Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Top 10 Favorite Parts of the Haunted Mansion

Happy Birthday to my favorite Disney attraction, the Haunted Mansion!!! 

There's so much that I love about the Haunted Mansion.  It's always the first thing I want to go on and the last attraction I want to ride before we leave the parks.  I just love it so much!  I have a memory of when I was a kid that I wanted to go on it over and over and that we went on it 11 times in a row.  I have no idea if this actually happened or not, but I'd totally believe it.  I love it that much.

When Eliot and I got married at Walt Disney World, one of the stops that I wanted to go to most on our Magic Kingdom portrait session was the Haunted Mansion.  (The castle and mansion were my top two picks.)  There's just something about it that I love!

I realized that I was having a hard time putting that love into words, so I decided to do another Top 10 Tuesday post about it!  It took me a little bit to put it together, but I think this an accurate tribute as to why it's my favorite attraction!  So without further ado, here are my favorite things about the Haunted Mansion in no particular order.

Melissa's Favorite Parts of the Haunted Mansion

10.) Nightmare Before Christmas Overlay- I'm starting off with a controversial one, because some mansion enthusiasts hate the overlay, but I like it.  Each Halloween and Christmas season, Disneyland's Haunted Mansion is taken over by Jack Skellington and the Nightmare Before Christmas crew to turn it into Haunted Mansion Holiday.  I think it's fun and it gives guests another reason to visit the attraction over and over again.  The giant (real) gingerbread house they put in the ballroom is different each year and I always love to see what it looks like!  That room always smells so good!!!

9.) Details Outside the Mansion- The Imagineers never leave any detail left undone and outside the Haunted Mansion is a perfect example of that.  The roses are dark and all of the shrubs look deadly.  The cemetery and pet cemetery at both American theme parks have so many fun details in them.  I really love how they added the names of the designers who brought the mansion to life.  Plus, the addition of Mr. Toad in the pet cemetery in the Magic Kingdom is iconic!

8.) Ballroom Scene- This scene absolutely blew me away as a kid.  I loved learning about how they achieved the realistic looking ghosts inside the ballroom.  I love all of the little details.  There's always a hidden Mickey made of plates on the dining room table.  I also love looking for the spider in the Disneyland glass where a guest broke the glass.  Each time I hop in a Doom Buggy, I see something new.

7.) Building Architecture- Of course the designer is obsessed with the architecture.  I love how the mansions each have their own iconic looks.  The mansion at Magic Kingdom looks like it belongs perfectly in the Colonial village of Liberty Square and I love how the gothic style adds a little bit of extra spooky flair to the facade.  Whereas the mansion in Disneyland fits in perfectly with the southern antebellum look.

6.) Cast Members- The Disney cast members really are the ones who make the magic.  From the Imagineers designing the rides to the people running the parks daily, they make everything come to life for guests.  The cast member costumes at the Haunted Mansion are iconic and my absolute favorites.  (I love them so much I made ear hats of them!)  I'm also a huge fan of the dancing gravediggers with their sparking shovels in the Halloween parade.  I also love when the casts members really get into it and act super creepy!  It adds to the overall creepy vibe!

5.) Song- What can I say about Grim Grinning Ghosts except that it's a classic.  This song makes the ride what it is.  It could have been super creepy and scare people, but this song transforms the ride into a fun adventure during the graveyard scene.  It's absolutely a bop and I always leave the ride with the song stuck in my head.  I love it!!! 

4.) Iconic Script- Speaking of iconic things stuck in your head, you know you have done something right when guests can recite the script of the attraction word for word with the soundtrack.  I won't lie, I'm one of those annoying people who sometimes simply can't help themselves in the stretching portrait room.  The script is classic!

3.) Iconic Scenes- Another iconic part of the ride are the scenes.  I have always been obsessed with the Stretching Portrait room.  And who can forget the ballroom, attic, graveyard, the hallway with the knocking doors, the endless hallway, and the seance room with Madame Leota.  They're all classic and guests love them.

2.) Iconic Images- The scenes aren't the only iconic part of the Haunted Mansion as there are so many iconic images in the mansion.  I think the most well known is the purple demon wallpaper.  But there are so many more: the rocking chair, the gargoyle candleholders, the Tomb Sweet Tomb embroidered sign, the intricate doorknobs, the demon grandfather clock with it's 13 instead of 12, the floating candelabra, the bat stanchions, the door knocker, the ravens, and the Doom Buggies themselves.

1.) Original Characters- Finally, I think that thing that brings the Haunted Mansion to life are all of the original characters you find in there.  There are the most well known ones like the Stretching Portraits, the Attic Bride, the Singing Busts, the Hatbox Ghost, the Hitchhiking Ghosts and Madame Leota.  But there are so many others... you also can't forget Little Leota, the organ player, the opera singer, the caretaker and his dog, the changing portraits, the Dread Family, the guy trying to get out of the coffin, the grooms, the tea party ghosts, the bicycle ghost, the bricklayer, a bunch of other happy haunts in the Ballroom and graveyard scenes, and of course, Master Gracey.

As you can see, there's so much to love about this attraction.  I bet you can conjure images of all these things in your mind as you read about them.  I can see all of it crystal clear.  I think one of the things that endears it to fans so much is that so much of it is iconic.  That's the word that kept coming up for me and it absolutely is.

Happy 53rd Birthday Haunted Mansion from this adoring foolish mortal!  °o°

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