Not only does 2018 mark the 25th anniversary of “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas,” but also the 18th time that Jack Skellington has visited the 999 Happy Haunts who dwell in the Haunted Mansion, transforming this attraction into Haunted Mansion Holiday. Each year, Jack dresses up as “Sandy Claws” as he and his ghost dog Zero bring ghoulish delights from Halloween Town to visit Disneyland Park.
One of Jack’s holiday traditions is leaving a special treat for the ghosts who dance around the Haunted Mansion’s Grand Hall. The annual centerpiece for this “waltz of the weird” is always a huge, creepy gingerbread creation. Jack delivers new and thrilling surprises every year.
The Ghost Host of Haunted Mansion Holiday always says, “even a gingerbread house can be scary,” and this year’s design definitely lives up to that description. In 2018, the Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house is overtaken by an enormous five-foot multicolor spider with an intricate “stained glass” design on its back. The creepy crawler’s eyes are glowing green as it bobs up and down in an attempt to pry the house from its foundation. The spider, just like the rest of the house, is made out of 90 pounds of gingerbread, 30 pounds of confectioner’s sugar, 10 pounds of white chocolate and 45 pounds of fondant.
A team of 12 pastry chefs created this year’s Gingerbread Mansion. Three of them have been part of the Haunted Mansion Gingerbread House team since the annual holiday transformation began 17 years ago.
Frightfully Fun Facts about Haunted Mansion Holiday
- Supernatural Sweets – Every year, a new ghoulish concept for the Haunted Mansion Holidaygingerbread house is created for the celebration scene in the mansion’s Grand Hall. This strange and wonderful treat is almost always “supernatural.”
- The Eerie Exterior – More than 400 flickering candles create a ghostly glow on the façade of the Haunted Mansion. Each night, more than 100 jack-o-lanterns shine their ghoulish light.
- The Haunted Elevator – Jack Skellington and his ghost dog Zero appear in a fully animated sequence on the ceiling of the “stretching” room, which transports guests into the depths of the mansion.
- The Portrait Gallery – Ghost dog Zero makes a surprise appearance among the spooky, transforming portraits in the gallery corridor.
- The Graveyard – The graveyard inside Haunted Mansion Holiday is covered with nearly 7,500 square feet of snow. More than 20 gallons of UV (ultra-violet) paint is used to enhance the snow’s eerie glow. Nearly 1,000 tiny, orange lights decorate the trees.
- Graveyard Ice Angels – The iconic Graveyard Ice Angels are designed with a jagged, ice-carved look. Their ethereal wings and snow-glow colors shine with a more ghoulish luster than ever this year.
- Deck the Halls – Each season, thousands of feet of “Black Gnarly” garland is draped and hung inside and outside Haunted Mansion Holiday. Jack’s faithful dog Zero gathered more than 200 bones to use as décor, garland and presents.
- “Come Out to Socialize” – More than two dozen additional animated figures “materialize” inside the mansion whenever Jack brings his Haunted Mansion Holiday around. From man-eating wreaths to vampire teddy bears, they wait all year to join in the holiday spirit.
- Home Creepy Home – Creepy cobwebs are artistically kept (not swept!) year-round to make Jack Skellington and the 999 Happy Haunts feel right at home.
- Seasonal Séance Room – Madame Leota’s “13 Days of Christmas” are featured in 13 spinning fortune cards that tell of the Christmas gifts which, as she proclaims, “My ghoul love gave to me…”
- Kim Irvine, daughter of the original Madame Leota – For this seasonal attraction, Imagineer Kim Irvine gives a spirited performance as the Haunted Mansion’s favorite psychic, floating inside the Haunted Mansion’s Crystal Ball in the Séance Room. Her mother Leota Toombs, Disney Legend and long-time Imagineer, first gave life to the floating head.
- Haunting Gingerbread Smells – The haunting scent of tasty gingerbread wafts throughout the Grand Hall, tempting Happy Haunts and guests alike.
- ‘Hurry Back!’ – A more “animated” Sally bids farewell to “Sandy Claws” Jack Skellington as he, and Haunted Mansion Holiday guests, depart from the Mansion.