The Haunted Mansion

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The Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion Exterior.JPG
Attraction's facade at Disneyland
AreaNew Orleans Square
Opening dateAugust 9, 1969; 52 years ago (August 9, 1969)
Magic Kingdom
AreaLiberty Square
Opening dateOctober 1, 1971; 50 years ago (October 1, 1971)
Tokyo Disneyland
Opening dateApril 15, 1983; 39 years ago (April 15, 1983)
Disneyland Park (Paris)
NamePhantom Manor
Opening dateApril 12, 1992; 30 years ago (April 12, 1992)
Hong Kong Disneyland
NameMystic Manor
AreaMystic Point
Opening dateMay 17, 2013; 9 years ago (May 17, 2013)
General statistics
Attraction typeDark ride
ManufacturerArrow Development
DesignerWED Enterprises
Walt Disney Imagineering
ThemeHaunted attraction
Music"Grim Grinning Ghosts" composed by Buddy Baker
Vehicle typeOmnimover, styled as "Doom Buggies"
Riders per vehicle2–3
Ride hostGhost Host (Voiced by Paul Frees in California and Florida; Teichiro Hori in Tokyo)
Fastpass available
Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane available
Must transfer from wheelchair
Assistive listening icon.svg Assistive listening available

The Haunted Mansion is a dark ride attraction located at Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, and Tokyo Disneyland. The haunted house attraction features a ride-through tour in Omnimover vehicles called "Doom Buggies", and a walk-through show is displayed to riders waiting in the queue line. Each location differs slightly in design, utilizing a range of technology from centuries-old theatrical effects to modern special effects, including spectral Audio-Animatronics. The Haunted Mansion inspired two similarly-themed attractions, Phantom Manor and Mystic Manor, which exist at Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland, respectively.




The idea for the Mansion precedes Disneyland and WED Enterprises, dating to when Walt Disney hired the first of his Imagineers.[1] At the time, the park they were developing the attraction for was supposed to be located across from the studios. In 1951, the first known illustration of the park showed a main street setting, green fields, western village and a carnival.[2] Disney Legend Harper Goff developed a black-and-white sketch of a crooked street leading away from main street by a peaceful church and graveyard, with a run-down manor perched high on a hill that towered over main street.[1]

Disney assigned Imagineer Ken Anderson to create a story using Goff's idea.[1] Plans were made to build a New Orleans-themed land in the small transition area between Frontierland and Adventureland. Weeks later, New Orleans Square appeared on the souvenir map and promised a thieves market, a pirate wax museum, and a haunted house walk-through.[3] Anderson studied New Orleans and old plantations and came up with a drawing of an antebellum manor overgrown with weeds, dead trees, swarms of bats and boarded doors and windows topped by a screeching cat as a weather vane.[1]

Disney, however, rejected the idea of having a run-down building in his park.[1] He visited the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California, and was captivated by the massive mansion with its stairs to nowhere, doors that opened to walls and holes, and elevators.[2] Anderson envisioned stories for the mansion, including tales of a ghostly sea captain who killed his nosy bride and then hanged himself, a mansion home to an unfortunate family, and a ghostly wedding party with well-known Disney villains and spooks.[1] Imagineers Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey recreated Ken Anderson's stories in a studio at WED Enterprises.

In 1961, handbills announcing a 1963 opening of the Haunted Mansion were given out at Disneyland's main entrance.[4] Construction began a year later, and the exterior was completed in 1963.[3] The attraction was previewed in a 1965 episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color,[4] but the attraction itself did not open until 1969. The six-year delay owed heavily to Disney's involvement in the New York World's Fair in 1964–1965 and to an attraction redesign after Walt's death in 1966.[1]

After the fair, many Imagineers such as Marc Davis, X Atencio and Claude Coats contributed ideas to the project.[3] By this time, Ken Anderson had left the project. Rolly Crump showed Walt some designs for his version, which included bizarre objects like coffin clocks, candle men, talking chairs, man-eating plants, tiki-like busts, living gypsy wagons and a mirror with a face.[2] Walt accepted these ideas and wanted to make the proclaimed "Museum of the Weird", a restaurant side to the now-named Haunted Mansion, similar to the Blue Bayou at Pirates of the Caribbean.[1] Though this concept was never realized, some of its aspects were implemented into the final attraction.

