- Wathel R. Bender.
He rode to glory
- On a fender. - Epitath
In Walt Disney World, the queue for the attraction starts at the entrance of Liberty Square coming from Fantasyland, in a way bridging the gap between fantasy and reality. The line snakes around the front of the attraction's facade and in front of a hearse, before winding around the riverbank shore of the Rivers of America and turns inland to the side of the mansion. Here, we see the family plot for the family that lived in the mansion prior to our arrival. To the left side of the walkway are gravestones, while in front of us are a pair of black doors, that will open as soon as the mansion is ready for us. An awning was added to the queue a few years after the ride was open, providing shade for those in line.
In Tokyo Disneyland, the queue is very similar except for the fact that it does not go along the shoreline of the Rivers of America. Instead, we are sent through the queue very quickly with not much to look at. Also in the queue, two stone gargoyles also stand on the pillars of the gate, occasionally turning their heads to look at us. Instead of having a family burial plot to the side of the house, this scene was moved to the front of the mansion and was replaced with a stone crypt with falling debris and a secret part of the mansion not seen at the Florida mansion.
When hinges creak in doorless chambers. When strange and frightening sounds echo throutgh the halls. Whenever candlelights flicker when the air is deathly still... That is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight. - The Ghost Host
Upon entering the house, we are greeted by a dimly lit hallway. Following this hallway, we enter a foyer, which features a fireplace to the left side. There is a picture hanging above the fireplace, which shows a young man (quite possibly the owner of the mansion). Our "Ghost Host" welcomes us and gives his usual speil. As he is talking, the picture above the fireplace starts to change, showing the many ages of the man until his final days. One of the walls opens up next to the picture, revealing an octagonal room.
Welcome, Foolish Mortals, to the Haunted Mansion! I am your host, your Ghost Host! Our tour begins here in this gallery. Here where you see paintings of some of our guests, as they appeared in their corruptible, mortal state. - The Ghost Host
This two story room features four pictures (these pictures look like Disneyland's Stretching Room pictures, aside from a few differences). The wall that let us in to this room immediately closes, and the pictures on the walls begin to stretch. As these pictures stretch, we are shown the terrible fates of the people in the pictures. The ghost host then begins to tell us that we are not too better off than the people in these pictures: we are trapped inside this room with no possible way to escape. Well, states the ghost host, "there's always my way." Suddenly, the roof above us disappears, revealing an attic. In that attic, it reveals the Ghost Host (peresumably) commiting suicide by hanging. A scream is heard, and the lights go dark.
Unlike California and Paris' stretching rooms which act as elevators, Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion did not need to take it's guests underground, under the railroad tracks to a show building. However, the Stretching Room effect proved so popular, it was installed in Florida. It has since become a staple of Haunted Mansions.
It should also be noted that there is a slight difference between the spiels of the American parks here. In Disneyland, The Ghost Host says "Our tour begins here in this gallery, where you see paintings of some of our guests, as they apeared in their corruptible, mortal state." He says "where" as if he were to say "Here where" but was cut off, and ends up saying something to the effect of "h-where". In Florida's version of the mansion, this error has been corrected and The Ghost Host says "Here where".
Oh, I didn't mean to frighten you prematurely. The real chills come later. Now, as they say "look alive", and we'll continue our little tour, and lets all stay together, please. - The Ghost Host
Having left our mortal selves behind, we are now able to travel through walls and escape the stretching room. We encounter a long hallway, leading to a short queue that is used to board the Doom Buggies. The Ghost Host's spiel has been cut in half from the Disneyland version, mainly because there is nothing to look at in the hallways in Florida and Japan. For one exception, the Florida mansion loading hall contains seven of the "Sinister 11" portraits to make room for another scene, others are located else where.
Do not pull down on the safety bar please- I will lower it for you; and heed this warning: the spirits will materialize only if you remain quietly seated at all times. Oh yes, and no flash pictures please. We spirits are frightfully sensitive to bright lights. - The Ghost Host
After boarding our Doom Buggies, we go under a landing that features a dimly-lit candle. We then enter the Portrait Hallway, which in Florida until 2007, featured paintings with eyes that follow you. In 2007, the Portrait Hallway was redone to be an exact copy of the one in California (windows on one side, pictures that change when lightning strikes on the other). It also features a new organ.
Our library is well stocked with priceless first editions, only ghost stories of course; and marble busts of the greatest ghost writers the literary world has ever known. - The Ghost Host
Leaving the Hallway behind, we enter a library. There are hundreds of books here, some of them being pulled off of their shelves- with no one in sight. The book ladder slides across a beam on the top of the book shelves by itself, and chairs rock back and forth. We only stay in the library for a few moments, and then we move on into the Music Room.
