Every time I visit the Disneyland Resort the first attraction I head toward is the Haunted Mansion. Since August 9, 1969 it has welcomed foolish mortals like myself. Though Walt Disney was part of early planning stages, it’s one of the first attractions that opened without him after he passed away in 1966. On October 1, 1971 the Haunted Mansion opened at Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World. It’s a must-do for me at Disney World too. The Haunted Mansion exists at international Disney Parks as well, though I don’t have personal experience with them yet. I’m especially dying to go on the Disneyland Paris version, Phantom Manor. My favorite parts of the versions I’ve been to include the whole outside setting, the ballroom dancers, and the holiday layover.
The Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion has more of a colonial feel and is located at Liberty Square. The attraction in Disneyland brings you down to New Orleans with its location in New Orleans Square. Both have very different but eerily beautiful architecture. The Disneyland queue has more of a classic, frightening feel and look while Walt Disney World has a more modern, interactive queue to keep your wait entertaining. I’ve also always loved paying my respects to the mansion’s pets in the pet cemetery.
Inside the mansion, you’re guided by a ghost host. As you move along in your doom buggy you pass through multiple rooms, one of which is the Grand Hall. The Grand Hall is the location of several ghosts, a dining room table, and an organ amongst other things. My favorite part is the ballroom dancers spinning around and around in the room. The first time I ever saw the parade at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in Walt Disney World, I was so excited to see the zombie-like waltzing of Haunted Mansion ballroom dancers along the route. There is just something about that part of the attraction that catches my attention more than any other part.
From Halloween time through Christmas time, Disneyland hosts Haunted Mansion Holiday. This holiday layover is themed after the 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas. The decorations first took over the mansion in the early 2000s. Each year the whole mansion is covered in decorations to celebrate when two holidays collide. One of the greatest pieces of decor is the gingerbread house added each year. I have loved the movie since I was kid so to see it come to life in my favorite attraction is the best part of the holidays at Disneyland.
Next time you are headed to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, make sure to visit this classic, creepy attraction. In my opinion, it’s the very best Disney Park attraction. I know the ride will be dying to have you. And make sure to watch out for hitchhiking ghosts!