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wbk
06-09-2007, 07:06 AM
Disney's Haunted Mansion making room for new ghosts

Scott Powers
Sentinel Staff Writer

June 9, 2007

Horror of horrors! Tourists hoping to experience The Haunted Mansion at Disney's Magic Kingdom are being greeted by a "Closed for renovations" sign tacked to a locked gate.

Disney plans its first major overhaul of the popular Humor-driven attraction this summer, including technology updates and a few new ghosts. The ride closed Wednesday and should reopen by mid-September.

Ride designers are promising revisions consistent with those made recently at other "classic" Magic Kingdom attractions such as the Pirates of the Caribbean ride last year and the It's a Small World ride the year before -- enhancing effects without altering the story or traditional features.

"It's going to be fabulous," said show producer Kathy Rogers of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Yet as with the Pirates and Small World attractions -- considered classics partly because of their roots to legendary Disney designers and even Walt Disney himself -- The Haunted Mansion's loyal following presents both a blessing and a curse.

On Friday, the locked gate at The Haunted Mansion's entrance drew a steady stream of visitors who approached, grumbled and moved on. For the Uhlir family from Lake Zurich, Ill., and the Saar family from Boston, the promise of improvements in three months was little consolation.

"It was a great ride. I really looked forward to it. Now it's closed," said Daniel Uhlir, 12, visiting with his parents, Jeff and Beth, and brother Kevin, 5.

"Why do they have to close it now?" asked Tanya Saar, who arrived with daughter Anastasia, 8.

When it comes to finding a three-month window to close the ride, the logistics are complicated, said Phil Holmes, Disney World vice president for Magic Kingdom.

"Off-season" crowds now are so strong that there is little difference with the summer season, Holmes said. During the summer, virtually all other attractions are open, so this wound up being the best possible time, he said.

Holmes, who was a ride attendant when the Magic Kingdom opened 36 years ago, said he is as fond of The Haunted Mansion as anyone.

He said he understands the consternation of park visitors confronted by the "closed" sign. He said Magic Kingdom got the same reaction when the Pirates and Small World rides were temporarily closed.

"Each time, I think, we came out the other side and people embraced and appreciated the fact that it was refreshed, even improved," Holmes said.

TravelinGal
06-09-2007, 11:15 PM
"Why do they have to close it now?" asked Tanya Saar

Because it had to close at some time for refurb and they knew you were coming and did it just to be mean to you. :rolleyes:
I know it bites when an attraction/show/restaurant is closed, but the "why now" thing is lame.

I love Tusker House (as it IS) and am bummed that it will be closed in Sept/Oct when we are there, but I don't pull a pitty party about it. Same with Spaceship Earth. A classic we enjoy on every trip. But not this year. So I accept it and go on and enjoy everything else they have to offer. (I was there when POTC was closed for refurb too, but didn't whine about that either.)

Oh well....moving on...

disneyreporter
06-10-2007, 08:50 AM
The construction wall continues to become more detailed. The brown columns next to the door have now received brickwork. And I wonder if the old Mike Finn Keel Boats dock will play apart into the Haunted Mansion refurb. After all, the construction wall there is the same as at the mansion.

I'd post photos, but for some reason it is giving me error messages.

Luv2Roam
06-10-2007, 10:08 AM
I heard they are including Cap'n Jack/J Depp as a ghost. ;) :lmao:

disneyreporter
06-10-2007, 10:33 AM
I heard they are including Cap'n Jack/J Depp as a ghost. ;) :lmao:
I highly doubt it, however Master Gracey's letter on the construction wall does confirm new ghosts will be appearing. Yeah for new animatronics.

Another^Dimension
06-10-2007, 12:17 PM
Anyone think the MK HM may be getting the newish Disneyland brides twin sister?

:confused3

ConcKahuna
06-10-2007, 12:38 PM
Anyone think the MK HM may be getting the newish Disneyland brides twin sister?

:confused3

I hope so, that thing looks great.

I also hope they start doing the "Nightmare Before Christmas" themeing for the holidays. :)

MJMcBride
06-10-2007, 01:02 PM
I hope its more than just a kiosk where you buy a pic of you and you're hitchhiking ghost, but I'm not hopeful.

I'mNoPrince
06-10-2007, 07:18 PM
All I know is when you see a man with a sledge hammer at 1:00am going from the old skyway area to the HM area you know it can't be good.

We rode it as much as possible early in the week knowing it was closing or the last few days of our trips.

