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P. 139: Park Hopper is BACK in January 2021!

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After 21 years as a musician, I was also terminated via email.   Not sure how much a difference it will make, but if you miss LIVE entertainment, feel free to email WDW at   wdw.guest.comm

It was very interesting after spending several days at Disney last week to visit Universal yesterday and see how much live entertainment they had! I wonder why Disney cut everyone while Universal seem

I'm glad that park hoppers are coming back. I especially like being able to get on the Sky Liner at the Studios to fly over to Epcot for lunch.

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Thanks Stuart! Totally digging the Escher vibes in the staircases. Where exactly in the attraction does that come?

-Jahan

 

Do you remember the crappy section where you see the giant spiders around 1/4-1/3 of the way through the ride? They removed the spiders and added the cool new effect.

 

Exactly. In technical terms, the Grand Staircase is between the music room (the piano player) and the Endless Hallway.

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For all those interested, here is a full ride through video as presented, once again, by Inside the Magic. This was found by my lovely girlfriend Ashley (Love you, my Mansion Maid in Training ). My overall thought, not bad. Not bad at all. I don't know how I feel about Constance, she doesn't look as good as Disneyland's. I also don't know how I feel about stretch. The sound is amazing, but a little over the top. What does everyone else think?

 

As a personal anecdote, I find it hysterical how many people I know in this video! It really felt like a little family reunion or something.

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Ok, just got back from riding it in person, I'm very impressed with how much work they've done on it in the three months it's been closed. It literally feels like a whole new ride. One thing that no one has mentioned yet is the lighting, a lot of it has changed and it really improves the atmosphere of the ride. The stretching room has been vastly improved, the new stair scene is impossible to take in in one run through, and the attic is all new. The floating crystal ball in the seance room and the new undead bride are both decent effects but not great ones. Also, the audio is crystal clear now everywhere, and in the stretching room in particular has been given this strange filtered, stereo effect. Hopefully one day I'll get to DLR so I can compare.

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^ Well, the bride was originally just thrown into there as a result of the success of the bride in the Phantom Manor. But she didn't do anything except for hold a candle, with a beating heart.

 

Now the bride redefines the entire story of the ride. Essentially--she marries men, chops off their head with an axe, and then takes their fortune, only to repeat multiple times--thus, she's a rich, psycho-bitch who owned all of the wealth in the attic.

 

-Jahan

 

The bride has been in the attic since 1969 when Haunted Mansion opened. There was also to be a "groom" of sorts, known as the Hatbox Ghost, but he was removed when the effect didn't work. It is a shame he didn't work because he is one of my favorite things from photos and the Disneyland Record "The Story and Song From The Haunted Mansion." For those of you who don't know about this character, the following line from the record sums up the scene:

 

"With each beat of his bride's heart, his head disappeared from his body... and reappeared in the hatbox."

 

If the people at Disney wanted to rework the attic, maybe they should have attempted recreating this scene instead of this new take on the bride. There is no reason to redefine the story of the Haunted Mansion.

 

I also don't get adding a photo of real people (the bride and groom). I don't think that is true to the rest of the attraction. With the exception of the projected faces (Leota) and also at the end, I believe most if not all portraits and characters are painted and/or stylized representations of people.

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Verrry exciting the florida haunted mansion is by far a different experience than our California one, and I'm glad finally yours can live up to the California standards... maybe now that Florida is taking the last thing that Cali disney has over it, we will get a bigger castle to kind even things out... just kidding. Lets just remeber Floridas Mansion is missing our charming bullethole covering spider and web so HA!

 

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The bride has been in the attic since 1969 when Haunted Mansion opened. There was also to be a "groom" of sorts, known as the Hatbox Ghost, but he was removed when the effect didn't work. It is a shame he didn't work because he is one of my favorite things from photos and the Disneyland Record "The Story and Song From The Haunted Mansion." For those of you who don't know about this character, the following line from the record sums up the scene:

 

"With each beat of his bride's heart, his head disappeared from his body... and reappeared in the hatbox."