When Walt put Imagineers Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey in charge of creating illusions for the attraction, they intended to make the "Museum of the Weird" into a separate section that guests could walk through, where they could see transparent ghosts and other apparitions utilizing the Pepper's Ghost technique used in the theater since the early 1800s.[1] Crump and Gracey were eventually given a large workshop to develop their ideas. One night, the two Imagineers decided to play a prank on the night cleaning crew. As Crump explained: "…We got a call from personnel saying that the janitors requested that we leave the lights on in there due to the creepiness of all the audio-animatronic ghosts and such. We complied, but put motion sensors in the room that would extinguish the lights and turn on all the ghost effects when triggered. The next morning, we came in and found all the ghost effects still running and a broom lying in the center of the floor. Personnel called and said that the janitors would not be back."[5]

Marc Davis and Claude Coats, two of the Mansion's main designers,[6] disagreed on whether the ride should be frightening or enjoyable. Coats, originally a background artist, wanted a scary adventure, and produced renditions of moody surroundings like endless hallways, corridors of doors, and bleakly spooky environments. Davis, an animator and character designer, proposed a variety of mostly comical characters, and thought the ride should be silly and full of gags. In the end, both artists got their ways when X Atencio combined their approaches and ideas, creating a transition from dark foreboding to "spirited" entertainment. The ride narration was performed by Paul Frees in the role of the Ghost Host. The attraction's theme song, "Grim Grinning Ghosts", was composed by Buddy Baker with lyrics by Atencio.[1] Different versions of it can be heard in nearly every area of the ride.[2]

After Disney's death in December 1966, the project evolved significantly. The Museum of the Weird restaurant idea was abandoned. The Imagineers objected to a walk-through attraction's low capacity, going so far as suggesting building two identical attractions to accommodate twice as many guests.[1] A solution appeared with the development of the Omnimover system for Adventure Thru Inner Space.[2] Renamed the Doom Buggy, the system's continuous chain of semi-enclosed vehicles offered high capacity. The cars could be set to rotate in any direction at any point, allowing the Imagineers to control what guests saw and heard.[2] Because each car held from one to three people, it was a convenient way to divide guests into smaller groups—a better fit with the story of people wandering "alone" through a haunted house.[3]


Attraction's exterior at Disneyland in the evening.

Employee previews of the Mansion were held August 6, 7, and the 8th, followed by "soft" openings on August 9 and 10 where limited numbers of park guests were allowed to ride. A "Midnight" Press Event was held on the evening of August 11. The Mansion opened to all guests on August 12, 1969,[1] announced in full-page newspaper ads. It was an immediate success, attracting record crowds and helping the Disney Company recover from Walt's untimely death.

In around 1977, WDI considered utilizing the unused designs, creatures and effects that Rolly Crump had originally created for the Haunted Mansion and the Museum of the Weird as part of Professor Marvel's Gallery—"a tent show of mysteries and delights, a carousel of magic and wonder," to be built as part of Disneyland's Discovery Bay expansion area. The idea was dropped when the expansion's plans fell through.[7]

The attraction opened at Magic Kingdom in 1971 and Tokyo Disneyland in 1983. In 1999, a retrospective, "Art of The Haunted Mansion", was featured at The Disney Gallery above the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean. When the 2003 film The Haunted Mansion was released, a retrospective of its art was featured in the gallery.


