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Disneyland Article
Hidden Secrets Of Haunted Mansion Pet Cemetery
Steve G

The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Park is one of the most iconic and beloved dark rides ever created. Since opening in 1969, it has entertained and spooked millions of guests with its ghostly inhabitants and imaginative scenes. But hidden away outside this popular attraction is a lesser-known feature – the Haunted Mansion pet cemetery.

History of the Pet Cemetery The pet cemetery first appeared in the early 1980s on the west side of the Haunted Mansion building. It was only visible to guests using the wheelchair-accessible side entrance and remained a hidden gem seen by few. According to legend, the cemetery was conceived by Disney Imagineer Kim Irvine, daughter of Madame Leota actress Leota Toombs.

In 1993, an additional pet cemetery was installed along the main ride queue where more guests could enjoy it. Over time, the original cemetery became even more secluded as the newer one gained popularity. Today, the status of this secret graveyard accessible only to Disney cast members remains a mystery – some say it’s been removed, while others claim it can still be found with a helpful cast member’s guidance.

Memorials to Ghostly Pets

The Haunted Mansion pet cemetery features whimsical headstones remembering deceased animal companions of the mansion’s residents. Each statue and inscription adds humor and personality to furry residents, like:

Stripey the Skunk: “You may be departed, but your presence will always linger on”

Bully the Frog: “You didn’t drink, you didn’t smoke, I just can’t figure what made you croak”

Big Jake the Dog: “Chased a toad down a well, was his one mistake”

Miss Kitty the Cat: “After losing eight lives you still had no fear”There’s also a memorial for all pets without marked graves, and statues of a squirrel, rabbit, fish, rat, spider, and snake on the queue’s brick facade.

Design Details & Hidden Magic

Subtle details throughout the pet cemetery reinforce its imaginative storytelling. Lily pads surround the tombstone of a frog named Old Flybait “who croaked,” while a skunk’s marker is edged with flowers known for their own skunky scent. And in true Disney fashion, there’s hidden magic here too. Cast members report the planter in the cemetery’s center mysteriously topples over at night – could playful spirits be to blame? The memorial to Miss Kitty the cat even suggests one of her nine lives remains…perhaps her ghost still lurks about!

Continuing a Legacy

While the ultimate fate of the original hidden pet cemetery by the Haunted Mansion is unknown, its legacy continues to delight Disney guests. The tributes to beloved animal companions in the ride’s queue keep their stories alive and remain a highlight for many park visitors. It‘s a testament to the imaginative storytelling and attention to detail that make Disney Parks so special.

Just like the mansion itself, the pet cemetery stands the test of time by blending humor, heart, and a little haunting fun. So next time you’re waiting in line to hitch a ride with the Haunted Mansion’s happy haunts, keep an eye out for these tributes to long-gone pets. You never know what magical surprises or ghostly activity you might encounter!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the history behind the pet cemetery?

The original pet cemetery first appeared in the early 1980s on the west side of the Haunted Mansion, conceived by Imagineer Kim Irvine. In 1993, a second pet cemetery was added along the ride’s main queue. The status of the original hidden cemetery today remains a mystery.

What kinds of pets are featured in the cemetery?

Whimsical headstones remember deceased pets like Stripey the skunk, Bully the frog, Big Jake the dog, Miss Kitty the cat, and more. Statues on the queue’s facade also depict a fish, rat, spider, snake and other animals.

Are there any secrets or hidden details in the cemetery?

Yes! Cast members report the planter frequently topples over mysteriously at night, which could be the work of ghostly pets. Miss Kitty’s epitaph also suggests she has one life remaining, and may still lurk around the Haunted Mansion!

Why does the pet cemetery matter?

It continues the storytelling and rich detail of the Haunted Mansion through humor and heart. The pet cemetery adds magic and personality that delights guests and keeps this classic Disney ride engaging over 50 years since its debut.

Could the original pet cemetery still exist somewhere?

Potentially! Some claim it remains hidden from guests and accessible only by Disney cast members. Its ultimate fate is unknown, but the cemetery’s legacy lives on through the tributes added outside the ride.

The hidden secrets of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion extend beyond the ride itself to features like the whimsical pet cemetery. Though its original west side location remains elusive, the newer memorials delight riders with humor and heart. The cemetery tributes let imaginations run wild with stories of bully frogs, departed skunks, and ghosts of pets past. Its little details and legends feel quintessentially Disney – fun, playful, and forever fascinating. For over 30 years, this graveyard has kept delightful pet tales alive for Mansion fans. Even as rides evolve, it stands the test of time as a highlight for those in the know. The pets may be departed, but their magical spirit endures.

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