MJMcBride I agree and if they do I hope they at least link it to Photopass.

plutospup
06-10-2007, 08:38 PM
I heard they are including Cap'n Jack/J Depp as a ghost. ;) :lmao:

I also heard they are adding the ghost of Nemo's mother, Coral.

agnes!
06-10-2007, 10:36 PM
The construction wall continues to become more detailed. The brown columns next to the door have now received brickwork. And I wonder if the old Mike Finn Keel Boats dock will play apart into the Haunted Mansion refurb. After all, the construction wall there is the same as at the mansion.

I'd post photos, but for some reason it is giving me error messages.


That's because you don't have enough posts yet. I think the Post count might have to be 10 to send PMs & to post pics?...

agnes!

manning
06-11-2007, 12:21 AM
All I know is when you see a man with a sledge hammer at 1:00am going from the old skyway area to the HM area you know it can't be good.

We rode it as much as possible early in the week knowing it was closing or the last few days of our trips.

MJMcBride I agree and if they do I hope they at least link it to Photopass.

That was one of the maintenance men. One of the rides broke and they needed someone with a delicate touch.:rolleyes1

adabob
06-11-2007, 09:33 AM
Doesnt seem kinda wierd that this is around (or earlier than DlR) that DLR starts putting up the X mas decorations ( they probably do it later in the year cause of the experience)

But this would be a good excuse to do the Nightmare b/f xmas theme

That is just my opinion maybe i am wrong
i think it would be cool tohave that theme and it needs refurbishment

Adabob

YoHo
06-11-2007, 12:31 PM
Nightmare is never going to happen. In fact, there are persistant rumors that DL will stop doing it.

adabob
06-11-2007, 05:21 PM
Nightmare is never going to happen. In fact, there are persistant rumors that DL will stop doing it.

Well i did not know that thanks for the info

But why might stop the Nightmare in DLR:confused:

YoHo
06-11-2007, 05:57 PM
We need a smilie running his thumb and forefinger together.

the simple answer is $$$. It costs money to put that show on. Tim Burton gets a cut of it and the sets need to be maintained. The question is, does the attraction bring in enough revenue to justify the added costs? (incidently, that's why WDW will probably never get it, Disney doesn't want to give Burton any more money)

If you've ever been to DL between Halloween and New Years, you might think the answer an obvious yes, but Disneyland is overrun with annual passholders. People that sit on the benches and read War and Peace while waiting for the fireworks. Those people don't shop in the stores, they don't eat in the resturants they just clog up the park and stand in line for Haunted.
These people are in Disneyland once or twice a month (guilty as charged) and don't match the spending expectations and they paid less to get in.
So, it's not clear whether Haunted Holiday is worth it.


Over the past couple years, this issue has repeatedly comes up and it seems that it's spared at the last minute every year, but eventually it's going to stop.


Incidently, these same APers make DCA look a lot more busy then it really is.
Nobody buys a Ticket to DCA. They get some sort of ticket to DL and then "Get" DCA for free.

wishuponastarforever
06-12-2007, 05:55 AM
I hope so, that thing looks great.

I also hope they start doing the "Nightmare Before Christmas" themeing for the holidays. :)


Wow - that would be perfect - timing would point to that too. I don't buy the "everything else is open in the summer" reason - Your "hope" makes the timing make more sense.

raidermatt
06-12-2007, 04:35 PM
I know it bites when an attraction/show/restaurant is closed, but the "why now" thing is lame.

Its actually a legit complaint. A tradeoff for dealing with summer heat and crowds is little to no attraction closures, but this year two of the most popular attractions in the resort are closed. That's not normal.

mjstaceyuofm
06-12-2007, 04:48 PM
But you can't close down the Haunted Mansion for MNSSHP.... A better time would have been January through April.

YoHo
06-12-2007, 05:17 PM
Or, they could revert to their old maintenence policies and avoid having it closed for more then a month at all.

MJMcBride
06-12-2007, 09:24 PM
Its actually a legit complaint. A tradeoff for dealing with summer heat and crowds is little to no attraction closures, but this year two of the most popular attractions in the resort are closed. That's not normal.

I agree it is strange although both do need it.

mjstaceyuofm
06-13-2007, 02:16 PM
Or, they could revert to their old maintenence policies and avoid having it closed for more then a month at all.That's preferable and the best-case scenario, but I don't foresee them going back to their old maintenance practices. It truly is a shame...

