What might have been with the Haunted Mansion?

Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
As my forum name might indicate, I'm a huge, HUGE fan of the Haunted Mansion. The thread title is not suggesting the HM could've been any better than it is. With that said I do have questions regarding the origins of the ride, and where it may have ended up if Walt wasn't taken so abrumptly. This question stems from ignorance, not criticism btw... how big of a hand did Walt really have on the design of the attraction? This is a sincere question. I'm not sure if anyone on these boards would have any factual information, or more likely opinion based on what you've read, watched, or generally feel.

The reason I ask is because I've seen the archive footage of Walt discussing the ride with his imagineers. I'll post the video below for those that may not have seen it. My first impression is that Walt seems somewhat unknowledgeable about the evolving attraction as he speaks about it. It seems like he only knows generalities. He says "Mark Davis is the master in charge of our House of Illusions, or what do we call it?" and then Mark Davis corrects him by saying "The Haunted Mansion". Then he goes on with "what is... tell her about this thing here, will ya Mark" referencing the stretching room. He doesn't seem particularly knowledgeable of the scene or effect. Later, speaking to another imagineer who he says "is acting as the interior decorator of the House of illusion... what do we call it?" and the imagineer corrects him "Museum of the Weird". Now granted not all of the original plans were realized, in fact they changed quite drastically over time including making it a ride rather than a walk through. The plans for the ride had to evolve to make it work, but how much of the HM was really "Walt"?

Another question. The HM is a beloved, iconic attraction. Do you think that it being completed after Walt passed might have given the imagineers more freedom to make it what it is? Would Walt have demanded to keep it a walk-through, and a "House of Illusions" and "Museum of the Weird"? I just wonder if perhaps it wouldn't have been everything we love about it if Walt had seen it through to the end. OR, did Walt give his imagineers enough slack in their imagination rope to end up where they did anyway? It just evolved so much after Walt's passing, so I'm wondering if it would still be the icon it is, or perhaps it might have already been replaced by now if original plans had prevailed?

I'm just curious if anyone has solid information, or just wants to share their opinion. Here's the video...
 

FettFan

Well-Known Member
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"Professor Crump's Museum of the Weird" was a plan championed by Walt and designed by Imagineers Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey. It was to be the original exit area for the HM....kind of a "Ripley's Believe It or Not" showcase of different macabre artifacts that guests would see as the left the attraction.


Crump himself goes into detail about what was designed in his book 'It's Kind of a Cute Story'...and a few pieces did make it into the final Mansion, such as he monster Grandfather Clock with human fingers and the ornate chair with the human face design in its fabric.


The Museum of the Weird was ultimately scrapped when Walt died... Can't remember who killed it. I want to say "Duck" Nunis, but it might have been Card Walker. It's been a while since I've read it.
Anyway....they hated the idea, and only entertained it because Walt was around. But once he was out of the picture, down came the axe.
 

ppete1975

Well-Known Member
"Professor Crump's Museum of the Weird" was a plan championed by Walt and designed by Imagineers Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey. It was to be the original exit area for the HM....kind of a "Ripley's Believe It or Not" showcase of different macabre artifacts that guests would see as the left the attraction.


Crump himself goes into detail about what was designed in his book 'It's Kind of a Cute Story'...and a few pieces did make it into the final Mansion, such as he monster Grandfather Clock with human fingers and the ornate chair with the human face design in its fabric.


The Museum of the Weird was ultimately scrapped when Walt died... Can't remember who killed it. I want to say "Duck" Nunis, but it might have been Card Walker. It's been a while since I've read it.
Anyway....they hated the idea, and only entertained it because Walt was around. But once he was out of the picture, down came the axe.
Do you feel the collectors museum at dca is a nod to the museum of the wierd? Good comic btw
 

FettFan

Well-Known Member
Do you feel the collectors museum at dca is a nod to the museum of the weird?

No. It's just a coincidence. The Collector's museum comes straight from Marvel comics. While in the movies, he's an oddball with a massive hoarding problem, in the comics the reason for his collection was that he was a clairvoyant. He saw a future where Thanos destroyed the universe, so his museum was more of an intergalactic Noah's Ark.

