The new Haunted Mansion interactive queue line has been open for about a week. Although still going through some “Tweaking” according to a few Imagineers and developers that were standing by the queue, guest reaction has been nothing but “Positive!” Anytime Disney announces that it has plans to update a classic attraction, panic always rears its ugly head. Disney fans are a loyal and vocal lot, and the thought of changing a beloved favorite raises their ire. But if we all recall, the same concerns were voiced over “Spaceship Earth” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” and let’s not forget our “Haunted Mansion” when Imagineers plussed the attraction with the “Stairways to Nowhere,” Leota’s floating head, and the additions to the hallway and attic scene. After all the smoke cleared, the attractions never lost their original flavor and were “plussed,” just as Walt would have wanted!
The Haunted Mansion queue is no different. The major concern of fans was would the classic Graveyard leading up to the attraction’s entrance be gone, or worst yet, favorite tombstones of the Imagineers be missing, especial Madam Leota’s? Well, after walking around the new queue for about an hour, chatting with the developers and other Disney personnel present, I was assured that even though the project is still in “soft opening” mode and there is a little more work to complete, Madam Leota’s famous tombstone will still be there. As you approach the entrance, there is still some scrim covering the graveyard.
The new queue is really neat! As you enter, on your right, are five busts of the “Dearly Departed”, all resplendent with those witty poems describing their demise; such as… “Aunt Florence never did a dishonorable deed, yet found face down in canary seed!” But the most amazing aspect of the queue is the interactive monuments scattered around. On the side of one tombstone of a departed musician, there are musical instruments embossed on the side in brass. When you touch the instruments, they play! And in the front is an eerie stone pipe organ; pound on the keys, and the organ plays! Amazing! There are additional bits of eye-candy to behold, but for now, I have uploaded a few pics of the new items for your enjoyment. When the line is complete, I will have more pics. Enjoy!
Contributed by: Bill I. (NDH #35). Bill is our resident historian.