The Haunted Mansion Ghost Post wins a Themed Entertainment Award!

Originally published at:

It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen come in the mail. The radio broadcasts, newspapers, and all the props were astonishingly neat. It definitely deserved its award, congratulations to the team!

So you promoted that project without telling anyone it was your work?

That is seriously unethical (the deception, not the self-promotion).

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Thank you!

That is seriously unethical (the deception, not the self-promotion).

I’m curious about why you think there’s an ethical problem here? The entire run had sold out before I wrote about it (so the post could not have resulted any additional sales), and in any event I was paid a flat rate for the work, so there was no way a post could have resulted in benefit to me.

Stipulating that you think there’s still an ethical breach, how would you resolve the conundrum of doing work that is significant in a domain relevant to one’s readership, when that work is bound by nondisclosure?


I was also a writer on this project and it was so much fun. Let me echo how much credit Sara Thacher deserves for masterminding it.

The Storyforward Podcast did walkthroughs of all three boxes and the in-park experience too:


The entire run had sold out before I wrote about it

Not according to the timestamps on this site: you posted at 11am, and a BBS user said they “subscribed immediately” about an hour later, along with another that placed an order afterwards.

how would you resolve the conundrum of doing work that is significant in a domain relevant to one’s readership, when that work is bound by nondisclosure?

BB has other writers that could have penned this particular article, no? Also, the reason that it is “relevant to one’s readership” is because you consistently write Disney-oriented articles, while never seeming to hold to the same “corporations are inherently deserving of suspicion” attitude that your other articles have. You doing contract work for them makes that more understandable.

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I was able to order a set of these directly from Disney for the original price of $200. The physical materials were excellent, and you certainly got your money’s worth and more in the actual items in the boxes.

But there were lots of problems with getting the app to work as it was supposed to, including with some of the props in the boxes, particularly The Spirit Board.

And the in-park portion was a real mess. Consistent problems with Esmerelda identifying your phone and providing the correct mind-reading cards, and then further problems at the Haunted Mansion with the special audio you were supposed to hear after completing the three-step process with Esmerelda.

I was happy with the overall experience despite the frustrating parts, and hope Disney learned what they need to do next time in order to improve it.

Now I have an iPhone 7 Plus and it’s not supported by the app. But it was fun while it lasted!


That’s one of the things I dislike about the execution. Built in obsolescence, if it’s going to be something you want to save for years or something your kids might enjoy in a few years, you might as well pack it up with the iphone loaded with the app when you put it away.

In order to quasi-preserve the experience, I recorded all the audio and did screen captures of everything in the app. With this preserved media, it’s possible to go back and do everything that came in the Ghost Post boxes again and again.


That’s absolute nonsense. Cory has on many occasions called out Disney for doing terrible things. He happens, like me, to also be a fan of the parks and the incredible amount of work that the Imagineers and Cast Members do to design and maintain them.

It sucks being a huge fan of one part of an umbrella corporation while simultaneously despising another part of that same corporation, but that’s the modern era for you - you point out the good, and call out the bad, which is exactly what Cory does.


Congrats Cory!

Whoa. That looks amazing. I wonder how many people figured everything out.


If only you used your sleuthing skills on the Ghost Post. :stuck_out_tongue:


I’m guessing a small number of people never opened them, in order to better scalp them (because that’s what people do), but hopefully most people got to the end. The puzzles were lots of fun and one of them used my iPhone to create a sort of ouija board in a way that I didn’t know was possible. It was all extremely clever, the production values were ridiculously nice, and I only wish I’d been able to finish the adventure at Disneyland.


Does the Redusting Ad somehow make music? The punch holes make it look like a player piano scroll.

I know! I totally waited on subscribing to it, and by the time I went back to the page, all gone. :slight_smile:

Well, Box #2 comes with a tiny toy piano with a little crank. If you look closely at the Re-Dusting ad, it’s perforated into strips. The ghosts on the radio ask you to play some music for them – they need to hear a certain tune. So if you tear apart the ad (I know, it broke my heart) and feed the strips into the piano, one of them plays the correct tune, and the ghosts will hear it and unlock the next step of the story.

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I figured something like that would happen. Sucks about tearing it apart though :frowning:

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