• Magic off the Record - Look Up!

    As we look to a new year I'd like to take the moment on behalf of myself and Magic: Off the Record, to wish you well. I hope that the new year “looks up” for you and yours. Along the theme of looking up, I though I'd use just that thought for this week’s article!

    As you are walking around the Resort, take a minute to look up. Really, just physically look up! What you might see is a lot of dead space on the second floors of the facades and show buildings. In previous articles I have mentioned that some of these "empty" areas are actually used as office space; for instance: the switchboard operators above the Opera House, or the Main Entrance Managers above City Hall.

    Space at Disneyland is at a premium and whatever free space that can be found is usually used for storage. When you have a long history like Disneyland, you are bound to find a few treasures in storage…

    The Haunted Mansion
    One of the biggest show buildings at the Disneyland Resort is the Haunted Mansion, and it was built with a TON of storage space... or rather space that is NOW used for storage. As most people know, the attraction consists of two buildings: the main show building and the fancy exterior façade; both of which with their own attics.

    In the facade building, most of the attic is filled with the show areas of the stretching rooms, however there is a small crawl space that allows access to the upper regions of the building. While you are up there, you might see a wall that is signed by several of the Haunted Mansion Cast Members, as well as many Imagineers who worked on the construction many years ago.

    While it is cool to climb around in the façade, it is even more fun to explore the Attic of the Haunted Mansion. No, not the one where you'll find the ghost bride Constance but the attraction's proper attic. On any regular non-seasonal day you're bound to find most of decorations for the Haunted Mansion Holiday (over 90% of which is actually kept in the building itself), as well as some old Animatronic figures, and even some old doom buggies!

    The second floor of Innoventions is seen by a majority of Guests that visit the building, however, the third floor is the one with all the hidden secrets, as it is accessible only by a staircase on the outside of the building, the ones visible behind the Winners Circle near the restrooms. In this attic, you can find the former Rocket Rods and People Mover Maintenance Bay. There is even a left over Rocket Rod vehicle in there ghostily still on the tracks... waiting for one final ride!

    Besides that, there are also two training rooms used by Night Maintenance filled with banks of a couple dozen computers and a projector. To see this area, all you need to do is get on the Disneyland Railroad at the Tomorrowland station, and look for the roll up door at the top of the Innoventions building. That door opens up directly into this area. Make sure when you’re walking through that you mind thy head, the tracks are quite low.

    Tower of Terror
    Well, I’m not sure if this TECHNICALLY counts as an attic, but Tower of Terror hides a LOT of storage. It is also a fun area to explore. Besides having a foundation 80 feet into the ground (the building is extremely top heavy, more on that later), it also gives some stellar views of the Resort.

    As you’re exiting the attraction, you might notice a plain elevator. Calling the elevator doesn’t do anything so don't bother trying. For safety reasons, the attraction control room operates this elevator while the ride is powered up. However, if you ever do get a chance, head up to the 8th floor where you can walk outside on the side of the building and get a great view of Cars Land (and also, on clear days, Catalina Island!)

    Maybe the 12th floor strikes your fancy? When the elevator doors open, you will find yourself in the Tower of Terror Machine Room. You will find 3 box car engines with thick steel cables coiled around them to propel the elevator cars. Straight ahead is a small door marked simply “Marquee.” You know what this means...

    When you open this door, you will find yourself directly behind the “W” in the Hollywood Tower Hotel sign at the top of the building. You can look down at the top of the Matterhorn, and if you happen to be up there during the Disneyland Fireworks show, the shells will also explode below you!

    You can even also see out to the REAL Hollywood sign!

    WELP! That’s it for the last article of 2011! I enjoyed writing for all you fine people, and I will be sure to see you next week (and year) with another new article! As always, share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. Take care and Happy New Year!
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. DisneySquirt's Avatar
      Wow, that is all very cool! Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!
    1. dlfreak's Avatar
      Happy New Year Ernie, it's been quite an informative bit of magic that you've shared with us... off the record!
    1. disney68's Avatar
      Great end of the year article. Happy New Year!
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