The first Haunted Mansion attraction opened at Disneyland in 1969. Today, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disney, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland feature variations of the ride as well.
The original façade was inspired by Baltimore’s Shipley-Lydecker House. Not a house in New Orleans, as many people automatically assume. Keep reading, to learn more!
What would a haunted mansion be without dancing ghosts? These poltergeists are created by an illusion discovered in the 1800s.
Referred to as Pepper’s Ghost effect or illusion, the trick is a simple one. A pane of glass is used to make illuminated objects appear as though you can see through them.
15 Rooms to Explore
There are 15 rooms to explore on the Haunted Mansion ride. This includes the Portrait Chamber, where the room magically stretches and the Grand Ballroom where eerie pipe organ music fills your ears.
Hatbox Ghost Returns
The Hatbox Ghost was an original part of the first Haunted Mansion attraction. One day, he mysteriously disappeared with no explanation except that he wasn’t working properly.
In 2015, Disney reintroduced the Hatbox Ghost, who does a wonderful job of leering at passengers as they go by. Will he have his head or won’t he… the question remains!
More and more Disney park rides and attractions are being updated with interactive queues. What does this mean for Haunted Mansion fans? It means you can solve a murder mystery and use various instruments to play the tune “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” while waiting in line.
Waiting in line isn’t anyone’s favorite part of a trip to the Disney parks, but the Haunted Mansion is one of the more enjoyable lines to wait in thanks to the entertaining gravestones beside the queue area. The names on these tombstones are those of Disney Imagineers who helped to create the Haunted Mansion.
The Stretching Room
In both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, the actual Haunted Mansion ride is preceded by the famous Stretching Room, where portraits of the Mansion’s inhabitants stretch to reveal their unfortunate fates. Is the ceiling going up or does the floor go down? As it turns out, it depends on which park you’re in.
In Disneyland, the bulk of the ride is below ground level, so the Stretching Room acts as an elevator lowering guests down to the ride. In Disney World, the ride is housed in a hidden building behind the facade you see from the queue area. Since there’s no need for an elevator, the ceiling just goes up.
Do you want to get to the Doom Buggies faster? At the Walt Disney World attraction, stand under the portrait of the girl with the parasol in the stretching room. The door that leads to the ride is always located under this portrait.
If you look closely, when enjoying the ride at either Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you may notice a small pet cemetery. There’s even a grave marker for J. Thaddeus Toad. You may remember him from the long-ago Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
A Haunted Mansion Water Ride
Imagineer and Disney Legend Claude Coats briefly developed a water ride version of The Haunted Mansion in which guests would float through the ruins of an old plantation house partially submerged in a Louisiana bayou. Sadly, this ride never made it into any of the parks.
There is no height or age restriction to tour the spooky Haunted Mansion. A bit of bravery is all that’s required. Depending on the location you visit, the ride lasts between almost 6 minutes to a little over 8 minutes.
Costs to develop and build the ride were in the $7 million ballpark, which translates into almost $50 million today.