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Haunted Mansion Tips and Secrets

Haunted Mansion Tips and Secrets

Welcome foolish mortals to the best Haunted Mansion tips and secrets! The story goes that the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World is Master Gracey’s abandoned estate and is currently haunted by 999 happy haunts. Once inside the Haunted Mansion, you come face to face with nine hundred and ninety-nine happy haunts. The Mansion is full to the brim with eerie details, creepy ghosts, and sight gags. It is the perfect balance of spooky and funny, which is why it’s a favorite of many Disney fans.

The Haunted Mansion is an iconic Disney landmark that is at Disney Parks all over the globe. The original Haunted Mansion opened in Disneyland but various versions of the ride can be found in Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Hong Kong, and Disney Tokyo. In Hong Kong and Shanghai, the Haunted Mansion is actually different and called Mystic Manor!

Hitchhiking ghosts inside the Haunted Mansion, Magic Kingdom

What is the Haunted Mansion

First, let’s talk about the Ghost Host. He’s the disembodied voice that welcomes you to the mansion and warns you of the supernatural surprises that await. He’s like the ultimate Airbnb host, making sure you have a hauntingly good time. But beware, he may try to scare you with his spooky puns. He’s like the dad joke of the afterlife.

Ah, next is the stretching room, the beginning of the Haunted Mansion ride experience. As you enter the room, you’ll notice the walls stretching taller and taller, but don’t worry, it’s just an optical illusion, or is it?

As you travel through the mansion, you’ll encounter many ghostly residents, including Madam Leota. She’s the floating head in the crystal ball who can summon spirits from the great beyond. She’s like a spiritualist who works from home, or in this case, from beyond the grave.

The mansion is home to 999 happy haunts, but there’s always room for one more. The ride’s famous tagline has become a popular meme, with people jokingly saying they want to join the ghosts in the mansion. Who wouldn’t want to hang out with a bunch of happy ghosts?

As you travel through the mansion in your doom buggy, you’ll encounter many spooky scenes, like the ballroom full of dancing ghosts and the attic where the bride awaits. The ride has been known to scare even the bravest of souls, but it’s all in good fun.

Haunted Mansion Quick Facts

  • Ride Time: 7 minutes
  • Ride Photo: None
  • Fastpass: Yes
  • Height Requirement: None
  • Rider Switch: None
  • Scare Level: Young kids often find this ride too scary

Doom Buggies

Haunted Mansion Tips and Secrets 1

Doom Buggies, the iconic ride vehicles of the Haunted Mansion. These black, sleek vehicles are designed to resemble antique carriages and provide guests with a smooth, haunting ride through the mansion’s ghostly halls.

But did you know that the Doom Buggies are actually part of a larger ride system called the Omnimover? Developed by Walt Disney Imagineering in the 1960s, the Omnimover is a revolutionary ride system that allows for continuous loading and unloading of ride vehicles, providing a constant flow of guests through the attraction.

The Omnimover system is made up of a chain of linked ride vehicles that move along a track in a continuous loop, with the speed and direction of the vehicles controlled by the ride system. This allows for a more efficient and immersive ride experience, as guests can be transported through multiple scenes without the need for stopping or starting the ride.

The Omnimover system was first used in the Disneyland attraction, Adventures Through Inner Space, and was later adapted for use in other Disney attractions, including the Haunted Mansion.

The Doom Buggies were specifically designed for the Haunted Mansion ride system, with their sleek, low-profile design allowing for a smooth ride experience through the mansion’s narrow corridors and tight turns. The ride vehicles are also equipped with special audio and lighting effects, adding to the ride’s spooky atmosphere.

The Omnimover system and the Doom Buggies have become synonymous with the Haunted Mansion ride experience, providing guests with a seamless, immersive journey through the mansion’s ghostly halls. So the next time you ride the Haunted Mansion, take a moment to appreciate the ingenuity and innovation that went into creating this iconic ride system.

