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2012 Best Attraction Tournament: Haunted Mansion vs. Splash Mountain

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Published: March 13, 2012 at 8:08 AM
It's a neighborhood battle today in the 2012 Theme Park Insider Tournament.

Well, at least it's that way at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland, where Splash Mountain and the Haunted Mansion stand side-by-side. (They're separated by the Rivers of America in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.) But as much as Disney fans might love both of these rides, only one can advance to the tournament semifinals. Which one will it be? That's your call.

Haunted Mansion - at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and as Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris

Haunted Mansion

Splash Mountain - at Disneyland, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland

Splash Mountain

Rally the troops by linking to this post on Facebook and Twitter. Voting is open for 24 hours.


Wednesday: 4. Mickey's PhilharMagic vs. 5. Soarin' Over California in the Best Theme Park Show bracket.

Readers' Opinions

From 63.255.223.58 on March 13, 2012 at 8:12 AM
I love Splash Mountain, but HM is the pinnacle of WED success and design. HM should win by a landslide.
From James Rao on March 13, 2012 at 8:21 AM
Personally, I like Splash Mountain better than Haunted Mansion. In fact, I believe it to be the best attraction at the Magic Kingdom....when it is fully functional. I was able to look past the recent maintanience issues for the last round, but no more. In the battle of these two titans, Haunted Mansion should get your vote, as all things being equal it is the better maintained of these two E-Ticket attractions.
From Tim Odom on March 13, 2012 at 8:26 AM
If Splash Moutain was 100% fully functional, then it might be a close call. As it is, however, Haunted Mansion is one of the best rides ever. Gonna take a lot more than a really well done but half working flume to take down this juggernaut.
From Mark Fairleigh on March 13, 2012 at 8:28 AM
I can sympathize with the maintenance issues, James, as I was stuck on Splash last year for at least an hour. This is easily one of the hardest picks for me. I mean this is like Kentucky vs. UNC during March Madness! But I had to go with Haunted. Wifey and I love Halloween and how much more Halloween can you get than Haunted Mansion? It may not be thrilling or even scary, but it's Haunted Mansion!
From Tyler Stover on March 13, 2012 at 8:35 AM
Haunted Mansion for a few reasons:

1) Everyone can ride it. Now that my wife is pregnant, I'm realizing how nice it is to have stuff we can still ride together.

2) Maintenance - Splash Mountain at WDW and, to a lesser extent, Disneyland, is not being very well maintained. Haunted Mansion also has its lingering issues but overall is in better shape than splash

3) All weather enjoyment

Haunted also has the slight edge on story. Both are exceptional, but the back story created/enhanced by the fan community for Haunted exceeds Splash's movie-inspired story.

Music and visuals are a draw between the two.

From Stuart Henny on March 13, 2012 at 8:41 AM
Voted for Haunted Mansion because ANYTHING is better than Splash Mountain!
From Brandon Mendoza on March 13, 2012 at 8:53 AM
Preaching to the choir here... although I love them both, HM wins. Splash is hurt by not being maintained well in parts that are obvious, and also not being as "everyone" friendly due to the nature of the attraction.

This is like choosing who your favorite is between your kids!

From Kelly Muggleton on March 13, 2012 at 9:16 AM
whyyyyyyy???
I went with my heart - Haunted Mansion.
I do think this could be quite a close vote.
From Mike Gallagher on March 13, 2012 at 9:21 AM
I can't remember the details, but I had a dream last night that involved the Haunted Mansion. Hmmm.

This vote was no contest for me..HM all the way.

From Melanie Howe on March 13, 2012 at 9:48 AM
I'm kind of surprised this vote isn't closer, though apparently Splash has developed some serious issues since the last time I was on it....

I have always loved HM, even though I remember it scared the heck out of me when I was two :-) It gets my vote, hands-down. Plus, I've always thought the Mansion would be the most awesome place to work at Disney 'cause you wouldn't have to paste a smile on your face all day :-P

From Mike Gallagher on March 13, 2012 at 10:26 AM
LOL, Dom! I wish! ;)

Actually, all I remember is walking down these long, greenish-lit hallways.

From Ray Schroeder on March 13, 2012 at 10:27 AM
This was tough. I love them both, but sometimes I just don't want to get wet. I went with HM.
From 208.45.78.66 on March 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Like many here the lack of maintenance is what kills splash. Disney take this down for a full rehab NOW (MK Version) there is no excuse for the horrible shape it is in. The last time I saw the DL version it was in good shape. The recent improvements at HM (MK version especially) are great, keep HM in great shape!
From Matt Babiak on March 13, 2012 at 11:39 AM
It was pure evil to put these to together so early. I went Mansion, but only b/c I'm looking down the road(which has a better chance to beat Spidey and/or Potter).
From Giovanny Cruz on March 13, 2012 at 1:21 PM
Why is haunted mansion taking the led I meand some people might hate me but this but I only like haunted mansion because it cools you down in hot days I mean I like it but my family fell asleep in that ride litarite asleep.

