August 17, 2009

Haunted Kingdom: A History of Magic Kingdom's Mansion

Sitting on the banks of Rivers of America, Magic Kingdom's continues the "tradition" of the Haunted Mansions, and is placed in Liberty Square. Themed to a Dutch Gothic Revival style based on older northeastern mansions, particularly those in older areas of Pennsylvania and in the Hudson River Valley region of New York. This Haunted Mansion opened with the park on October 1, 1971. Since then it has basically stayed the same, with minor refurbishments throughout the history. But in 2007, a major refurb was done.Closing on June 8, 2007, and reopening on September 13, 2007, Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion went through a major refurbishment. Changes to the attraction during the refurbishment included the addition of a new audio system for the Ghost Host that makes it seem as if the spirit is circling above visitors' heads, new red, blue, and gold wallpaper, different and enhanced lighting throughout the attraction, and new stretching sound effects for the stretching room. The gargoyles in the stretching room now whisper with messages of "Stay Together", and emit child like giggles after the stretching room sequence. An exclusive Escher-esque staircase scene (above) replacing the empty dark banister area covered in cobwebs and the giant orange spiders. After the staircase scene, there are all new ghoulish eyes that glow while monstrous sounds echo through the halls. The foyer music has been changed to a lower key as well as taken out of the corridor hallways. The original Disney World Attic is now replaced with the new Disneyland attic scene including the five changing husband portraits and featuring the new Constance. The Other Major Disneyland enhancements were also implemented at Walt Disney World including the floating Madame Leota with much clearer projection, and The Sinister 11 were replaced with the changing portraits from Disneyland's portrait gallery. Seven of the Sinister 11 are now located in the loading area of the ride while the other four are located in various parts of the mansion. The graveyard ghosts minus the deaf old man, the singing busts, and the mummy audio tracks now seem to come from the singer when near them. The once blue/purple ghosts are now green as well. A sharp-eyed guest will also notice that the Hitch-Hiking Ghosts now have empty sockets for eyes. The Doom Buggies have been fixed to a much more quiet sound than the high squeaking sound before the refurbishment.Along with the other Mansions around the world, this one feature some differences. One feature in the queue is an "interactive" gravestone of Madame Leota. Then in the small foyer, there is a portrait of Master Gracey over the fireplace that changes from human to dead and decomposing. In the streching room, you dont move, like in Tokyo where the floor is stationary and the ceiling moves. And once exiting the Stretching Room, you enter right into the loading area. Magic Kingdoms also has the Staircase to No Where scene after the loading, which was added in 2007.

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