Welcome, Foolish Mortals

Disney haters, beware. Today’s post is about one of my favorite attractions: The Haunted Mansion. Feel free to skip the rest of today’s post.

The Haunted Mansion

I’ve always loved the Haunted Mansion attraction ever since I was a little kid. I had the LP Disney put out starring “Ronny Howard” and listened to it constantly. I even worked there for several years when I worked at Walt Disney World.

For the past few years the attraction has been falling into disrepair. Audio in the cars were static-y or missing, torn scrims in the graveyard…things were being kept up to a bare minimum show level which really was embarrassing for those of us who love this ride. But now I’m really excited!

Some months ago the word got out that Disney was going to close the attraction for a major refurbishment. Finally the audio and lighting would be brought up to today’s standards (digitally controlled) and all show scenes restored to their former glory. There was also talk about adding the new effects that Disneyland has had for awhile (the Floating Madam Leota effect and the Black Widow Bride in the attic). The Mansion here has had no interior changes since it opened (exterior items like queue props and landscaping have changed over the years). Then a rumor surfaced that the budget had been cut and no new effects would be included. Sad, but at least it would not look as poor as it did. That was until I spoke with a cast member who works in a clerical position for the Magic Kingdom. He said the effects were going in.

Fast forward a to just before the attraction closed and interviews and news stories appeared from Disney head honchos confirming the addition of the DL effects…and some new FX not seen in any of the other incarnations of the ride. Too freakin’ awesome! Take a look at this picture:

New Haunted Mansion Scene - Grand Staircase

This scene will replace the “blackness” you got through as you ascend the Grand Staircase. Currently the area is just painted all black with giant spiders on either side as you leave the area. Now it will be an M.C. Escher-like scene of crazy staircases (Please don’t say it’s based on Harry Potter’s Hogwarts school – I’ll have to throw something at you). There will also be audio upgrades to the Stretch Rooms at the beginning and in the doombuggies themselves. Using 3D audio technology it will sound the like Ghost Host is moving about the room or talking right into your ear. There are also supposed to be flying bats in the Stretch Rooms along with the gargoyle candelabras taking on a life of their own.

If you look closely at the artwork behind the Imagineer in the picture, you will also see designs for the new Leota and Attic effects.

One last good thing with this upgrade to the Haunted Mansion – with the technology upgraded the attraction could now host the Nightmare Before Christmas layover that Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland have during the Halloween to New Years Holiday periods. I got my fingers crossed for that one.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. great blog! I want to go to disney!

  2. Awesome. I’m thrilled to see Disney employing move advanced audio effects, and I wonder if its
    this
    . I’ve long hoped that we’d get the Nightmare layover, so I’m right there with you with all my appendages crossed.

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