kingdomofmemories.com
Read Haunted Mansion "A Little Tech Stuff" Doombuggies.com postings from WDW maintenance man - Kingdom of Memories
When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network and Amazon.com.Back in the early 00s, one of Walt Disney World’s long-time maintenance men joined the Doombuggies.com discussion boards under the name wdwcaretaker and started relaying details of the inner workings of The Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion under the heading, “A Little Tech Stuff”. After a short time the system started auto-deleting his message threads so I saved as many as possible. Each was fascinating and detail-rich. 12/6 This is the first in a series of Tech Posts which will take you through the WDW Haunted Mansion from beginning to end. Almost everything in this series has already been touched on in previous posts, but some of you have tried to get the old Tech Posts back but they are gone forever. I appreciate your interest. Let me start out by saying that the Mansion consists of several show elements, among them being the ride system, the audio animatronics, show lighting, special effects, audio and all the related support systems that tie it all into a viable attraction. To know the Mansion concept, you must review the great information provided by Chef in other locations on this website. I won’t get into that. I also won’t get to deep into detail because then we get into major boredom for most of you. This post is mainly a prelude to the technical info to come. The Mansion is a dark ride, therefore, show lighting is of the utmost importance. The Mansion’s eerie and ghostly appearance is achieved through blacklight lighting. Almost every scene has its blacklighted effects. The Library’s rocking chair and book shelves are blacklighted. The two large spiders are as well. Every instrument in the Seance circle is blacklighted. In the Banquet Hall, only the Organist and the skulls over the organ are blacklighted. In the Attic scene all the pop-up ghosts and the Beating Heart Bride are also highlighted by blacklight. The largest scene, the Graveyard uses this lighting effect the most. With the exceptions of the ‘still alive’ figures such as the Caretaker and his dog, the owls, the three cats, the dog at the Mummy and the Ravens, all else in this scene is blacklighted to the max. Last but not least, Little Leota is blacklighted to highlite her dress. Where blacklight is not used, white light is. The above mentioned ‘alive’ figures are white lighted as are many animated props such as the ballroom dancers and guests, the Banquet table ghosts and the overhead Banshees. these are used to achieve the Pepper’s Ghost effect in that scene. This effect could not be achieved with blacklighting. Because the Mercury lamps that provide the light source lose their intensity over time, the Mansion is totally relamped twice per year. This keeps the effect fairly bright all year around and meets show quality standards. Keep in mind also that all the blacklighted show elements must be ‘painted’ with special blacklight reflective paint by our Artist Preparators and must be periodically touched up to regain their original reflectivity. The blacklights we use are actually several types. The greatest number of them are mercury lamp fixtures which have a built in ballast. these utilize a 100 watt mercury lamp. There are also several fixtures which utilize a 250 Watt lamp. These fixtures are very large, about 14″ in diameter and are designed to illuminate a large area with blacklight, rather than the concentrated lighting achieved with the 100Watt lamps. The smaller lamps are used to illuminate individual figures and props. These lamps come in two types, spots and floods. The spots project a narrow beam on figures such as the pop-ups, whereas the floods illuminate the larger figures from head to toe. The 250s illuminate entire areas, but not as intensely. The third type is the blacklight fluorescent. These are used mostly for backlighting and are designated as ‘blacklight blue’. The blacklight black lamps are more Ultraviolet emitting than the blues. Whereas the Blacklight blues give the moonlight effect you see on the tombstones in the Graveyard, the Blacklight black lamps are used in very few places which include inside the Flute Player’s tomb and the large spider on the right of the stairs. As a sidenote, when we remove lamps for disposal, especially the mercury lamps, they are placed in a designated hazardous waste disposal area where they are picked up and disposed of properly in accordance with OSHA regulations. Disney is very conscious of environmental issues and we are required to follow them to the letter. The only mini-mole used in the Seance scene used to be on the floor shining up at the drapes that hang to each side and to the rear of Madam Leota. They were mounted to the floor down below, but when the new permanent metal grating flooring was put in her pit in place of the cargo netting, those two fixtures had to be eliminated because of checkered shadows they would cast through that flooring. Mounted behind the ride all along and directly under each hanging instrument shining directly up at them are individual blacklight fixtures and nothing else. There is one other minimore overhead that shines on the raven which is behind Leota on her chair, but everything else is backlight. I have what is called a lighting schedule which designates what each light fixture does, what kind it must be, what lamps they must use, what filters or gels are used for lenses. I have the original and updated schedules and nowhere does it call for minimoles on those instruments. There must be some confusion somewhere, but that is the way it is in the whole show. The mini-moles are original equipment manufactured by a company named Mole-Richardson. I do not even know if they are around anymore. These fixtures are used …