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Haunted Mansion

Theme Park Insider Reader Rating: 9 out of 10

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This Dutch Gothic Revival New England mansion looks innocent enough on the outside, but 999 "happy haunts" reside inside. The Haunted Mansion long has been one of Disney's most popular attractions at theme parks around the world, with its deft use of stagecraft to create a variety of illusions.

The story's a bit murky, perhaps due to the large number of Imagineers who worked on this project at various times before its original version debuted at Disneyland in 1969. But you've got a sea captain who ends up dead marrying a woman who seems to have had a series of husbands who didn't last long.

Once inside the mansion, you'll start your adventure in the "stretch" room before walking down the corridor to board your "Doom Buggy." Yes, the room actually stretches, with the ceiling rising above you as your "Ghost Host" welcomes you inside. If you're curious, the original Haunted Mansion at Disneyland also features a stretch room — but in that one, the ceiling stays in place as the floor descends, taking you underground so that you can pass underneath the parks's railroad tracks to get into the Mansion's ride building beyond. In the Magic Kingdom, the railroad takes a wide turn around the Mansion ride building, so there's no need for the elevator and the ceiling rises above you instead. (Plus, there's that water table issue making digging underground impossible.) In 2011, Disney added some "interactive" elements to the queue — additional "punny" grave markers, some of which play music or spit water at your touch.

Reviews

As close to perfection as you will get in a theme park attraction. The theming is superb from the moment you walk through the gate, the now-iconic stretching show is a masterclass in building suspense and the ride itself is almost beyond reproach. The humour is perfectly balanced, the audio and music remain superb, the atmosphere is unrivalled in any other Disney attraction, while the effects that have wowed riders for decades strike the sweet spot between nostalgia for older guests and marvel for younger ones. The transition between the outside queue and the lobby is perhaps a bit sudden (especially during daylight hours)- otherwise this is the gold standard.
GOOD: The classic nature cannot be ignored, and it is very immersive. Great themeing and music, great effects in places. The queue outside, introductory elevator room sequence, and dancing ghosts in the dining room are all impressive and sufficiently creepy.
BAD: For a haunted mansion ride, it isn't really that scary overall. I understand it's in a park intended for younger children to enjoy, but give them SOME credit. The goofy Grinning Ghosts song at the end, while clever and classic, does completely wipe out any "scare" factor that may have remained. Also, every time I have ridden this ride (going on several times now), it has stopped or broken down midway for a few minutes.
OVERALL: A nice ride with some very impressive moments, but feels watered down from its intended purpose and leaves me wanting much more, not in a good way. 7/10
The GOOD: The theming is great, and it is a classic. A brilliant work of art in the time it was made.
The BAD: The seating is a bit tight. The ride is rather long. And the line feels a bit like herding cattle into a tight space.
RATING: It is a classic, and the best form of Haunted Mansion. A Magic Kingdom must do. 9/10.
One of the greatest classic dark rides on Earth is the Haunted Mansion. With many illusions and tricks including rooms that stretch, and changing paintings, as well as 999 happy haunts including hitchhiking ghosts. Walt would be proud of this ride himself. It has humorous elements, spooky elements, although nothing gory, this is definitely candidate for greatest ride of all time.
This ride is a testament to Walt, his legacy, and ever other dark ride ever made. It's one of only a handful of early-era Disney attractions that have truly stood the test of time. The Magic Kingdom’s version is not only the best Haunted Mansion but is also one of the best attractions in the world. It may not have the Hatbox Ghost but it has some amazing additional scenes like the Library, Grand Staircase, Piano Room, and those creepy eyes that stare at you in the dark. All of these scenes are absolutely flawless and I notice something different almost every time. The atmosphere is perfect, it really feels like a dark, gloomy mansion that you are stuck in. The new effects including the Hitchhiking Ghosts are brilliant and it makes the ride so engaging and enduring. The upgrades also help make this one way better than Disneyland's original. All the history and nostalgia I have for this ride is insane, I used to go on this ride like 10x times in a row, that's how much I loved it! I have a personal connection with this ride, it's always been my favorite, and always will be. It is indeed a must do for sure. In fact, this is the best dark ride in the world even better than the Harry Potter rides and Mystic Manor. This is a must-ride for all guests, although kids may be too nervous to ride it's honestly more silly than scary. Love it. 10/10
As long as Disney continues (or starts? :) ) reinvesting in upkeep and new effects this will live on as a true Disney original and classic, and you just cant beat it, period.
Not just my favourite attraction at WDW but my favourite attraction anywhere. The interaction elements and theming of the queue line adds even more.
Truly the best dark ride at WDW. Anything more then that, the other reviews have covered.
The ideal dark ride for me. I just love everything about. The atmosphere, the effects, and the voiceover are just impeccable. I consider it as close to perfect as a dark ride can get. It is certainly a must ride. 10/10
People are probably going to gasp at this, but Haunted Mansion is overrated. I liked it somewhat, but it was pretty boring and short. I was hoping it would be scary, and it isn't, so me expecting it to be scary probably affected my enjoyment of the ride. It didn't help that the ride broke down while we were waiting in a long line, so we were stuck in the stretching room for who knows how long.
The best attraction on the Walt Disney World property. period. The Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom is a much upgraded version of the Disneyland original. The atmosphere and environments are near perfect, and the legendary voice of Paul Frees as the "Ghost Host" is still as effective as ever in creating a frightfully fun tone throughout the experience. The 2007 "Re Haunting" refurbishment, along with the recent 2011 "interactive" updates place this version of the attraction on a pedestal far above the other versions of this e-ticket ride. Be sure to visit the new interactive cemetery in the queuing area off to the left, even if the lines are shorter going the directly to the entrance on the right; you'll be glad you did.
It's a testament to Walt's legacy that a ride like this can hold its own against the high tech modern version, Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disneyland. Several effects have been improved from the original but it didn't need much help. This is truly a first-order immersive experience that feels like you're really in a different place, and that's how it works its Disney magic. Timeless.
A perfect Disney ride if there ever was one. Even though this is one of the older rides in the Magic Kingdom, the effects are stunning and the atmosphere is dark and gloomy. The great thing about the Haunted Mansion is that while it's creepy, it isn't scary, there are no big jump scares or completely dark parts, and the overall tone is that of dark humor, rather than straight up horror. Easily the best ride in the Magic Kingdom, don't skip it.


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