Ron from Michigan
06-14-2007, 01:18 PM
We just came back a few weeks ago from Disneyland. Let's hope the HM in WDW looks as great as the one out there looks. It was so great to see how fantastic it looked. :)

Dreaming WDW
06-18-2007, 11:40 PM
We visited HM around June 1. As we were coming out of the exit I was trying to spot the brides wedding ring embedded in the walkway. A CM approached and asked if I wouldnt mind taking a survey about the attraction. She confirmed that HM would soon be closing for updates, and some changes would be made. The survey turned out to be quite lengthly, at least 10 minutes. Questions were asked about the ride vehicles, the lighting, the volume of narration vs ambient sound, what we liked and didnt like, our favorite scenes, the animatronics, what we remembered most Etc. At the end I asked her if she knew where the wedding ring was, and she admitted she was hired only to do the survey, because they did not want CM's biasing the survey results.

We never did see the ring, but felt fortunate that we got to experience the ride one last time as we knew it. I do hope they improve the ride and not mess with the story line by throwing in characters that do not belong there, and that includes Johnny Depp and Jack Skellington. That would do nothing to enhance an already classic ride.

disneyphilip
07-15-2007, 12:47 PM
[/I]I do hope they improve the ride and not mess with the story line by throwing in characters that do not belong there, and that includes Johnny Depp and Jack Skellington. That would do nothing to enhance an already classic ride.

Excuse me?! Jack Sparrow ENHANCED the PotC attractions, especially the lackluster WDW one. And they're doing better than ever now. He belongs there!

And Skellington DOES enhance the Mansion when it's redone for Xmas!

I hate that people like you are so against film characters in attractions. That must mean that you hate all the older film-based attractions (Peter Pan, Snow White, Mr. Toad, Splash Mountain, etc.).

zorilla10
07-16-2007, 12:30 AM
Actually, I think those two characters aren't needed for the HM, but at least I have my book with plenty of pics of it.

*huggles souvenir book*

YoHo
07-16-2007, 01:16 AM
Excuse me?! Jack Sparrow ENHANCED the PotC attractions, especially the lackluster WDW one. And they're doing better than ever now. He belongs there!

And Skellington DOES enhance the Mansion when it's redone for Xmas!

I hate that people like you are so against film characters in attractions. That must mean that you hate all the older film-based attractions (Peter Pan, Snow White, Mr. Toad, Splash Mountain, etc.).

Jack Sparrow hasn't done much of anyhing for Pirates in DL. It's line is pretty stable at about what it's always been. DL has rising attendence versus a few years ago though. Plus they pulled out fastpass which was making the line move slower.

The Sparrow and Barbossa figures are nice, but the plot based around them is just stupid. And don't even get me started on Davy Jones. The effect is neat, but his use in the ride is borderline offensive.

I wouldn't have cared that those figures were added if they'd done something good with them. Especially since they had to shell out money to Depp and Bruckheimer for the image rights.

As for Jack Skellington, again, they needed to shell out money for the rights and while NBC certainly brings in the crowds and was a great idea for DL, it's more dubious for WDW. Traffic patterns to the park are too different.

DaGrumpy
07-20-2007, 03:46 AM
Ok, I've been told not to get involved with this topic, but against better judgement I am. I am a big Nightmare Before Christmas fan, and I own several items related to this movie. NBC is a register trademark and copyright of Touchstone. Touchstone is owned by Disney therefore Disney does own the character rights. It Tim Burton own the charcter rights anything that had his chacters in he would get credit for them. If you have or seen Kingdom Hearts Tim Burton receives no credits unlike the owners of Tarzan. I just wonder where you people get your information?

YoHo
07-20-2007, 04:33 PM
It's not the character rights. When the movie was made, Burton's contract stated that he'd get paid any time his creation would be used. So, yes, Disney owns the rights, but they have to pay Burton every time they use NBC.

DaGrumpy
07-22-2007, 01:39 AM
I find this very hard to believe as Disney use the Nightmare character alot in merchandise. I'd really like to know where you're getting your information from.

2angelsinheaven
07-26-2007, 11:41 PM
All I can say is based on what I've read the rehab will be well worth the wait. Bring on 9/13, I'll be there hook or by crook.

MATTinNH
07-27-2007, 03:03 PM
It looks like the latest info points to an MC Esher type stair case next to the doom buggie as you accend the dark staircase.

bulah1
07-27-2007, 03:32 PM
Excuse me?! Jack Sparrow ENHANCED the PotC attractions, especially the lackluster WDW one. And they're doing better than ever now. He belongs there!

And Skellington DOES enhance the Mansion when it's redone for Xmas!

I hate that people like you are so against film characters in attractions. That must mean that you hate all the older film-based attractions (Peter Pan, Snow White, Mr. Toad, Splash Mountain, etc.).

