Haunted Mansion interactive queue in Walt Disney World

Here's a sneak peek at the new interactive queue area for the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World; it's the latest elaborate playground to be incorporated into the wait area for a major ride (Winnie the Pooh and Space Mountain also have their own themed waiting areas). The queue for the Haunted Mansion has always been rather good -- I have vivid memories of waiting by the huge double doors one dark night in 1977, six years old and so deliciously scared that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. But I'm pretty excited by what I see here; it's full of trufan stuff, but also full of stuff that's fun even for people who aren't obsessed with the ride.

Video Sneak Peek: Haunted Mansion Interactive Queue at Magic Kingdom Park


  1. While I am a trufan of the Mansion (WDW represent), I am not totally sure how I feel about this new queue. While I like all of the elements and really want to play on that organ, it is too “cartoon-y” for the prologue to the mansion.
    Like Cory, I remember being scared about that far off wolf howl, about the creepy long walkway, the quiet and unexplained gravestones, and the eerie, slow organ music. The Mansion was scary and exciting! And only at the end of the ride, when the ghosts actually appear and have a “graveyard jamboree”, do you realize that they just want to have fun and aren’t scary at all (although, I still always had a chill, and really believed that a ghost might follow me home)
    So I think these great features are just out of place, and maybe ruin the atmosphere of thrill and anticipation that the quiet and creepy mansion does all on its own. I just think it ruins the ‘story’.

  2. This Friday I had the pleasure of going through the new queue for its “soft opening”. One small problem was that the queue moves so quickly on the Haunted Mansion that there wasn’t really enough time to truly enjoy the space.

    It really is every bit as fun and funny as it seems. I had a blast in the queue space, and it was the high point of my spring break trip to WDW.

    It does lighten the tome somewhat, but I don’t view that as a particularly bad thing. The Haunted Mansion has always been lighthearted, and I’m OK with it relieving tension for some of the young kids. There’s nothing fun listening to children crying in terror as their parents bring them on the ride. Helping those kids realize it’s not scary, and that their parents aren’t horrible, is a good thing.

    Oh yeah. My boys (age 7 and 10) REALLY loved it.

  3. I’d like to register my opinion that this is a tragic mistake, especially if it’s true that they modified the queue to make the ride more “family friendly”. The true failure of modern Disney is that it yields to parents who want to isolate their children from anything approaching fear or doubt. I’d like to think that those who guard their children from safe, friendly, yet possibly scary experiences are those that raise un-cultured, un-sympathetic, horrible, boring people. Which is why it’s really too bad Disney has such a big place in the American cultural dialogue.

  4. A mistake? Come on, now. They aren’t nerfing the ride in any way, just trying to get everyone (kids and adults alike) into the modd even earlier in the line-up.

    I’m headed to Orlando for vacation in May, and this is yet another awesome detail to look forward to.

    Can’t wait to try those things out!

  5. It’s cute, and it still leaves another 40+ minutes of free time for parents to check their email on the phone, and kids to hone their nintendo skills.

  6. At DL, at least the last time I was there, many year ago, the “Roger Rabbit’s ToonTown Spin” ride queue had a great “story exposition” thing, that gave the backstory of what was going on, the “setup” for the ride. Unfortunately, even when the line was going slow, most guests did not pay much attention to it, from my observation. Many were too busy complaining that there was nothing to do while on line. Sigh. This seems like it will work a bit better. I just hope that it holds up to the wear and tear. One step closer to Down and Out, eh, Cory?

  7. I can’t wait for my Spring Break trip. This looks like lots of fun; I hope the que isn’t too short, although I usually ride HM 4-5 times at a shot – just like Everest, so I hope I’ll be able to do quite a bit of exploring.

    Every time something changes @WDW people have things to say – most people agree the changes to POTC were good, so I say give everything a shot. Too bad this level of thought and planning didn’t go into the Tiki reno.

  8. I’m sorry, but I’m disappointed. This was one of those rare queues that I actually didn’t mind standing in! So many times I rushed through there, that I enjoyed the times I got to just stand there and feel the breeze from the river, laugh at the tombstones (that were on the grass), and gaze up at the Mansion. There are a lot of lovely details on the exterior of the Mansion itself, and it was fun to just absorb it all while waiting for those doors to open.
    This new setup is too light and airy, and way too ‘cartoony’. And if you study history, you may recall that the original opening in CA had complaints from parents that the outside did not prepare them for what was within. The last thing anyone wants inside the Mansion is a scared kid!
    My kids are terrified of the Mansion, and it took 3 years for my oldest to make it to the door without turning around. Now she loves it, but that’s because she was ready for it.
    There are plenty of rides for kids… the Mansion should have been left alone.
    My opinion.

  9. Yeah, I’m another voice in favor of the way the approach goes in Anaheim. It’s one of the few bits of the park that has resisted cartoonizing. The whole thing scared the bejesus outta me when I was five or six, but it quickly became my favorite attraction a couple years later. I liked how the headstones didn’t call attention to themselves; they were just scattered on a grassy hillside, looking just like the mansion’s own family plot, and the goofy inscriptions were there for anyone who bothered to seek out details.

    I’ve never been to WDW, and haven’t been tempted to go there since I was a kid and kinda wanted to check out the then-brand-new EPCOT. If this approach is indicative of the general approach they take to things in Florida, then I’ll keep my Disneybucks on this coast, thanks.

  10. Am I the only one who thinks the new ending without the hitch-hiking ghosts in the Doom Buggies is a mistake? Instead of the old mirror-based system, there is a giant video screen but your Doom Buggy doesn’t show up in it. I think they kinda ruined it. My wife and I were also lamenting the changes to Tomorrowland. We thought that Disney shouldn’t retire rides (like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) but should move them to a different area. They could call it Disney YesteryEars.

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