And spalsh mountain is an awosome flume ride one of the
bests ones and is way better than haunted mansion

From Bob Liebe on March 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM
Splash Mountain is good, but the Haunted Mansion is better. Easy choice for me, Haunted Mansion.
From Sylvain Comeau on March 13, 2012 at 2:20 PM
Sorry to see Splash bite the dust (or water) but I voted for the Orlando version of Mansion. The upgrades have really elevated that ride, so that we have a great combination of classic elements with new technology.
From Mark Fairleigh on March 13, 2012 at 3:59 PM
Giovanny, I almost fell asleep on Splash waiting for it start up again...I love Splash, but consistence maintenance issues equals points deducted.
From James Koehl on March 13, 2012 at 4:50 PM
Giovanny, what does the word "litarite" mean? And nobody is going to hate you for your opinion, as long as it is an opinion and you don't say something insulting to those who feel different than you.
From Tom Rigg on March 13, 2012 at 5:07 PM
I would submit that the Haunted Mansion is the most complete attraction at the park since the past two updates. Every single aspect of this ride has been maximized. I would go as far as saying that it may be the height of Disney Imagineering. (Tower of Terror comes in a close second.)

Splash Mountain is a great ride and has a rich story and themeing, but its maintenance issues were so tragically apparent the last time I rode it that I actually shot an email to WDW Customer relations about it. (It and the giant hole in the earthquake scene in BTM.)

I just can't see giving this win to what a ride could possibly be and was at one point. HM has done nothing but grow and deepen in its exceptional experience.

From Mike Gallagher on March 13, 2012 at 5:51 PM
Could be, Dominick. Last time I was in the Haunted Mansion was in the mid 90's, so I really don't remember an "endless hallway."

Actually, I think Dominick may have changed his Identity again. I also notice his previous posts are gone.

And James, give Giovanny some credit. At least he spelled "awosome" correctly ;)

From James Koehl on March 13, 2012 at 6:04 PM
I wasn't trying to give Giovanny a hard time. I really don't know what word he was trying to use- still don't.
From Json Son on March 13, 2012 at 6:18 PM
Splash Mountain is my favorite ride at any Disney park.

I love Haunted Mansion, but it doesn't have the thrill to match Splash. To me it will never be a complete attraction because it lacks that true "bang" moment, the scares are cheesy, and the upgrades are way overrated.

The drop in Splash strikes fear into my heart every time. I just wish the Haunted Mansion would be more adult like HHN. I know Disney would never do that because it's Disney. It's an awesome family attraction nonetheless.

From Dominick D on March 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM
Yeah Mike, I ticked Robert off for some reason. Look Robert, if your reading this, I'm very sorry. Please forgive me!
From Rob Pastor on March 13, 2012 at 8:25 PM
Dom: Good to see you're back. I had thought you had calmed down & mellowed recently.
From Paul Conrad on March 13, 2012 at 9:35 PM
I don't really think of the Haunted Mansion as a ride. It's a ride like Pirates of the Caribbean is a ride. Passive, observing action. Like It's a Small World. Splash Mountain is more active, part of the action, aggressive RIDE. Went to both again last weekend and the buzz coming out of our first time on Splash Mountain was thrilled excitement (with my wife and 7 yr old daughter) versus the walk out of the Haunted Mansion. My wife and I consider the Mansion as a classic and always a good bet. Also one that little kids can enjoy. On Splash Mountain my 7 yr old was not happy to get wet, but I thought the story buildup and the sheer length made it more thrilling than almost any other ride in MK. Space Mountain doesn't have the same storyline buildup, unless you count the walk in and the wait in line. I enthusiastically vote for Splash Mountain.

We rode Kali River Rapids the first time last weekend and were totally blown away. Helped that there was no line, but wow what a setting and mood and I could have ridden that over and over but I was getting soaked to the core. On a hot weekday this would be the ultimate ride.

From AJ Hummel on March 13, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Both of these are outstanding attractions, and both are absolute must-rides for those that have never experieced them. However, Haunted Mansion is my favorite ride at Disneyland (as well as my favorite dark ride), so I had to vote for it. I rode both back to back today and Haunted Mansion definitely wins in all categories but thrill.
From Robert Gray on March 14, 2012 at 9:10 AM
When I was last there around 3 weeks ago, I didn't notice any of the poor maintenance on SM as reported here. I could have missed it. What sections can you say are down or poorly maintained? By the way I voted for HM as it just nudges it in my opinion.

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