“Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion.”
As one of the original Walt Disney World rides, Haunted Mansion has become iconic, remaining one of Magic Kingdom’s most popular attractions over it’s more than 50 years in operation.
After all, who doesn’t love a little mystery and some thrills? Haunted Mansion delivers both without being overly scary, even to the smallest of visitors.
On top of that, Haunted Mansion has inspired three films and features some of the most famous attraction characters in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Keep reading for our complete guide to the Haunted Mansion.
Haunted Mansion Quick Facts
Description: Haunted Mansion is a dark-ride using Disney’s Omnimover system. As you board your Doom Buggy, your ghost host guides you through the spooky manor. You encounter all kinds of spirits, including the famous Madame Leota.
Haunted Mansion is located in Liberty Square, right next to Rapunzel Tower and across from Memento Mori.
How to Ride Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion has a Standby Line and a Lightning Lane. There is no Single Rider Line.
The Standby Line varies depending on the part of the day, but can be longer in the middle of the day.
Eligible guests can also ride Haunted Mansion during Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.
Do I need to use Genie+ at Haunted Mansion?
If you plan to visit Haunted Mansion in the afternoon when it is usually at its busiest, Genie+ may save you some time.
Although a large chunk of the queue is covered, it is in the open air which can be uncomfortable on hotter days.
Be sure to check out our touring strategies for Magic Kingdom for more Genie+ advice.
Rider Switch/Child Swap
As there is no height requirement for Haunted Mansion, this attraction does not offer Rider Switch.
Rider Switch is Disney’s system that allows guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little one.
You can learn more about Rider Switch via our handy guide.
What to Expect When You Ride
As you make your way through the open-air queue you’ll encounter the cemetery, which includes musical crypt, a leaky tomb, a ghostly writer, and more.
You’ll first spot the busts of the Dreads, which aren’t just decoration. There is a murder mystery planted among the busts that you can try to solve.
Also, pay special attention to the tombstones as you wind your way toward the building as they are tributes to the Imagineers that created the ride.
Keep your eyes peeled for Madame Leota’s headstone. She just might blink at you.
Once inside, you’ll be ushered into the “stretching room” for a spooky pre-show of sorts, then file into another queue before boarding your Doom Buggy.
At the front of the queue you will step onto a moving sidewalk before being directed to board your Doom Buggy, a large, black, covered vehicle that will fit either two adults or two adults and a small child.
Your invisible “ghost host” will lower your safety lap bar for you.
Guests must transfer from their wheelchair or ECV. That said, ECVs and wheelchairs can navigate through the Standby Line and Lightning Lane.
After the stretching room, Cast Members will assist you prior to boarding, including helping you out of your ECV or wheelchair.
There is a separate lane next to the far right wall for you to walk to the Doom Buggy loading zone. If needed, Cast Members will stop the moving sidewalk and Doom Buggy to let you get on.
Your wheelchair or ECV will be waiting for you at the exit of the ride. Handheld captioning is available for those who need it.
PhotoPass is available on Haunted Mansion and you may notice an unfamiliar face in your picture. Each time you ride this attraction, a new ghost will show up in your photo!
You’ll have 2 styles of on-ride photos taken.
The first has “The Haunted Mansion” printed on it and is black and white:
The second has a surprise hitchhiking ghost attached and is in color:
Your photo is taken at the end of the very first hallway. The flash goes off right at the Medusa portrait.
For those with MagicBands with a linked Memory Maker account or if you are an Annual Passholder, the photo is uploaded automatically to your My Disney Experience account. The photos will be available in the app for 45 days unless you choose to purchase them.
Guests purchasing Genie+ will receive digital downloads of their on-ride photos taken in the park on the day of their purchase, at no additional charge.
Be sure to read more on PhotoPass and how Memory Maker works.
On the Ride
If you prefer to preserve the mystery behind the Haunted Mansion, you may want to skip this part to avoid any spoilers.
At Haunted Mansion you’ll receive a private tour of this eerie estate from your “Ghost Host,” a deep, disembodied voice that regales you about life, or rather after-life, at this original Magic Kingdom attraction.
Before boarding your Doom Buggy, you’ll be ushered into the stretching room where you’ll be introduced to the mansion and your host.
Tip: the door to the next room opens underneath the stretching portrait of tightrope walker Sally Slater.
Then you’ll be transported throughout this home to 999 “Happy Haunts” – but there is always room from one more!
Throughout your tour you’ll meet this cast of characters including the famous Madame Leota as she conducts a chilling séance, the ballroom filled with dancing ghosts, and Constance Hatchaway, the black widow bride.
Fun fact: Like Disneyland’s version of Haunted Mansion, Magic Kingdom’s attraction is adding the Hatbox Ghost in 2023!
The attraction concludes with a swing through the family graveyard which is brimming with singing specters.
But beware of hitchhiking ghosts! You may end up going home with one of these phantom pranksters named Phineas (holding the carpetbag), Ezra (the tall skeleton), or Gus (the prisoner).
Is Haunted Mansion Kid-Friendly?
The Haunted Mansion ride takes place in the dark with haunting audio and contains some mildly frightening scenes, including images of skulls and ghosts that may be a bit scary for little ones.
The stretching room is often one of the scariest parts for kids, but you can ask the Cast Members at the entrance to skip it. Otherwise, there is no gore and the ride is slow-moving.
We have a full guide on several other things that might scare little ones at WDW.
Strollers are not allowed in most queues at Walt Disney World. Instead, you’ll need to leave your stroller in the designated stroller parking area at the entrance to the queue.
When Magic Kingdom opened on October 1, 1971, Haunted Mansion was one of the original attractions in the park.
It was inspired by Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion which had opened just two years earlier and was wildly popular with guests of all ages.
While Walt Disney had envisioned a haunted house attraction for Disneyland in his original concept for also Disney World, it would not be completed until after his passing.
The attraction was designed by legendary Imagineers Claude Coates and Marc Davis. Rolly Crump and Yale Gracey worked together to create the ghostly illusions and special effects.
The mansion’s famous rollicking song, “Grim Grinning Ghosts,” was written by Xavier “X” Atencio.
While the Disneyland and Disney World Haunted Mansion experiences are similar, they are not identical.
Other Fun Details
- Madame Leota got her name from an Imagineer named Leota Toombs. The character is voiced by Eleanor Audley who also voiced Lady Tremaine (Cinderella) and Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty).
- Leota Toombs also voiced “Little Leota,” who you see at the end of the ride declaring, “Hurry back!”
- There is a Hidden Mickey on the dining room table in the banquet scene.
- Pay special attention to the graves throughout the queue. They are tributes to several Disney Imagineers, including Yale Gracey. He is referred to as “Master Gracey,” as he was a “master” of illusion and special effects at Disney.
- When you exit the ride, check out the pet cemetery on the left to spot Mr. Toad.
- Play Disney Parks is available. This free mobile app is only available for select attractions and allows guests to pass the time as they play games, trivia, and earn achievements along the way.
- This attraction has inspired two movies including the 2003 Eddie Murphy film, Haunted Mansion, and the 2021 Disney+ release, Muppets Haunted Mansion. A third film, also titled Haunted Mansion, is currently scheduled for 2023, starring Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Tiffany Haddish, and Jared Leto, with Jamie Lee Curtis as Madame Leota.
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