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Saturday, August 23, 2008

1969 Cast Member Preview Flyer


Pictured here is a rare example of a cast member flyer designed by the in-house "University of Disneyland" (probably by art director Bill Barry) which was distributed to Disneyland staff members on Thursday, August 7, 1969 advertising private previews of the soon-to-be-opened Haunted Mansion attraction.

It should be noted that most Haunted Mansion advertising materials from the time (press releases, newspaper articles, etc.) announce the opening date of the attraction as being August 12, 1969, though Disneyland itself celebrates opening day as Aug. 9. In fact, the fancy midnight "press preview" hosted by Disneyland (which started with a press dinner at Club 33) wasn't held until August 11 - which presents a chilling challenge: when did the Mansion actually open to the public?

It appears likely that the Haunted Mansion was actually opened to the public on Saturday the 9th, after the cast previews had been held the two nights before. (This may have been in keeping with Disney's tradition of hosting "soft openings," in which attractions are opened to the public before their actual dates of operation.) A "safer" date of August 12 was probably released to the public, which was well after opening weekend, allowing Disneyland to fine tune any minor tweaks that might have presented themselves during the cast member previews. At any rate, at 39 years old and counting, this old Mansion is still creaking along and delivering chills to everyone that visits.

RIP.

P.S. By the way, if you'd like a inside look at dining at New Orleans Square's secret Club 33, be sure to check out episode #1 of the Mousetalgia podcast!

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