Now it’s no secret to many of Buzz and my friends that Haunted Mansion is one of our absolute favorite rides within Walt Disney World. We are those annoying Disney regulars who know the entire script and recite it word for word. From the stretching room, to Madame Leota, the attic, and of course the beloved hitchhiking ghosts; Haunted Mansion is a must-do attraction whenever you visit Magic Kingdom. Since its Halloween time why not visit the Haunted Mansion, the home to 999 happy haunts which always seems to have room for just one more!
Haunted Mansion is one of the few original attractions left in the park. It opened on opening day, October 1, 1971. And here’s a fun fact for you: Phil Holmes the current vice president of the Magic Kingdom actually opened the attraction on opening day as an attractions cast member! From then on Haunted Mansion has been a beloved attraction that has attracted million upon millions of visitors. Opening two years after Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion there are several similarities and differences between the two attractions that share the same name.
Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is based in New Orleans Square, and every year to celebrate the Halloween and Christmas season the attraction goes down and is called the Haunted Mansion Holiday. The attraction boasts the characters from the Tim Burton/Disney movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. When riding guests will see Jack Skellington, Sally, and the dreaded Oogie Boogie. Disneyland’s façade is also different, the attraction appears to be a plantation/mansion and when you reach the stretching room you are actually in an elevator moving down.
Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion is located in Liberty Square, a nonexistent land in Disneyland, which celebrates colonial America. Walt Disney World does not have the Haunted Mansion Holiday during the holiday season though. The architecture for this particular mansion is darker and appears to be a manor/mansion. There are two queues; the cemetery which is now the standard queue and a Fastpass+ entrance which bypasses the cemetery. Another key difference is the stretching room; as opposed to Disneyland’s elevator, the roof of the stretching room actually rises instead of guests moving down in an elevator. There are several other differences throughout the attractions but these are probably the most well-known of them.
The Walt Disney World attraction received a major refurbishment in the summer of 2007, and a new queue (the now existing cemetery) was added in March of 2011. The queue is interactive adding to the few other interactive queues in Walt Disney World that the Imagineers are fond of. The refurbishment in 2007 led to a few new rooms—i.e. the staircase room—and some much needed updates.
The Haunted Mansion is a wonderful attraction that if you continue to ride chances are you will always notice something you’ve never seen before. Whether it’s the engagement ring hidden somewhere in the cemetery, an old friend in the pet graveyard, or the silhouette of the Grim Reaper waiting for a new soul. You will be sure to, as the killer bride demands, “Hurry back”!
(photo coutesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The_Haunted_Mansion.jpg)