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Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion

 
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MartinJ



Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 93
Location: Flint, MI

PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion Reply with quote

Last week, we visited the Magic Kingdom to ride the updated Haunted Mansion. I'll try to limit my review to the new and updated items that I remember.

It seems that it took my eyes longer to adjust to the low light levels. I don't remember the loading area being that dim. And, the ride itself seemed to get even dimmer.

The corpse hanging from the rafters in the stretching room looked to be better than I remember. He used to hang in the center of the room before and I could only see his feet and a few rags. He was moved slightly to the side. And, I was able to actually make out more features, like the fact that he had a face, arms, and a body.

A hallway was added to the beginning of the actual ride. This duplicates the hallway that DisneyLand visitors walk through to get to the loading area (they needed the walkway to get people under the train tracks and outside of the park proper). The lightning effects and the painting transformations were good. I don't know how many people will catch it, though. The lightning "strikes" were spaced far enough apart that not everyone will see the paintings change.

The next added scene was a crazy staircases room. It reminds me more of the MC Escher painting than what I would expect in a haunted house. The glowing green footprints were good. They would appear quickly and then fade away slowly.

The sceance room has been updated. The crystal ball now floats above the table. Madame Leota's image is much sharper than before. I think it is too bright, though. It was easier for me to see that it was video projected onto a static head shape. Sometimes, brighter isn't better. The other decorations on the table looked authentic.

The ballroom has been updated, I think. I thought that there used to be ballroom dancers. I didn't see them this time. Instead, the far right side of the room had ghosts entering the room through a crashed buggy hearse. There was also a ghostly fire in the fireplace (bright green).

The bride in the attic has been updated. Her face has the same effect as the crystal ball. There is an animation of her talking to the guests. There are projections of her hands carassing the ax. I also liked the portraits resting against things. They had the same changing ability as the new hallway (and the portrait at the main entrance).

The audio in the doombuggies was quite good, crisp and clear. I remember that there used to be occasional crackles and pops before, as if the recording was getting old. The beginning script still mentions that the ghost host will close the buggy. The loading attendant did it on all the buggies, though. I don't know if the close mechanism was just broken that day. They opened up on their own at the end.

Ok. I know that I focused a bit too much on the technical aspects. I like to figure out how they do some of the illusions. I wasn't wowed by the new effects. It appeared as if they were all done with concealed LCD projectors. I could be wrong. I would like to be wrong.
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Holly
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Joined: 06 Aug 2007
Posts: 229
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took a ride through today to see the new changes to the ride... I was pretty impressed! The new stuff adds to the show I think... I'm going to put stuff that I *think* changed... although it is possible on a few counts that I noticed stuff that was already there... because... well... this is one of those rides where there is always something new to notice.

The wallpaper in the stretching room looked new... the frames on the paintings looked re-painted... They added 3D audio that circles the room and refreshed the audio track with added sound effects and a crisper vocal track.

The spiderwebs in the second queue looked stripped down (they are probably starting over with the accumulation) and there were webs stretching to the walls. I can't remember if the cement urns on the walls were there before... oh well...

The Doombuggies still close on their own, as of today. Maybe the mechanism just wasn't working the day you went through...

The Escher room replaced the old UV spiderwebs. The room looks huge, compared to what was there before, but I think mirrors add to that effect.

The upper part of the grandfather clock might be new or re-done...

I think the coffin ghost might have gotten new audio.

In a few of the rooms, it looked like they added new set dressing pieces to flesh out the rooms a bit more. In the hallway of doors, there were new miniature portraits on the walls...

The knight by the endless hallway is moving pretty sprightly... if I remember right, he didn't really move before... or if he did, not by much...

I really liked the new bride. I was a little nervous b/c last time they changed it, it was the green-faced one, which I didn't find as creepy as it having just glowing eyes and no face. The new bride is sincerely creepy... great acting... and the way the paintings are dispersed and the bride not being visible until you are pretty close makes for a great lead-in to that scene. The only really major change I noticed is that she changed sides. She used to be on the right.

I saw the crashed hearse on the right near the ghosts moving in a circle. Everything else looked the same (I think there might have been a couple of new or moved chairs)... The dancers were still on the left by the organ. Maybe they didn't have that light up when you went through (to illuminate those figures).

I think Madam Leota, in addition to floating, may have had a few new instruments. I really think it looks a lot nicer. I felt like she was fiendishly bright before, so it didn't really bother me. It's nice to see here getting to travel a bit!

A few of the graveyard figures seemed like they were illuminated better. I used to squint to see the details on some of them, but in the scenes that have more depth, I was able to see the figurines in the back, and some added background detail beyond that.

The Hitchhiker ghosts looked more animated... I think they got some deserved attention... and the group of 3 looked like they had a fancy new set of clothes (a little sparkly). Little Leota looked like she had new clothes too.

I was impressed at the entry queue that they are keeping Master Gracey's grave freshly-dug (and of course, with the obligatory dead roses).

It seems like most of the refurbs at WDW lately have really been great improvements -- rather than trying to "modernize" the rides, they are just adding fresh things within the spirit of what was originally created. It makes me glad that the next generation won't remember the Mansion as something slowly degrading and "old-fashioned" looking... but rather, I think it will still seem fresh to them as it did to the generations before, due to the attention they are giving it.

Great job to... well... the team that is designing this stuff...
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Holly
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Joined: 06 Aug 2007
Posts: 229
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S. This is cool: Jack Skellington references in the mansion. The following link has some "spoilers"... so if you want to find Jack for yourself, don't look... some of them would be pretty hard to find, though! There may be more than those listed... Cool Smile Now if only we could get Jack to come over here for Christmas!

http://ghostrelationsdept.blogspot.com/2007/09/jack-has-invaded-florida-mansion.html
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admin
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Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Posts: 381

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Theming - How well did the theming transport you to another place and time? (1-5) - 4

2. Repeatability - How well can you experience this attraction repeatedly without getting bored? (1-5) - 4

3. Show Writing - Were you moved by the story? Could you tell if there was a story? (1-5) (N/A if no story) - 4

4. Demographic - Can every age experience the attraction? (1-5) - 3

5. Thrill Factor - Was it fun to experience this attraction? (1-5) - 4

6. Cycle time - How long did the attraction last? (1-5) - 4

7. History - How well will this attraction stand the test of time? (1-5) - 5


Total Attraction Score: 28 out of 35
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admin
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Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Posts: 381

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Theming - How well did the theming transport you to another place and time? (1-5) - 4

2. Repeatability - How well can you experience this attraction repeatedly without getting bored? (1-5) - 4

3. Show Writing - Were you moved by the story? Could you tell if there was a story? (1-5) (N/A if no story) - 4

4. Demographic - Can every age experience the attraction? (1-5) - 3

5. Thrill Factor - Was it fun to experience this attraction? (1-5) - 4

6. Cycle time - How long did the attraction last? (1-5) - 4

7. History - How well will this attraction stand the test of time? (1-5) - 5


Total Attraction Score: 28 out of 35
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just-inverted



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 39
Location: long beach

PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found out that one of the Jack Skelintons is in a book that is in the Attic room. There is also one in the Ballroom somewhere.
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