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Haunted Mansion Holiday Media Opening
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Other Disney Interviews

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Joyce Gray, vice-president Disney Entertainment Productions
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Joyce Gray is the Vice President, Disney Entertainment Productions. We also had the chance to speak to her briefly: How long have you been with the company

Joyce Grey: I've been, gosh, I've been in the resort about 3.5 years. I've been with the Walt Disney Company almost 8 years.

LP: And how long have you been in your current position?

JG: I've been in this position almost 3 months.

LP: Congratulations

JG: Yes. thanks. Before this I was in costuming.

LP: Tell us about Haunted Mansion Holiday

JG: Have you been in it?

LP: Yes

JG: Let me ask you first. What do you think?

LP: I thought it was great. Incredible.

JG: Steve Davison, who is our creative designer for that, really had this idea for a couple of years. He thought: what a great venue this would be for Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. A perfect combination of those two storylines. So as you go in you meet Jack Skellington who really is spreading his version of the holdiay. Christmas holiday to the world. You get to see all the little funny gags in the way that Jack Skellington, you know, would celebrate Christmas. Great fun. Lots of little surprises.

LP: Was the project done by Disneyland Entertainment?tainment?

JG: Good portion of the attraction was done by Disney entertainment in partnership with our WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering) folks.

LP: Since you're over entertainment, and I know there are a lot of changes occuring there now, can you tell me what we can expect in the future from entertainment?

JG: We have a great holiday season coming. I'll talk about Disneyland first. Obviously we're going to have a fabulous holiday with the "Merriest Place on Earth." So we'll have our Small World Holiday again., We're standing next to our newest attraction that we're proud of which is the Mansion. Our Christmas parade is coming back so you'll get to see that. Our pyro, which is the holiday Believe, is also coming back and it is much bigger and larger than it was last year. So you get to experience that here.

At the other park, over at Disney's California Adventure, we have some great stuff, too. Obviously Disney's Electrical parade is still going to be there. We are to be running it everyday. But then also we have a new lagoon show LuminAria, which is really "song of light" and it is on the lagoon. So it is a beautfiul combination of wonderful music, water, lights, candles, guests get to participate in doing some cards that we're going to work into the show. And it is really about the celebration of holiday and whatever that means in your heart. So it is a beautiful serene lovely show.

LP: And Steve Davison is doing that as well?

JG: You know, Steven's the man. Yes, Steve Davison is the creative director on that as well.

LP: What about Downtown Disney? I know the parks and hotels have had carolers in the past? Will we see anything like that in Downtown Disney or other types of entertainment?

JG: Carolers will be here in Disneyland. So we'll still have our Christmas here in New Orleans we'll have our carolers on Main Street. We'll do all of those things. We're looking at Downtown Disney and seeing what type of entertainment we'd like to add there as well. Right now it is a wonderful high energy location and we're obviously hoping to keep it that way. We haven't worked out all the details yet but you can expect some good things there, too. And of course we have Santa popping up all over in our different parks.

Doug McIntyre: Director of Development and Production for entertainment, also told us the following:

Regarding challenges on the Mansion:

I think the biggest challenge we had in the entertainment division working on the attraction, not only of course doing all the decorations that you see in the attraction - of course the exciting thing of doing the animatronic pieces that were put into the attraction were a challenge. We have Jack Skellington as you saw as an animatronic figure that was fun to do. And then really the music. There is about 50, I think, separate soundtracks inside the mansion and we did all new ones for every single one of those for this attraction. So I think the biggest challenge with this, if you get into the nitty-gritty, was getting all those different music tracks that play in all those little specific spots inside the Mansion.

And regarding changes that'll enhance the original Haunted Mansion when it returns:

We did do some upgrades to the sound system and we did put in some new equipment that will enhance the Haunted Mansion once it comes back.



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