The Haunted Mansion at Disney World reopens

September 16, 2007, 9:46 PM · The Haunted Mansion reopened this weekend at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. (Sorry, no pictures.) The ride had been closed for renovation and update. Since the doors opened there have been 40 min waits (according to the signs) to go in. The update to the ride was great. Below will follow spoilers, so don't read beyond this if you want to experience it first hand.

The outside of the building has been cleaned, so the color of the brickwork is visible and gives it a good feel. The cue is in need of fans or some sort of cooling device for the hot days. The tombstones were there freshened. You are moved into the 1st room and you can tell the woodwork has been polished giving it a dark glow. The stretching picture room has been cleaned up. The pictures are the same but the images are brighter as well as the frames. The voice over is the same.

The hanging man is easier to see and the lightning is brighter. The speakers have been upgraded so the sound is clearer.

The next room is where you enter the doom buggies. The are the same, though it feels like they are moving a little bit faster. Everything has been cleaned. The flashes of lightening are brighter and the transition of pictures is greater and more stark.

There are 2 new additions and multiple modifications. The additions are the Escher stairs which have to be seen to be believed. They were great, could of watched them for longer then the doom buggy allows. The second new is the bride. I don't have the words the describe it, but it is worth a trip to Florida just to see it.

The modifications include more ghosts in the graveyard and less scary, the fortune teller is no longer on the table but floating above. Looks great. The dancers have been increased and are almost too visible, losing some of their ghostly quality, but the additions make up for it.

I would give the Haunted Mansion an 8 out of 10 and strongly recommend it to anyone in the Magic Kingdom.

Replies (13)

September 17, 2007 at 3:15 AM · I was there on Friday for Mickey's Not So Scarry Halloween. Despite it down pouring for half the time it was still fun. Disney gave us all comp tickets to come back to another night for Not So Scarry. Or, guests could redeem their Not So Scarry ticket for a free day in the Magic Kingdom within three months. We were annual pass holders so we are going back to another Not So Scarry event.

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!!!

September 17, 2007 at 5:06 AM · I went to Magic Kingdom last night for the sole purpose of riding Haunted Mansion, and I just have to say WOW! There are no significant ride changes, but the updates are just incredible. The updated soundtracks really make the ride a lot more fun. For example, in the pre-show the voice travels around the room and jumps, and you can hear background noises a lot clearer than before. The new paintings watching you go by are also incredible, especially with the lightning.

Definitely be get to the Magic Kingdom if you can.

September 17, 2007 at 6:01 AM · Sounds like a job well done at HM.

I can't wait for my next visit.

September 17, 2007 at 7:29 AM · Wonderful news! Reviews have been across-the-board favorable. We rode HM a couple of years back and winced at how badly the attraction needed to be rehabbed. Looking forward to visiting the ride during our 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).

September 17, 2007 at 9:14 AM · Wow, I wonder when the same will happen at Disneyland, considering ours is even older.
BTW- there wouldn't be a Chucky Cheese if it weren't for Country Bear Jamboree.
& be careful what you wish for, instead of updating all- animatronic attractions they usually go away.
Were still missing CBJ in California, & America Sings, Those great characters just arent the same on the log ride.
September 17, 2007 at 9:57 AM · LOL! Chuck-E-Cheese - you are so right! That's hilarious - I watched the CBJ for the first time a year ago. I was really wondering what all of the fuss has been about - the show sucks severely. I felt like I had stepped into a demented Peyote induced Chuck-E-Cheese show. Bizarre, really bizarre...
September 17, 2007 at 1:28 PM · Even though Disneyland's is older, it sounds like DLR already had some of these additions-- the floating head and table, the bride, sounds from different directions in the stretching room. I'm a fairly new Disney enthusiast so I don't know when those were added exactly. I would like to see this Escher stair thing, though.

Our Haunted Mansion is in rehab right now for Halloween. I hope to see some new things over here in the West.

September 17, 2007 at 2:25 PM · Although quite a few spoilers have been shared, I'm going to try and avoid passing on anymore. Instead, I will tell you where you need to pay attention, and what to pay attention to:

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:, 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.

September 17, 2007 at 5:23 PM · I created a thread with a link to a site that has great pics, especially of the escher stairs. For whatever reason it hasn't popped up. Maybe the linked site isn't approved. The pics were amazing. I'm psyched!
September 18, 2007 at 3:20 PM · Went on it today and all I can say is WOW, so awesome to see new things. The stairs room was phenominal. The attic looks great, even though i still need another ride on it to see if I can finally understand the bride's story. Madame Liota's room is great, i like the instruments shown in the background, definetely helps to tie it in with the movie. My daughters(which are 1 and 2 years old seemed to enjoy it more than before. I noticed they took out a part that had this ghost popped up and screamed loudly(it would've been right before the new attic scene), used to freak the girls out and this time it was not there...boy was I grateful. And the most beautful part of it all was the wait, almost a walk on, 5 minutes max(even though the sign said 10). The whole day at Disney World today was great, cooler weather and the wait times were freakin awesome. Overall two thumbs way up for the Haunted Mansion...i just wish they'd slow down the doom buggies a tad bit.
September 18, 2007 at 9:11 PM · I think the most telling comments so far have been that the Doom Buggies need to be slowed down. Did anyone ever think that back before this rehab?

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)?

September 19, 2007 at 4:37 AM · Maybe it's just me, but I was underwhelmed. While I admit they spruced up the ride, the fact is that it NEEDED it. The changes are really good but they weren't mind-blowing and we only went once, though we had the AP line available to us on Saturday morning.

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.

September 20, 2007 at 10:58 PM · For those who've been wondering, Disneyland has already received most of the updates recently installed in Disney World's version. The effects not found in Disneyland's are the Staircase scene, the updated Stretching Room audio, Bride 2.0, and Madame Leota 2.0. Both the Bride & Madame Leota's effects were reworked for FL, whereas CA still has the original versions of those effects (original meaning from the last refurb we had).

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?

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