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April-December, sometimes referred to as Miss April December, or The Muse, is a character from the Haunted Mansion.

History

Background

Miss April December is the name identified with a maiden who lived presumably between the 17th and 19th centuries. In her youth, she was a beautiful woman although as she aged she became hideously disfigured. Eventually, she died and became a ghost within the Haunted Mansion of New Orleans, Louisiana. It is unknown if she had any connection to the manor in her mortal life or if she only became affiliated with it posthumously via the Ghost Relations Department.

Development History

The April-December portrait(s) was an art-piece and visual-gag for the Haunted Mansion created by animator Marc Davis with the special-effects of Yale Gracey. Davis originally wanted the portrait to slowly morph from being young to being elderly however in the final attraction, she transitioned quickly with a lightning-flash. In the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion, she didn't transition at all and instead had a staring-effect.

In 2005, her portrait in the Disneyland Haunted Mansion was removed and replaced with one depicting the character of Master Gracey from Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion. In 2007, the Sinister 11 hallway of the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion was removed and replaced with the changing-portrait corridor from the Disneyland attraction. Despite the free-space, April December's changing-portrait was not featured and instead replaced by a mirror. April December's portrait was relocated to the staircase which appeared directly before entering this portrait corridor at the beginning of the ride.

In 2021, April December's portrait was reintegrated into Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. She once again appeared in the Haunted Mansion's interior queue albeit with a different space and new digital effects which allowed her to slowly transition as Davis originally intended.

Disney Parks

Haunted Mansion

Disneyland

April December originally appeared in the Portrait Corridor of the Haunted Mansion, until 2005, when she was replaced with the more popular portrait of Master Gracey. In 2021, she was reintegrated into the queue near the load-area in her own section with a new animated appearance.

Magic Kingdom

The, "December" portrait originally appeared in a portrait corridor as part of the Sinister 11 collection where she had green glowing eyes that stared at guests as they passed. This portrait's eye-effect was later removed in 2007 and the portrait was relocated to the staircase near the load area.

Tokyo Disneyland

The December portrait still appears in the Sinister 11 hallway where it has glowing green eyes which stare at guests as they pass by.

Port Royal Curios & Curiosities

A miniature of the April portrait is on a shelf in this New Orleans Square shop, located in-between two portraits of Medusa.

Shows

In 2006, April December's, "June" portrait appeared at a Pirates of the Caribbean themed stage-show in New Orleans Square. Her portrait appeared alongside ship parts, a cannon, and crate of gold doubloons.

Other appearances

Video-games

Disney Crossy Road

April-December appears as a playable character in the Haunted Mansion stages of this game, referred to as, "The Muse". Her in-game description was, "Miss April, or are you December?".

Trivia

  • In 2017, a portrait seemingly mirroring April December was integrated to Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. Said portrait depicts an elderly woman in Puerto Dorado being held up by Redd and the Auctioneer during the Wicked Wench's sacking of the town, holding a portrait of herself when she was much younger. In Disneyland Paris, this portrait is replaced with one depicting historic New Orleans pirate, Jean Lafitte.
  • Scale models of the Haunted Mansion's attic scene from around 1969 show her portrait being hung up near the bride.
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Media
Films: The Haunted MansionReboot

Television specials: Muppets Haunted Mansion
Books: Tales from the Haunted MansionThe Haunted MansionDisney Kingdoms: The Haunted MansionKingdom KeepersThe Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic
Video games: Adventures in the Magic KingdomThe Haunted MansionWalt Disney World ExplorerKinect: Disneyland AdventuresDisney Infinity: 2.0 EditionDisney Crossy RoadDisney Emoji BlitzThe Haunted Mansion: The Black Widow Bride

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