Video Ride Through of the Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansions Around the Globe

Each Haunted Mansion attraction at the various Disney parks worldwide has its own unique qualities, differences in design and ride experience, and variations in storyline. Here’s a breakdown of some of the key differences between each version of the Haunted Mansion:

Disneyland, California

 This was the first-ever Haunted Mansion attraction, which opened in 1969. The exterior of the mansion is designed in a Victorian style, with a Gothic aesthetic meant to fit in New Orleans. The ride has a more traditional “spooky” feel and a classic, vintage style.

FUN FACT: The Haunted Mansion in Disneyland gets a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay each year! 

Walt Disney World, Florida

 The Florida version of the Haunted Mansion opened in 1971, and it features a slightly different facade than its California counterpart. It has a more colonial-style architecture, modeled after a Saratoga Springs, NY mansion. The ride also has a few extra rooms and special effects, including the addition of the “staircase” room and the “pop-up” ghost effect.

Tokyo Disneyland, Japan

 The Tokyo Disneyland Haunted Mansion, which opened in 1983, features a more elaborate facade than the other Haunted Mansion attractions, with a grand, haunted estate-style exterior. The ride experience includes a unique pre-show, with a character named “Ghost Host,” who narrates the story in Japanese.

Disneyland Paris, France

The Parisian version of the Haunted Mansion, opened in 1992, is similar in design to the Florida attraction, with a colonial-style exterior. However, the ride features a more humorous tone, with comedic elements and characters that are unique to the Parisian version.

Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Disneyland Haunted Mansion, opened in 2007, features a Chinese-inspired exterior design, with elements of traditional Chinese architecture. The ride includes unique characters, such as a ghost bride, who is central to the attraction’s storyline.

Shanghai Disneyland, China

 The Shanghai Disneyland Haunted Mansion, opened in 2016, features an entirely different storyline and ride experience, with a new cast of characters and effects that are unique to the attraction. The ride is called “Haunted Mansion – Phantom Manor,” and it features a story that is set in a Western frontier town, with a haunted mansion as its centerpiece.

Overall, while each Haunted Mansion attraction has its own unique qualities and differences, they all share the same spooky, supernatural themes and classic ride experience that has made the Haunted Mansion a beloved attraction at Disney parks worldwide.

Haunted Mansion Secrets

Bust from the queue of the Haunted Mansion

If you look at the top of the building before you enter you will notice that there are chess pieces on the top. These are memorials to Disney Animator and Imagineer legend, Marc Davis. He was a key creator of the Haunted Mansion and he loved chess.

While waiting in the queue be sure to read the tombstones in the graveyard. While the tombstones have some comical last words they are actually honoring Imagineers and artist who built the attraction!

Haunted Mansion Tips and Secrets 2

Speaking of tombstones – Just before you enter the mansion keep an eye on Madam Leota’s tombstone. You might just find her looking back at you!

Want to be the first on the ride? Stand under the painting of the girl with the parasol because it’s where the door to the ride opens.

Is this haunted room actually stretching? Or is it your imagination? In Florida, yes the room stretches! But in Disneyland, California it is actually an elevator.

Haunted Mansion Tips and Secrets 3

So who is your ghost host exactly? The voice should sound familiar as the voice actor is Paul Frees. Frees was also the voice of Ludwig Von Drake, the Pillsbury Doughboy, and Boris Badenov of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Have you noticed a raven in many of the scenes throughout the Haunted Mansion? In the early development, the raven was going to be the narrator but the idea was scrapped for the Ghost Host.

The organ music you hear in the stretching room is actually Grim Grinning Ghosts slowed down. In fact, it is the only song you hear during the ride and it gets faster as the ride progresses.

The piano player in the music room is invisible but if you look down at the floor you can see his shadow.

When you enter the dining room scene with the dancing ghosts take a close look at the dining table. You should be able to spot a hidden Mickey in the plates.

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The ballroom dancing ghosts are the result of the Pepper’s Ghost Illusion. This effect is made by illuminating objects and reflecting onto a pane of glass! You can even try it at home and make your own haunted scene.

Madame Leota’s face is actually Leota Toombs, an Imagineer who created designs for many Disney attractions.

Keep a close eye on the coffins during the ride, one of them has a hidden Tinkerbell in a pane of broken glass over the coffin.

