Friday, November 12, 2010

"Best Of" Week: Walk Around The World With Ridge—The Haunted Mansion

Rounding out the edge of Liberty Square is The Haunted Mansion, home of Master Gracey. This is truly a classic attraction at Walt Disney World. Opening with the park in 1971, it has been a staple of Magic Kingdom ever since. The grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize, so shouldn't you? If you're lucky, one may even follow you home.

The Haunted Mansion was built in a Tudor style popular in the 1890s in the Northeastern U.S. As you approach the mansion if you look at the ground, you may spot horseshoe tracks in the pavement. Follow them to the horseless carriage in front of the mansion and to the queuing area. If the lines are long you'll be out in front of the carriage house. Take a look around you'll notice something strange, the horse shoes are all facing down... all the luck has run out. Not a good thing to be out of when you're about to walk into a haunted mansion.

As you get closer to the entrance of the attraction, you'll see the final resting place of some of the former residents. There are several tombstones and even a freshly mounded plot. Each of the tombstones has a humorous epitaph telling of how they departed. In reality these are tributes to the Imagineers who worked on the mansion. One of the newest tombstones belongs to Madame Leota; Leota Thomas was one of the lead Imagineers. Her tombstone holds extra secrets; she blinks and looks around. You’ll see Madame Leota again inside the mansion.

Once inside the fun gets started as you are led into an octagonal room. Check out the grates around the floor, now you'll have to use a flash camera or some night vision goggles for this. From here the butler or maid brings you into the parlor to meet with your host, your ghost host. He explains that the only way back out the house is his way. Hop in your "doom buggy” and take the tour. It is a fun romp through a dimly lit mansion. If you are lucky, at the end of the tour you may even have a new friend who follows you home—Phineas, Ezra or Gus. Outside at the exit there is a mausoleum. Stop and look, have a laugh. Then take a look at the pet cemetery *sniffle*.

When you go to the Haunted Mansion after dark, allow some additional time. With a keen eye you may catch a few extra sights. Outside you may see lightning and hear thunder. If you look at the window over the front door you may catch a glimpse of someone or something walking in front of the window with a lantern. So watch out.

The Haunted Mansion is a must-do for the Growing Up Disney team. How about you?


  1. Mom & Dad love this one and I had to go on it when I was really little. I finally got over my fear of this ride in high school. Now it's one of my favorites.

    Chris, I like the way you write about attractions. Setting the scene and sharing some details but not spoiling the attraction for first-timers.

  2. My two little ones (8 & 5) love this one, but they have no fear. I think this is a good family ride as everyone can go on it, but it is funny and also not too scary for kids. Total classic attraction.

  3. I love this! One of my favorite rides! We even brought our 2 year old on it!

  4. The last time I was in the Haunted Mansion a little boy I guess about 8 or nine years old clung to his mothers skirt as a spider does to his soon as they closed the doors and the host started speaking the little boy pulled his base ball cap over his eyes and wrapped himself in his mothers skirt...i was laughing so hard that i couldn't stop but i was very quiet with my laugh...i swear i laughed at least 10 minutes after we left the ride and tears just rolled down my face...i have never seen anything so funny in my life...his mom saw me laughing as did others and they started laughing as hard as i was...that was my most memorable moment in the haunted mansion and i'm sure a day i'll NEVER forget...

  5. I really love this ride because of the little things, like the bat queue dividers looking for the one that has been touched so many times it is about to lose all of it's features. Also the super annoying turnstiles out front that always tries to steal my wallet when I go through.


Thanks so much for visiting us and reading this post. Please leave us a message because we love to hear your Disney stories and tips too!