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New enhancements coming to WDW's Haunted Mansion for the 50th anniversary?

Imagineer999

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I mean I enjoyed the call backs to the ride but Eddie Murphy wasn’t exactly the right casting choice.

Btw as far as I know the California pop ups are still synced to the music while the Florida ones just randomly pop up now.
Actually, Florida's pop-up ghosts are also in sync with the music. Tokyo's, on the other hand, are random.
 

Imagineer999

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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Oh yeah, let’s go backwards in technology. Great idea!
The point is that there are changes that didn't need to happen, changes that are inferior to the original effects. I'd take an animatronic hitchhiking ghost in the mirror over a low-quality CGI ghost anyday. The original effect made me wonder "How do they do that?" unlike the new effect where it's clearly done with computers and doesn't work half the time.
 

Dragonman

Well-Known Member
Little bit of trivia: the behind the scenes footage from the Osmond’s HM special is actually the WDW props getting prepared. The Hatbox Ghost is among them therefore giving us the only look at the intended WDW figure. With the special being filmed in 1970, the California Hatbox would have been scrapped by then, hence why the figure is not complete and serving comedic purposes as a holder for paints.
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Mr Incredible

Well-Known Member
My WDW Haunted Mansion wish list:

- make the interactive queue more creepy and less silly. The entire first half of the attraction is supposed to be foreboding. You're not supposed to know that these are good-natured ghosts until you get to the ballroom.
- adjust the timing of Master Gracey's portrait transformation so everyone can see it
- restore the "moving eyes" effect to the Sinister 11 portraits in the Load Area. I doubt they will ever restore the original Portrait Corridor, but getting those stares back would make up for it
- restore the deep red lighting to the Corridor of Doors and the pair of hands prying the last door open
- restore the original attic
- restore the original hitchhiking ghost effect

If they could make those changes, I would be so happy.
Agreed on most all of those changes.
I would also like to add...

- Get the CMs to actually play the Haunted Mansion roles better. The last few times I went on that ride over the last few years I have had some little whiny guy screeching at people to move into the center of the room as if this was just ANY ride and not a Haunted house.
I also have heard some CMs talking about getting on shift and things of a personal nature as I walked into the load up area.
That drop in CM quality has Bob Iger written all over it.

- Improve the lighting effects in the graveyard scene. It's gotten to the point where we even have a hard time seeing the opera singer for crying out loud.

- Use some new projection technology to have ghosts flying overhead in the graveyard scene.

- The original hitchhiking ghost effects need to come back. This new interactive effect never has worked right and if you aren't sitting just right it never looks right. They are trying to do too much. Sometimes less is more.

- I would love to see a creepy fog pouring out of Gracey Manor as you approach. That's easy to do. It would make it more forboding and scary.

- Once you get into the Haunted Mansion area and the sound effects take over to transition you into horror mode, Disney needs to work hard to have the CMs maintain the tone as well.

- At night time it would interesting to see ghostly figures appearing in some of the windows of Gracey Manor as you approach as well.
 

EricsBiscuit

Well-Known Member
The point is that there are changes that didn't need to happen, changes that are inferior to the original effects. I'd take an animatronic hitchhiking ghost in the mirror over a low-quality CGI ghost anyday. The original effect made me wonder "How do they do that?" unlike the new effect where it's clearly done with computers and doesn't work half the time.
The "technology" you're talking about are video screens everyone now has in the home - i.e. "television". Duh.
They work pretty much every time I’ve been on HM (multiple times a month). They’re much more interactive. They don’t look low quality either. While we’re at it, I’m also a fan of the new queue. Both unpopular opinions.
 

Princess Leia

Well-Known Member
Yay! I can actually contribute to the factual tidbits! When I went 2 years ago, my CM friend was a Ghostess, and was my personal guide on the ride (and let my friends and I cut to the front of the line, bless her).
  • There are two book copies of Nightmare Before Christmas in the ride. One in the library, and one somewhere else (I can't remember where)
  • The crow in the dining room scene must be pet by the CMs every morning before opening the ride, otherwise the ride won't work
  • One of the ghosts in the graveyard drinking tea asks "Scream or sugar?"
 

