Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion

Boy, have we got a special treat for you today! Special Guest Cindy Fragozo, an agent with the fabulous 3D Travel Company, has dropped by and brought 999 happy haunts with her! Cindy is a fellow homeschooler whose kids are devoted Earn Your E.A.R.S. participants. She’s also very creative and crafty! You can learn more about Cindy here, and if you’re looking to book a Disney trip, click to request a FREE quote or give Cindy a call at (210)363-4176.

Disneyland Haunted Mansion
Photo via Disney Parks

The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park is a mansion built to resemble a 19th century mansion in New Orleans Square. It’s shown above with its holiday “Nightmare Before Christmas” overlays.

Many people say seeing is believing. This is what makes many Disney attractions so magical. We see flying ghosts, cars that drive themselves, and the ever magical pixie dust, and we can’t help but believe! Disney Imagineers work hard to make these things super magical so that we are removed from reality and placed in a far off lands where magical things happen.

Haunted Mansion hitchhiking ghosts
Photo via Disney Parks

The Haunted Mansion was built in 1962 as a walk-through attraction, but did not open officially until 1969. The Grand Hall scene is one of my personal favorites in the Mansion. I spot something new every time I ride my Doom buggy through. So now we ask, is seeing believing? In the Grand Hall’s birthday scene alone, there are ghosts/spirits that flutter about, dance and twirl, and appear and disappear. Many people say that holograms are used to create the flying, moving, very real-looking ghosts, but it is actually a technique known as “Pepper’s ghost.” Pepper’s ghost is a theatrical illusion from around the turn of the twentieth century named after John Henry Pepper. It is a method of optical illusion using glass and a light source to illuminate an actual object. Light on a hidden object reflects on the glass and appears that the object is actually there. It is a rather simple technique; however, Disney takes it to a whole new level–plusses it–with many ghosts in the Hall during the party. Disney has a way of making the impossible possible, the unreal real. Now try your hand at creating a small bit of magic.

Today’s Takeaway:
Create your own Pepper’s ghostillusion. This actually occurs within our everyday life and we may not notice it. Hop in your car at night and have your children turn on the interior cab light. You will be able to see the children in the back as well as what is in front of the car through the windshield. If you didn’t know any better, you might think your children’s happy faces were right in front of the window and not behind you. This is a very simple recreation of this very intricate attraction. You can also replicate the illusion simply with a flashlight, figurine, and a piece of glass (see pictures below). Now can your children use this technique to haunt your home for Halloween or just for fun.

Peppers ghost illusion
Peppers ghost illusion
Pepper’s ghost photos via Cindy Fragozo

By the way, Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion could not have utilized holograms when it opened, because holographic technology wasn’t even introduced until 1962.

SKILL LEVEL: Middle Grades

Thanks so much for being our Guest, Cindy!

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02849459489547365570 kimberdee9298

    Loved this blog post! Just shared “Todays Takeaway” with my son and he is looking for the necessary items right now. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15005749002388979605 Cindy

    Thank you so much Jodi fit having me, we had an amazing time ghost making! I hope others have just a much fun too!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15005749002388979605 Cindy

    Thank you so much Jodi fit having me, we had an amazing time ghost making! I hope others have just a much fun too!

  • Anonymous

    Awesome Cyn