The concept drawings began before the park even opened in 1951. In 1957 there was a basic story and design. One of the concepts was a run down mansion. Walt rejected that as he did not want any structures to appear run down. HM was delayed while four other attractions were finished until 8/9/1969. Two major changes were made from concept to completion. It was decided to make HM half scary/half funny instead of just scary, and instead of a walk through, it became an Omnimover attraction. Inside HM you are lowered by elevator to a 90 ft. walkway where you walk beneath the railroad tracks, to outside original design park's perimeter, to beneath a one acre show building next door. Madame Leota is the face of Leota Toombs, a Disney imagineer. Walt was considering narrating the ride himself, but later decided to use Paul Frees. The organ in the ballroom was in the film "20,00 Leagues Under the Sea". The tombstones out front refer to actual imagneers. 2001 was the Nightmare Before Christmas changeover began.