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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.


Maybe I need to give it another try, but I wasn't that impressed with this ride. It didn't help that it broke down while we were waiting in an already long line, so we were stuck in the stretching room for who knows how long. Once we did get on, it was nothing really and seemed like a short ride.
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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