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Vote of the Week: Which is the world's best Haunted Mansion?

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Published: October 31, 2013 at 12:29 PM

In honor of Halloween, let's spend a little time with the theme park attraction that brings us so many happy haunts throughout the year: Disney's Haunted Mansion.

But which is the best of the world's Haunted Mansions? Is it the original, at Disneyland, in Anaheim?

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

Or Walt Disney World's?

Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom

Perhaps you might prefer the Tokyo version, located in Tokyo Disneyland's Fantasyland section. A clone of Orlando's version, Tokyo also offers the Haunted Mansion "Holiday Nightmare" overlay also found in Anaheim.

Haunted Mansion at Tokyo Disneyland

Or maybe you liked it when Disney broke the mold and created Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris, which sets the classic Mansion story inside an old west facade, incorporating elements from Marc Davis' never-built Western River Expedition at the end?

Phantom Manor at Disneyland Paris

And finally, let's consider that holiday overlay, where Jack Skellington and his crew from The Nightmare Before Christmas take over the Mansions in Anaheim and Tokyo from September through the New Year.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Even if you've not had the good fortune to experience all five versions in person, from all you know about these rides, which would you consider the very best?


Thank you for being part of the Theme Park Insider community, and Happy Halloween!

Readers' Opinions

From Mike Gallagher on October 31, 2013 at 2:39 PM
Only been on Florida and Cali, and I barely..actually, not at all...remember the latter (I was 14, 35 years ago)..so I guess it's Florida for me.
From TH Creative on October 31, 2013 at 2:40 PM
Oh please! This is like asking "What do you like better: Vanilla ice cream, liver, caster oil or poi?"
From James Trexen on October 31, 2013 at 3:06 PM
I'm only familiar with the FL version, but I can't vote against the Pumpkin King. So holiday gets my vote, despite the futility of doing so.
From Eric G on October 31, 2013 at 4:34 PM
Some of the recent upgrades make the Florida version very appealing like the audio effects in the stretching room or the room of staircases with the glowing footsteps, but the original in California remains the best for many reasons.

#1 it is the original Haunted Mansion.

#2 The stretching room actually stretches in California and is a very unique feature that made this attraction possible.

#3 New Orleans is the perfect setting for a haunted house and the exterior of this one has a traditional look.

#4 Many upgrades over the years debuted in California first. The floating Madame Leota head in the crystal ball for example. While some new effects have reverted back they first appeared here.

#5 The Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. Disneyland Entertainment did a fantastic job when they created this and it's the only one where basically you get two different attractions in one.

#6 Finally, the maintenance in California is the best thanks to the twice annual shut down to add and remove the overlay.

From Jay R. on October 31, 2013 at 4:53 PM
I picked the original at Disneyland (but Phantom Manor is cool)

From Flavio de Souza on October 31, 2013 at 6:09 PM
I have never been to the Tokio's version, but from the 3 remaining the Parisian version is the best.
From 187.61.208.130 on October 31, 2013 at 7:41 PM
Paris has the best one.
From James Rao on October 31, 2013 at 9:24 PM
I have only visited two of them, Orlando and Anaheim (with the Skellington overlay). Of those two, Orlando gets the nod.
From AJ Hummel on October 31, 2013 at 11:39 PM
I've been on California (both regular and Holiday) and Paris, and between those three versions I'd have to say I prefer the holiday version. Unlike the normal Haunted Mansion, Haunted Mansion Holiday has a cohesive story and I love the musical score of the attraction (not that the regular one is bad, it's just the same basic theme for the whole ride while HMH has a different track for each section). Additionally, Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite animated movies so anything based on it gets bonus points.

Between regular Haunted Mansion and Phantom Manor it is a really tough call. Phantom Manor is a spectacular attraction, but I think of it as a separate attraction rather than another version of Haunted Mansion due to the numerous differences in story and scenes (although the core of the mansion scenes are present in some form). Disneyland's Haunted Mansion is outstanding as well, one of the best dark rides in the industry and one of the few rides I can't miss on a Disneyland visit despite having an Annual Pass. I think I'll just call this one a tie.

From 193.39.157.76 on November 1, 2013 at 6:01 AM
Phantom Manor, just like so many other of Paris' attractions has the edge over its American counterparts.

If they just kept on top of the maintenance it would be perfect.

Never been to Tokyo so can't comment on theirs but the theming looks superb.

Even the name.. 'Phantom Manor' is much better than Haunted Mansion!

From Tyler Stover on November 1, 2013 at 10:26 AM
I like the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay, but it is way overdone. It is just not right that you can't enjoy the original Haunted Mansion during Halloween, but instead have a Christmas overlay 3 months, and entire quarter of a year, before the actual Holiday. Add in Orlando's proper loading area, staircase room, and other additions, and it is the no brainer pick over Anaheim. I haven't experienced the rest so it was between the domestic two for me.
From Anthony Murphy on November 1, 2013 at 4:35 PM
Aren't they all about the same? (except Paris)

I voted for FL, but because I do not like the DLP version.

From Annette Forrest on November 1, 2013 at 7:29 PM
I love the New Orleans setting of Haunted Mansion in Anaheim...but I have not been able to experience HM in California in many, many years because that holiday is always up when I am in California.

I don't like the overly and want there to be a permanent Nightmare ride and HalloweenTown area in DCA.

I'd love to be able to experience the classic Haunted Mansion in Disneyland at Halloween.

From 171.207.70.227 on November 2, 2013 at 5:41 AM
Been to all (except Holiday version), but voting for Tokyo because of the cast members. They were dressed immaculately (we saw them in winter garb), and the entire team was in character and even synchronised their hand gestures. (Side note:we compared this with the cast members of the Tower of Terror in Disneysea and amazing, they had their own unique hand gestures.) I love every haunted mansion, but this definitely edged Tokyo to the top of my list.
From 71.58.83.58 on November 3, 2013 at 8:59 AM
The Nightmare Before Christmas Holiday overlay makes the DL Haunted Mansion head and shoulders better than its counterpart in Orlando. I was at the Tokyo DL version in 1994, and I don't remember it being anything special. Of course, in 19 years, that could have changed. Never been to any of the others.

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