Haunted Mansion Liberty Square Magic Kingdom
A Magic Kingdom classic! Since it debuted with the opening of the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971, the Haunted Mansion has been one of the best-loved attractions at Walt Disney World Resort. Located atop a hill overlooking Liberty Square, this spooky house is home to 999 happy haunts — and eagerly awaits visitors willing to defy becoming Ghost #1,000. The current version of Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion is the result of a rehab in 2007, followed by the introduction of an updated queue in early 2011.
QUEUE: Themed after the English Tudor style found in lower Hudson River Valley in New York, the stately Haunted Mansion looks down on Liberty Square. The queue was redesigned in early 2011 to become more interactive, and now incorporates characters that were formerly only mentioned inside the attraction along with retaining some of the original tombstones. As you enter the courtyard of the Haunted Mansion, you can now see, touch, hear and play with several new, interactive elements added into the queue experience. Your experience begins with a new story line. One of the main attention-grabbers is the new Decomposing Composer’s Crypt. The new tomb has interactive instruments that sound as weird as they look. CLICK HERE for more photos of the new queue.
THE HAUNTED MANSION: When the darkly attired Cast Member invites you inside, you enter the foyer of the mansion. You are greeted by your invisible host… your “Ghost Host,” voiced by Paul Frees. (You might recognize the voice — Frees provided the voice of characters for many animated cartoon classics, including Boris Badenov from the the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show.) Look over the fireplace and you will see a portrait which ages, Dorian Gray-style!
You’re then directed into an octagonal room with unusual paintings encircling the walls. Before your eyes, the paintings change — they seem to grow longer and longer, even though the floor and ceiling aren’t moving, and as they stretch, slightly macabre and/or humorous images emerge.
From this room, you’ll exit to a dark passageway, where you’ll make your way to your “Doom Buggy” ride vehicle to tour the mansion. Synchronized speakers inside each doom buggy allow your Ghost Host to explain the supernatural scenes that unfold around you. Your egg-shaped vehicle glides silently through the library, conservatory, hallways, ballroom, attic and even graveyards. In the ballroom scene especially, note the holographic images that dance and cavort around the room. The ghosts appearing here are caused by a variation on an illusion known as “Pepper’s Ghost.”
Guests ride past a seance being held by Madame Leota, a disembodied head projected from a crystal ball. The face is that of the late Imagineer, Leota Toombs Thomas, and the voice that of Eleanor Audley, who also provided the voices of other well-known Disney movie characters: Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent and Cinderella’s Lady Tremaine.
Finally, your doom buggy turns sideways, and you pass in front of a mirror. Thanks to a little Disney magic, “hitchhiking” ghosts appear inside each doom buggy. Thanks to a current update of technology, the ghosts even appear to interact with riders now!
As the ride nears its end, look up to the right and see Little Leota, the small figure perched on the ledge above urging you to “hurry back…hurry baaa-aaack…” Her form and voice also both belong to Leota Thomas.
Haunted Mansion is a FastPass+ attraction.
There are no height or age restrictions for Haunted Mansion, but many children are fearful of its darkness and scary scenes.
Accessibility: Guests using an ECV or a wheelchair must transfer out to ride this attraction. Audio Description, and Translation Devices can be used on this attraction. Some Captioning Available. Ask at Guest Relations.
The ride system at Haunted Mansion is a continuous-loading OmniMover, which allows for a steady flow of guests. Although this is a slow-moving, smooth ride, each “Doom Buggy” vehicle is programmed to dip and turn at specific moments, thus directing your attention to important show elements. Be aware that at some points your “Doom Buggy” travels backwards as it goes downhill.
The Doom Buggies can seat two comfortably, although it is possible to squeeze two adults and a small child (or three children) into one.
Be very careful as you exit your Doom Buggy; not only is it dark, but the Doom Buggies can move a bit as you step out.
Child Swap (aka Rider Switch) is available at this attraction. This allows one guardian to wait with a child while another rides, then they can switch so the other guardian can ride without having to wait in the line again. Ask a Cast Member for the current procedure.
It takes about 7.5 minutes for your Doom Buggy to make its way along the 960-foot track of this attraction.
Don’t miss the pet cemetery — it’s on your left on the hill as you exit the Mansion.
HIDDEN MICKEYS ALERT:
Ballroom scene — arrangement of plate and adjoining saucers on the banquet table.
Graveyard scene — left hand of the grim reaper forms a Mickey outline with his fingers.
Child Swap (aka Rider Switch) is available.
The premise of the Haunted Mansion is obviously that of a creepy haunted house, but the ride is intended for the entire family. Many of the scenes are more humorous than frightening, but since every child has different fears, parents should be aware that the attraction features lots of dark rooms, spooky noises and voices, and a few potentially scary scenes with skeletons, bats, spiders, and lots of ghosts and ghouls.
There are no Disney Characters associated with this attraction. There are other character “meet and greet” opportunities throughout the Magic Kingdom, however. Check your daily Times Guide for exact times and locations.
Columbia Harbour House, a counter service restaurant, is located across from this attraction’s entrance in Liberty Square.
Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond is an amazing Haunted Mansion gift shop located to the right of the attraction entrance. Items range from simple antenna toppers to limited edition prints and everything in between. A must visit even if you just “window” shop.
The Haunted Mansion is the featured in different lands at four Disney theme parks worldwide. Hong Kong Disneyland has Mystic Manor (more in line with Chinese culture)
Disneyland — New Orleans Square
Magic Kingdom — Liberty Square
Tokyo Disneyland — Fantasyland
Disneyland Paris (where it is known as Phantom Manor) — Frontierland
Hong Kong Disneyland (known as Mystic Manor) — Mystic Point
The singing busts in the graveyard scene warble the attraction’s theme song, “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” Though sometimes mistaken for Walt Disney, the face on the bust on the left actually belongs to Thurl Ravenscroft, the song’s soloist. Ravenscroft is best-known as the voice of Tony the Tiger, the mascot of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal. In addition to Ravenscroft, the Singing Busts include Jay Meyer, Verne Row, Bob Ebright, and Chuck Schroeder.
Grim Grinning Ghosts, with lyrics by X Atencio (who also wrote the Ghost Host’s script) and music by Buddy Baker, was recorded by the Mello Men, a singing group made up of Bill Lee, Max Smith, Bob Stevens, and Thurl Ravenscroft. The group also provided the vocals in many Disney films and theme park attractions.
Legendary voice artist Paul Frees — known to many as Boris Badenov from “The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show”– is the attraction’s narrator, or “Ghost Host.” He also provided the voices for many of the rogues in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.
If you have comments or tips to share with others about the Magic Kingdom or the Haunted Mansion, please email us. Thank you.