8 Things You Didn’t Know About the Haunted Mansion Ride

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The Haunted Mansion is easily one of the most iconic attractions in Disneyland. The home to 999 haunts, the ride is known for its riveting tours of the haunted estate, which are given in special vehicles called “Doom Buggies.”

Don’t be put off by the fact that it is slow-moving—the attraction is bound to offer an immersive experience with its wide array of special effects.

Currently, the Haunted Mansion ride can be found at three different Disney parks—Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, and Tokyo Disneyland.

Two similarly themed rides, the Mystic Manor and Phantom Manor can be enjoyed at Hong Kong Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, respectively.

1. A Film Based on the Haunted Mansion was Released in 2003

A movie based on the Haunted Mansion Ride was released in 2003.

In 2003, Walt Disney Pictures released a film titled, The Haunted Mansion starring Eddie Murphy. Based on the attraction, the title centers around a family who finds themselves trying to escape from the haunted estate.

Despite the fact that it grossed over $182 million at the box office, however, the movie was critically panned by critics—most of whom agreed that it was simply not scary at all.

2. The “Haunted Mansion” in Paris is Significantly Darker

The Phantom Manor is considerably more sinister compared to its counterparts at the other parks.

In Paris, the Haunted Mansion is known as the “Phantom Manor”. If you’ve ever gone on the attraction, you’ll know that it’s considerably darker compared to its global counterparts.

For one thing, its premise is different in that it revolves around a young bride whose fiance had committed suicide on their wedding day.

Not only that, but the mansion itself looks like something that you’d see in a horror film. Inside, the vibe is also spookier with several creepy-looking skeletons scattered throughout.

3. The Haunted Mansion Receives a Makeover For Christmas

Holiday Haunted Mansion features a variety of jack-o-lantern decorations.

During the Christmas season, the Haunted Mansion is transformed into the Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland.

For the conversion, they generally close the ride for a few weeks at the end of the summer, during which they put on the overlay; the attraction is then open from late-September to January.

Noticeable Differences:

  • Haunted Mansion Holiday retells the story of Jack Skellington, who visits the mansion on Christmas Eve
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday features different decorations such as candles and jack-o-lanterns; Jack’s sleigh can also be seen on the roof
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday features a completely different soundtrack
  • Madame Leota recites the “Thirteen Days of Christmas” in the Seance Room

4. The Haunted Mansion exists as the “Mystic Manor” in Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland features the Mystic Manor—a re-imagined version of the Haunted Mansion.

The Haunted Mansion isn’t quite as haunted in Hong Kong Disneyland, where it’s known as the Mystic Manor. In fact, it gives off an entirely different vibe with its fantasy-based theme.

Due to differences in Chinese culture, the ride does not make any reference to the afterlife, nor does it mention anything about departing spirits.

With how different it is—both on the inside and outside—you might not even realize that it’s Hong Kong’s version of the Haunted Mansion at first glance!

5. The Original Haunted Mansion Opened in 1961

The original Haunted Mansion in Disneyland was finished in 1969.

The original Haunted Mansion opened in Disneyland in 1969. Interestingly enough, Walt Disney had initially rejected the idea of having a worn out building in the park.

It wasn’t until he made a visit to the Winchester Mystery House—a mansion known for its mysterious stairs and doors that often led to nothing—that he agreed to the project.

Due to his involvement in the New York World’s Fair, however, the project was delayed for several years. In the end, the attraction opened to the public in 1969—three years after Walt’s death.

6. An Employee was Found Dead in the Haunted Mansion in 2016

A male technician was tragically found dead inside the ride in 2016.

In 2016, an employee was found dead in the Phantom Manor—Disneyland Paris’ sinister version of the Haunted Mansion.

According to reports, the man—a 45-year-old technician who had worked with the company for over a decade—had been working on the lighting backstage when he tragically passed away.

Allegedly, his death had resulted from accidental electrocution. Following the incident, the attraction was closed for several days.

7. The Graveyard Pays Tribute to Many of the Haunted Mansion’s Imagineers

The Haunted Mansion graveyard pays tribute to several of the Imagineers that helped to build the attraction.

The Haunted Mansion features a graveyard as part of the attraction. The tombstones aren’t just for decoration though—they pay tribute to many of the Imagineers who had helped to build the ride several decades ago.

Some of the individuals that are honored include Fred Joreger (set designer), Dave Burkhart (model maker) Gordon Williams (audio designer), Chuck Myall ( project designer), and Marc Davis (concept artist).

8. The Stretching Room is Different Depending on Which Park You’re At

The Stretching Room is likely one of the first things to grab your attention inside the Haunted Mansion.

Upon entering the Haunted Mansion, guests are directed towards a pair of sliding doors that open to the Stretching Room—one of the attraction’s early highlights.

As everyone crowds together, the paintings on the wall eventually begin to elongate as you wonder whether or not you’re actually moving down.

As it turns out, it depends on which park you’re at!

In Disneyland, the Stretching Room acts as an elevator that takes guests down to the basement. Due to limited space, Imagineers had had to build the ride below the ground (there was no way to fit it all inside the mansion).

When it came time to build the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom, however, there was no need for an elevator; they had designed it so that the ride would not go underground.

Wanting to keep the popular effect of the Stretching Room, though, they made it so that the ceiling goes up.

How Do You Feel About The Haunted Mansion Now?

What do you think of the attraction now that you know more about what goes (or has gone) on in the building? Would you still say that the Haunted Mansion is your favorite ride

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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