In 1994, Disneyland's Haunted Mansion was updated. A phantom piano player sat at a run-down piano in the attic scene,[1] just like the music room at Walt Disney World's Mansion. However, instead of the sinister Rachmaninoff-esque version of "Grim Grinning Ghosts", a dark version of Richard Wagner's Bridal March plays.

In 2001, a newer, more detailed safety spiel was added to the Doom Buggies' onboard audio as they left the loading area. Recorded by voice-over artist Joe Leahy recreating the character of original actor Paul Frees' Ghost Host, the bilingual spiel was part of a park-wide campaign to increase safety at attractions. The seasonal overlay Haunted Mansion Holiday also premiered that October in Disneyland, featuring characters from the 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas.[3]

In 2004, the Seance Room was updated so the crystal ball with the talking head of Madame Leota floated above its table rather than sitting stationary on it, with the original projection-mapped effect replaced by a rear-projection effect within the ball.[8]

In 2006, the unnamed bride with a visibly beating heart in the Attic was replaced by the bride character Constance Hatchaway, a villainess who married wealthy men and killed them for their wealth. The character was added to Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion in 2007.

In 2007, the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World was reopened to the public. Included in the update was a more elaborate transformation of the foyer portrait; new visual and audio effects in the Stretching Room; and a new M.C. Escher-inspired Endless Staircase scene, replacing the two rubber spiders seen just before the Endless Hallway.

The extended queue line at Magic Kingdom.

In March 2011, a new "interactive queue" debuted at the Walt Disney World location, with new crypts and tombstones honoring Imagineers; a murder mystery for guests to solve featuring the sinister Dread Family; the Composer Crypt, which features musical instruments that play variations of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" when touched; the Mariner's brine-filled sepulcher, whose ghost sings and sneezes from within, and a crypt for Prudence Pock the poetess, which features haunted moving books & Prudence's ghost writing invisibly in her poem book. Guests can solve the unfinished poems by speaking into microphones located on the crypt. The FastPass+ line skips the queue altogether and leads guests straight to the Foyer doors.[9] There is also an extended queue line that uses the former Mike Fink Keel Boats dock.[10]

On April 10, 2015, it was officially confirmed that an iconic Haunted Mansion character, The Hatbox Ghost, would return to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. The character returned on May 9, 2015. The Hatbox Ghost was originally a part of the attraction when it opened in 1969,[11] but was removed when the illusion involving the specter's head was not convincing enough.[1]

On April 2, 2019, PhotoPass ride photography was added to the attraction at Magic Kingdom. A hidden camera takes pictures of the riders as the doom buggy passes the final portrait in the portrait gallery, with the flash disguised as flickering lightning. A black and white photo featuring the riders framed by several of the ghosts surrounding the photo is automatically added to the guests' PhotoPass account by reading the RFID data from the guest's second-generation MagicBand.[12]

On January 21, 2020, Disneyland's Haunted Mansion was closed for an extensive refurbishment to add lighted steel panels, improved lighting, mechanical touch ups, and new paint and trims to the exterior of the attraction. The changes were originally scheduled for completion in Spring 2020, but an extended park closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic created uncertainty.[13] It was later confirmed that the refurbished attraction would reopen with the park on April 30, 2021. This refurbishment came with a refreshed pet cemetery, now with new greenery and plants. The portrait gallery was given new drapes curtains and the loading area is much more decorative with wallpaper and the return of one of the Haunted Mansion's original portraits being "April to December". Also featuring a statue of the one-eyed cat. The rest of the attraction was given repairs and new lighting.[14][15] In addition, new secret entrance was added to the ride by using the chicken exit. Once the crypt door opened, visitors would be directed down a flight of stairs and through a utility passageway usually used by cast members.[16]



Entering the queuing area through a pair of ornate gates, guests find themselves in the antebellum-era mansion's well-tended gardens and courtyards. The queuing path leads guests past a pet cemetery,[17] a mausoleum with pun names, a cemetery at the top whose tombstones bear the names of the Imagineers who created this attraction, and a white carriage hearse led by an invisible horse which occasionally nickers. Stepping onto the porch, guests are admitted inside the mansion through a doorway on the far right of the house into the Foyer, lit by a large, flickering, cobweb-covered chandelier and surrounding candelabras.

