Friday, October 31, 2014
After what seems like months of anticipation and early celebrating (for some), Halloween is finally here! I remember when October 31st was a fun little day, with some cheap costumes purchased at Sears (acetate clothing and plastic masks), some paper skeletons and black cats on the walls of the classroom, jack o'lantern carving, and trick-or-treating. And that was about it! Now it has grown and been commercialized to an incredible degree. Who woulda thunk it.
Anyway, I wasn't sure what to post today; so I finally decided to share some photos relating to the Haunted Mansion shortly after it opened. They're not anything amazing (no Hatbox Ghost, darn it), but still, who doesn't love the Haunted Mansion?
Let's start with this one, taken from outside the Mansion's beautifully manicured grounds. The line apparently snakes on and on, but our photographer was now close enough to snap his first real picture of the building, even though it is mostly hidden by stately magnolia trees. Mr. Plaid Pants looks ready to play a round of golf. Notice two men standing nearby in sport coats - it seems odd that they would dress that way in August, unless they had to. Could they be park employees?
Zooming in on the famous bronze plaque on that brick column, you can see that it is still quite shiny, like a new penny. It wouldn't look like that for very long. Now it is practically black, with some greenish-gray verdigris.
Closer and closer, ever so slowly… the Imagineers did such an incredible job with the exterior of the Mansion, with so much detail. Everything just feels right, as if the building had been there for 100 years.
Looking through some of the shrubbery we can just see the crypt that serves as the exit to the attraction. I don't remember noticing that bird bath before, I thought there was a sundial. Maybe there's both?
The next two are reposts (originally shared in 2010), with the photos also from August of 1969. This is a view from Tom Sawyer Island looking toward the opposite shore. It is absolutely jam-packed! Granted, some of those folks might be in line for "Pirates", which is right in front of us. But I would wager (based on what I've heard and read) that most of those folks are waiting hours to see Disneyland's newest and (arguably) most-anticipated attraction. It looks like the line easily passes the River Belle Terrace, and continues on almost to the Golden Horseshoe.
Sacre Bleu! Of course, now it looks like that many evenings after the fireworks and the second showing of "Fantasmic!".
I hope that you all have a spooktacular Halloween!