 

If the people at Disney wanted to rework the attic, maybe they should have attempted recreating this scene instead of this new take on the bride. There is no reason to redefine the story of the Haunted Mansion.

 

I also don't get adding a photo of real people (the bride and groom). I don't think that is true to the rest of the attraction. With the exception of the projected faces (Leota) and also at the end, I believe most if not all portraits and characters are painted and/or stylized representations of people.

 

 

 

My apologies, you're right, the bride has always been there. As far as a reason to "redefine" the story, the truth of the matter was--there wasn't really a story to begin with! Yes, they made "The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion", but that merely unites the many show elements of the ride into one makeshift story. So many creative differences went into the design of the Haunted Mansion (primarily designed in the chaotic years after Walt's death...aka lack of leadership), that no definitive story ever revealed itself. Even your quote on the hatbox ghost establishes characters--but not a story.

 

It has been my understanding that by adding this "new story" to the Haunted Mansion, imagineers were trying to fill in a piece of the puzzle that was never really there to begin with!

 

 

 

As far as not just bringing back the Hatbox Ghost, the effect wouldn't satisfy today as much as the new effect does, in my opinion. Besides--what is currently there is somewhat of an homage to the Hatbox Ghost--it remains that there is a bride with a decapitated groom(s). They just filled in more of the who, how, and why to the story!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, that was my "one embarrasingly geeky comment" every 3-months quota fulfilled!

 

 

-Jahan

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I rode Haunted Mansion for the first time this 13th after 4 years. It is a really good renovation, I loved and got amazed by the new stairs, the bride is really creapy and the floating Leota is also very spooky. I think im going to be rinding Haunted Mansion very very often now

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My apologies, you're right, the bride has always been there. As far as a reason to "redefine" the story, the truth of the matter was--there wasn't really a story to begin with! Yes, they made "The Story and Song from the Haunted Mansion", but that merely unites the many show elements of the ride into one makeshift story. So many creative differences went into the design of the Haunted Mansion (primarily designed in the chaotic years after Walt's death...aka lack of leadership), that no definitive story ever revealed itself. Even your quote on the hatbox ghost establishes characters--but not a story.

 

It has been my understanding that by adding this "new story" to the Haunted Mansion, imagineers were trying to fill in a piece of the puzzle that was never really there to begin with!

 

As far as not just bringing back the Hatbox Ghost, the effect wouldn't satisfy today as much as the new effect does, in my opinion. Besides--what is currently there is somewhat of an homage to the Hatbox Ghost--it remains that there is a bride with a decapitated groom(s). They just filled in more of the who, how, and why to the story!

-Jahan

 

Thank you for the kind response!

 

My comment about the record "The Story and Song..." was only to reference the Hatbox Ghost and the line that describes him. I realize that isn't the "story" of the Haunted Mansion. My point is, the Haunted Mansion hasn't had a real story and has been around for nearly forty years. I don't see a reason to give it one now. It simply is a trip through a haunted mansion.

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For me, Haunted Mansion was always a ride worth and I am looking forward to find all the details they changed, by myself. It is strange how many things are changing at WDW, just in a few month or weeks. I did not realize it that much, when I was there. But know since I am back in Germany, does it feel very strange.

 

--Soren

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Just rode it yesterday. WOW! It looks great, all of the new effects are really cool, and seeing as the line was a 30 minute wait when I got there, I think the general public loves it too. My only complaint would be the lack of merchandise at the exit.

 

There is a cart there selling....Nightmare Before Christmas stuff. Cool, but they could have really added some new Haunted Mansion merch to tie in to the renovation.

 

The audio in the stretching room is great....you really get the 360 degree effect no matter where you stand. And the addition of the creaking helps to create the illusion of the room really stretching.

 

This will be a definite ride every time I got to the Magic Kingdom. Great work!!

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I love the fall....now if only the temperatures would become more fall-like in Orlando!

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And the park is all decked out for Halloween....1 1/2 months early! Of course, the 1st Mickey's Not So Scary is Friday Sept. 14th.

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Opening Day!