In the Foyer, the deep, resonant voice of an invisible spirit (Paul Frees) sets the tone of the attraction with a short opening monologue, accompanied by a funeral dirge variation of the attraction/franchise's theme song "Grim Grinning Ghosts".

"When hinges creak in doorless chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls, whenever candle lights flicker where the air is deathly still, that is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight ..."

A pair of sliding doors open to one of two similar octagonal rooms, which are actually large slow-moving elevators with two sets of walls, the lower of which does not reach the ceiling. The invisible spirit teasingly welcomes the guests (referring to them as "foolish mortals") and introduces himself as their "Ghost Host" who will take them on a tour of the Haunted Mansion. The room contains four paintings, one on every other wall, each depicting a person from the chest up; previous guests "as they appeared in their corruptible mortal state". The portraits are flanked by eight leering, candle-holding gargoyles. The entrance door closes, forming a panel in the wall, during which a Cast Member instructs guests to keep toward the "dead center" of the room. As the Ghost Host delivers his spiel, the room begins to "stretch" vertically. As the floor descends, the visible extent of the upper walls increases and portrait frames (located behind the lower walls) appear to elongate, revealing the grim fates of the previous residents. The paintings humorously depict macabre situations:

  • A beautiful young woman holding a parasol is shown to be balancing on a fraying tightrope above the jaws of an alligator.
  • A middle-aged bearded man holding a document is shown to be standing atop a barrel of dynamite in his boxer shorts with a candle lighting the fuse
  • A smiling elderly woman holding a rose is shown to be sitting on the tombstone of her late husband George, who is depicted as a stone bust with an axe in his head
  • A confident-looking middle-aged man in a bowler hat is shown to be sitting on the shoulders of a frightened-looking man, who sits on the shoulders of a third man who is waist-deep in quicksand, an expression of terror on his face.[17]

As the Ghost Host challenges guests "to find a way out" of this seemingly windowless and doorless chamber, he concludes his speech with,

Of course, there's always MY way...

With a sudden thunderclap, the lights go out and the ceiling disappears. A ghastly vision manifests above: the skeletal corpse of the Ghost Host dangling from a taut rope inside an octagonal cupola with four curtainless windows (rather than the hexagonal cupola with six curtained windows seen on the exterior), illuminated by flashes of lightning. It is implied that the man who became the Ghost Host "escaped" by resorting to suicide. Seconds later, the room plunges into darkness, and a bloodcurdling scream is heard — falling from the ceiling to the floor, ending with the sound of the corpse hitting the floor.

The Portrait Gallery, which guests walk through after exiting the Stretching Room. Photo by Mike Johansen.

As the chamber is re-lit, a wall opens, exposing a Portrait Gallery, which takes guests underneath the Disneyland Railroad and to where the ride actually begins, in a separate warehouse-style show building hidden from within the park by trees. As lightning flashes from the windows on the opposite side of the gallery, the portraits transform into images of ghosts and monsters in synchronization with the lightning. At the corridor's far end are two statuary busts depicting a strict-looking man and woman. The statues appear to turn and gaze at guests, following their every move.

Turning a corner, guests enter the Load Area, where a seemingly endless stream of black carriages, known as Doom Buggies, descend one staircase and ascend another. The area is also filled with flicking candles. Beyond the track, clouds drift past a limbo of boundless mist and decay. On the opposite side is a door with a glowing blue light behind it, a portrait of a woman who turns into a more demonic appearance, and a cat statue with a single glowing red eye. The guests then board the carriages, accompanied by the Ghost Host (who lowers the safety bar and provides a safety spiel).

