On September 9, 2009 Walt Disney Records celebrates the 40th Anniversary of The Haunted Mansion with two CD releases — The Story and Song From The Haunted Mansion and The Haunted Mansion. Both CDs were produced, fully restored and compiled by Grammy®-winning producer Randy Thornton.
Forty years ago, 999 happy haunts took up residence in Disneyland at the personal invitation of Walt Disney himself, who built an elegant mansion and promised his ghostly guests creaking doors and creaking floors, replete with hot and cold running chills. One of the most beloved attractions at Disney Theme Parks, The Haunted Mansion gates and crypts creaked open in New Orleans Square at Disneyland on August 9, 1969. The Story and Song From The Haunted Mansion was a Disneyland Records Storyteller released the same year to commemorate the opening of the attraction. Although intended as a promotional album, the recording has become a cherished childhood memory for many Disneyland guests. The release includes original scenes and effects that never made it into the final attraction as it follows the story of two teenagers (voiced by Robie Lester and a young Ron Howard) who take refuge inside the eerie mansion during a mysterious rainstorm. The CD includes a bonus track, “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” the theme song to the attraction written by X. Atencio, with music by Buddy Baker. The enhanced CD also includes a Digital Image Gallery (which can be accessed by inserting the CD into a computer) of high quality images from Collin Campbell’s original paintings for the album.
The Haunted Mansion CD, exclusively available at Disney Theme Parks, guides the listener through the attraction as it appears in its current…incarnation on Track 1. Randy Thornton recreated the full audio experience of The Haunted Mansion for the track. This meant layering ambient sounds and sound effects with the score, character voices and songs found in the attraction. The result is an immersive audio experience, as if you were actually riding through the attraction in your doom buggy. Tracks 2 through 6 are highlights from the attraction and/or from original recording sessions: Ghostly Music Box – “Grim Ginning Ghosts” played from an authentic Porter Baroque music box; Otherworldly Concerto – Assembled from recording sessions for the Haunted Mansion’s famous pipe organ, which included many variations of the famous theme; A Swinging Wake – The unearthly score from the rollicking graveyard scene; The Graveyard Band – The philharmonic phantoms perform their own version of “Grim Grinning Ghosts”; 999 Happy Haunts – The graveyard inhabitants come out of their creepy old crypts for a rousing reprise of their favorite song. The CD concludes with Track 7, Phantom Manor Suite from renowned composer John Debney. His sweeping orchestral interpretation of Buddy Baker and X. Atencio’s classic score is from the Disneyland Paris attraction.
The Story and Song From The Haunted Mansion will be at Disney Theme Parks on 9/9/09 and available nationwide on 9/22/09; The Haunted Mansion will be available exclusively at all Disney Theme Parks on 9/9/09.
Wrapping it up
I remember getting this album as a kid – and yes I still have my copy, safe and sound. It was a great thing for a young fan and is one of the reasons why the Haunted Mansion is my favorite ride to this day. Looking forward to getting my copy of the CD; how about you?