Diary of A Disney Daydream-Chapter Six: Crossing the Lines of Reality

Chapter Six: Crossing the Lines of Reality

 

Still chattering about the pirates and the dinner they attended, the two friends walked past the Liberty Belle steamboat and caught their first glance of the Haunted Mansion. A looming and intimidating building, it dared them to enter merely by being there.

“Welcome Mortal,” a rather grim looking Cast Member greeted- not smiling.

“Hi!” Mitzi returned. “Come on Rosie! Here it is! Your favorite! Let’s see if it lives up to your expectations.”

As they rounded the path of the queue line, Roselyn took it all in, not wanting to miss a thing. From the phantom horse leading the carriage hearse in the front (prints visible in the pavement!) to the grave stones in the side of the yard near the massive and foreboding front door, she took her time and savored the creepiness. By the time they reached the doorway, someone was opening it.

 

What appeared to be a grim looking Cast Member opened the entrance and began ushering the “Foolish Mortals” inside.

A dimly lit chamber with a massive fireplace on one side greeted them. The portrait of Master Gracey hung in it’s place of honor, showcasing the previous owner. As the two passed by the portrait, they were horror stricken as they noticed the image of Master Gracey decomposing before their eyes. Mitzi shook her head, mumbling to Roselyn that it was one of the creepiest things she had seen yet. Roselyn smiled as she relished the theming as only Disney could do it.

 

Once inside, a wall seemed to slide open, revealing a room that they had not seen before. Lovely portraits of happy people covered the upper portion of the walls in the room. Gargoyles perched high above, leering.

Everyone was noticing the paintings when suddenly, the wall closed and they were trapped! A voice boomed overhead, welcoming them to the Haunted Mansion. He introduced himself as the “Ghost Host” and presented them with a challenge- to find a way out of the room! There were no windows, and no doors. The voice laughed and taunted as the room appeared to be stretching, and the once serene and comforting paintings on the walls began to change as the room stretched, revealing macabre scenes that were twisted reality versions of what they had previously appeared.


It was amazing, thought Roselyn. Mitzi appeared a bit concerned with finding a way out- right up until the voice said she could always choose “his way” and revealing a hanging corpse swaying back and forth attached to the rafters above.

There was a scream, and the lights went out. Mitzi grabbed Roselyn’s arm. Just as suddenly as it had begun, a wall slid open, revealing a pathway to the Doombuggies- vehicles that would transport the Guests through the Mansion’s many corridors and rooms.

Cast Members, none of which were the usual lot of smiling and happy personalities, seemed to be in a trance as they assisted people into the buggies.

“Oh my, Rosie. This is almost too creepy for me,” Mitzi said after they sat in their buggy. “You like this?”

“Absolutely! It is amazing. The effects and the smells, the paintings, all of it. It’s great!” Roselyn replied. “Don’t worry, Mitzi. It is not real, after all. It’s just Disney magic.”

The Ghost Host began the tour as the buggy proceeded through the various sights and sounds of the vast home. There were hallways and doors (many with something or someone wanting to get out behind them) and numerous ghost sightings.

There was the attic, and the ghost Bride who leered at them as they rode past.

 

The clock in the main hall was an unusual sight as well, with 13 hours instead of 12 and hands that more closely resembled a demon’s tail than anything else.

Candlabras floated in mid air! Portraits on the walls stared at the two as they rode by. The piano in the music room played itself!

Mitzi jumped in her seat every time a creature or spirit jumped out from behind something, and she stared at the Busts in the library that seemed to come alive. Mitzi was unusually quiet, Roselyn thought to herself.

Soon they found themselves in a room full of chills, hearing a woman’s voice performing a seance. The two looked for her and gasped as they noticed she was actually IN the crystal ball!

It was the Grand Dining Room scene that truly captured the imagination of the passengers. There were ghosts everywhere- in paintings, coming out of the pipe organ that was being played by a ghost, at the dinner table, dancing. They were completely transparent entities, trapped forever within the lines of their artificial reality. It was fantastic to behold, and Roselyn silently applauded the Disney Imagineers responsible.

Suddenly, when leaving this vast scene, the buggy turned around backwards and tilted back, descending into what the Ghost Host said would be the “Graveyard”. Looking up, the two could view the night sky ahead- hadn’t it been daylight when they entered the mansion?