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Thank you for the kind response!

 

My comment about the record "The Story and Song..." was only to reference the Hatbox Ghost and the line that describes him. I realize that isn't the "story" of the Haunted Mansion. My point is, the Haunted Mansion hasn't had a real story and has been around for nearly forty years. I don't see a reason to give it one now. It simply is a trip through a haunted mansion.

 

Very true, but if you talk to the cast members, they do have stories to tell. Some of them anyway. At the WDW mansion, we do have a ghost gallery, which are a collection of stories about the people in the mansion. Everyone from Master Gracey all the way down to the Graveyard pop ups. These stories don't necessarily tie together the ride, they are more little biographies of everyone. The stories are also not considered "official storyline" but, from what I know, the true story writers of Disney don't mind us telling them. I guess Constance will have to be added. Because the bride was so pivotal in the interweaving lives of everyone else, she'll be fun to do. If you'd like to see the ghost gallery, there is a version of it online. As for DL, I have no idea.

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It is strange how many things are changing at WDW, just in a few month or weeks.

 

You're soooooo right! I saw today on a trip report that the wing of the Contemporary Resort where I stayed with my family during a trip in high school (1992), was demolished in January and a new wing is being built! Lotsa changes since the last trip. World of Motion, Living Seas, MGM Studios, Hard Rock Cafe at Universal, Back To The Future, Nick Studios, Horizons, Wonders of Life, Pirates of the Carribean, etc...have changed radically or been taking out. Even this Haunted Mansion rennovation is a bit unnerving despite it's cool factor. Even so, things must, and do, change in time. A little sad, yes.

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Some of you may already know that the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion just reopened after a lengthy refurb. The attraction was in a dire need of one due to poor visuals and sound, as well as its reliance on early 1970s technology. MK's mansion is now on par with the one in Disneyland, but they added a few new surprises.

 

I will first post the video. It is very difficult to get really good video footage of the ride due to the low light. It is not a full onride video, but I did feature footage of all the new effects/additions. I tried my very best using the best stuff I was able to get from three rides. If you turn up the brightness of your monitor, you may be able to see some more detail. I will go into more details to explain some of what you see in the video a little later.

Hauntedmansionrehaunted.wmv

Haunted Mansion Rehaunted

Hauntedmansionrehaunted.zip

For download.

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Ok, onto some details on the video, since it is quite dark.

 

From a little over the 1:00 mark until 2:28 does feature the newly enhanced stretch room. The biggest difference is all the work they did to improve the sound. Instead of the Ghost Host talking from some random speaker in the room, his voice now "floats" around the room in a 360 degree fashion. They also added quite a few new sound effects such as elevator type sounds, squeaks from the stretching of the room, as well as bats fluttering and a tremendous crash at the end thanks to a new subwolfer in the room.

 

They placed the old "eyes moving portraits" that used to be in the first room of the ride into the loading area. This is because they completely changed the first room with some new effects, which I believe is very similiar if not the same as the one in the Disneyland verison's loading area. While it is very difficult to pick up on video (2:49 to 3:03) there is a new lightning effect outside a window that illuminates a series of portrait paintings. When the lightning flashes, the paintings are quickly illuminated to reveal that the portraits have a much more sinister character.

 

From 3:33 to 4:02 shows off the new stairway room. This used to be the old spider room right after the organ room. Basically it features a bunch of upsidedown staircases with green footprints that mysteriously appear. The video does not do it justice. They also added a set of new illuminated eyes that brings you into the next area.

 

They did improve the Madame Leota crystal ball effect. It is a little different than the one at Disneyland since MK's moves slowly in a upward/downward fashion. The movement in the Disneyland version has a bit more action to it as it moves in a faster, multiple direction type movement. Kind like a figure-eight on its side.

 

The party/dinner scene is the same, but they really cleaned up the visuals/audio.

 

As far as I can remember the new attic scene is pretty much exactly the same as the one at Disneyland. If my memory serves me well, I believe that the Bride at Disneyland looked a bit better. I think with a little more tweaking, they will be pretty much the same.

