time Of Year It Is?

Once we make it to the end of Main Street USA - in the daylight, don't worry people! - it may get a little confusing as to what time of year it is exactly. Yes, there are a lot of pumpkins, but maybe it's just harvest-time? Or perhaps it's a summer ritual in some countries.

But when we reach the Castle Hub we are greeted with some familiar faces in some un-familiar costumes. Of course, it's Halloween time! That explains characters in their costumes... Enjoy!



Friday, 17 October 2008

Still Looking!

Continuing from our last post...


Isn't it nice that even the area at Walt's window is decorated for Halloween?


And if you look closely, you can see the special pumpkins made for the Ice Cream Parlor!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Looking Around At Halloween

Let's meander around Main Street USA a little more, shall we? Enjoying the scenery at this scary time of year...



Note from editor: I'm having some major computer issues - the main computer I use has decided to be 'ill'. So, posts may be erratic for the next few days - but thank you for your patience!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Happy Halloween Windows

As we meander Main Street USA we are surrounded by the spirit of Halloween and Happy Hallowishes.


Regular readers will know how much I love Disney store facades, and Halloween is no exception. Just look at this adorable window of our two favourite mice - Mickey & Minnie. Surel another reason as to why this is NOT so scary, right?

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Pressing Forward!

Guys - are you still with me? I hope so! Ryan - come back to us! See, it's not so scary in the daytime, is it? Of course, we've now jumped forward 3 years into 2008, but still...


So, we make it under the train station - but Main Street is looking rather dark and intimidating. Look at all those pumpkins in the window, back in 2005, and the haunting colours of the buildings.


Okay, if we all stick together, we'll get through it...right?!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Where's All This Fog From?!

I've got a few things lined up for our Halloween Holiday Special here at DF'82. Focusing mainly on Walt Disney World (I've not been lucky enough to experience Disneyland Paris at this time of year - yet!), I want you to feel like you've walked around the park with me!

Of course, most of you will have experience Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party - so hopefully here you will be able to relieve those experiences! I do love any of the parks when they are decorated for the holidays... Seeing as it is Halloween time, I would also like to show you around the Phantom Manor - Paris's version of the famous Haunted Mansion. So watch out for those!


But first, let's step back in time... it's Halloween 2004... and we're just entering the Magic Kingdom, ready to take part in our very first Mickey's Not-So-Scary. Are you scared? You shouldn't be. Although, the way the Train Station almost disappears into the fog, it can be a little bit intimidating!

Thursday, 9 October 2008

What Time (of Year) Is It?

One of the great things about being Disney around any holiday time, is how the parks are decorated and themed. And Halloween is no exception!

On my recent visit to Walt Disney World, the Magic Kingdom looked beautiful all dressed up for the Halloween festivities. Pumpkins and banners adorned the various shops and eateries up and down the Main Street USA - more on that in future posts!


Even a glance at Cinderella's Castle, you can't escape what time of year it is. Can you spot the Halloween decoration?

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Countdown To Halloween...

Are you all ready for Halloween?

DF'82 is - and we'd like to share the most spooktacular time of the year with you all! So get ready to be seriously not-so-spooked...