Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion previews interactive queue

| March 16, 2011

For months, we’ve been hearing rumors of a new interactive queue being installed at The Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom.  Well, it seems the time is finally here!  Today was the last day of our week-long trip to Walt Disney World and as we were walking through Liberty Square this morning, we noticed a lot of managers hanging around.  Sure enough, the queue was in previews!  Continue after the break for photos of this new interactive experience.

Guests aren’t required to go through the new section of queue.  When we got close to the Mansion, there was a cast member directing guests to the right if they wanted to get to the attraction quickly and to the left if they wanted to spend a little more time in the graveyard.  Of course, we chose the left!  There are several new elements in a relatively small area, so it will be interesting to see how the space handles crowds once more people know it’s there.

This new tombstone honors Yale Gracey, one of the lead Imagineers behind the Haunted Mansion’s special effects.

Listen for the Captain to sing and to be blowing bubbles as he drowns in his bath.  Some visitors may even find themselves getting wet when he isn’t able to contain a sneeze.

Pay attention to the water that continuously leaks from this tomb.  It makes sense when you read the epitaph!

This crypt seemed to be one of the favorite areas of the queue.  Music is a large part of this attraction and this references the musicians inside the Mansion.

When guests touch the different instruments, you hear that particular instrument playing “Grim Grinning Ghosts.”

The reverse side of the instruments shows them decomposing.

This pipe organ is reminiscent of the organ in the Mansion’s ballroom scene.  When guests press the keys, they are sprayed with a water mist.  The word “Ravenscroft” is inscribed, referencing Thurl Ravenscroft , who is the lead singer of the busts in the graveyard scene.  He was also famous for being the voice of “Tony the Tiger” in Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes commercials and singing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” in the popular Christmas movie.

The library books in this area didn’t seem to be working.  When one is sticking out, you should be able to press it in and another will pop out.  This didn’t happen when I pressed on it, but there were many area managers paying close attention to guest reactions to the new elements, so bugs are sure to be worked out quickly.

In this display, the poetess Prudence Pock is writing a poem.  The words “magically” appear in the book as if being written while we watch.  She will read her poem aloud and ask for help from her muses to come up with the last rhyming word.  While this display seems to require guest response to finish her poem, during my times through the queue, she finished the poem herself without needing guests’ help.

Prudence’s gravestone is on the back of the book display.

These new tombstones are the last part of the interactive queue area and pay homage to four Imagineers.  “Mister Frees” is Paul Frees, the voice of the Ghost Host.  “Our Friend Ken” refers to Ken Anderson, an Imagineer, “Brother Roland” is Imagineer Rolly Crump, and “Uncle Blaine” is Blaine Gibson, legendary Disney sculptor.

This interactive queue may not be the end of enhancements at the Mansion.  The Hitchhiking Ghosts scene at the end is now covered with a screen with digitally projected ghosts floating on it.  Rumors say that when this scene is done, the hitchhiking ghosts will be back, but with an interactive element added to them as well.

All in all, I think this is a great addition to this attraction.  While there isn’t always a long wait for Haunted Mansion, during peak seasons, the line can stretch close to Frontierland.  This queue kills two birds with one stone.  Not only will guests have something to do while waiting in line, but it also gives Disney a little bit more room to fill with guests.  Make sure to check it out next time you’re at the Magic Kingdom!


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Category: Disney World

About the Author ()

Leah grew up in a little farming town in Illinois, right on the Mississippi River. Her Chicago-born husband, David, left the city for her, and they're now raising their three children (Jacob, Jonah and Lydia) just 12 miles from her hometown. As the Senior Editor of the DIS (wdwinfo.com), Leah spends a lot of time writing about, reading about, and discussing Disney. So, it should come as no surprise that one of her family's favorite ways to spend time is going to Walt Disney World and traveling on Disney Cruise Line. She also enjoys shopping, watching movies with her husband and doing crafts with and for her kids.
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