The early 1960’s are near and dear to the HoJo and of course Disneyland. New attractions were underway at the park and the 10-year anniversary was coming up in 1965. Construction began in 1962 for The Haunted Mansion attraction with a hopeful opening date in 1963.

"In this rare construction photo, workers lower one of the huge plate glass panes into position in the Haunted Mansion’s Grand Hall. Through the glass, on the middle of the three floors, we can visualize the “Doom Buggies” moving past the Banquet Scene. The truck is parked where ghastly ghosts will later appear and feast at their table."

By 1963 the exterior of the Mansion was complete but the Mansion sat hollow and unfinished for many years. The attraction was previewed on “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” in 1965 but would not open it’s spooky doors until 1969! Delays on the Mansion involved Disney taking his creative team off the project in favor of the New York World’s Fair in 1964 and 1965. And of course the creative genius himself passed away in 1966 causing further delays. Disney’s original concept of the Mansion differed from what you see today, most notably you were intended to walk through the attraction and have a restaurant and museum waiting for you at the end of the ride. We think the existing mansion is pretty much perfect nonetheless.

Meanwhile, across from the Matterhorn a 10-acre orange grove was removed to make room for the brand new Howard Johnson Motor Lodge – a first on the west coast. With the familiar orange-roofed restaurant, the hotel and HoJo Restaurant opened on time for Disneyland’s 10th anniversary in the summer of 1965.

*Planning a family trip to the Anaheim Resort? The Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel @ Disneyland would love to be your homebase for adventure! Join us on our HoJo Innsider Forums for video tours, special discount rates and expert trip planning advice! *



Posted Under: Disney Fix, Retro HoJo