Those wanting a ride a bit on the “scarier” side will be well served to make their way to The Haunted Mansion, located in Liberty Square of the Magic Kingdom. A favorite of many since it opened with the Magic Kingdom in 1971, the ride keeps things enough on the humorous side to not frighten the kids too much – no guarantee for you fainthearted adults.
Walt Disney provided much input on the ride before he passed away, but it truly came into its own through the hands-on involvement of several Disney Imagineers. Original plans called for a sort-of walk-through “Museum of the Wierd”, but quickly changed to a ride-version with effects and scenery that would both put a smile and a grimace on your face.
The Disney World version of the ride is housed in a Dutch Gothic Revival style mansion, similar to what one might find on the Hudson River Valley region of New York. Guests walk through a cemetery of sorts with humorous epitaphs along with a small pet cemetery. Once inside, guests are led into an octagonal room with the doors closing behind them. The cast members direct everyone to the “Dead Center” of the room before the ghoulish voice of Paul Frees welcomes them.
Slowly, the portraits shown on the wall start to elongate as well as the walls upon which they are hanging. What were once normal enough looking portraits are now shown to reveal the comedic fate to which the person in the portrait succumbed too. Finally, a flash of light and the rest of the lights go out. With everyone thoroughly surprised, guests are led to their ride vehicles, known as “Doom Buggies.”
Once aboard, the ride vehicles meander through several scenes including another cemetery, a dining hall, staircases to nowhere, etc., before placing the ride vehicles in front of ‘mirrors’ which shows that you are now joined by a hitchhiking ghost.
All in all, the ride is very funny but don’t be surprised if you get a bit of the fright in you – it will wear off once you exit!
Thanks to VostroUser for providing the video shown above.