They arrived in Los Angeles from regions beyond, via airplane instead of doom buggy. And over a ghoulishly delightful weekend, a group of deserving Haunted Mansion maids, butlers and servants from around the world realized this wasn’t their imagination—they were living the ultimate #DisneyCastLife surprise.
Celebrating the attraction that inspired Disney’s “Haunted Mansion,” we invited specially selected cast members from each Haunted Mansion at Disney Parks worldwide, including the unique variations inspired by it, to attend the world premiere event at Disneyland Resort. They were among the first to officially see the new film before it arrives in U.S. theaters on July 28.
The unprecedented global gathering struck a spectral sight, each cast representative shrouded in the daft disguise of their home attraction’s unique costume and nametag. They snapped selfies, posed for photos, and even rubbed elbows with Disney Parks, Experiences and Products chairman Josh D’Amaro. The group also shared a special moment with former Disney Imagineer Tania McKnight Norris, who contributed to the interior design of Haunted Mansion including its famous purple wallpaper.
“I’m so happy to be here and very proud to be representing Phantom Manor,” said Amélie Fuentes from Disneyland Paris, who had traveled to California for the first time. “It was such an amazing opportunity and I’m so glad … even if it still feels like a dream.”
But the best moments were simply ones spent together, finding common bonds in the shared experience of bringing a beloved iconic attraction to life. “It’s really rewarding to be able to meet these people and call them friends and make those relationships,” said Alex Salinas, representing the original Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park.
The cast members all came bearing gifts for one other, including stickers, toys, nametag flags and special mementos from their home parks. The Disneyland park attraction cast were surprised by those from the supernaturally-themed Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland, who presented a replica painting of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A. for short), which appears in their home attraction.
“This is a special moment for us,” said Mystic Manor cast member Annto To, who enjoyed sharing the Hong Kong attraction’s unique backstory. “We are so glad to be a representative, to present [a gift] and to come here to enjoy the premiere.”
Their visit wouldn’t have been complete without an incredible cast tradition: a late-night guided walkthrough of the attraction that started it all. “Giving them the opportunity to see behind the scenes is what builds the excitement,” said Alex, who helped lead this rare glimpse generally reserved for new Haunted Mansion cast. “I’m extremely happy that I had the opportunity to do that with them.”
They were quickly relating everything that made each other’s home attractions unique and special, and by the end of the weekend were starting plans to visit one another soon. “This was my first time visiting Disneyland park, and I felt really welcomed, not just by word but by what [the cast] were showing me,” said Noriko Kubota, from the Haunted Mansion at Tokyo Disney Resort. “They were really talking to me as their friends, and that’s something I kind of want to take back to Tokyo as well.”
Happy passage back through the boundless realms, #DisneyCastLife travelers. (They’re all aware a ghost is following them home.)