Sorry, had to jump in here... I do have to agree a bit with the original comment and kind of think I know where the poster was coming from. I admit that when I first heard of them "upgrading" POTC I was aghast and horrified that they would ruin the integrity of the classic and original ride. And of course when the movie for HM came out I was again fearful that it would somehow make it's way into the ride.

I understand upgrades need to be made to keep things running smoothly and to keep the public interested. I admit I've never seen the Skellington version (nor have I seen the updated Pirates yet), but Skellington to me should either be only seasonal or maybe get his own special place in the kingdom. I loved the movie, and am probably it's biggest fan... BUT - I am also very keen to keep the "original" HM around. It was there in the beginning and is one of my fondest memories from my childhood trip there. It's stuck with me forever. That's just my opinion. That's kind of the way I feel about the whole Pirates thing as well, but I'll see in October what I think - maybe I'll change my mind!

And as for the other rides you've mentioned... I think that's a totally different point all together! Those rides were DESIGNED with certain characters in mind. Let each ride be it's own "entity" if you will. I was absolutely crushed when Toad's was gone the last time I went. Seriously! But - um - what if they threw in Roger Rabbit in the middle of it just to keep more people coming... just doesn't seem right does it? Like I said before, Skellington is worthy of his own ride in my opinion - especially since in my mind, he has absolutely nothing to do with HM in the first place. I like HM as it is - and necessary upgrades are all I'd really want to see done. But hey, I'm not the one funding it... so who am I to say. Pirates was a different story since they based it on that ride - so it makes sense... though I know many people (along with myself) not sure if it will enhance the ride or not. I can't wait to find out.

Sorry about the babble, just wanted to add my two cents. :)

Dreaming WDW
08-04-2007, 11:40 PM
Sorry, had to jump in here... I do have to agree a bit with the original comment and kind of think I know where the poster was coming from. I admit that when I first heard of them "upgrading" POTC I was aghast and horrified that they would ruin the integrity of the classic and original ride. And of course when the movie for HM came out I was again fearful that it would somehow make it's way into the ride.

I understand upgrades need to be made to keep things running smoothly and to keep the public interested. I admit I've never seen the Skellington version (nor have I seen the updated Pirates yet), but Skellington to me should either be only seasonal or maybe get his own special place in the kingdom. I loved the movie, and am probably it's biggest fan... BUT - I am also very keen to keep the "original" HM around. It was there in the beginning and is one of my fondest memories from my childhood trip there. It's stuck with me forever. That's just my opinion. That's kind of the way I feel about the whole Pirates thing as well, but I'll see in October what I think - maybe I'll change my mind!

And as for the other rides you've mentioned... I think that's a totally different point all together! Those rides were DESIGNED with certain characters in mind. Let each ride be it's own "entity" if you will. I was absolutely crushed when Toad's was gone the last time I went. Seriously! But - um - what if they threw in Roger Rabbit in the middle of it just to keep more people coming... just doesn't seem right does it? Like I said before, Skellington is worthy of his own ride in my opinion - especially since in my mind, he has absolutely nothing to do with HM in the first place. I like HM as it is - and necessary upgrades are all I'd really want to see done. But hey, I'm not the one funding it... so who am I to say. Pirates was a different story since they based it on that ride - so it makes sense... though I know many people (along with myself) not sure if it will enhance the ride or not. I can't wait to find out.

Sorry about the babble, just wanted to add my two cents. :)

Thanks bulah1: You said it before I could reply. I have been way out of pocket lately. I made my original statement based on the original storey line of HM. The Disney imigianeers made it up , not me. Casper does not belong there, nor Eddie Murphy, or Jack Skellington, and sorry, Johnny Depp! The latter is just too much of a stretch no matter how you view it.

If you took every Disney movie and worked the movie characters into the rides, WDW would lose a lot of its appeal to me. There are certain people that think Captian EO is still cool. But I tell you that MJ makes me sick.

Never before has marketing been mixed with imagineering as much as today. It cheapens what Walt started, and turnes it into an ongoing commercial.

