When the new interactive queue of the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion opened in March of 2011, guests discovered the grave of “Master Gracey” re-located to the center of the queue. Although the “Master” applied to Gracey was actually a nod to the youthful appearance of Yale Gracey, the imagineer and effects wizard honored on the tombstone (“Master” is the traditional address for young boys before they are old enough to be called “mister”), the title spawned rumors that Gracey was actually the ride’s ghost host. In the old queue, Gracey’s grave appeared freshly dug, and it was frequently topped with a red rose. In the new line, “Master Gracey” was given a special place in the queue, but the new positioning spawned a series of complaints.
In the new queue, Master Gracey’s gravestone headed a grassy plot ringed in bricks and an iron railing. Its focal location certainly honored the rumors and stories clustered around Master Gracey, but the grave was notably small. Its size either eliminated any possibility of a body being buried there, or implied that “Master Gracey” was indeed a “Master” in age, and the grave was that of a child. Neither of those possibilities seemed to forward the theming of the area.
As of May 27, that original, small plot has been expanded to a full-sized grave. New bricks (note the color difference) and an expanded iron fence now mark out a grave large enough for “Master Gracey” regardless of his age. Although the change is a small one, it does reflect Disney’s awareness of guests’ comments about the formerly tiny plot and their dedication to maintaining the theming of the Haunted Mansion and all of its rumors and legends.