October 27, 2013

History of the Haunted Mansion

Since it's Halloween week, I figured it's a good time to bring up one of my favorite attractions at Disneyland: the Haunted Mansion. The story of how the Haunted Mansion came to be is also an apt analogy to the discussion on Obamacare. The attraction was always part of the concept of a "Disneyland", even when the park was simply a pie-in-the-sky folly in the mind of Walt Disney. However, it took eighteen long years, years of fits and starts, of tossing aside plans and starting anew, of bickering teams and lack of clear leadership after Walt's death before it finally opened. The imagineers had even given themselves a deadline by declaring an opening date before plans had been finalized, which they promptly then blew right past. Like Disneyland itself, it was derided as unworkable and a money pit driving Disney into bankruptcy. But the attraction survived the tribulations and opened to the public in August 1969. Within a week of its opening, the park set a to-date attendance record. Now more than 40 years later, the Haunted Mansion is still one of the reliable favorites at the park and is the inspiration for an upcoming Guillermo del Toro film (the less said about the Eddie Murphy version, the better).

But the point is, the idea had been kicked around for a very long time. It took various iterations and forms as they worked between finessing concepts and doing something that was workable with the demands of everyone involved, including the public. It came online ridiculously late and over-budget. The final project looked nothing like what had been promised initially, and tweaks have occurred pretty much continually since its opening date, but overall, people still like the attraction. Sound like pretty much every government social program? I thought so.

ABC's "This Week" — Dick Cheney; Sens. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. Roundtable: Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile, co-host of CNN’s Crossfire S.E. Cupp, former Vermont governor and founder of Democracy for America Howard Dean, and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. Anchor Jorge Ramos. Joshua Debois, author of “The President’s Devotional”.

NBC's "Meet the Press" — Govs. John Kasich, R-Ohio, and Steve Beshear, D-Ky.; Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.; Patrick J. Geraghty, chairman and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. Panel: 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum; former Michigan Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm; President of the Center for American Progress Neera Tanden; and Republican strategist Alex Castellanos.

CBS' "Face the Nation" — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. Phil Shenon, former investigative reporter for the New York Times and author of "A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy assassination."

MSNBC's "UP with Steve Kornacki" - Mara Schiavocampo, NBC News correspondent; Bob Franken, political reporter; Robert George, New York Post; Reid Wilson, The Washington Post; Kate Nocera, BuzzFeed.com; Evan Thomas, former Newsweek editor-at-large, Princeton University professor, author of “Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World.

MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry" - Chris Matthews, Host of MSNBC’s Hardball; Carol Marin, Political Columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times and Political Editor at NBC5 News in Chicago; Bob Herbert, Distinguished Senior Fellow at DEMOS; Barton Gellman, Senior Fellow at the Century Foundation; Clifford Chanin, VP for Education and Public Programs at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum / Author of “The Stories They Tell”; Kiron Skinner, Director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for International Relations / Politics and Research Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution; Noah Shachtman, Executive Editor for News at Foreign Policy Magazine.

MSNBC's "Disrupt with Karen Finney" - Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post; Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL); Ryan Grim, Huffington Post; Joshua DuBois, Former Spiritual advisor to President Obama; Igor Volsky, ThinkProgress; Karry Sabato, Author, The Kennedy Half Century.

CNN's "State of the Union" — Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a Health Policy Adviser to the Obama Administration from 2009-2011 and Congressman John Fleming, a Republican and one-time Louisiana Family Doctor of the Year. Political Commentators: Ross Douthat and Cornell Belcher will join A.B. Stoddard from The Hill.

CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" - Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haas, Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, journalist Karen Elliott House and former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani. Author Malcolm Gladwell.

CNN's "Reliable Sources" - Guest host: John Avlon. Rosie Gray of Buzzfeed, Mediaite’s Joe Concha and Jamelle Bouie of The Daily Beast. CNN’s Jake Tapper, NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik, New York author and columnist Jimmy Breslin.

"Fox News Sunday" — Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La.; Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and Xavier Becerra, D-Calif. Brit Hume, Fox News Senior Political Analyst; Peter Baker, White House Correspondent, New York Times; George Will, Syndicated Columnist; Juan Williams, Fox News Political Analyst

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