Attraction Spotlight – The Haunted Mansion

Few attractions have as big of a fan base as The Haunted Mansion. It has had both a movie release, to theaters, starring Eddie Murphy and it’s on product line going beyond the regular gift shop shirts to plates, ornaments, and collectibles. There are versions of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland (opened August 9, 1969), the Magic Kingdom (opened October 1, 1971), Disneyland Paris (opened April 15, 1983), and Tokyo Disneyland (opened April 12,1992). While not confirmed, I’d imagine Shanghai Disneyland will get a version at some point if it’s not already there when it opens in 2016.

The Disneyland Paris version is significantly re-imagined version than the original Disneyland version utilizing old-school theatrical effects to modern special effects and audio-animatronics. The Tokyo Disneyland version is set in the Mystic Manor involving the supernatural. The Disneyland and Magic Kingdom versions are roughly the same and rely on audio-animatronics and several old-school theater and magic tricks to create the illusions you see as you ride thru in your Doom Buggy. There is often an unofficial Hidden Mickey in the Magic Kingdom version on the banquet table made of plates. A few years ago, Imaginears revamped the queue for the Magic Kingdo Haunted Mansion to include interactive parts, however if you enter thru the FastPass+ line you will skip right by them.

If you attend Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, you’ll hear the Ghost Host narating Hallo-Wishes, be able to get a few special PhotoPass Shots with some Mansion residents and Hitch Hiking Ghosts, as well as see some residents joining in on the Boo To You parade. The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland andTokyo Disneyland also deck out for the Holidays since 2001.

The Ride:

As there are several versions and I tend to deal more with Walt Disney World, we’ll be going with theMagic Kingdom version which is in Liberty Square in that lands back corner on the side bordering Fantasyland, specifically thru the walking tunnel near the Tangled restroom area. Also note there are a lot of things going on in each room. It’s easy to ride several times and see something you haven’t seen before.

As you approach the mansion you’ll pass a carriage horse drawn by an invisible horse,which is one of the PhotoPass opportunities at MNSSHP. If you have used a FastPass+ you’ll head on in to the building, otherwise you’ll wind around seeing varies tombstones and interactive bits before heading inside. Once inside you’ll be directed to one of two gallery rooms for the pre-show. The Ghost Host will start his spill and you’ll be instructed to notice there are no windows or doors. And the pictures of various Mansion guests will expand as the room stretches to show how they died. The lights go out, a horrific scream lets out, and then a exit appears that you are directed thru heading to the line to get on your Doom Buggy.

Note in general the Doom Buggies are constantly moving, so you’ll get on board from a moving walk way. They can slow or stop them if needed.

Your safety spiel is given by the Ghost Host as you start your journey thru the mansion. First off you’ll pass thru a room containing moving ladders, moving books, and a rocking chair. From their you move into the music parlor with a resident playing the piano though of the resident, all one can see is the shadow.

From there you go thru a room with assorted stairways that throw the laws of physics right out the window. Candelabras appear to blow themselves out and re-light themselves. as you leave their you pass thru an area with several doors that have the knockes knocking themselves and a clock that has counter clockwise spinning hands.

From there you enter the seance room featuring Madem Leota inside the crystal ball. With assorted effects going off as she performs a seance. Exiting that room you come to a balcony overlooking the ballroom, where it seems the ghosts are throwing quite the party. It’s this room where you can often spy the Hidden Mickey. From there it’s on up to the attic, where you see lots of personal effects and pictur after picture of a man marrying the same woman. Each one has the Man’s head disappearing and as you approach the end of the Attic scene, you’ll see the bride herself saying “I do” with a hatchet appearing in her hand as she says it.

Exiting the attic you come to where you see a graveyard, with singing busts, moving headstones, moving crypts, and ghosts singing away. There is also a dog audio-animatronic in this scene. It appears in the Carousel of Progress and Pirates of the Caribbean as well. Heading back in to a crypt your Ghost Host will warn you of Hitchhiking Ghosts and you shall see three motioning to bum a ride. As you continue further you will see a mirror showing one of the ghosts tagging along.

You’ll then be pulling into the unloading zone that also is typically always moving. So watch your step as you exit your Doom Buggy ad step off the walkway.

Stats:

  • Riders Per Vehicle: 2-3
  • Duration: 5:50 – 8:20
  • Attraction Type: Omnimover Dark Ride

Fun Facts:

  • The attraction concept actually predates Disneyland, though it was added after the park opened.
  • The attraction gets an overlay based on the popular The Nightmare Before Christmas for the holidays.
  • Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out has an Easter Egg for the Haunted Mansion. The young girl Riley hears Grim Grinning Ghosts during one of her nightmares before entering her new house.
  • As mentioned above the attraction features an audio animatronic dog that you’ll also find on the Carousel of Prgress and Pirates of the Caribbean.

The Haunted Mansion Collection

 

This is classic Disney and should definately be checked out. Just beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts…

 

 

Patrick

 

 

 

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