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Old 06-13-2007, 09:24 PM   #1
Buzz Litebeer
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Haunted Mansion Refurbishment FAQs

When will the HM be closed?

The HM will be closed now through September 12, 2007. It will reopen for guests on Thursday, September 13, 2007.

Did Disney do anything special on the last night it was open?

Not really. A family of guests asked for (and was granted) permission to ride the last Doombuggy through the Mansion. The last group to enter was composed of guests and off-duty CMs (about a 50-50 mix) who wanted to see the Mansion off in style.

Does the HM really need to be refurbished?

Plenty of guests think so. In fact, one October 2006 message thread at the HM fan site Doombuggies.com was titled "Devastated! WDW HM is HORRIBLE!"

What does the note on the front gates say?

My Dear Guests,

We're terribly sorry, but I'm afraid
The Haunted Mansion
is closed this summer for renovation.

Meanwhile, I'm roaming the netherworld
in search of a few new spirits to join our
family of happy haunts. Super-naturally,
they'll be dying to meet you when
they move in this fall!
I do hope you'll "hurry back."

Until then...
Yours in eternity,
Master Gracey
Your "Ghost Host"


Some HM fans feel the note is particularly significant, as it marks the first time that WDI has acknowledged that the Ghost Host is in fact Master Gracey.

Why close the HM now, during the busy summer months?

According to an article in the Orlando Sun-Sentinel:

Quote:
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.
Will it open early?

Unlikely. Sources report that the refurbishment schedule is so tightly packed that falling behind by so much as a single day could delay the reopening on September 13. As the first Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party of 2007 is scheduled for September 14, you can bet that Disney is trying very hard not to let any delays happen.

The Disneyworld.com website says it's only closed until June 30/July 31/August 31!

The website only lists the dates of an attraction's closure for a particular selected month. Checking closures for July will tell you the HM will be closed from 7/1 through 7/31. However, if you also check the month of August, it will tell you the HM will be closed from 8/1 to 8/31.

What are they doing to it?

Most of the work being done is upgrading attraction mechanics, sound and projections, replacing worn-out parts and screens, and so on. There are also some much-needed repairs planned to the facade. When all is said and done, the HM will be in much better shape... and there may be a few creative surprises.

What are these "creative surprises"?

Oh, we wouldn't want to spoil the fun, now, would we?

It would be a safe bet to say that some of the upgrades that recently materialized inside the Disneyland HM will also appear in WDW, including a new ghostly, murderous, black widow of a bride. There are also some rumored enhancements for the Ballroom, Seance Room, Grand Staircase, Library, Staring Picture Hallway, and the Mansion's notorious elongating Portrait Gallery. Some Disney insiders have claimed that when finished, WDW will boast the best Haunted Mansion in any Disney theme park. However, barring any formal announcements from Disney, much of this is speculation at best.

Why? Why won't Disney announce the changes?

Well, the truth of the matter is that some of the planned repairs may wind up eating more of the budget than originally estimated. If that happens to be the case, some of the planned "creative surprises" will likely wind up on the cutting-room floor.

Besides, keeping things a secret will only make guests want to come drop in this fall... and Disney really, really wants you to do that!

Will there be any tie-ins to the 2003 feature film The Haunted Mansion added?

Highly unlikely we'll be seeing animatronics of Jim Evers or Jennifer Tilly's portrayal of Madame Leota (both of which were discussed at one point). Near as I can tell, Disney is trying desperately to distance itself from the feature film. Consider this: you can buy copies of the PotC movie DVDs in almost every shop in the Magic Kingdom... but good luck finding a copy of the HM movie anywhere on WDW property.

Seriously.

Why doesn't Disney have a CM posted at the HM front gates to talk to guests about the refurbishment like they did at Pirates of the Caribbean last year?

Because some guests who didn't do their homework are pretty upset at the Mansion's closure, and Disney didn't want any CMs to be verbally abused and harassed by irate guests, as they were while Pirates of the Caribbean was closed last year.

Will WDW host The Nightmare Before Christmas-themed "Haunted Mansion Holiday" this year or in the future?

At this time, there have been no announced plans to do so. It has been impossible for WDW to even consider it, because the Mansion's systems needed to be upgraded. After this refurbishment, it may be possible for them to bring Jack Skellington and his friends to Florida -- but there are not any currently announced plans to do so.