During the ride, you actually die! You fall from an attic window when your doom-buggy turns backward and you go down to the graveyard scene. Another nod to this is that the ghosts don’t acknowledge you afterward. Pay attention to the party in the graveyard and the hitchhiking ghosts.

Haunted Mansion Tips and Secrets 5

As you exit the ride, look on the ground for a wedding ring stuck in the pavement. It’s the bride’s ring you see in the attic scene. It was thrown from the attic and then trampled by the invisible horse.

Look on the ground for a wedding ring stuck in the pavement of the queue. It’s the bride’s ring you see in the attic scene. It was thrown from the attic and then trampled by the invisible horse.

The Ghost Host’s Name: While the Ghost Host in the Haunted Mansion is never named, some eagle-eyed fans have noticed a nameplate on his desk that reads “G. H.,” which some believe stands for “Ghost Host.”

Hidden Mickey’s: As with many Disney attractions, there are several Hidden Mickey’s scattered throughout the Haunted Mansion. Keep an eye out for a Mickey-shaped spider web, a trio of skulls that form a Mickey shape, and even a portrait of Walt Disney himself that includes a Hidden Mickey in the design.

Haunted Mansion Tips and Secrets 6

Madame Leota’s Crystal Ball: The crystal ball in Madame Leota’s seance room is actually a repurposed fish tank, with a projected image of Leota’s face superimposed on the glass.

999 Happy Haunts: The famous line “999 happy haunts, but there’s always room for one more” is a reference to the ride’s capacity, which is limited to 999 riders per hour.

Changing Portraits: The changing portraits in the Haunted Mansion are actually done using a trick of the eye, with a series of different portraits on a rotating cylinder that are lit and blocked by different sections of the frame to create the illusion of a changing image.

Ghostly Apparitions: Some guests have reported seeing ghostly apparitions in the ride, including the infamous “Hatbox Ghost,” a ghostly figure holding a hatbox that was originally part of the attraction in its early days but was later removed. In 2015, the Hatbox Ghost was re-introduced to the attraction in a new form, using updated technology to create a more realistic effect, but this was only in the Disneyland version. However in 2022 at the D23 convention, Disney announced that the Hat Box ghost is coming to Walt Disney World! 

Check out the Pet Cemetery as you leave the ride. If you look high up on the hill you will see Mr. Toad. There is rumor that he has an epitaph that reads, “Here lies Mr. Toad, sad but true. Not nearly as marketable as Winnie the Pooh”.

Did you know that there are people that have attempted to drop the ashes of family members in the Haunted Mansion attraction? We say attempted because Disney is filled with cameras and sensors, so you can’t do anything without them knowing. This fun fact also doubles as a PSA to say don’t do it. It is a health code violation and your loved one will get sucked up in a vacuum and you will be removed from Disney. Not worth it!

Tombstones before you enter the Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion Movie(s)

After Disney had so much success with the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise that was built based on the iconic Disney attraction, they have started creating other movies based on other well-loved Disney attractions. 

Haunted Mansion is unique because well, they made a movie using an all star cast based loosely on the attraction that we know and love, but it tanked. So they tried again. And again?

Haunted Mansion (2003)

The Haunted Mansion movie starring Eddie Murphy – a film that’s often considered to be one of the biggest misfires in Disney’s live-action adaptations. But hey, at least it’s good for a laugh!

The movie, released in 2003, follows Eddie Murphy’s character, a workaholic real estate agent named Jim Evers, as he and his family get caught up in a spooky adventure at a haunted mansion. Along the way, they meet a host of wacky characters, including the ghostly master of the house and his creepy butler.

Despite its star-studded cast and impressive visual effects, the Haunted Mansion movie was panned by critics and audiences alike. Many felt that the movie failed to capture the spooky charm of the ride it was based on, and that the jokes fell flat more often than not.

That being said, there are definitely some moments in the movie that are worth a chuckle. Who could forget the scene where Eddie Murphy tries to fight off a ghost with a fireplace poker, or the part where he gets trapped in a room full of creepy dolls? And let’s not forget about the infamous scene where Eddie Murphy raps about ghosts – it’s so bad, it’s kind of amazing.

