By Jayship Earth
In 1963, an ominous bayou mansion was erected in Disneyland. Signage revealed it to be “The Haunted Mansion,” a spooky new attraction to open soon. Creative disputes combined with the untimely passing of Walt Disney himself prevented the Mansion from actually opening until 1969. But guests would soon see it was well worth the wait. The attraction was an instant success, and different versions of the attraction would appear in every Disney park worldwide. Today, the Mansion may be more popular than when it first opened. Recently, upgrades both in and outside the attraction in Florida have made it even more spectacular. But guests’ main request over the years has always been a desire for more merchandise. For the last few years, a small merchandise cart, themed to some of the early pre-Haunted Mansion “Museum of The Weird” attraction designs, has stood outside the Mansion and sold a small amount of t-shirts, collectables and prints. But recently, Disney saw an opportunity to accommodate guests’ desire to part with their money for more Mansion swag, and opened the Memento Mori shop in Liberty Square, right outside the attraction.
“Memento Mori” is Latin for “remember death.” It also commonly refers to the late 19th century practice of photographing recently deceased loved ones. It may seem very macabre today, but it was a very popular practice at the time. Disney’s Memento Mori shop is the former home of Madame Leota. Her portrait still hangs in the shop and mysteriously changes from time to time.
Mansion fans will be overwhelmed with the amount of new merchandise inside. Here you can find t-shirts, statues, ornaments, ties, pins, dinnerware and mugs, just to name a few items. I was really impressive with the original designs. Lots of the item weren’t simply a logo or character slapped on a t-shirt, but unique and creative designs based around different aspects of the Mansion. Is your Christmas tree severely lacking some grim grinning ghosts? They have it. Want to dress like a Mansion butler? They have it. Is your office attire missing a subtle ghostly accent? They have it.
Another main feature of the shop is the Spirit Photography. For $19.95, guests can have their own death photo taken. Their portrait, when viewed from different angles, will change into a ghostly visage similar to Master Gracy’s portrait in the Mansion lobby.
The shop opened in early October, and was so popular that guests had to wait in line just to enter the shop. By now, the initial rush has calmed down a bit, and getting into shop comfortably isn’t much of a problem anymore. The shop is exactly what Mansion fans have been clamoring for and is providing tons of great items to add to their growing collections.