Opened: October 1, 1971.
Location: Across the way from Columbia Harbour House.
From Frontierland, you’ll see it on your left before arriving in Fantasyland. From Fantasyland, it’s on the right after you pass it’s a small world and Peter Pan’s Flight.
Extra Magic Hours: Evening.
Ride Length: 9 minutes.
Type: Dark ride.
Similar To: Spaceship Earth.
Scary Factor: Medium.
Haunted Mansion is intended to be a fun and goofy ride – not a frightening experience. You won’t see anything gruesome or disgusting and there aren’t any sudden drops or surprises that will pop up unexpectedly. Still, it is a haunted house full of ghouls and the ride is almost entirely in the dark, which may be enough to make youngsters apprehensive about riding.
Chances are they won’t be frightened by anything they see during the ride, but they may be too scared from the thought of a haunted house to enjoy the attraction.
What to Expect: The queue is outdoors underneath a canopy that protects from the rain, but it won’t do much to keep the afternoon heat out. In fact, it can make it seem even hotter because there isn’t a lot of air flow.
In 2011, Disney installed an interactive queue near the entrance to the mansion.
All standby riders walk through the interactive queue while FastPass+ riders have no choice but to bypass it.
Once it’s your turn to enter the Mansion, you’ll be greeted and led in by two caretakers. After a neat room-expanding pre-show, you’ll be let into another larger room where you’ll wait to board your “doom buggy,” which is a small ride vehicle similar to those found at Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and Journey into the Little Mermaid.
Unfortunately, this room has become more and more crowded and it can be a bit of a hassle to walk with hundreds of other people down the narrow corridor. Grab a hold of children to make sure you don’t lose track of them. The vehicles move on a conveyer belt and will occasionally turn 180 degrees automatically so your buggy is facing the correct direction. Your slow ride through the Haunted Mansion will take about nine minutes to complete and features some of the best, most detailed scenes and animatronics in all of Disney World. For a detailed explanation of the story and the different scenes, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Haunted_Mansion.
Where to Sit: Most buggies will hold two adults, though you can potentially add a third smaller person.
FastPass+: Yes – moderate priority. It will be available as a 4th FastPass+ early in the day and most people will want to book higher priorities in advance, but FP+ here can save 30 to 60 minutes in the afternoon, which is above average.
What You Miss Using FastPass+:
FP+ users skip the interactive queue portion leading up to the entrance. It’s worth walking through if the wait is 15 minutes or less, but most people aren’t going to want to wait 30+ minutes to experience it.
Total Average Experience Time with FastPass+: 20 minutes.
4th FastPass+ Availability:
Expect to Wait:
When To Go: Before 10am, in the last two hours of operation, or with FastPass+.
10 Years Plus in the Making: During planning and construction, Disney Imagineers couldn’t agree on the theme or scope of the Haunted Mansion. At one point, the building was to be surrounded by overgrown weeds, decaying trees, boarded windows, and hundreds of bats. Walt Disney didn’t like the idea of an ugly building in an otherwise beautiful Park, so the building’s design changed to what you see today.
Commentary: Although riders expecting a frightening experience will be disappointed, the Haunted Mansion is great fun and one of Disney’s best and most enduring rides. This is a must-ride for all guests, although youngsters may be too nervous to ride or enjoy the Mansion on the first ride.