The Haunted Mansion is wonderful and the updates stated above were done so well. Couple of additions I thought were new were; the hallway with the pictures (after you get on the ride) and when you first enter the mansion the picture of the man on the wall changes. GREAT RIDE!!!
Definitely be get to the Magic Kingdom if you can.
I can't wait for my next visit.
Now, let's send that same rehab crew over to the Country Bear Jamboree (an attraction that looks like something you'd see at Chuckie Cheese).
Our Haunted Mansion is in rehab right now for Halloween. I hope to see some new things over here in the West.
Wait Time: During AP preview, it was 20 minutes... max.
Stretching Room: As a former sound engineer, the work done to this room made me a very happy camper. Yes, the room has been cleaned up, and lots of attention was given to the coward. However, if you get multiple visits, use one of those visits to close your eyes and listen to all the details that the engineers have added to the show. Listen to the motion of the sounds, and the errie manner in which the ghost-host enters your head. Chilling.
Doombuggies: Another sound engineer tweak here... The buggies are in stereo... WOOT!
Art Gallery: Cross your fingers that you get enough time in the hallway for two lightning strikes.
Old Spider Room: WDW didn't get Harry Potter, so they tease you with what the Hogwarts stairways might have been. Keep a close eye on the stair treads.
Hall of Doors: Speaking of keeping a close eye on things, in here, the wallpaper is now keeping a close eye on you. Simply amazing.
Séance Room: Leota...my, but you get around these days.
Attic: Who knew that the attic in Gracy Manor was so huge! Don't get carried away looking at the old photos.. the bride wants your attention. Why do the buggies have to move so fast... going to need multiple trips to fully appreciate this new sfx.
Graveyard: Lots more spooks, lots more music and noise. See if you can spot the ghost on the runaway bicycle.
Have fun.. and play nice while waiting in line. The mansion isn't going anywhere. We've all got plenty of time to see it.
Also, has Disney done any active advertising to let people know about this rehab (like they did with the great "good news - we've made it worse" ads for Tower if Terror)?
The speakers on our doom buggy didn't work at all, and they did seem to move faster; we really had to look quick to take in the changes. Don't get me wrong, I liked the ride, but then it has always been one of my favorites. I guess I was expecting more and was disappointed in the outcome.
Also, though our Stretching Room audio is still the "old" version, all of the speakers throughout the Mansion were converted to digital speakers quite a while ago (whereas Disney World's just got that upgrade). So a revamp of our Stretching Room would be much easier to undertake.
Finally, though the "changing portraits" is a new effect in Florida, here in California it's been around for a while. The difference is that this effect takes place in the queue before you board your Doombuggy, instead of while you're on the ride portion. And, as an added geek bonus, the "Oh I didn't mean to frighten you..." line added at the end of the Stretching Room in FL is *not* new contrary to what some people are reporting (Paul Frees is deceased, after all ;)). That line was actually taken from Disneyland, where it plays as you're walking past the changing portraits.
That being said, I really enjoyed Florida's version. I hadn't been on it pre-refurb so I never got to see how "bad" it got. What I saw on the 13th, though, was very promising and I look forward to seeing some of the new technology eventually make its way out to California. When I rode it opening day, though, the effect wasn't working properly in the attic. The bride's husband's heads are actually supposed to disappear and reappear with the sound of the axe (at least that's what happens in Disneyland). All you saw was the faint outline of the head, but no changing back-and-forth. Anyone know if this has been fixed?
As for the Doombuggies seeming to move faster, when I rode it on the 13th I noticed that the Omnimover seemed to be moving slightly faster than the moving ramp aside it, which is *never* the case with any other Omnimover I've seen. Also, the Hitchhiking Ghosts weren't aligned correctly with the buggies at the end of the attraction....coincidence?