The Haunted Mansion has returned to it’s “classic” mode and Disneyland traditionalists everywhere can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing full well all is all right with their world. For the last 10 days or so Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion has been closed to take care of what many of the rest of us have to deal with after the holidays – take down the Christmas decorations.
But now the mighty Mansion is back delighting guests with its spooky residents and showing off one of Walt Disney’s greatest imaginative concepts. It’s a great attraction and one that is not to be missed in Disneyland or any of the Disney Parks where the Haunted Mansion has been replicated. I make it a point to visit the mansion on every one of my trips, maybe several visits if time and opportunity present themselves.
But I also have a confession to make here. Sometimes the Haunted Mansion bores me. After countless rides, it sometimes fails to hold my interest. Surrounded by shades of gray on a gently moving conveyor belt doesn’t so much spark the imagination as much as it relaxes the eyelids on occasion. Yeah, I’ve fallen asleep on the thing. The Disneyland traditionalists and fans of the mansion point to its intricate back story and legend of the attraction. But after all these years, I don’t really care. I go on the Haunted Mansion more out of sense of duty than fascination. And usually, there is a very short line to get in.
The Haunted Mansion will continue to operate in the classic setup until sometime around the last week of August when once again, it will go under wraps and have the Haunted Mansion Nightmare Before Christmas overlay installed. It usually re-opens dressed for the holidays around mid-September providing you buy into Halloween being an actual holiday.
I’m not a huge fan or Tim Burton or his Nightmare Before Christmas. I have a hard time swallowing Jack Skellington being a Disney character. But here is my next confession – I prefer the Haunted Mansion with the holiday overlay. The reason is simple – the shades of gray get replaced with color, glorious color that stirs the senses. Hard to close ones eyes through the holiday version. The usual grim ponderous attraction becomes a feast for the senses during the holidays. “Is that gingerbread I smell?”
Now this confession is one that’s sure to get me pummeled by the traditionalists but there is probably room in this world for both types of Haunted Mansion fans – the ones who prefer the somber classic version or the ones that enjoy the more festive version. Take your pick, there’s usually no middle ground.