What makes Disneyland Haunted Mansion Unique?
There is something very different about the Disneyland Haunted Mansion from all the others.
We conducted a twitter poll to see how Disney Haunted Mansion savvy our followers were. It turns out 64% of our fans don’t know this Horror Geek trivia question! 36% did get it right but some of them may have looked it up.
So here is the interesting story behind the Disneyland Haunted Mansion Stretching Room and what makes Disneyland Haunted Mansion unique.
The difference between the Haunted Mansion “Stretch Room” at Walt Disney World and Disneyland in California is so subtle and transparent that most people reading this don’t realize something is happening at Disneyland that is not at any of the other Haunted Mansion attractions around the world.
If you answered “It’s not an elevator” you would be correct. The Haunted Mansion stretching room in Orlando is not an elevator. The ceiling raises up to “stretch” the room but your feet are firmly on the ground. The Haunted Mansion in Anaheim is different, the stretching room in that design is an elevator that lowers you down a level and the ceiling goes up at the same time to create a room almost taller than the outside of the mansion building itself.
I read on another site that the reason for the elevator lowering you down is because the ride building is underground at Disneyland. Fact check: FALSE.
We have to remember that the Haunted Mansion concept was first introduced at Disneyland, it’s the original location. It was an addition to Disneyland originally billed to open in 1963. The project was to be a part of the New Orleans expansion and the plantation style house was built and completed in 1963. However, due to other projects taking front seat and some conflict on if the attraction should be fun and spooky or scary things were delayed. With Walt Disney’s death in 1966, he would never see the attraction operational for it’s opening in August of 1969, at least not in his physical state! You know he is counted in the 999 happy haunts living at the mansion!
If you take a look at the map showing an aerial view of the haunted mansion at Disneyland you’ll notice the “Mansion” sits inside the railroad tracks that loop around the park. Many of the later attractions would breach this perimeter of the original park design. And accordingly they all have the same challenge, “To find a way out!” beyond the railroad tracks!
So why does the stretching room lower you down a level at Disneyland? To get you under the railroad tracks. When the stretching room doors open, you exit into a long hall. This is the hall filled with paintings that change from innocent to evil. This hallway is directly under the Disneyland railroad track. At the end of the hall are the two busts that follow you with their eyes and that marks the end of the tunnel. Just around the corner you load onto the Doom buggies and you’ll notice you go up an immediate incline. When you do that you are now back to ground level on the other side of the railroad tracks; this is where you enter the ride building. This first section of
the ride is ground level of the ride building with the infinity hallway, Madame Liota’s seance and the Attic scene. As you leave the attic the doom buggy swings around backwards and you go down to basement level with the graveyard and eventually exit the doom buggy under the railroad tracks. If you pay attention you’ll notice you ride up an escalator past the miniature women saying “hurry back”. That is to get you back to ground level. When you exit the Doom buggies they simply pass through a corridor to the loading ramp on the other side of the wall where you first got on them.
As we said before all the attractions that sit outside the railroad ring have a drop or tunnel. In Pirates of the Caribbean Disneyland, the drop down the water fall serves the same practical purpose. Splash Mountain is built around the tracks; Indiana Jones cue line tunnels under them and ToonTown has an underpass. Obviously these same challenges are not present in the other Disney parks with rides that have to transverse the railroad ring. Mainly because space at the newer parks is much less of an issue and rides don’t have to literally sit on the tracks.