In the Spotlight – Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion

A couple months ago we held the Dis Cup over on Twitter. 48 Walt Disney World attractions were whittled down to just two. An epic final then saw Expedition Everest (my pre-tournament pick for the title) lose out the majestic Haunted Mansion.

We had over 2,800 votes throughout the tournament and I just want to thank everyone again for voting, sharing and supporting the concept. It was a much bigger success than we ever imagined and we had a lot of fun doing it. I’m looking at maybe doing something similar in the future with different theme parks.

The prize? The honour of been called the WITP Dis Cup Champion and a standalone blog written by yours truly in the days after the final showdown.

Well, clearly that didn’t happen, but better late than never I guess.

A brief history of the Haunted Mansion

Located in Liberty Square, there is an impressive old mansion. Inspired by the gothic-revival, it opened alongside Magic Kingdom in Friday 1 October 2971. This detailed and eye-catching facade is known as the Haunted Mansion.

Inside the mansion lives an Omnimover dark ride manufactured by Arrow Development. The ride vehicle is a doom buggy seating 2 -3 people at a time that takes you on six-minute journey (or near enough) through the house resided by 999 happy haunts.

When built, the ride was set to be a carbon copy of the original in Disneyland with a different and much bigger façade. At some point during production, it was decided that the Magic Kingdom version would be extended to make the ride longer. The stretching room (where the pre-show takes place) is also different. The versions in California and Paris act as elevators but unlike the others mentioned, Walt Disney World doesn’t need to transport people underground to a show building, so their version isn’t an elevator. In fact, the guests are not moving at all. The ceiling actually stretches upwards giving the illusion of the elevator going down. A simple, yet effective way of getting you into the loading area.

As the ride is a Omnimover, the throughput is constant and fairly quick but obviously, this is Disney World, so be prepared to queue if you don’t have a fastpass. From personal experience, we didn’t have to spend much time queuing outside so were lucky the one time we rode it without a fastpass. However, seeing as though most of the queue line is outside, I’d expect it to be hot.

You shouldn’t be left standing totally still for too long though and the garden has amazing theming and interactive elements to keep you occupied. I have seen the wait time be up to 70 mins for this on the app (yes, I still check rides times even though I’m not there – I even checked them before we booked this year’s trip).

As I’ve only been on the Haunted Mansion twice, I don’t feel I can do an accurate write-up of the on-ride experience. I feel that first-hand memories and experience are better than me paraphrasing someone else and not giving it the attention it deserves. Steve Porter from The Dis has done a wonderful review of the Haunted Mansion that sums it up perfectly in our opinion, so make sure you check it out. Steve is a one of our favourites from The Dis team and his articles are always well-written and fun.

I thought I’d be better giving you our opinions instead, so here they are.

A carriage at Haunted Mansion

Our first Impressions

Wow. Pictures and videos do not do any of Walt Disney World justice but that’s particularly the case with the Haunted Mansion. The first time I saw it in the flesh was on our first full day, we had been up early (well obviously we were at Disney World, man) and had our breakfast at the amazing Be Our Guest. We’d come back out to rain – a lot of rain – and a near empty Fantasyland (another perk of an early breakfast before the park actually opens). We got on Peter Pan and Small World without having to queue and were literally living the dream. Just then, it rained again. We got absolutely soaked and were wandering down towards Liberty Square, and that’s when I caught my first glimpse of the building. It was rainy, cloudy and a bit dark but seeing the mansion for the first time in your life in conditions like that just make it breathtaking. I mean, it looked stunning, eerie, but stunning. Almost as if it was intended to be that way 😉

The Queue

I don’t think we saw the best of the outside queue as we had a fastpass the first time and the second was just before the park closed. The elevator scene is very cool, as I said earlier, and I’m actually hoping we have a longer wait time this year so we can experience the interactive aspects.

The Ride

The ride is brilliant and I understood the fuss and the hype as soon as it was finished. It’s just a heck of a lot of fun. The theming inside is incredible and the song is just as good, it will leave you singing and humming for ages.

The Verdict

A must-ride attraction that I wouldn’t mind waiting an hour for. I was longing for Everest to win the Dis Cup but I totally understand why the Haunted Mansion took the title.

On the day we land we intend to head to Magic Kingdom just like last year and our first fast pass is for this ride. I’m so excited to once again be introduced to the host… The Ghost Host.

Until next time, keep smiling.

Carl


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In the spotlight the Haunted Mansion

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