We’ve done several posts on the original Haunted Mansion in Disneyland and the Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris but this is the first post on the Haunted Mansion of the Magic Kingdom. The rides are all very similar where the first line queue leads to a stretching room. In Disneyland, this is used to take you under the railroad and to the actual ride but in the Magic Kingdom, the roof moves up to show you the fates of the people around the room. From there you enter another line to hope aboard the famed ‘doom buggy’ an Omnimover designed by Disney to take you through the rest of the house. From what I understand after you leave the stretching room you are no longer in the house you can see anyway.
The illusions in the house are mostly practical effects using simple mechanics to make doors knock on their own or using old effects like “Pepper’s Ghost” (first used in 1862) in the ballroom of the mansion. Each ride has you fall backwards from the house to a graveyard (I think maybe it was hell in Paris) where the ghosts take greater form and the tone turns to a happier haunted house before you leave with a hitchhiking ghost.
Each of the haunted attractions has a unique exterior matching the theme of the land it is in – Disneyland has an antebellum-era style (New Orleans Square), Paris has a victorian second-empire style (Frontierland) and Magic Kingdom has a Gothic-revival style (Liberty Square). Each experience is slightly different with Paris being darker and Disneyland having a Christmas experience and the recent return of the famed hatbox ghost.
The latest feature we noticed this trip was when the ride was ending the hitchhiking ghost held up a sign saying North Carolina here we come! Not sure how they did it but I am guessing it has something to do with the new magic bands.
A long time favorite the Haunted Mansion is definitely a ride not to be missed. With rumors of a possible themed restaurant in the future who knows where the hatbox ghost may show up next.