The Happiest Haunts Tour At Disneyland
For many many many years I have wanted to do a tour at Disneyland probably ever since I learned what a plaid was. For those of you who don't know a plaid is a special cast member at Disneyland. They are tour guides for groups as well as celebrities who are easily recognizable by their plaid outfits. Tours are on the expensive side and there are so many to choose from it makes it hard to decide. About 5 years ago I discovered that Disneyland offers a Halloween tour called the Happy Haunts Tour and I knew that this was the tour that I wanted to do the most. It sounded so fun and light-hearted and I love anything to do with the fall and Halloween! I convinced my mom to tag along with me (because she has wanted to do a tour for a long time as well). We decided to treat my dad to it for his birthday at the end of September and I decided to take you guys along with me and show you what it is all about.
So this tour was a little special because this is a brand new tour this year. Yes they have had a Halloween tour as I stated earlier but apparently they changed it. It is no longer a 3 hour tour all around the park that is about everything Halloween. This year it is centered around one very specific thing: the Haunted Mansion. I was actually really excited about it when I found out. I personally love the Haunted Mansion and I thought it was so perfect for Halloween!
The first thing we did was check in about 30 minutes before our tour. There we were given our name "tags" and my dad received a birthday button which was super cute! I loved that we all got buttons with our names printed on them because for one its a super cute souvenir and second it really put me in the spirit of the tour. It made me feel a little special walking around Disneyland with a plaid!
Once we checked in we were told to be back in 15 minutes to get set up with our audio equipment and to meet our tour guide. There were many tables with these adorable reserved signs just for our tour group!
We decided to stop by Starbucks before our tour. I was in some serious need of coffee because it was early in the morning and I had to wake up at 6AM to get to Disneyland on time. If I've never mentioned before I am really not a morning person (especially without coffee). My parents also wanted to get a quick picture in front of the Mickey pumpkin on Main Street.
When we got back to the tour area we were given our audio devices and we got to meet our tour guide! We were handed transmitter boxes that were connected to headsets. We were to wear these while we were walking around the park on our tour. When the guide speaks we would hear him in our earpieces. This was awesome because the park can be really loud and this helped out a lot! We also got to listen to that Haunted Mansion soundtrack as well as interviews from Walt and the imagineers who worked on the ride.
This is our tour guide! I know the picture is not in focus the way you would want it to be but I did this for privacy reasons. Moving on, our first stop was Main Street. We learned how Walt got the idea for the Haunted Mansion and also learned about some people who worked on the ride.
We learned about many window dedications that were for people who worked on the mansion and their roles. One of my favorites was learning about the man who actually wrote the script for the ghost host and the famous grim grinning ghost song. It was interesting learning that he was an animator who Walt asked to write the script and song for the Haunted Mansion. The elevator speech is one of my favorite things about the ride!
One of the most interesting stops on Main Street was the Palm Parlor. I can't even can't how many times I have sat here before. I have seen the sign numerous times too but I never gave a second thought to it. The palm parlor is a very special dedication to not only the Haunted Mansion but also the man who created the illusions for it. We then headed into Tomorrowland to learn about some of the technologies that led to the creation of the doom buggies and various features in the Haunted Mansion.
Half way through our tour we stopped inside of Aladdin's Oasis. It was a nice break from the heat (did I mention it was in the high 90's?). As we took in some much needed shade we talked about one very specific type of technology that was instrumental to the mansion.
Her name is Ophelia. She is the original orchid created for the Enchanted Tiki Room. She is very special because she led to audio animatronics and later even hydraulics used in almost every ride today. We got to see up close how she works and how air pressure is used to bring her to life. We also learned that most of the birds and flowers in the Tiki Room are original and Walt himself took part in building them. We also learned that everything in the Tiki Room has a completely different color scheme. No two things are alike. This gave me a whole new appreciation for it.
After meeting Ophelia we were given a 15 minute break and a treat! We were each given a delicious Halloween cookie. I was so happy that I brought my gluten pills with me because this cookie was so good and it was a much needed energy boost. After our break we got to go inside the Tiki Room and watch the show. When the show was over we headed over to Frontierland where we stood on the banks of Rivers of America where we got to hear some stories about some of the 999 ghouls inside the mansion.
From there we headed to New Orleans Square where we learned about the famous Madame Leotta. There is a balcony over the mint julep bar that belongs to this spooky fortune teller. It was really cool seeing this and hearing about how she came into existence. It was also really cool learning that her daughter is the face of the Leotta when the mansion changes for Christmas. I thought it was so cool how mother and daughter are forever enshrined in the Haunted Mansion.
We ended our tour outside the mansion where we learned about the architecture and plant life chosen for it. We also learned about my favorite ghost inside-the Hatbox ghost. We also received a special pin attached to a taro card as well as a fastpass to the Haunted Mansion.
I had a really fun time on this tour and highly recommend it to anyone who really likes the Haunted Mansion or history of Disneyland. It is pricey to do a tour but I feel like it is well worth it! This tour has made me want to do others. If you would like to see more about Disneyland tours leave me a comment below!