In mid-September of last year, the Haunted Mansion reopened at Disney World after a lengthy rehab.
A number of effects were either enhanced or added. The Attic Room is one such example. Gone are the carnival-like pop-up heads to be replaced with state-of-the-art effects.
This blog is going to discuss some of the nuances of this room that are easily missed when traveling through. Since flash photography is not allowed in the Haunted Mansion, I do not have any pictures of the attic to share with you.
Note: Spoilers ahead!
One of the first things you’ll notice as you enter the attic is a portrait of a bride and groom. This “happy” couple is Ambrose Harper and Constance Hatchaway.
Near this portrait are a number of modest wedding gifts such as a music box, china, crystal, and various household goods. A nearby wedding album reads:
OUR WEDDING DAY
Ambrose and Constance 1869
Ambrose is the son of successful farmers. For this particular occasion he wears a sensible woolen suit and bowler hat. Constance’s past is murky and suspect. For her special day she wears a stylish wedding gown and a single strand of pearls. As you pass their portrait, Ambrose’s face fades into nothingness and then reappears – signifying that Constance has outlived him for some reason.
You soon come to a second portrait, this time featuring Constance and her new partner, Frank Banks. Frank is an Eastern banker and well placed in his community. He proudly dons a stovepipe hat. Constance, being practical, chose to wear the same wedding dress as before, but this time proudly displays two strands of pearls around her neck.
Look closely at the cabinet in the foreground. On it you’ll see a porcelain figurine of a well-to-do French woman looking down at a second, toppled figurine of a gentleman, who apparently lost his head in the fall. On the shelf below you can see a broken ceramic heart-shaped box.
There are more wedding gifts in this area and they seem to be of better quality than those given to Constance on her first marriage. A nearby banner reads:
Constance and Frank
TRUE LOVE FOREVER
Constance chose for her next spouse a foreign diplomat known as the Marquis De Doom. In their wedding portrait, The Marquis wears a military uniform, complete with sash, assorted medals and a formal hat with plume. The ever sensible Constance once again chose to wear the same dress; however three strands of pearls are now evident. There wedding album reads:
The Marquis Constance
Continuing her social climb, Constance’s next husband is Reginald Caine. He was a railroad baron and dressed the part. For his wedding he sports a brocade vest, fancy shirt, and costly jacket. And like her previous husbands, he too dons a fine hat. Being ostentatious, Reginald also wears a large ring on his little finger and a sizable stone in his lapel.
Constance, as usual, chose the same wedding dress. It has served her well so far and she sees no reason to tamper with things. The only change, a fourth strand of pearls has been added to her ensemble.
A nearby frame says:
Reginald & Constance
Constance’s last husband was George Hightower. He should look familiar to you as you have seen his countenance for many years on the gravestone in the stretching room. Before his demise, George owned the stately mansion you are now visiting.
The gifts for this final wedding are by far the most expensive. In keeping with her growing wealth, their wedding portrait is displayed in an ornate frame. An inset reads:
George & Constance
As you might have guessed, Constance now wears five strands of pearls.
As with Ambrose, Constance’s first husband, each successive spouse fades from view as you pass their portraits. All the while, a melancholy rendition of “Hear Comes the Bride” can be heard in the background.
In this same area is a hat rack. Hanging on it are all five of the hats worn by Constance’s dead husbands.
Just before you exit the attic, we finally get to meet the ghost of Constance.
She stands in peaceful serenity as her hands move from her side toward her chest and an axe materializes in her grasp. All the while, she utters a number of well known, albeit telling, wedding phrases, each with a slightly different expression. With a twinkle in her eye she calmly says:
"'Till Death…. Do Us Part…"
"Here comes the bride!"
"As long as we both shall live…"
"For better or for….WORSE."
"I do. I did!"
"In sickness and in ….wealth!"
"You may now kiss the bride."
"We'll live happily ever…after!"
Many of the sights I’ve described are difficult to see. EXTREMELY difficult to see. I rode the Mansion five times in a row last week, looking for them and it took a quick eye. Good luck!
Interested in learning more about Disney's Haunted Mansions? Check out Imagineer Jason Surrell's book The Haunted Mansion: From Magic Kingdom to the Movies!
The previous post in this blog was Hollywood Studios Update.
The next post in this blog is Dolphins at Walt Disney World.