Friday, January 9, 2015

#26 - Haunted Mansion

Category: Slow Rides
Category Rank: 5

Park: Magic Kingdom
Park Rank: 12

We finish up this Halloween corner of our list with the Haunted Mansion.  This ride has much in common with Pirates of the Caribbean (hence their proximity to each other on the list).  And, as we mentioned in the PoC post, this is a ride whose animatronics keep it in the nostalgia category, and out of the cheesy category.  Actually, I would go so far as saying this is the best animatronic ride that there is, as the animatronics in the dim light and the overall scenery actually help it look more spooky.  Typically, animatronics stand out a mile away, and these tend to blend in with all the other effects.

If you have not been on the ride, it first should be said that this ride is not scary.  Spooky, perhaps, but singing ghosts is, again, a truly Disney family-friendly spin on Halloween.

Speaking of singing ghosts, this also features a song from my favorite album, and one that is very much under-appreciated by my family members (just sayin').  Grim Grinnin' Ghosts is synonymous with the ride, and you can't hear the song without reminiscing about it.  How cool is this song?  I present to you VoicePlay:

Yeah, that's pretty cool.

This ride has too many neat items to point out in this post.  There are lots of effects, such as the floating head in the bubble, the murdering widow portraits with her dead husbands, the hitchhiking ghosts at the end, and the singing busts, all of which make you say "Hey, I remember where that is on the ride!".

As I mentioned before, if we were ranking overall rides, this would be my top of the slow rides, with maybe one exception (depending on how you categorize it).  In terms of nostalgia, though, the top four slow rides will be tough to beat, and the Haunted Mansion doesn't bring much else other than the fun of the ride in terms of nostalgia (it certainly doesn't bring a good movie, unlike Pirates of the Caribbean).

It does, however, serve as the primary attraction in another of Disney's themes.  We have mentioned themes like "When You Wish Upon a Star Fantasies", "Progress towards tomorrow", "One World of Cultures" and "Becoming One with the Environment".  We also mentioned the Great Outdoors, the Adventure of the Jungle, the Relaxation of Small Town USA, and the Relaxation of the Deep South in New Orleans.  The small, but very present "Not-So-Scary" theme is just as important.  Disney always works with evil villains.  Yet, they find ways to make evil villains not so scary for young kids.  The playfulness of scary elements can be seen in attractions like NSSHP, Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan.  But nowhere can you find them better displayed than Haunted Mansion.

Speaking of themes, we really have not talked about Disney's most iconic theme very much, the "When You Wish Upon a Star" theme filled with fantasies and princesses.  We do so in our next entry, as we revisit our park ambience category to look at the newest of Magic Kingdom lands.

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