 

The Graveyard now features much better audio and they really cleaned up the visuals. The also placed a few popping heads behind some of the gravestones (since they removed the ones out of the Attic). The singing busts look a LOT better now.

 

Again, the rest of the ride seems pretty much the same as always, but it really has been cleaned up.

 

Yes, I really liked the new enhancements to the ride. I would say I like it better than the one at Disneyland but honestly, other than a few different effects, they are pretty much the same now. I am happy that WDW put the time and money and fixing up this classic ride to the status that it richly deserves.

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I`m looking forward to checking the new-and-improved Florida Mansion in October--good to hear that it`s finally received the love it deserves.

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I saw a video last night of WDW HM that was recorded with binaurel sound. It was pretty impressive. Was neat how they moved the turning marble busts to the shelves in a library scene. Seemed like they changed the wallpaper in the stretching room. Also seemed like they added more ghosts during the dining scene, especially near the pipe organ. There was other small stuff I noticed, but agreed, it was a worthwhile update.

 

For grins, anybody have a pic of the infamous vibrating spiders? I vaguely remember them but would like to see them again for comparison.

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I have a few pictures from that same visit, as I went down with Erik. As Erik said, it's difficult to get good video, and the same applies to stills. Even with a mini tripod and a high ISO setting, taking pictures from a moving Doom Buggy results in fairly blurry pictures.

 

If Picassa stops crashing, I will post them here.

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I was there as well and I have a few photos. The ride was just great and much better than before. Madam Leota was rather hard to get a good picture to get all the effects and not get the wires in it. Also, the staircase scene is darker than in the picture.

 

 

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I had the chance to visit the Mansion this past Saturday and let me say how great of a job the Imagineers have done with this refurbishment. While I have never seen the Disneyland version of the mansion, the upgrades we recieved from them (the new bride and the floating Leota) were great. The exterior of the mansion looks brand new, yet eerily aged to help set the new mood. Once inside of the mansion itself, you go into the normal stretching room, but the ghost host's new "floating" audio is a really great effect. The stretching room has recieved major audio upgrades, including creaking during the stretch, bats flying after the hangman drops and of course, the addition of a "new" line to the end of the ghost host's spiel. This line was apparantly salvaged from the original recording of the spiel and the dialogue itself hadn't been used in the mansions (other than Phantom Manor) before now. It really did sound perfect for the already memorable dialogue.

 

The loading station looks nearly the same except for the old portraits from the former hallway scene that now adorn the wall to the right. It is easily noticable how much faster and more smooth the doombuggies are running since the refurb, and the speed of the ride has definitely picked up.

 

The ride starts up and a new, very noticable entrance to the foyer greets you, leading to the new hallway featuring lightning-graced windows. The portraits on the wall opposite from the windows are very well designed and I found that I prefer the new ones over the old.

 

The other most noticable changes included the new staircase scene replacing the worthless spider scene. Truly a step into MC Escher's famous painting, the ghostly footsteps make it even better. Our Leota has been given the floating crystal ball treatment and I have to say that I was really impressed. The last time I saw her, her face was literally falling off, with her nose placed over her mouth. With a near perfect alignment this time and a new fibre-optic-like hairpiece, the effect was definitely memorable. Constance the bride's story seems to fly by a little quickly through the attic, but what you see is nothing short of wonderful.

 

Along with these major changes, some smaller ones including blinking wallpaper, recurring images (the grinning chair is much more obvious now) and colorful cleanups of aged figures (the red wine in the chandalier-couple's wine glasses looked pretty fine) helped to make this update what it is today. After seeing Disney update both Pirates and Haunted Mansion, I would have to say that I enjoyed Haunted Mansion just a bit more as the work done was definitely easier to see, and that was a good thing. I can't wait to go back and see it all again!

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I was there as well and I have a few photos. The ride was just great and much better than before. Madam Leota was rather hard to get a good picture to get all the effects and not get the wires in it. Also, the staircase scene is darker than in the picture.

 

Of course it's darker. You used a flash.

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