2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Disneyland's Haunted Mansion
Published: February 11, 2010 at 12:05 PM
Opened in 1969, Disney's original Haunted Mansion takes visitors on a "Doom Buggy" tour through the home of "999 happy haunts." Th "Ghost Host" narrates your way through the ride, which takes you up a grand staircase, past Madame Leota's seance, and through a Grand Ballroom on your way to the attic.
There, a ghostly bride greets you, before you exit a window, descending the Mansion roof into the haunted graveyard "outside." Finally, a ghost hitchhikes a ride in your buggy, before you exit and ride the "endless carpet" back up to New Orleans Square.
Disney's Haunted Mansion also appears in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland and, as Phantom Manor, at Disneyland Paris. The exact backstory of the Mansion is the subject of much debate, and has been enhanced greatly over the years by Mansion cast members, far beyond that originally scripted by Disney's Imagineers.
All that talk, though, just demonstrates how popular the Mansion has been, and remains, among park guests. Disneyland's version scores slightly higher among Theme Park Insider readers than Disney World's Mansion, which is why the Disneyland original gets the tournament slot. (Personally, I prefer the Disneyland version, if for no other reason that you get to enter through the front door in Anaheim, as opposed to entering through the basement - and instantly ending up in the foyer - as you do in Florida. I always wanted to go through that front door at Disney World!)
My attempts to record the ride at the Mansion have failed, given the low light. So I instead offer you this video, plucked from YouTube:
Can the Mansion win this bracket? Let's hear your thoughts, in the comments.