And then he foresaw the rise of Korvac and the destruction of the Avengers, so he kidnapped them to keep them safe. And then another Avengers team showed up to save them.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
There is pattern throughout Walt's life where he get's really into something and then his interest starts to fade. He would go from being super involved in even the most minute of detail to more of a supervisor. This happened in the animated shorts, then the feature length animation, then live action nd eventually Disneyland. By the time of the Tencennial his interest had shifted away from Disneyland towards EPCOT. The Haunted Mansion was also several iterations and lead designers in at this point and while some aspects had been solidified for years there was also a lot that was still in flux.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
There is pattern throughout Walt's life where he get's really into something and then his interest starts to fade. He would go from being super involved in even the most minute of detail to more of a supervisor. This happened in the animated shorts, then the feature length animation, then live action nd eventually Disneyland. By the time of the Tencennial his interest had shifted away from Disneyland towards EPCOT. The Haunted Mansion was also several iterations and lead designers in at this point and while some aspects had been solidified for years there was also a lot that was still in flux.

Its been often written about that Walt struggled with dyslexia, and he found it difficult getting through school from a lack of focusing ( he dropped out of school at 16 ). In many different articles it has been proposed that Walt had a form of ADHD. The traits he exhibited such as a lack of focus, being an initiator of a project and not following the entire way to the end, getting bored with a topic, are all signs of someone with ADHD. Some of the ADHD traits he exhibited such as how he passed off projects to others, his critical style of not being satisfied with the work done, drove many of his crew crazy but it also helped drive them to perfect their projects. The man was a genius and despite his style of how he operated his company and how he lead others, he was able to get the success he was after.
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
Its been often written about that Walt struggled with dyslexia, and he found it difficult getting through school from a lack of focusing ( he dropped out of school at 16 ). In many different articles it has been proposed that Walt had a form of ADHD. The traits he exhibited such as a lack of focus, being an initiator of a project and not following the entire way to the end, getting bored with a topic, are all signs of someone with ADHD. Some of the ADHD traits he exhibited such as how he passed off projects to others, his critical style of not being satisfied with the work done, drove many of his crew crazy but it also helped drive them to perfect their projects. The man was a genius and despite his style of how he operated his company and how he lead others, he was able to get the success he was after.
I highly doubt Walt had ADHD. People with this condition have trouble completing very simple, everyday tasks. Walt showed incredible attention to tiny details in whatever project he was currently working on, and he usually saw those projects to completion. But he rarely repeated himself and was constantly looking for "the next big thing".
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
I highly doubt Walt had ADHD. People with this condition have trouble completing very simple, everyday tasks. Walt showed incredible attention to tiny details in whatever project he was currently working on, and he usually saw those projects to completion. But he rarely repeated himself and was constantly looking for "the next big thing".

Just one of many articles by professionals in the field that have Walt included on their list.
Famous People with ADHD
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
Last updated: 19 Jun 2019

Attention deficit disorder (with or without hyperactivity) affects people of all ages, races, professions and walks of life. The impact of attention deficit disorder symptoms can make a person less productive, but still no less able to make their mark on this world. It’s estimated that approximately 5 percent of children today may have a form of attention deficit disorder.
Having ADHD doesn’t mean you have a handicap. As somebody once noted, “ADHD often endows children and adults with gifts such as creativity, intuition, imagination, and a sense of adventure.” Indeed, if you have ADHD, you are in very good company with the list of famous people below who either have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, or have many of the symptoms of this disorder that suggest they may have had it (in no particular order):
Albert Einstein
Galileo
Mozart
Leonardo da Vinci
Cher
Bruce Jenner
Charles Schwab
Henry Winkler
Danny Glover
Walt Disney
John Lennon
Greg Louganis
Winston Churchill
Henry Ford
Stephen Hawkings
Jules Verne
Alexander Graham Bell
Woodrow Wilson
Hans Christian Anderson
Nelson Rockefeller
Thomas Edison
Gen. George Patton
Agatha Christie
John F. Kennedy
Whoopi Goldberg
Rodin
Thomas Thoreau
David H. Murdock
Dustin Hoffman
Pete Rose
Russell White
Jason Kidd
Russell Varian
Robin Williams
Louis Pasteur
Werner von Braun
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Robert Kennedy
Prince Charles
Gen. Westmoreland
Eddie Rickenbacker
Gregory Boyington
Harry Belafonte
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Mariel Hemingway
Steve McQueen
George C. Scott
Tom Smothers
Suzanne Somers
Lindsay Wagner
George Bernard Shaw
Joan Rivers
Beethoven
Jim Carey
Carl Lewis
Jackie Stewart
“Magic” Johnson
John Corcoran
Sylvester Stallone
 

Heppenheimer

Well-Known Member
Just one of many articles by professionals in the field that have Walt included on their list.
Famous People with ADHD
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
Last updated: 19 Jun 2019

