Tuesday, August 9, 2011

58. Doombuggies.com

While there are many websites that showcase Walt Disney World as a whole, there are few that are dedicated to a single attraction. Truthfully, there aren't many attractions that would warrant the creation of an entire website. However, there are some classics that have such a rich history and story that they deserve to have a place on the internet just for them. One such attraction is the Haunted Mansion, and one such website is Doombuggies.com.

Doombuggies.com was created over a decade ago by a Californian named Chef Mayhem. Chef is a very talented and dedicated Haunted Mansion enthusiast who started the website back on Halloween of 1997. In his words, "The site was designed partially as a means by which I could learn web design, but quickly turned into a fascinating hobby as my niche web site was discovered by both Disney and Haunted House fans around the world." Although Chef is from the west coast and the Disneyland version of the mansion would be considered home, he does a nice job of highlighting the Walt Disney World version as well. They are fairly similar attractions, but Doombuggies.com points out some of the notable differences. The Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris mansions are also discussed on the site.


My son Chris has been very lucky to have visited Walt Disney World many times and he hasn't yet reached his fifth birthday. Other than the thrill rides, he has had the privilege of experiencing most of what the vacation kingdom has to offer. However, ever since he could speak, Chris would tell you that his favorite ride is the Haunted Mansion. Although he still isn't a huge fan of the stretching room when it goes dark and the corpse is hanging above our heads, he absolutely loves the rest and would ride it all day if he could. Chris is not alone in his adoration of this attraction. It is certainly one of my favorites and is loved by millions of fans. There are people who have rooms in their house dedicated to the Haunted Mansion and they even made a movie based on the attraction. Doombuggies.com is for the casual fan as well as enthusiasts, like myself, who listen to "Grim Grinning Ghosts" on their car stereos while driving to work.


In my opinion, the best part of Doombuggies.com is the "Secrets" section. Here you will find a behind the scenes look at how Disney creates such amazing special effects that have been wowing visitors for 40 years. This is actually how I found Doombuggies.com a few years ago. Like most curious mansion fans, I just HAD to know how they pulled off the "grand hall" scene with dozens of amazingly realistic ghosts transparently floating around the room. I did an internet search and it brought me right to Doombuggies.com. I think that most new visitors to the mansion would think that these ghosts are some type of computer generated holograms, but this technology simply wasn't around when the attraction opened in Disneyland in 1969. Visitors to Doombuggies.com will probably be amazed, as I was, that the same technology from four decades ago is still being used today.  I won't give away the secret, but I highly recommend checking out the website to learn all about the ghosts of the Haunted Mansion.


Although I love reading about the history and secrets of the Haunted Mansion, Doombuggies.com offers so much more. There is a section containing video and audio clips. There is a whole area that showcases collectibles and even a section dedicated to the Haunted Mansion movie. Anyone who has ever experienced this classic attraction will find something interesting at Doombuggies.com. 
In addition to giving my whole hearted endorsement of Doombuggies.com, I have to also say happy birthday to the Haunted Mansion. The original attraction opened on August 9th, 1969 in Disneyland. An interesting fact is that the Walt Disney World version was developed at the same time, but couldn't be experienced by Florida guests until the park opened on October 1st, 1971. We will be saying happy 40th birthday to the Disney World Haunted Mansion along with the Magic Kingdom in just under two months. It has always been easy to keep track of Walt Disney World's age, because I was born shortly after it opened. Oh brother....... I'm almost 40!


Have a Disneyriffic Day and remember to keep moving forward. See ya real soon!

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