Once guests ascend the pitch-black Staircase to the second floor (bringing them up to ground level within the show building), they come across a moving suit of armor, and a chair which appears to be embroidered with a hidden abstract face. The Doom Buggies also pass by the end of a seemingly Endless Hallway. Halfway down the hallway is a candelabra, floating eerily.

Turning away from the Endless Hallway, guests travel past a glass Conservatory filled with dead, withered plants and flowers. In the middle of the room is a coffin occupied by a restless "guest", plaintively wailing for someone to "Let me out!'. Perched near the coffin is a black raven with glowing red eyes.

The Doom Buggies continue down a Corridor of Doors. The sounds of pounding, shrieking, calls for help, screams, knocking, and maniacal laughter can be heard from behind the doors. Knockers and handles are moved by unseen hands and some doors appear to be "breathing." The walls, covered in demon-faced wallpaper, are adorned with daguerreotypes of screaming and grinning corpses, and a large painting of the Ghost Host with a noose around his neck and holding a hatchet. A demonic grandfather clock chimes 13 as its hands spin counter-clockwise and the shadow of a claw passes over it.

Guests enter a dark Séance Room full of floating objects. Madame Leota (Leota Toombs - face, Eleanor Audley - voice), a witch/medium whose disembodied head appears within a misty crystal ball with blue hair, summons the Mansion's spirits, levitating mysteriously above a table littered with tarot cards and a wispy green spirit moves off in a corner of the room. The raven seen moments ago in the Conservatory can now be seen perched on the back of the chair at the table. As she incants,

Serpents and spiders, tail of a rat... Call in the spirits, wherever they're at.
Rap on a table, it's time to respond... Send us a message from somewhere beyond.
Goblins and ghoulies from last Halloween... Awaken the spirits with your tambourine!
Creepies and crawlies, toads in a pond... Let there be music from regions beyond!
Wizards and witches, wherever you dwell... Give us a hint by ringing a bell.

Floating objects and instruments respond in turn. Before exiting the Séance Circle, guests pass a large, ancient tome entitled "Necronomicon: Book of the Dead" resting on a stand, with the book opened to pages 1312 and 1313. Page 1312 contains a cloaked version of Ezra the HitchHiking Ghost, while page 1313 contains Leota's incantations.

After leaving the Séance Circle, guests move along a balcony overlooking a deathday party taking place in a Grand Hall, with a number of ghosts dancing and reveling. Ghosts are seen entering the room through a broken door, where a hearse has crashed with its coffin (and its contents) sliding out. Eerie phantoms are seen flying in and out of the windows above. A merry ghost is seen sitting atop the mantle of a fireplace with a mysterious green fire, with his arm wrapped around a bust. An elderly ghost is seen rocking back and forth in a chair, a book in her lap. Many ghosts have gathered around a dinner table, where a ghost is blowing out candles on a deathday cake. A massive chandelier hangs above the table on which a couple is perched and another ghost named Pickwick swings from by his cane. Another balcony is seen across the room, where a curtained doorway is situated between two portraits of dueling gunmen. From time to time, the ghosts of both duelists appear and shoot at each other with their pistols. A number of elegantly dressed couples are seen below, waltzing to a discordant version of the attraction's theme song played on a pipe organ (Captain Nemo's organ set piece from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)[2] by a ghostly gentleman wearing a top hat, while banshees float out of its pipes. On the glass pane reflecting the ghosts is a spider that covers up a bullet hole in the pane that would've otherwise ruined the illusion.

The Doom Buggies then proceed to the Attic, an irregularly shaped room cluttered with gifts, personal items, mementos and wedding portraits. In each portrait, the same bride is seen with a different groom, whose heads disappear only to reappear a moment later. With each successive photograph, the bride gains another string of pearls. The sound of a beating heart fills the room, and a shadowy spirit plays a grim version of the "Bridal Chorus" on an old harpsichord. Just before the Doom Buggies escape the Attic, the ghost of the bride from the pictures, Constance Hatchaway[2] is encountered, shrouded in cool blue light, and uttering words reciting the traditional wedding vows:

Here comes the bride... As long as we both shall live... For better or for... worse? I do. I did, in sickness and in... Wealth. You may now kiss the bride... We'll live happily ever after... Till death do us part...