Attention deficit disorder (with or without hyperactivity) affects people of all ages, races, professions and walks of life. The impact of attention deficit disorder symptoms can make a person less productive, but still no less able to make their mark on this world. It’s estimated that approximately 5 percent of children today may have a form of attention deficit disorder.
Having ADHD doesn’t mean you have a handicap. As somebody once noted, “ADHD often endows children and adults with gifts such as creativity, intuition, imagination, and a sense of adventure.” Indeed, if you have ADHD, you are in very good company with the list of famous people below who either have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, or have many of the symptoms of this disorder that suggest they may have had it (in no particular order):
Albert Einstein
Galileo
Mozart
Leonardo da Vinci
Cher
Bruce Jenner
Charles Schwab
Henry Winkler
Danny Glover
Walt Disney
John Lennon
Greg Louganis
Winston Churchill
Henry Ford
Stephen Hawkings
Jules Verne
Alexander Graham Bell
Woodrow Wilson
Hans Christian Anderson
Nelson Rockefeller
Thomas Edison
Gen. George Patton
Agatha Christie
John F. Kennedy
Whoopi Goldberg
Rodin
Thomas Thoreau
David H. Murdock
Dustin Hoffman
Pete Rose
Russell White
Jason Kidd
Russell Varian
Robin Williams
Louis Pasteur
Werner von Braun
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Robert Kennedy
Prince Charles
Gen. Westmoreland
Eddie Rickenbacker
Gregory Boyington
Harry Belafonte
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Mariel Hemingway
Steve McQueen
George C. Scott
Tom Smothers
Suzanne Somers
Lindsay Wagner
George Bernard Shaw
Joan Rivers
Beethoven
Jim Carey
Carl Lewis
Jackie Stewart
“Magic” Johnson
John Corcoran
Sylvester Stallone
This list is extremely suspect. Here are the diagnostic criteria: From the DSM-V:

"A person with ADHD inattentive type has most or all of following symptoms, excluding situations where these symptoms are better explained by another psychiatric or medical condition:[2][55]

  • Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
  • Have difficulty maintaining focus on one task
  • Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless doing something they find enjoyable
  • Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing or completing a task
  • Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
  • Appear not to be listening when spoken to
  • Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
  • Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
  • Struggle to follow instructions
  • Have trouble understanding details; overlooks details
A person with ADHD hyperactive-impulsive type has most or all of the following symptoms, excluding situations where these symptoms are better explained by another psychiatric or medical condition:[2][55]

  • Fidget or squirm a great deal
  • Talk nonstop
  • Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
  • Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and while doing homework
  • Be constantly in motion
  • Have difficulty performing quiet tasks or activities
  • Be impatient
  • Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
  • Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turn in games
  • Often interrupt conversations or others' activities"
Difficulty completing tasks is one of the hallmarks of the diagnosis, and many of the people on that list were extremely productive throughout their lives.

It is possible with some of the more recent people on the list, because they could have benefited from the medications to treat it in their professional lives, but these treatments were not routinely given until about 30 years ago. Or, they may have exhibited the symptoms in childhood, but they did not persist until adulthood.

And be extremely careful about trusting a diagnosis that was retro-actively applied to someone without the benefit of a one-on-one diagnostic interview.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
This list is extremely suspect. Here are the diagnostic criteria: From the DSM-V:

"A person with ADHD inattentive type has most or all of following symptoms, excluding situations where these symptoms are better explained by another psychiatric or medical condition:[2][55]

  • Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
  • Have difficulty maintaining focus on one task
  • Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless doing something they find enjoyable
  • Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing or completing a task
  • Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
  • Appear not to be listening when spoken to
  • Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
  • Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
  • Struggle to follow instructions
  • Have trouble understanding details; overlooks details
A person with ADHD hyperactive-impulsive type has most or all of the following symptoms, excluding situations where these symptoms are better explained by another psychiatric or medical condition:[2][55]

  • Fidget or squirm a great deal
  • Talk nonstop
  • Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
  • Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and while doing homework
  • Be constantly in motion
  • Have difficulty performing quiet tasks or activities
  • Be impatient
  • Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
  • Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turn in games
  • Often interrupt conversations or others' activities"
Difficulty completing tasks is one of the hallmarks of the diagnosis, and many of the people on that list were extremely productive throughout their lives.

It is possible with some of the more recent people on the list, because they could have benefited from the medications to treat it in their professional lives, but these treatments were not routinely given until about 30 years ago. Or, they may have exhibited the symptoms in childhood, but they did not persist until adulthood.

And be extremely careful about trusting a diagnosis that was retro-actively applied to someone without the benefit of a one-on-one diagnostic interview.
Never claimed it was a certain diagnosis. As I said in my original post, it has been proposed in many articles by many professionals in the field. No one can for certain diagnose Walt these many years later, or others on the list. It was just a possible reason I referred to as to why Walt very frequently did not follow through on projects, lost interest or had other traits that led them to suspect ADHD .
 

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