Bocabear

Well-Known Member
Tower of Terror used to use a pure water fog effect on the grounds that was very atmospheric and creepy... Might make a nice additional outdoor effect...especially at night,
Years ago they used to keep it much colder inside... which was sort of part of the "Chilly Reception"... It also helped build atmosphere...Would be nice to have that back again as well.
 

aladdin2007

Well-Known Member
Agreed on most all of those changes.
I would also like to add...

- Get the CMs to actually play the Haunted Mansion roles better. The last few times I went on that ride over the last few years I have had some little whiny guy screeching at people to move into the center of the room as if this was just ANY ride and not a Haunted house.
I also have heard some CMs talking about getting on shift and things of a personal nature as I walked into the load up area.
That drop in CM quality has Bob Iger written all over it.

- Improve the lighting effects in the graveyard scene. It's gotten to the point where we even have a hard time seeing the opera singer for crying out loud.

- Use some new projection technology to have ghosts flying overhead in the graveyard scene.

- The original hitchhiking ghost effects need to come back. This new interactive effect never has worked right and if you aren't sitting just right it never looks right. They are trying to do too much. Sometimes less is more.

- I would love to see a creepy fog pouring out of Gracey Manor as you approach. That's easy to do. It would make it more forboding and scary.

- Once you get into the Haunted Mansion area and the sound effects take over to transition you into horror mode, Disney needs to work hard to have the CMs maintain the tone as well.

- At night time it would interesting to see ghostly figures appearing in some of the windows of Gracey Manor as you approach as well.
this has been a problem that never use to be, especially after the stretching room into load. They have literally been yelling at people and its terrible. It's a bad setup configuration anyway, trying to merge in the dark into one single file line hordes of people, it needs to change somehow. Its dangerous. But cast yelling at guests (I realize guests dont listen) but still uncalled for. Not only that but there seems to be a lack of management, and not just here,,,when the lines outside spill out into the main thoroughfare there is absolutely no one around to control the madness or help. Its bad at the mansion, bad at the people mover, and pooh,,,its left up to guests to figure out where to line up and then no one can walk through.
 

Thelazer

Well-Known Member
Tower of Terror used to use a pure water fog effect on the grounds that was very atmospheric and creepy... Might make a nice additional outdoor effect...especially at night,
Years ago they used to keep it much colder inside... which was sort of part of the "Chilly Reception"... It also helped build atmosphere...Would be nice to have that back again as well.
Water costs money, so do nozzles and filter cartridges. but yes I agree...
I know the fog systems well.
 

MattFrees71

Well-Known Member
My hope is that the enhancements to the mansion include more removals than additions. The current attic scene is an "Imagineered dumpster fire" - a disharmonious spectacle of over-stimuli presented like a special effect demo reel. I think less is more, especially for an attic. Conny's removal would be such a boon to the mansion. Understated, IMO is more creepy.
You described it perfectly- that is exactly how I feel about the current attic.
My WDW Haunted Mansion wish list:

- make the interactive queue more creepy and less silly. The entire first half of the attraction is supposed to be foreboding. You're not supposed to know that these are good-natured ghosts until you get to the ballroom.
- adjust the timing of Master Gracey's portrait transformation so everyone can see it
- restore the "moving eyes" effect to the Sinister 11 portraits in the Load Area. I doubt they will ever restore the original Portrait Corridor, but getting those stares back would make up for it
- restore the deep red lighting to the Corridor of Doors and the pair of hands prying the last door open
- restore the original attic
- restore the original hitchhiking ghost effect

If they could make those changes, I would be so happy.
Yes, yes, and yes!!!
 

Imagineer999

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
They work pretty much every time I’ve been on HM (multiple times a month). They’re much more interactive. They don’t look low quality either. While we’re at it, I’m also a fan of the new queue. Both unpopular opinions.
Interactive, yes, but less creepy and less realistic. They just look so flat on the screen. Sometimes they are not aligned properly and at least half the time I ride it, they're put into this awful "B-mode" where they are just floating in front of you and the screen is fully visible, and like I said before...it's easy to tell how it's done and I get no "How do they do that?!" sort of feeling. We wouldn't have this broken effect if they had kept the original.