As she raises her arms, a hatchet appears and disappears in her hands between vows.

The Doom Buggies drift out of an Attic window and onto the balcony, coming face to face with the Hatbox Ghost amidst a starry night sky filled with wispy spirits rising from the Graveyard below. The Doom Buggies turn around, and tip backward down a 15-percent grade surrounded by dark, ghoulish trees with knotted expressions. The red-eyed raven (previously seen in the Conservatory and Séance Circle) caws at guests from a branch overhead as guests enter the Graveyard. The Doom Buggies then reach the ground and turn towards the gate of the Graveyard. There stands a caretaker and his dog, the attraction's only "living" characters. The caretaker cowers in fright, an expression of terror on his face, while his emaciated dog whines and whimpers. Around the corner, a ghostly band of minstrels plays a jazzy rendition of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" as a family of cats and a pair of owls join in harmony. Ghouls pop up from behind tombstones, a king and queen balance on a teeter-totter, and a skeletal hellhound howls from behind guests. The Doom Buggies travel down a hill and turn to see five expressive haunted busts singing "Grim Grinning Ghosts" in barbershop harmony. Next, guests encounter a ghostly tea party surrounding a hearse stuck in the mud. A bony arm protrudes from a crypt with a wine glass in its hand, while banshees ride bicycles in the distance. An Egyptian mummy sits up in his sarcophagus, holding a cup of tea and singing along, while the ghost of a "wise old man" from the Renaissance period holds an ear trumpet to his ear in an attempt to make out the muffled words of the mummy. The Doom Buggies then turn and pass a group of singing ghosts (an operatic pair, a decapitated knight, a masked executioner, and a prisoner) standing in front of a series of crypts. A bony arm holding a trowel protrudes from a partially walled-up crypt, its occupant attempting to finish the job.

As the Doom Buggies approach the entrance of a large crypt, and the Ghost Host speaks one final time:

Ah, there you are... and just in time. There's a little matter I forgot to mention: beware of HitchHiking Ghosts! They have selected you to fill our quota, and will haunt you until you return... Now I will raise the safety bar, and a ghost will follow you home!

Entering the Hall of Mirrors, the Doom Buggies pass a group of three ghosts thumbing for a ride. Around the corner, in large, ornately framed mirrors, the guests see that one of the ghosts from the trio is in the buggy with them.

While passing through the Hall of Mirrors, the same Singing Bust spirits from the Graveyard sing a somber tune in the background to the same melody as "Grim Grinning Ghosts" while guests proceed to the exit:

If you would like to join our jamboree,
There's a simple rule that's compulsory.
Mortals pay a token fee.
Rest in peace. The haunting's free.
So, hurry back. We would...
Like your company.

The guests then disembark their Doom Buggies and ascend back to the "living world." The last apparition they see is the tiny Ghost Hostess, also known as "Little Leota," [2] who encourages them to:

Hurry back! Hurry back! Be sure to bring your death certificate, if you decide to join us. Make final arrangements now. We've been 'dying' to have you.

Magic Kingdom[edit]

The Magic Kingdom version features a Gothic revival-style.

