Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Haunted Mansion After Closing---Don't Play With The Elevator

Sometime during the summer of 1985, a couple of fellow sweepers finished their closing work early in New Orleans Square/Bear Country (remember the Country Bear Jamboree?) and decided to do a little exploring in the Haunted Mansion as part of their "final sweep" of the area. Having befriended the ride operators, they knew where to find the activation control for the elevator that is deftly disguised as the "stretching gallery" where guests first enter the attraction. They thought it would be fun to ride the elevator down and do a walk through, so they hit the control and started the elevator's descent.

Then, for some reason, they decided it would be cool to jump up and hang from the wood paneling ledge that extends around the edge of the room (see photograph above). They did this at the outset and proceeded to dangle (like kids on the monkey bars) while they watched the room "stretch" above them as the elevator descended. Unfortunately, they did not realize that not only did the the wall above them "stretch," but the floor
below them also dropped away from them as they hung from the overhang.

When the elevator reached bottom, they looked down, intending to drop down from their ledge. They found to their dismay that now their feet were pretty darn high above the floor. Of course, neither of the dangling sweepers could get to the control button to bring the elevator back up. So, they had little choice but to drop a good distance to the floor. No broken ankles or knees resulted, but they learned a valuable lesson about messing around in the Mansion.

The next time you find yourself in the room with "no windows and no doors," take a look above you at the overhang (the one with the gargoyles holding the candles). Watch where that ends up when the elevator reaches the bottom and the doors open to let you into the hallway. You'll see, it's quite a drop.