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Uncle Walt certainly outdid himself this time. The Disney Haunted Mansion is one of the best rides in Liberty Square. (Yeah, Dad, there are only 3 rides in Liberty Square and the other 2 are pretty boring.) OK, how about this, the Haunted Mansion is one of the best rides Uncle Walt ever produced. Now that’s high praise.
The Haunted Mansion
Photo by WDW Shutterbug
The Haunted Mansion is one of those rides you either love or you hate. It has spawned it’s own bad movie (starring Eddie Murphy) and has numerous fan websites the best of which is DoomBuggies.com. This ride is huge. It’s great. You’ll love it.
“Welcome, Foolish Mortals to the Haunted Mansion …”
“Drag your bodies away from the wall, into the dead center of the room”.
A couple of years ago Disney really upgraded the line area for the Haunted Mansion. It all starts outside the grounds of the mansion. Take a look.
The Busts outside of the Haunted Mansion
Photo by WDW Shutterbug
Disney also spiffed the queue (line) area. Instead of just waiting in line and seeing the gravestones, now there is an interactive area where you can get lost playing on the big organ.
The New Interactive Queue
Photo by WDW Shutterbug
Then there are the tombstones. These used to be just decorations, now watch them for a while, you never know what you are going to see. Make sure to catch Madame Leota.
Now it time for the ghosts, ghouls, goblins and skeletons. The things that go bump in the night.
The ride starts out by insulting the guests. That’s a great way to start. Foolish mortals indeed.
You start out in a “stretch” room where you are introduced to the ghost host. The room goes dark and then it’s time to move on to your Doom Buggy trip through several scenes of the dear departed. All of the ghosts are of the “Casper” kind, friendly.
There’s Madame Leota who tells futures in a crystal ball. Yes, I meant in, her head is in a crystal ball. They you see the dance hall where a celebration is happening. At the end of the journey, as you exit the mansion you get an extra passenger in your Doom Buggy. Don’t worry, he can’t leave the mansion (or can he?).
The Madame Leota Sequence
Video by The BigFatPanda
The Disney Haunted Mansion opened in 1971 when the Magic Kingdom opened. A “re-haunting” was completed in 2007.
- Uncle Walt planned some “grim grinning” adventure even before starting construction at Disneyland.
- Yale Gracey was one of the imagineers put in charge of the special effects in the original attraction.
- This 18th century mansion is based on northeastern mansions and is in the Dutch Gothic Revival style.
- The Madame Leota tombstone is unique to Disney World. Watch the eyes.
Full Disney Haunted Mansion Video
Here are some fun facts about the Disney Haunted Mansion.
- The Ghost Host welcomes you to join him and his 999 dearly-departed friends.
- The dust is carefully dusted and cobwebs are repaired every night.
- In the octagonal room the ceiling and the portraits actually rise.
- In the ballroom there are 13 candles on the cake.
Disney Haunted Mansion in Daylight
Shouldn’t lightning should be flashing in the background. Photo by Joe Penniston
Dad’s Ride Information Table
Disney Haunted Mansion
|Description: Ride a doom buggy through ghostly haunts|
|Height Requirement – none||Fastpass:No||Length of Ride: 6 minutes|
|Type of ride: Ride vehicle on a continuous moving track|
|Best time to ride: Lines move quickly, even during the busy times|
|Other Information: This is not a scary, guys with no heads jumping out at you ride.|
The Fine Print
There’s always fine print. Just make sure you don’t sign in blood.
- Guests must be able to transfer onto the ride vehicles via the moving platform.
- Handheld Captioning is available. See Guest Relations for a device.
- Translation devices are available for rent at Guest Relations.
Hitchhikers at the Haunted Mansion (don’t pick them up)
Photo by Disney Photo Snapper
The Haunted Mansion and Halloween
Let’s see, the Disney Haunted Mansion and Halloween. That’s a match made in …
Yes, at Halloween the Haunted Mansion becomes the star of the show. One of the big attractions each year during the Halloween season is the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party which should have a sub title “Featuring the Haunted Mansion”. There are 2 big events during the Halloween Party and both feature the mansion. First is the “Boo To You Parade” where you’ll see all your favorite characters from the Haunted Mansion.
Boo To You Parade
About an hour after the parade, one of the best fireworks shows Disney puts on (and Disney really knows how to put on a fireworks show) comes “alive” as Hallowishes haunts the skies over the Magic Kingdom. 999 “Great Grinning Ghosts” come out to socialize in a huge 20 minute fantasy in the sky. You don’t want to miss this.
Award Winning Attraction
The Disney Haunted Mansion was the very first Best of WDW attraction awarded by WDW Magazine and is featured on the cover of the very first issue of WDW Magazine.
Dad’s Bottom Line
Disney’s Haunted Mansion is a haunted house in the best Disney tradition. There is no blood, no gore, no freaks, no Friday the Thirteenth type behavior, just good, dusty, ghostly fun.
Disney denies (or is that encourages) all rumors about the Haunted Mansions really being haunted by real ghosts.