When I visited Disneyland for the first time, one of my questions was how the parks and rides were different from each other. I wrote up a blog post about the general differences between the two parks, but now I want to take a closer look at the attractions that are on both coasts. I started this Disney World vs. Disneyland series, and today I’ll be taking on the Haunted Mansion.
The Haunted Mansion is a dark ride which takes you through the home of “999 Happy Haunts.” It uses vehicles on an omnimover to take you through various rooms in the mansion and introduces you to a variety of ghosts. Some of the effects are done with animatronics, Pepper’s Ghost, or a variety of other technologies. Though it is the “Haunted Mansion,” the ghosts are mostly having a good time and it is probably the least scary haunted house you’ll ever see.
- The location and styles of the ride in each park are different: Disneyland’s mansion is located in New Orleans Square, while Disney World’s is in Liberty Square. As a result each mansion has a very different look and aesthetic on the outside.
- In California you enter on the first floor, Florida enters through the “basement.”
- The “stretching room” in Disneyland is actually an elevator that is taking you down a floor. In Florida the room and floor do not actually move at all.
- After the stretching room in California you walk through the Portrait hall as part of the queue. In Florida the portraits are part of the ride. You’ll also find the “aging portrait” here in California, whereas in Florida it’s located in the waiting area before you even enter the stretching room.
- Florida has some additional rooms that are actually part of the ride aside from the portrait gallery – the library, the music room, the conservatory, and the maze-like stairs.
- However: some of these missing rooms in Disneyland still have some elements incorporated. Two of the busts that are in the library in FL appear at the end of the portrait gallery in CA. There is also a shadow of a ghost playing harpsichord in the attic in CA which is a nod to the piano-playing sillouhette in the music room in FL.
- Disney World has recently added an on-ride photo with photopass, while Disneyland does not take your photo on this attraction.
- Disneyland has one additional ghost – the Hat Box Ghost! He doesn’t make an appearance in Disney World.
- The hitchhiking ghosts in Disneyland are still the original, while the Florida ones have been updated to move and “interact” with guests.
- FInally, as you end the ride there is a tiny version of Madame Leota telling you to “Hurry Back…” In Disney World this happens while you’re still on the ride vehicle, and in Disneyland it’s located along the ramp as you exit the ride.
While most of the differences are fairly subtle, the Disney World version still wins it for me. It’s a longer ride with more rooms to go through and observe, which makes it feel like a more complete experience. I like the new hitchhiking ghosts at the end, and while I haven’t experienced getting my photo taken on the ride I am looking forward to that! The one major thing Disneyland has going for it is the really cool Hat Box Ghost… maybe he’ll eventually make an appearance in Florida.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Make sure you check out the other attractions in my Disney World vs. Disneyland series, including:
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Splash Mountain
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- It’s a Small World
- Space Mountain
Have you been on the Haunted Mansion? What do you think of it?