All in all, the Haunted Mansion movie may not be the best Disney adaptation out there, but it’s definitely a movie that’s worth watching – if only for the sheer absurdity of it all. So grab some popcorn, turn off the lights, and get ready for a ghostly adventure with Eddie Murphy and company. Just don’t expect too much, or you might be in for a frightfully disappointing time.

Haunted Mansion (2021)

Oh boy, now this  idea was an absolute treat for fans of both the Haunted Mansion attraction and the Muppets. Imagine Gonzo taking on the spooky ghosts and ghouls of the Haunted Mansion – it’s a match made in heaven!

First of all, let’s talk about the comedic gold in the Muppets version of The Haunted Mansion. The Muppets are known for their irreverent humor and fourth-wall-breaking antics, so there’s no doubt that they would have a field day with the spooky setting and supernatural shenanigans of the attraction. Plus this movie actually follows the attraction sequence, complete with the Ghost Hosts monologue! 

But the Muppets version of the Haunted Mansion isn’t just all jokes and gags – it also explores the emotional side of the attraction’s story. After all, the Haunted Mansion isn’t just a spooky ride – it’s a story about a group of ghosts who are trapped in the mansion and unable to move on to the afterlife. With the Muppets’ trademark mix of humor and heart, a movie adaptation really brings that story to life.

Overall, the Haunted Mansion movie with the Muppets is a perfect marriage of two beloved franchises. It is silly, spooky, and heartwarming all at the same time – and it’s the kind of movie that fans of all ages enjoy. 

So, this means that Disney is done making Haunted Mansion movies, right? Right…? 


Haunted Mansion (2023)

Hold on to your hats, Haunted Mansion fans – it looks like we’re getting yet another movie based on the beloved Disney attraction! This time, the movie will star none other than Owen Wilson, and it’s set to hit theaters in 2023.

Details about the movie are still pretty scarce, but what we do know is that it’s being billed as a “re-imagining” of the Haunted Mansion story. According to reports, the movie will take a darker, more horror-focused approach to the classic ride, which is sure to please fans who are looking for a spookier take on the material.

Of course, having Owen Wilson on board is also a major draw for the movie. Wilson is known for his quick wit and affable charm, and he’s proven time and time again that he can handle both comedic and dramatic roles with ease. It will be interesting to see what kind of character he plays in the movie, and how he’ll fit into the creepy world of the Haunted Mansion.

As for the story itself, we can only speculate at this point. Will the movie follow the same basic plot as the ride, with a group of hapless mortals getting trapped in the mansion with 999 happy haunts? Or will it take a completely different approach to the material, exploring new corners of the Haunted Mansion mythos? Only time will tell.

Regardless of what the final product ends up looking like, one thing is for sure – there are plenty of Haunted Mansion fans out there who are eagerly anticipating this new movie. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the ride or just someone who loves a good spooky story, it looks like the Haunted Mansion will continue to haunt our imaginations for years to come.

Haunted Mansion Tips and Secrets 7

Haunted Mansion Merch and Snacks

Haunted Mansion has almost a cult-like following, so naturally the attraction gets a lot of great merch, but did you know that it also gets snacks? 

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Haunted Mansion Snacks

In the past we have seen Doom Berry drinks with Haunted Mansion wallpaper straws, stretching room eclairs, chamber cake pops, and even Haunted Mansion themed sandwiches and bread bowls!  

These snacks have popped up all times throughout the year, not just Halloween. We have found them mainly at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments and Columbia Harbor House. Eat, drink, and be scary! 

Be sure to check the menus on My Disney Experience before you go to see if you can be a part of all of the Haunted Mansion snacking on your next trip! 

Haunted Mansion Tips and Secrets 9

Haunted Mansion Merchandise

The Haunted Mansion has its own tiny gift shop just outside of the Haunted Mansion called Momento Mori. This small but mighty shop carries everything from displays of the ride, clothing, hats, pins, and even Haunted Mansion themed pet supplies. Who remembers that Doom Buggy dog bed?! 

Looking for even more Haunted Mansion fun? Be sure to read Haunted Mansion: Ride vs Movie!

Aaron Smith

Wednesday 4th of April 2018

Been a few times and didn't know about some of these secrets!