While the original effect with the static figures didn't do as much, it was more realistic because they were actual figures that convinced me at first that a ghost was in the vehicle with me. Fortunately, Disneyland and Tokyo still have the original effect. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


broken gus.jpgbroken phineas and ezra.jpgoriginal hitchhiking ghosts.jpg
 

MattFrees71

Well-Known Member
There’s actually quite a few lost vocals/sound effects from the mansion it seems.
Here's one I've wondered about. This seems to be a fairly original soundtrack from WDW's Haunted Mansion someone uploaded on Youtube. You can hear a distinct growling laugh near the end of the attic scene at 14:53. You only hear it once there, so maybe it was originally supposed to be from the Hatbox Ghost since he was placed near where you leave the attic?
 
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MattFrees71

Well-Known Member
Here’s the original blueprint for the spider scene featuring the man trapped in the web. I believe it was designed so after you’re focused on the man you quickly round the corner and come face to face with the other spider implying you’re next. Although without the man the effect was severely lessened.

You can actually hear his original moaning audio at 4:20 in the recording on this page: https://themeparkuniversity.com/disney/disneys-haunted-mansion-man-spiderweb-real-hoax/

As well as read more about him here:
https://longforgottenhauntedmansion.blogspot.com/2014/09/?m=1
Even if that audio is reconstructed and not original, that happens to be exactly how I imagined the man in web would sound like- very creepy.
 

Mr Incredible

Well-Known Member
I have the answer for that. When I was trained at the Mansion, we were specifically told not to "act." It's the same with the Jungle Cruise. They don't want "actors" or for people to "act" because then equity (the actors union) would step in and make them actually pay the Cast Members a fair wage. If CMs on Jungle/Mansion are trained to "perform" or "act" a certain way... it's considered an acting job. Cast Members don't get to pick where they go in an area, they are "placed" at whatever attraction has the most need. And if it's an acting job, they'd have to audition for the role and be paid a wage that isn't poverty wages... and we all know Disney can't afford to pay people a fair wage :rolleyes:. Don't blame cast..... blame Disney for being cheap and blame managment in the area for being HORRIBLE towards their cast.

You get what you pay for. If Disney wants top quality CM's then Disney should pay their cast a livable wage and not create a terrible working environment. The turn over at WDW is extremely high for a reason... and the turnover for Adventureland/Liberty Square attractions is doubly high because you're being vastly underpaid to work in a HORRIBLE work environment. You get what you pay for.
(For whatever it's worth, Mansion should not be an "acting job" but the Skippers on the Jungle Cruise should 200% be an audition only actors equity covered role.)
CMs used to at least play up the role to fit with the atmosphere. They no longer do that.

A Disney job is not a career, but I agree that Disney is cheap. I also agree that CMs should be actors to make the experiences better.
But then again....This is Iger we're talking about.
 

Dragonman

Well-Known Member
Here's one I've wondered about. This seems to be a fairly original soundtrack from WDW's Haunted Mansion someone uploaded on Youtube. You can hear a distinct growling laugh near the end of the attic scene at 14:53. You only hear it once there, so maybe it was originally supposed to be from the Hatbox Ghost since he was placed near where you leave the attic?
No, the hatbox ghost was never installed at WDW. You’re well into the graveyard scene when you hear that laugh. The laugh comes from Candy Candido (a well known Disney voice actor) who voices the hitchhiking ghost Gus when he’s seen with the Headless Knight and Executioner. The Hatbox Ghost never had audio, he was just synced to the brides heartbeat.
 

MattFrees71

Well-Known Member
No, the hatbox ghost was never installed at WDW. You’re well into the graveyard scene when you hear that laugh. The laugh comes from Candy Candido (a well known Disney voice actor) who voices the hitchhiking ghost Gus when he’s seen with the Headless Knight and Executioner. The Hatbox Ghost never had audio, he was just synced to the brides heartbeat.
Yeah I knew that the Hatbox ghost has never been at WDW, just was wondering if it was some lost audio originally intended for that purpose. I thought you weren't in the graveyard scene proper yet because the chorus and singing hadn't started. You can actually hear that instrumental GGG music pretty well at the end of the attic and as you're descending out of the house. But the headless knight and executioner are near the end of the graveyard though.
 
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