You may consider yourself to be a Disney theme park aficionado. Maybe you know the location of every hidden Mickey. Perhaps you’re even a member of Club 33. That’s certainly impressive, but you won’t be a true Disney park superfan until you visit the exclusive Magic Castle in Los Angeles and discover its secret piece of Disneyana. First, a quick lesson on how the ghosts in the Haunted Mansion work:
Down the hall from the Hat and Hare pub is a tiny diorama built into the wall. At first it doesn’t seem all that interesting, just a well appointed living room with plush curtains and a glowing fireplace – and a coffin in the middle of the floor. Push the nearby button, however, and the model comes alive, with a spectral bride passing through the room as a ghost emerges from the coffin.
It’s the same trick used to magnificent effect in the ballroom scene of the Haunted Mansion. The model was created by Yale Gracey, who created it to convince Walt Disney he could pull it off. The model lived in his garage until he asked Magic Castle founder Milt Larsen if he’d like to have it, and so a tiny piece of Disney history is tucked away in one of the most exclusive clubs in the country.