It should be noted that The Library is the only scene in Florida and Japan that is not in Anaheim or Paris.
They have all retired here to the Haunted Mansion. Actually, we have 999 happy haunts here, but there's room for a thousand. Any volunteers?? Hmm? - The Ghost Host
Leaving the Library behind, we enter a large room that features a staircase, a large winow, and a piano. Upon close inspection, we notice that the piano itself is playing a haunting rendition of The Screaming Song. Upon even closer inspection, we see a shadow on the floor that seems to be playing the piano.
Until 1994, Anaheim did not have a Music Room. This was changed during a refurb, in which the piano player was relocated to the attic
Well, if you should decide to join us, final arrangements may be made at the end of the tour. A charming "ghostess" will be on hand to take your application. -The Ghost Host
We leave the music room and climb up a stairway, the exact same stairway that we begin our ride in Anaheim and Paris. However, the staircase used here features many other staircases as well, each one going in a different direction. Some are upside-down, some are tilted, and some feature candles as well as entrances to doors. Prior to 2007 in Florida, right after you climbed the staircase you saw giant spiders on spiderwebs on either side of you before entering the Corridor of Doors. These were replaced by the blinking eyes that fade into the wallpaper effect that is in place now, although the spiders remain in the Tokyo version.http://
From there, the ride is nearly exactly the same as the Anaheim and Paris versions. Here are some more differences.
- The Ghost Host says things as you are going through the corridor of doors and even introduces Madam Leota. In Florida, he stops speaking at "...Shh, listen." and begins speaking at "The happy haunts have recieved your sympathetic vibrations..."
- Until 1994, all the Attics in The Haunted Mansion (stateside versions) were the same. In 1994, the piano player that is shown in Florida was added to the Attic in Disneyland and played a chilling rendition of The Wedding March, to help match the theme of The Bride in the Attic. The popup ghosts were given top hats and suits and started shouting "I do!", mocking The Bride by yelling the words she never was able to say. In 2006, the Disneyland Mansion's Attic scene was redone and the storyline of the attraction reworked. The Bride and the popup ghosts were taken out, and a new bride was put in. An axe would appear every so often in the new Bride's hands, playing on the fact that the new Bride was supposedly a "Black Widow" bride who would kill her rich husbands for their money. This refurb of the Attic is coming to Florida's mansion. Voice actress Kat Cressida provides the voice of the new bride, named Constance.
- As you descend from the Attic window in Disneyland, you see tall, dead trees akin to the ones in Snow White's Scary Adventures with knobs and holes as faces and their branches in the shape of arms and fingers, "reaching" for the guests. Contrary to popular belief, these trees do not move. The position they are in suggests movement, but the trees themselves do not move. Orlando's Mansion also has these trees, but minus the "faces". The trees in Florida are also not as well defined than the ones in California, so it is easy to miss them.
- The stars in Disneyland's graveyard scene are fiber-optic (akin to those used in Disneyland's version of Peter Pan's Flight). Until the 2007 refurbishment, in which the stars in Walt Disney World's graveyard were updated to fiber-optics as well, the stars were glow-in-the-dark stickers.
- The Hooded Phantom in the mausoleam right before you get to the Opera Singer has his left hand in the shape of a Hidden Mickey in the Florida version. The Disneyland Hooded Phantom has both arms at his side.
- Little Leota is part of the Florida version of the ride, before you get off. In California, you see her as you are going up a moving ramp.
- Right after seeing Little Leota as you are exiting the Florida version, the Ghost Host has final safety instructions for you: "Now, I will raise the safety bar and a ghost will follow you home! Kindly watch your step please...watch your step." In Disneyland, the Ghost Host's spiel ends with "They have selected you to fill our quota, and will haunt you until you return! Muahahahahahaha!" with someone else doing an exit spiel.
- In Florida, you walk through another hallway to get out of the Mansion, walking past doors labeled "Servant's Quarters". Outside, you pass by a mausoleum, with a memorial to Bluebeard. You then pass a pet cemetary before exiting right in front of The Yankee Trader shop. In Disneyland, the exit leaves you on the same street that you entered the Mansion from (as if nothing ever happened), bringing the experience full circle.
- Until the 2007 refurbishment, The stretching rooms at Walt Disney World had blue, white, and gray wallpaper and slighty different paintings. Both galleries now have red, blue(green at disneyland) and gold wallpaper and new paintings with minor differences of the portraits before the update.