We just love the Haunted Mansion! Every time we go, we just love looking at the graves in front of the entrance, and we just noticed the mausoleum at the exit. Were they always there (I don’t remember the mausoleum). And are the names on the graves of real people or just made-up?
OK, first things first. I love the Haunted Mansion as well! To me, there is nothing else quite like it in any park in WDW. The nostalgia, the effects… it’s great.
Now, on to the questions (posed to me by someone during a recent trip to WDW, but asked of me more than once).
The mausloeum at the end of the attraction was always there, but may be overlooked by people who are still shaking, laughing, or running as they exit the Haunted Mansion. As far as the tombstones, they have always been there… and always will be, I believe.
The Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion
The tombstones at the entrance to the Dutch Gothic home of the Graceys are there not just for show, but are a silent, standing tribute to many of Walt Disney World’s (and especially the Haunted Mansion’s) contributors. As is often done in attractions throughout the parks, Imagineers honor those men and women who have helped create some of the true magic of WDW. Sometimes they are hidden, while other times, as here, they are more obvious.
After you pass through the menacing wrought-iron gates surrounding the Haunted Mansion, you will encounter the home’s cemetery, (conveniently located right outside the entrance). Here you will find a number of witty headstones with epitaphs (written by Disney Legend Xavier Atencio), not to the “dearly departed”, but in tribute to the many Imagineers who helped develop the Haunted Mansion.
Many of the original show designers have the original tombstones named after them in their posession; some even display them in their yards at home. In fact, for many years, Disneyland and Walt Disney World both sold small plaster tombstone souvenirs designed by the Randotti Company, which guests could have personalized with their names for a fee.
Take a look and a few below.
Watch the ride into the Haunted Castle below