Mark Firestone Design Portfolio

Haunted Mansion Special Effects Show

Project Details

Date Completed

Perpetually being improved!

Category

Amateur home project

Summary

Multimedia sound & light show tribute to Disney's Haunted Mansion attractions

Skills Used

Production Design, Lighting, Sound Editing, PLC Programming, SFX Design

Promotional Video:

Project Images:

Click any image to enlarge.

Concept Video:

The following is a short proof-of-concept video of a brief segment of the original version of the show.

Project Description:

My first memory of visiting Walt Disney World is as a six-year-old, and includes a visit to the Dutch Gothic styled Haunted Mansion looming on a hill overlooking Liberty Square. I can remember being curious of what was inside, but the prologue – with that infamous stretching room – put me on edge. Once on board our “Doombuggies,” my face remained firmly planted into my dad’s side, with my eyes only opening every once in a while to catch just a quick glimpse.

That fright as a child gradually turned into an obsession as I got older. Today, The Haunted Mansion is my favorite Disney attraction of all time. The perfect blend of spooky and silly made it an instant classic that is just as popular today as it was when it opened in 1969. I would dare call myself a Haunted Mansion aficionado, though I’m always thirsty to learn new things about Mansion lore. A fun fact about me is that I can launch into the macabre narration of the entire ride – both the East Coast and West Coast versions – upon request.

A favorite pastime of mine as a teenager was creating attractions to entertain people. Perhaps a manifestation of my fascination with the Disney Haunted Mansion, I would often gather my cousins together and create a haunted house in my grandma’s basement…usually at our annual Christmas family gathering. More appropriately, our house became known in our neighborhood on halloween as the house that had a haunted garage. Over the years, I produced several versions with the help of my sister and friends.

It only makes sense that when I got older and owned my own home, these two past projects would collide as I built a Haunted Mansion themed light show in my home office. Much like the original light shows of my childhood, the original show was controlled manually with some cleverly hidden switches and was presented with me delivering the narration in full. Eventually, I invested in a Light-O-Rama kit that is typically used to control Christmas light shows and programmed it to create a fully automated Haunted Mansion tribute experience.

The Haunted Mansion Office has moved several times, and the setup has changed over the years. It continues to be a work in progress with new features being added whenever time and budget allows.

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