The Haunted Mansion was an opening-day attraction at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, where it is part of Liberty Square. During the production and assembly of the props and audio-animatronics for Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, duplicates of everything were being made for Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion. It was decided that the Florida version of the attraction would be slightly longer and more elaborate than its California counterpart featuring a Library stocked with "ghost stories" and staring marble busts of great ghost writers, a Music Room where the shadow of the invisible pianist can be seen in the floor, and an Endless Staircase inspired by M. C. Escher's "Relativity". Paul Frees recorded additional voice-overs, including the "Ghost Host" to accompany the extra scenes in the ride.[18] Because of the ample space within the park, the attraction's show building is much larger and not restricted by any railroad berm. When passing the graveyard gates on line, six head busts, two on one stand, that contain the Dread Family: a family that killed each other for wealth. The members are Uncle Jacob, Bertie, Aunt Florence Dread (née McGriffin), twins Wellington and Forsythia, and Cousin Maude. Bertie killed Jacob with poison from his snake, Florence killed Bertie for revenge with her gun, Wellington and Forsythia killed Florence as revenge for Florence doing a rogue shot and killing their pet canary, and Maude killed the twins with her croquet mallet. Maude accidentally killed herself by forgetting that she put matches in her hair to hold her bun together and setting a fire that killed her.

Tokyo Disneyland[edit]

The Haunted Mansion was an opening day attraction at Tokyo Disneyland, where it is part of Fantasyland. The Tokyo Disneyland version is largely a duplicate of the Magic Kingdom version, although it features some updated lighting, and did not receive the changes made in the 2007 refurbishment of the Magic Kingdom version.

Other versions[edit]

Haunted Mansion Holiday[edit]

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion Holiday

Due to the success of attractions that feature holiday overlays such as The Country Bear Christmas Special and It's a Small World Holiday, the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland is transformed into Haunted Mansion Holiday during the Halloween and Christmas seasons and has been since 2001, inspired by Tim Burton's 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas. The Haunted Mansion is closed in mid to late August for a few weeks as they revamp the attraction before opening again in September, replacing many of the props and Audio-Animatronics with characters and themes from the movie. The Haunted Mansion Holiday closes in early January to restore the attraction back to the original Haunted Mansion and reopens late January.

The Magic Kingdom does not have its own holiday edition of the Haunted Mansion and the regular ride operates continuously through the holiday season. The Magic Kingdom was initially supposed to have the overlay as sets, props, and animatronics were created for Magic Kingdom, but they rejected the overlay because Walt Disney World gains more tourists than Disneyland due to being a vacation destination unlike Disneyland being more of a regional theme park with reoccurring guests, so keeping the original ride year-round felt more appropriate. The sets, and props were sent to Tokyo Disneyland as their Haunted Mansion is a duplicate of Magic Kingdom's version.

Related attractions[edit]

Disneyland Paris features Phantom Manor, a "re-imagined" version of the Haunted Mansion. The house is a Western Victorian, in the Second Empire architectural style, based on the look of the Fourth Ward School House in Virginia City, Nevada. Along with the Western architectural style, the attraction uses a Western plot to fit in with the Thunder Mesa and Frontierland backdrop.

Mystic Manor, spiritually inspired by the Haunted Mansion,[citation needed] opened at Hong Kong Disneyland in spring 2013. Unlike the Haunted Mansion, however, it does not include references to departed spirits or the afterlife, due to differences in traditional Chinese culture. Continuing the Society of Explorers and Adventurers theme of Tokyo DisneySea, the attraction tells the story of Lord Henry Mystic and his monkey Albert. Having recently acquired an enchanted music box with the power to bring inanimate objects to life, Albert opens the box and brings all of the house's artifacts to life. The attraction's exterior is that of a large Victorian mansion in an elaborate Queen Anne architectural style, and the experience features a trackless "ride" system and a musical score by Danny Elfman.

