Backstage at the original Haunted Mansion pet cemeteryby Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix, staff writer
There are many "ghost stories" about Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, and some concern the rarely seen pet cemetery on the west side of the building.
Said to have been added some time in the 1980s by Imagineer Kim Irvine (daughter of Leota Toombs, who provided the face and voice for Madame Leota in the ride), the pet cemetery was generally only visible to those who used the wheelchair-accessible side entrance to the mansion's foyer.
At some point (some say in the 1990s, while others say it was after Disney built the Mansion's new wheelchair ramp in 2003), Imagineers added another pet cemetery, this time in the front of the Haunted Mansion, along the main queue, where park guests could see tombstones for "Beloved Lilac" the skunk, "Rosie" the pig, and "Old Fly Bait" the frog. They left the original pet cemetery in place, although the only people who see it most days now are cast members.
There are four tombstones in the original cemetery, with a planter atop a fifth, unmarked pedestal in the center of the lawn. Cast members say they often discover planter toppled over during the night, whether due playful spooks or just a poorly timed landing by one of the ducks who sleep in the cemetery.
OF OUR PET
YOU MAY BE
I JUST CAN'T
EIGHT LIVES YOU
STILL HAD NO FEAR
YOU CAUGHT A
SNAKE IN YOUR
NINTH AND THAT'S
WHY YOU'RE HERE
MY GOOD DOG
A TOAD DOWN
A WELL WAS HIS
If you'd like a peek at the original pet cemetery. the only way to see it is to ask a cast member to take you back for a visit. Most cast members are happy to oblige a quick look if it's a slow day and there are enough people working, but please be courteous if they have to ask you to try another time.