The Haunted Mansion is one of the Magic Kingdom’s most popular attractions, filled with unique characters that many Disney fans love to learn more about. Today we’re going to shine a spotlight on Madame Leota, one of the attraction’s most well-known characters. Keep reading to discover who Madame Leota is and more about this mysterious character the Haunted Mansion is home to.
Who is Madame Leota, and Where Can You Find Her?
The Haunted Mansion attraction in the Magic Kingdom is home to Madame Leota, who can be found floating in a crystal ball as you travel through the attraction. This ghostly character was originally created for the Disneyland version of the ride but is now found in Walt Disney World and other worldwide Disney parks. She is named after Leota Toombs, who was the original one to play this character and is voiced by Eleanor Audley.
Madame Leota is quite a mysterious character, and while it’s uncertain what her motives are within the ride, she is generally seen as a good character. If you take the time to look around the Memento Mori gift shop outside of the attraction, you’ll learn more about the character’s backstory. It shows you how she originally lived in Salem, Massachusetts, as a witch during the 1690s. The story suggests that she caused the Salem Witch Trials, which resulted in her fleeing the area to Hudson River Valley, New York. This is where she opened a store of a similar name, offering a variety of spiritual and supernatural goods. She became good friends with the Gracey Family, who lived in the large mansion that the village was home to, which is why she is buried in their family plot.
Is Madame Leota a Villain?
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Generally, Madame Leota is seen to be a positive character within the attraction and isn’t usually considered to be a villain at all. Instead, she is a spirit who takes on the role of a psychic medium living within her crystal ball. You’ll see that she just appears as a head in the ride, without her body. As you travel throughout the Haunted Mansion, she shares her “sympathetic vibrations” in order to call the ghosts from the spirit world for you to meet them later on in the ride. Disney fans are always enchanted by this part of the ride, and so she’s never seen as a villain of the Haunted Mansion.
Is the Crystal Ball Really Floating?
Madame Leota’s head is housed in a crystal ball, which is one of the many amazing illusions that you’ll see in the Haunted Mansion. If you are wondering whether the ball is really floating, Disney in fact uses a green-screen system that creates the effect of the floating head. There is an HD video that is projected from the rear to create her face. This helps to reduce the chance of there being a reflection issue within the ball and is much better than using a regular projector. It’s an incredible scene and one you’ll want to pay even more attention to the next time you ride the Haunted Mansion.
Madame Leota’s Spell Book
One of the other details that guests often overlook when traveling through the ride is the spell book which was added to her séance room in the Walt Disney World attraction. It’s also present in the Disneyland ride and is called Necronomicon: Book of the Dead. A fun detail about this attraction is that you’ll find that it’s left open on page 1313, adding a little more spookiness to the scene.
Madame Leota and The Haunted Mansion Movie
Madame Leota isn’t just a character that can be found in the Walt Disney World attraction, as she also made an appearance in the movie that was inspired by the ride. The movie was first released back in 2003, and you’ll find that Jennifer Tilly was the actress to play this character. Jennifer Tilly was also part of Monsters Inc. and Home on the Range, so she’s a popular actress within the Disney franchise. We learn a little more about her character in the movie, but of course, this movie had quite a mixed reaction from Disney fans. For many fans, they’d much rather just enjoy the attraction as it is, with the classic look and feel of all of the characters.
Where Else Can You Find References to Madame Leota?
The Haunted Mansion isn’t the only place you’ll find Madame Leota in Walt Disney World. In fact, within the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll see her crystal ball appear as well. You’ll need to look very closely at G2-9T’s scanner for suitcases, as this is where you will be able to see it. This is just one of many fun examples of how Disney imagineers use their creativity to connect attractions within the parks. The more you look out for these details in the parks, the more you’ll learn about the company and characters that are so special to many of us. It’s why people love coming back to the parks year after year to learn more about the work the imagineers put into the parks.
The Haunted Mansion wouldn’t be the same without Madame Leota, who is a strong presence as you travel through the attraction. We love the incredible effects that are used to bring her character to life, which are like nothing else you’ll find in the parks still to this day. The more you look out for the little details in the attraction, the more you’ll enjoy riding it over and over again in the future. We also encourage you to check out Memento Mori, where you can learn even more about her past and backstory. The next time you visit the Magic Kingdom, don’t miss out on taking a ride on The Haunted Mansion and paying this fun character a visit. It’s one of the most popular rides in the park to this date, and one we are sure will be around for many years to come.