Diznejen1
08-05-2007, 07:22 PM
While at WDW last month, DH and I rode in the front of the monorail on our way to the Poly one evening. I spoke to the driver and he said that the reason they were rehabing the Haunted Mansion was to bring the attraction up to ADA (American Disabilities Act) standards. He didn't say anymore or less than that.:confused3 Just FYI

MATTinNH
08-07-2007, 01:22 PM
It looks like many new details are coming..... I got the following from screamscape.com


The Mickey Monitor passholder news letter revealed the following about the Haunted Mansion rehab in progress. "There's no turning back now! Errie enhancements are materializing at The Haunted Mansion. When The Haunted Mansion reopens this fall, you'll notice that strange things occurred. 'We increased the feeling of presence and movement between Guests and ghosts,' said Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Show Producer Kathy Rogers. Digital audio will give our old pal Ghost Host the power to hop around in the stretch room, and to dart back and forth in your 'Doom Buggy.' In the gallery a lightning storm will cause the portraits to become more and more ghostly! Even disembodied medium Madame Leota's had a face lift - literally. Her crystal ball will float in midair! In the attic look for an extra creepy bride with a string of grooms, all pictured before her. Each undergoes a change as the bouquet in her hand changes to an... well, we just can't give it all away!" Meanwhile we’ve been told that there will be a passholder preview of the new Haunted Mansion from 9am to Noon on September 14-16.
.....

All of this and it still doesnt mention other confirmed enhancements such as the new staircase thats replacing the giant spider.:woohoo:

this could now truly be the best darkride in WDW

Ill be there oct 4th cant wait.

MATTinNH
08-08-2007, 03:59 PM
Yet another update on screamscape.com talking about even more enhancements.

There are also pics of what I'm guessing is the new EXIT/Store

I realy think we are all going to be surprised at the amount of work thats been done.

And it apparently will still be a stand alone ride with no update being tied to the film.

daber
08-09-2007, 08:16 AM
For those of you who don't collect pins, there was a photo of an upcoming pin entitled "Till Death Do Us Part" with the bride from the attic holding an ax.
Add that piece of info to the Mickey Monitor info and you get the picture.

bulah1
08-09-2007, 09:10 AM
And it apparently will still be a stand alone ride with no update being tied to the film.

That would be the best gift they can give us!! No movie enhancements! LOL :cool1:

disneyreporter
08-13-2007, 09:33 AM
This refurbishment will finally put the WDW mansion at the top of the chart.

MATTinNH
08-16-2007, 01:56 PM
This is the newset rumor circulating..........
I swear I'm not lieing , and it sounds great if they can pull it off.

Disney is going to build some sort of enclouser around the que so that they can house REAL BATS in the que.:woohoo:

They say that this probably wont be built untill shortly after it reopens.

CoolTrainerTerry
08-21-2007, 05:29 PM
Oh, no, please don't let that be true. I am scared to death by bats of any kind. I just couldn't handle that, even if they were in an enclosed are around me.

EUROPACL
08-21-2007, 05:45 PM
This is the newset rumor circulating..........
I swear I'm not lieing , and it sounds great if they can pull it off.

Disney is going to build some sort of enclouser around the que so that they can house REAL BATS in the que.:woohoo:

They say that this probably wont be built untill shortly after it reopens.

The idea of Bat guano all over me while inline makes me want to renew my AP and pay double.

MATTinNH
08-22-2007, 09:00 AM
The idea of Bat guano all over me while inline makes me want to renew my AP and pay double.

:lmao: Im sure they wont be abale to get that close

cindalu
08-22-2007, 09:56 AM
This is not good news for my DH. He is scared to death of bats.

EUROPACL
08-22-2007, 10:30 AM
Great this is all I needed to hear...its offical now Disney World is going to become a haven for blood sucking vampires. Night time will no longer be safe..the undead will rule the night.

Another Voice
08-22-2007, 10:42 AM
The full rumor is that Disney is installing bat houses throughout the property as part of showy "green marketing" effort showing how environmentally friendly WDW is now that they've paved over the conservation areas. The idea is that since bats eat bugs, Disney can use less pesticide. The other houses will be backstage and very limited in number. The project, it's said, is really for show - a true "green" pest control initiative for an area the size of WDW would require a rather large colony - and having millions of bats swarming all over the place would scare far too many people.

merfsko
08-28-2007, 04:56 PM
Tqo quick things...

1. If HM has room for 1,000 ghosts and Disney is adding new ghosts to the previously number of 999, then maybe those hitch-hiking ghosts really DID come home with us (gasps!). No wonder they needed a refurbishment after all these years...:sad2:

2. I think that bat idea is a nice touch. I personally like bats, and don't mind them (esp. since where I live they sometimes like to visit you in your backyard)

Yeah, that's all I wanted to say....

MJMcBride
08-31-2007, 12:46 PM
and having millions of bats swarming all over the place would scare far too many people.

but how cool would that be at Halloween