In popular culture[edit]

  • In July 2010, Guillermo del Toro announced that he was set to write and produce a darker film adaptation also based on the attraction, promising that it would be both scary and fun.[6] The film was officially confirmed in July 2021,[19][20] with Tiffany Haddish playing a hired psychic that attempts to commune with the dead and LaKeith Stanfield playing a lackluster tour guide in New Orleans's French Quarter.[21] The film is scheduled to be released on March 10, 2023.[22]
  • In October 2005, Slave Labor Graphics began publishing a bimonthly Haunted Mansion comic book anthology, with the main recurring story (Mystery of the Manse) centered around "Master Gracey" and inspired by the sea captain concepts proposed for the attraction by Ken Anderson in the 1950s.
  • In the Mickey Mouse episode "Potatoland", Mickey and Donald build a theme park called Potatoland to fulfil Goofy's lifelong dream to go to the park, even though it never existed. One of the attractions featured was a version of The Haunted Mansion, based on potato horror stories.
  • In January 2014, Marvel Comics began publishing Seekers of the Weird, a five-issue miniseries and first under the Disney Kingdoms imprint. The miniseries was based on the Museum of the Weird, Rolly Crump's unused precursor designs for the attraction.[23] In March 2016, Marvel Comics began publishing a five-issue miniseries based on the attraction, released under the Disney Kingdoms imprint.[24]
  • A video game produced by Disney Interactive, TDK, and High Voltage Software was released in 2003, primarily based on the attraction but using some of the set designs from the film. The attraction appears and is referenced in other video games, including Epic Mickey and Kinect: Disneyland Adventures. In Epic Mickey, the mansion serves as a level in the game, and borrows elements from each mansion except for Mystic Manor.
  • In July 2014, it was announced that a cartoon special based on the attraction, animated by Gris Grimly, was being developed in honor of the 45th anniversary, to be aired on the Disney Channel and Disney XD.[25]
  • Madame Leota appears in the second half of the seventh season of ABC's Once Upon a Time, portrayed by Suzy Joachim.[26]
  • In the horror video game Bendy and the Ink Machine, the haunted house attraction that appears in the game's fourth chapter is based on the ride.[citation needed]
  • In the 2018 film The Predator, the characters enter a large elevator room and a security guard recites part of the Haunted Mansion script "is this haunted room actually stretching?" [27]
  • In October 2018, it was reported that the Magic Kingdom was turning into a popular place for families to deposit ashes of their deceased loved ones, with the Haunted Mansion picked as their favorite location. The behavior of depositing ashes of dead family members at the attraction is considered unacceptable and unlawful, and anyone caught doing that behavior will be escorted from the park.[28]
  • In 2020, Funko Games partnered with Disney to release the family strategy board game "Disney: The Haunted Mansion-- Call of the Spirits."
  • In 2021, a Muppets special, Muppets Haunted Mansion, was released on Disney+ on October 8, 2021.[29][30]
  • The Haunted Mansion will appear in a "Chibi Tiny Tale" centered on the Disney TV series The Ghost and Molly McGee.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n The History of & Changes to The Haunted Mansion (YouTube video). Park Ride History. December 4, 2017. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Haunted Mansion Secrets and History of Disneyland (YouTube video). FreshBakedDisney. December 17, 2013. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
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  • "Disneyland's Ghost House". (2004). The "E" Ticket (41).
    This is the Fall 2004 issue of the magazine The "E" Ticket, which was dedicated to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.
  • Eastman, Tish. (1997). "Haunting Melodies: The Story Behind Buddy Baker's Score for the Haunted Mansion". Persistence of Vision (9) 39.
    Persistence of Vision is an irregularly published magazine "celebrating the creative legacy of Walt Disney." Back issues can be found at The Book Palace Archived September 28, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  • Smith, Paul. (1997). "Tales from the Crypt: Life in the Haunted Mansion." Persistence of Vision (9) 89.
  • Surrell, J. (2003). The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movie. New York: Disney Editions. ISBN 0-7868-5419-7
    A book published by Disney giving a comprehensive history of the Haunted Mansion from early inception, in which it was a walk-through attraction, to its current form. It includes information on the Haunted Mansion movie.
  • Surrell, Jason (2015). The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic. From the Magic Kingdom (1st ed.). Disney Editions. ISBN 978-1-4847-2229-9.

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