Despite not opening until well after both Disneyland’s opening day and the death of Walt Disney, the Haunted Mansion attraction is considered a classic as well as a mainstay of Magic Kingdom-style parks worldwide.
Originally conceptualized as a walkthrough attraction, the Omnimover ride (an attraction where various cars are moved through set pieces on a never-ending conveyor belt) first opened in Disneyland in 1969, and featured as an opening day attraction at both the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in 1971 and Tokyo Disneyland in 1983. Variants of the attraction (Phantom Manor and Mystic Manor) exist in Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland, respectively.
The Haunted Mansion combines the work of several legendary Disney Imagineers, including Ken Anderson, X Atencio, Harriet Burns, Claude Coats, Rolly Crump, Blaine Gibson, Yale Gracey, Leota Toombs, and especially the character art of Marc Davis. Keep reading to see a gallery of concept art for the Mansion and beyond.
Originally conceptualized as a walkthrough attraction called the 'Ghost House', this piece by Ken Anderson depicts the exterior of the Mansion. (Image courtesy Long Forgotten Haunted Mansion)
The author would like to thank Doombuggies.com, WEDWAY Radio, Progress City USA and the Progress City Primer by Michael Crawford, Disney PhilharPodcast, Widen Your World, Passport to Dreams Old and New, It’s Kind of A Cute Story by Rolly Crump, and the Walt Disney Family Museum for their extensive work in logging Imagineering history and especially for creating the research materials for this story.