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Fun Find Friday

September 13, 2013

Location: Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom

Happy Friday the 13th! This very unlucky and spooky day has us headed over to everyone's favorite Haunted Mansion where visitations are in order. While dragging your wretched body through the new extended queue you will come across the following organ:

Haunted Mansion organ

While this didn't join the line until 2011, the organ pays a nice tribute to a person and idea that helped make the attraction what it is today. Let's start off with the brand of organ found directly above the keys. Here you will see the following:


So why Ravenscroft? I know what you may be thinking: it's an obvious nod to the raven found throughout the attraction! While that does seem like an obvious choice, it is actually a nod to voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft! So who is Mr. Ravenscroft? His most known work is for Tony "They're Grrrrrreat" Tiger and the narrator for The Grinch that Stole Christmas, but to Disney fans he is most known for his work on The Haunted Mansion!

Thurl plays Uncle Theodore, the head of the Phantom Five, in the attraction. Who is the Phantom Five exactly? They are the name for the five busts in the graveyard that sing the attractions' theme song, "Grim Grinning Ghosts!" Thurl's bust is actually the one most people confuse with being Walt Disney! That isn't the only hidden secret found on the organ though! If you take a look at the one side of the organ you will find an interactive wall that looks like the following image.

Haunted Mansion interactive wall

While this wall features simple instruments most guests are familiar with. The other side focuses on instruments that are a lot weirder:

Haunted Mansion wall

While these instruments will play music once touched, much like the other side, these instruments have a much more interesting history. When The Haunted Mansion was first in development, a big chunk of it was going to be focused on a Museum of the Weird which was actually featured on one of Walt's television shows shortly before he passed away. Unfortunately, most of the Imagineers didn't like the idea of the Museum of the Weird so after Walt passed away the idea disappeared.

That is, until 2011 when The Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom received a brand new interactive queue. When the line was added, some of the original renderings for the Museum of the Weird were reduplicated into this interactive wall!

Until next time, Happy Friday the 13th everyone!


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