 

 

 

 

Turning again, the sights and sounds revealed a visibly shaken caretaker and his more visibly shaken dog, and soon the reason for their fright was also revealed. Again, the spirits were everywhere. Ghostly opera singers, howling wolves, and corpses exiting graves could be seen everywhere. No area in the vast cemetery was unoccupied. Even Mitzi began to point out some of the ghostly scenes with delight, even as the Ghost Host pointed out yet again that there were 999 happy haunts there and that there was always room for one more.

 

Rounding a bend, the two were told about watching out for hitchhiking ghosts, for they were known from time to time to follow Guests to their homes. Passing through a hallway, three ghosts did indeed appear, thumbs held out and hopeful. After another turn of the buggy, Guests saw that one of the three were right there in the buggy with them!

 

As Mitzi and Roselyn approached to see which ghost they would be taking home, the ride came to a halt. The Ghost Host apologized briefly and announced that they would be on their way shortly. It was then that Roselyn glanced at Mitzi and noticed her friend looked as if she had become a ghost herself. Roselyn followed Mitzi’s petrified stare to the source of the fright, and gasped. Before them was not a hitchhiking ghost, but instead a moving figure of a woman floating just a few inches in front of their buggy.

“Do not be frightened, Roselyn. For I bring you greetings from Mr. Disney. He is so pleased you have finally returned to us,” the spirit smiled.

Roselyn was stunned, yet she stammered a meek response. “I have never b..been here before in my life. Who are you? What…is this part of the ride?”

The spirit laughed as if truly tickled by the question. “No, this is certainly not part of the ride. You are the only ones who can see me, I assure you. Listen carefully to what I say, Roselyn. You must be wary of those who know who you are, for there are those who will not be as pleased to see you as we are. Enjoy your gifts, for that is who you are, but do not draw too much attention to yourself. Watch for the pixie dust and follow it,” she said, turning her luminescent body as if to glance behind her at something the two friends could not see. “I must go now. Watch for the pixie dust…..” her voice trailed off as the buggy began to move through to the exit with the corpse bride bidding them farewell and telling them to “hurry back”.

Once outside, the two hurried to a bench and sat in the shade of a tree. It was several moments before either spoke a word, but Mitzi at last broke the silence.

“Rosie. Oh my God Rosie. Did we imagine it?” she asked, wringing her hands together.

Roselyn shook her head. “No, Mitzi. We would not have both imagined the same thing, would we?”

“No, I don’t suppose we would have. What was that? Who was she?”

“Mitzi, I have no idea. This is new to me. I have never been here before in my life. I have never heard of anything like this. Pixie dust?” she lowered her voice, noticing the family of four passing nearby. “Watch for the pixie dust? What does it mean?”

Mitzi shrugged. “You’ve got me. I am a little more worried about those that don’t want you here. That didn’t sound very good to me at all.”

“No, it didn’t.” Roselyn agreed. She glanced up at the nearly cloudless sky. “Maybe we are suffering dehydration effects again.”

“Oh right, Rosie. Dehydration effects for two, please! No way. This means something, and it is big whatever it is. I think you have to face it. Maybe there is a reason you have been pulled to this place all of your life,” Mitzi said.

“I just don’t know what to think. First the pins, then the contest, then this- what does it mean?” Rosie asked. “Why me?”

“I don’t know, Rosie. I don’t know, but someone…or something… has plans for you,” Mitzi said.

“You have always been more accepting of the abnormal, haven’t you? Ghosts, UFO’s, whatever. I have never been one to go in for that sort of thing. There has to be an explanation for this- a rational one. I am surprised you are so calm now. I thought I was going to lose you back in the Doombuggy for a minute there,” Rosie managed a chuckle.

“Not a chance, my friend. I was taken aback, though. After all, it isn’t every day that your best friend is summoned by the ghost of Mr. Disney or whoever she was…is,” Mitzi retorted. “I think our trip just got more interesting, don’t you?”

“More interesting, or more of something else,” Roselyn admitted. “I guess we have to look for pixie dust now. Where would that be?”

It only took a moment for the two to answer in unison.

“Fantasyland!”

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