My Disney Favorites | The Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom

September 16, 2013

With Halloween coming up, I thought I would share one of my biggest inspirations when decorating for Halloween. The Haunted Mansion is one of my all-time favorites, and definitely my favorite ride at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. I've always had kind of a thing for this ride since I was about 8. Since then, there have been a lot of changes and updates, but I believe that they have only made it that much better. It has remained just as magical and scary all these years, and the decor and attention to detail in this place is stunning.


This attraction is one of the original rides to Walt Disney World when it opened in 1971. It's very different from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in that it's located in the colonial themed Liberty Square and it's designed in an opulent gothic revival style from the 18th and 19th centuries. The Disneyland version was being designed when Walt was still alive, and one of the things he emphasized was that the landscaping of the exterior look neat and manicured. He said, "We'll take care of the outside and let the ghosts take care of the inside." I love the fact that they still keep it like this today, but with all do respect to Walt, I really like how this version isn't so perfect. It's not totally run-down or anything, but simply looks forgotten and tucked away amongst this small colonial town.


I love the ironwork and lighting outside, and it's so neat how there are so many small, spooky details hidden everywhere. The new interactive queue at the entrance is really cool, especially the sea captain's grave. They removed a few of the previous gravestones to create this, but thankfully they kept Madame Leota's tombstone. Make sure to check it out while standing in line, her eyes open randomly! 


Now, I'm a little insistent on riding this at night, just because it makes it that much more creepy and magical!



The invisible horse and hearse carriage always used to freak me out as a kid, I'm not sure why! I remember when they used to sell the wired dog collar and leash made to look as if you were walking an invisible dog!


This is probably my favorite part of the ride. No matter how much older I get, or how many times I've been on this ride, this part is always so exciting! I love the new sound effects they have added recently, like how you can literally hear the room pulling apart as it rises. Also, always make sure to be the last one out when the door opens because you can hear the gargoyles whispering to each other!


I'm in love with the velvet wallpaper they use in the Haunted Mansion. Amazing. It's so lavish, but yet it fits this terrifying place so perfectly. If I could afford it, I would literally cover every wall in my house with this stuff.


I always enjoy trying to peek up at the paintings while waiting in line. Most people just walk by without really noticing them, and it's easy to do so because it's so dark inside. You can hardly even see the entire paintings, which I think makes them so much more intriguing. I was lucky to capture a couple of good shots, one possibly of the sea captain and the other of some creepy man in a top hat. 



Does anyone remember the neon spiders and spiderwebs in the beginning of the ride? Sorry, but yuck! Lol. Thankfully they are now removed, and in their place Disney added a wall of the purple-ish creepy wallpaper with lit up eyes. They also added an area with staircases going in all directions, leading to nowhere. As soon as I first saw this, I remembered reading about Walt visiting the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA for inspiration for the original Haunted Mansion in Disneyland. He was fascinated by this huge mansion that was built with staircases and doors leading to nowhere. I think it's pretty cool that this part was added, and that the imagineers are still influenced by Walt's original ideas.


I swear, it never fails. Here's the part of the ride where it stops because "playful spooks have interrupted our tour," so lucky for me, I got to get some almost clear pics of Madame Leota.


Getting back to the cool paintings, I've always seen this wall by the ballroom and noticed something was there, I just wasn't sure what. Then one trip, I took this flash photo with my iPhone and saw this really interesting shot of a sinister looking blonde woman with a black cat. For some reason I love it because it reminds me of Lady Gaga and also because I love black cats. 


I love this shot of the bride, and it's probably the only somewhat decent picture I've ever been able to get of her. It's funny how I haven't noticed how wicked her face looks until capturing it in picture!



I took the Keys to the Kingdom tour at the Magic Kingdom a few years ago, and the tour guide mentioned that the night crew will put down food for the famished dog in the graveyard. I've taken a few different shots during different trips, and there really is food left for him every time! 


My favorite part of the recent additions is the hitchhiking ghosts at the end. They are so much more realistic now when you first see the three of them together. When you go by the mirrors at the end, you used to just see the hitchhiking ghosts appearing in your doombuggy via the pepper's ghost illusion. Now they appear in your doombuggy and interact with you, either by switching you and your partner's heads or making your head disappear completely. All I can say is that I was totally blown away!


As you leave the attraction, you can see the pet cemetery at the left. If you look really closely in the top left section, you can see an homage to the now extinct Mr. Toad's Wild Ride that closed in 1998.


And here's me being a dork, as usual.


A good tip for taking really interesting night-time pictures of the Haunted Mansion: Take them as the fireworks are going off. The light from the fireworks shines on the mansion, making it almost glow in all different colors!


Thanks for checking out my favorite Magic Kingdom ride, The Haunted Mansion! I will be showing off some of my past Halloween decorations inspired by the Haunted Mansion very soon, so "Hurry Baaaaaaack!" Sorry, I couldn't resist!

1 comment

  1. Enjoyed your blog! Ever since I first saw the Haunted Mansion at Disney World, I've been fascinated by the portraits with eyes that follow you, so I started making my own last year. I keep waiting for Disney to commercially release copies of the 'sinister 11', but I don't believe it's gonna happen.

    Erik

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