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The Haunted Mansion is a fun attraction more than a scary one. An ingenious preshow serves as a vehicle to deliver guests to the ride's boarding area, where they board "doom buggies" for a ride through the mansion's parlor, dining room, library, halls, and attic before descending to an uncommonly active graveyard. Disney employs almost every special effect in its repertoire in The Haunted Mansion, making it one of the most inventive and different of all Disney attractions. Be warned that some youngsters build a lot of anxiety concerning what they think they will see. The actual attraction scares almost nobody.
The Haunted Mansion is one of veteran Unofficial Guide writer Eve Zibart's favorite attractions. She warns:
Don't let the childishness of the old-fashioned Haunted Mansion put you off: this is one of the best attractions [in the park]. It's jam-packed with visual puns, special effects, hidden Mickeys, and really lovely Victorian-spooky sets. It's not scary, except in the sweetest of ways, but it will remind you of the days before ghost stories gave way to slasher flicks.
Each September, The Haunted Mansion substitutes a special holiday version of the attraction that runs through early January. Inspired by Tim Burton's 1993 stop-motion musical The Nightmare Before Christmas, the overlay features characters such as Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie cavorting among the familiar mansion haunts to songs from Danny Elfman's classic score. Everything from the outside facade, the signage, the stretch room pre-show, and the entire ride is decked out with Nightmare story. Started in 2001, it's been very popular with the Disneyland locals and first-time visitors alike. In overlay mode, it's an entirely different attraction, and definitely worth a look if you've only seen the original attraction. Be aware that the attraction will be closed for several weeks each January and September to install and remove the overlay.
Haunted Mansion Ride Through
Haunted Mansion Holiday Ride Through
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Here's roughly how many minutes you'll wait for Haunted Mansion at each Disneyland Crowd Level.
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