Will the outside sound effects and nighttime lighting be on during the refurbishment?

The area music in front of the Mansion will continue to play the eerie, somber version of "Grim Grinning Ghosts", but you will not hear the wolf howling. At night, the exterior lights will be on, but the lightning & thunder will be absent.
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Last edited by Buzz Litebeer; 06-19-2007 at 06:00 PM. Reason: Added Q&A
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:00 PM   #2
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Thank you!!

Man I'm so bummed that we'll miss the debut of the new HM. I can't wait to see it! Sorry to hear that CMs' took abuse from guests telling them that POC was closed, but I'm glad that CMs' wont have to stand infront of the HM and take heck. An "out of order" sign should do the trick. It's pretty cool that it's a note from the ghost host, Master Gracey!
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:26 PM   #3
Buzz Litebeer
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Bumping.
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Old 06-14-2007, 07:40 PM   #4
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Thanks Buzz! Do you know who we could bribe to have them reopen a few days early???
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undertheseas View Post
Thanks Buzz! Do you know who we could bribe to have them reopen a few days early???
As per the FAQ above:

Quote:
Will it open early?

Unlikely. Sources report that the refurbishment schedule is so tightly packed that falling behind by so much as a single day could delay the reopening on September 13. As the first Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party of 2007 is scheduled for September 14, you can bet that Disney is trying very hard not to let any delays happen.
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The opinions and comments in the above post do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, policies or procedures of the Walt Disney Company or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, including but not limited to the Walt Disney World Resort and all areas contained therein. This post was written while off the clock and off WDW property. Any information or advice in the above post is subject to change at any time without notice and should not, if ever, be taken seriously by anyone.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info. I sure hope it opens on time - we were crazy enough to add an extra day onto our trip so that we could be there on opening day . Of course, it was a great excuse to convince my DH we needed to add that day!
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:28 PM   #7
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We will be there in mid Oct. and I cannot wait to see what happens with the refurb. I was dissapointed with the HM last summer (in comparison to my fond memories of the DL version.) And I haven't even seen the latest DL version. After hearing so many raves about that refurb, I can only hope it will be similar at WDW.

October can't come fast enough!
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:32 PM   #8
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Bumping -- Hey Mods, can we make this a sticky?
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The opinions and comments in the above post do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, policies or procedures of the Walt Disney Company or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, including but not limited to the Walt Disney World Resort and all areas contained therein. This post was written while off the clock and off WDW property. Any information or advice in the above post is subject to change at any time without notice and should not, if ever, be taken seriously by anyone.
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Old 06-19-2007, 05:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzz Litebeer View Post
Will it open early?

Unlikely. Sources report that the refurbishment schedule is so tightly packed that falling behind by so much as a single day could delay the reopening on September 13. As the first Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party of 2007 is scheduled for September 14, you can bet that Disney is trying very hard not to let any delays happen.
Very glad we added a day to our trip Really hope it opens on time! See you at the rope drop if it does!
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:37 PM   #10
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We are at WDW until 9/16 (but that is flying home day ). One of our last park days is 9/14 for MNSSHP and I am SOOOO hoping there aren't any delays on the HM b/c I REALLY want to ride!

I've been prepping my 4 yr old DD for the ride for a couple of months so she won't be scared either. We are very much looking forward to it.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:29 PM   #11
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Heres my contribution for today...
It looks like everyone is trying to divert their eyes elsewhere
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Thanks for the info.. Im bummed that it will be closed when we head back in August/September but Im hoping to be able to make a short trip next Halloween and will be able to ride it then..
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:57 PM   #12
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Thanks bunches for the information--Haunted Mansion is probably my favorite ride in all of Disney, and I, for one, am looking forward to the new surprises--but I hope they don't change it too much! I have to wonder if they're adding anything from the HM in Disneyland Paris. I rode that when in DLP a few years ago, and while the ride is quite similar to the WDW version, it had more of a storyline to it. I do hope they don't add Jack Skellington and company for Christmases, because I never was a fan of Nightmare Before Christmas--IMHO, doing it at one park is enough. (But I'm not trying to start a debate, lol, it's just my personal opinion.)
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:01 PM   #13
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Buzz Litebeer, you are very cool. Thank you for taking the time to do this.
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