The Haunted Mansion

BACKSTORY (Oct. 1, 1971–Present): Edited from Wikipedia:

The Haunted Mansion was an opening-day attraction at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, opening in 1971. This attraction was developed at the same time as the Disneyland version, resulting in a very similar experience, though the slightly larger show building allowed the addition of several new scenes. The attraction was placed in Liberty Square, a small land that was a tribute to colonial America, as the Magic Kingdom did not have a New Orleans Square. Thus, the exterior was given a Dutch Gothic Revival style based on older northeastern mansions, particularly those in older areas of Pennsylvania and in the Hudson River Valley region of New York. The mansion is surrounded by large oak trees adorned with Spanish moss, red maples, and pines, all of which are native to Florida.

Look for:

• An invisible phantom horse and hearse, this one black, also waits here.

• A tombstone for Madame Leota. On it is a bronze casting of her face that, by way of animatronics, occasionally opens its eyes and looks around. In March 2011 an interactive queue was added, featuring such elements as a murder mystery, a sea captain's grave that spits water, a musical crypt, a pipe organ, a library with moving books, and a book that writes itself. Many of the original graves were moved.

• In the back of the pet cemetery (top left), there is a headstone of Mr. Toad in tribute to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, which closed in 1998.

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