The Incredible Haunted Mansion!

The Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom lures you in for some ghostly fun!

As we continue our look at all the incredible detail that the attractions of Walt Disney World entail, today we are taking a look at another of the Opening Day attractions — The Haunted Mansion!

As you all know, the Haunted Mansion opened on October 1, 1971.  While it is fairly similar to the attraction at Disneyland, there are some very distinct differences.  For example, the Mansion at Disneyland is located in New Orleans Square, while the one at the Magic Kingdom is located in Liberty Square.  As a result of the different lands they occupy, the time period and decor of the mansion is entirely different.

Technically, both rides utilize the classic “Doom Buggy” car to take you on your tour of the mansion, but what you might not know is that the stretching room that you enter at the beginning of your experience operates differently!  In the Magic Kingdom, the stretching room, while it gives the illusion of movement, doesn’t actually transport you anywhere — it is just the ceiling that raises.  However, at the Disneyland version of the ride, the stretching room actually transports you down to the next level, very much like an elevator.  That sounds so cool!

IMG_1427

I have always thought that the horseless hearse was so cool looking!

Did you know that the Haunted Mansion used to house FastPass machines?  I don’t think they were utilized for a very long time, it was probably more of a test than anything.  Then, the Magic Kingdom and the Imagineers redid the queue line for the Haunted Mansion, and they turned it into two lines — one that takes you through the “interactive queue” and a second line that took you right into the ride itself.  Now, though, I’ve seen that the “interactive line” is now the full time line, and the shortcut is now for the FastPass+ entrance.

I was privileged to do a series of posts with my friends Terri from WDW Hints and Jonathan from Mouse and Memos a while back.  There are a whole number of different things to discover about this classic Disney attraction.  Jonathan, in particular, wrote a much more in-depth narration about the history of the Haunted Mansion, take a look at it for all sorts of details!  Also, Terri wrote about how the storyline evolved — this was something she learned during a Keys to the Kingdom tour back in 2005.  Check it out — it’s a great read!  I know that I’ve barely scratched the surface here, but I hope you’ve enjoyed your ride!  Now, to finish it off, which Hitchhiking Ghost did you get on your Doom Buggy?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!

A Magic Kingdom Original – the Grand Prix Raceway

Tomorrowland Speedway

 

Hello everyone, and welcome to our continuing look at the attractions of Disney and what makes them special.  Today’s post is the final one that takes a look at original Opening Day attractions at the Magic Kingdom, so let’s explore some of the detail surrounding the Grand Prix Raceway, which is now known as the Tomorrowland Speedway!

On October 1, 1971, believe it or not, this was the ONLY attraction open in Tomorrowland!  As crazy as that seems, I can totally see this being a serious thrill ride for the kids of that generation!  Sponsored by Goodyear, the Grand Prix Raceway had all of the tires supplied by Goodyear, and the Mark VII vehicles were a site to see I can imagine!

In 1973, the track was actually expanded, but sometime in 1987-88, the track was shortened a bit to make room for the newly created Mickey’s Birthdayland to celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 60th birthday.  Along the way, the name changed from the Grand Prix Raceway to Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, and then later, on December 20, 1999, Walt Disney Company and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway formed a partnership to update the theming and look of the track, but in 2008, when the partnership was ended, the name of the attraction became simply the Tomorrowland Speedway, which is what it is to this day.

The Grand Prix Raceway has, in my opinion, kind of seen the evolution of the world pass it by.  It feels to me like the Raceway, Speedway, whatever name they are going with now, isn’t so much a look at what tomorrow might bring, but rather, it feels more like a look at what yesterday had for us.  While I like looking at the past and exploring where we are going with attractions like Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, on an attraction like the Tomorrowland Speedway, this just doesn’t work as well for me.

However, just because I don’t necessarily see the value in an attraction doesn’t mean that others don’t either!  I would imagine that, were I a young lad of 6 or 7, and I had the opportunity to drive my own race car, I’d be all about that!  So, perhaps, for me, what should be done is to improve the attraction by introducing the concept of non-gasoline engines, or whatever it is they use, as a means of powering the vehicle.  I think it would surely be an improvement over not having to smell the smell of gas and oil as much!

Thank you for stopping by on our look at the Grand Prix Raceway!  Stay tuned as we explore more attractions next week!

Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel at the Magic Kingdom

Prince Charming's Regal Carrousel

 

Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of our Attraction Series, as seen here on My Dreams of Disney!  Today, we are going to take an in depth look at Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel (as it was known on Opening Day), which is located in Fantasyland of the Magic Kingdom.

Today, the carrousel is known as Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel, but on October 1, 1971, when the Magic Kingdom opened and Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel started operation, it was continuing operation from when it was first made in 1917 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company.  This carrousel, which was originally known as Liberty, was purchased by Walt Disney in 1967 for inclusion in the brand new park that was being constructed in Florida.

The name of the carrousel was changed on June 1, 2010, and a new backstory was incorporated into the attraction.  Here it is, according to Wikipedia:

Following their fairy-tale romance and happily-ever-after wedding, Cinderella and Prince Charming took up residence in Cinderella’s Castle. With peace throughout the kingdom, Prince Charming had time to practice for jousting tournaments. In the countryside near the castle, he built a training device of carved horses, on which he could practice the art of ring-spearing, a tournament event in which a knight rides his horse full speed, lance in hand, toward a small ring hanging from a tree limb, with the object of spearing the ring. This event was known by various names throughout the lands, but generally came to be called “carrousel.” The carrousel device drew the attention of the villagers, who wanted to take a turn on this amazing spinning contraption. So Prince Charming had a second carrousel constructed closer to the Castle, where everyone could take a spin on this wondrous invention. Instead of a working knight’s training device, however, this new carrousel is more befitting its regal location in the Castle Courtyard – its rustic training horses replaced with ornately decorated prancing steeds adorned with golden helmets and shields, flower garlands, feathers and other festoons. Prince Charming invites one and all to test their horsemanship skills and to enjoy their own happy ending.

You can also find carrousel attractions at two other Disney parks under various names.  These are Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland.

This concludes our examination of Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel — on Thursday, look for our final examination of an Opening Day attraction when we take an in depth look at the Grand Prix Raceway, which is now known as the Tomorrowland Speedway.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant – an original classic

Mickey and Minnie on Dumbo

Hello everyone, and welcome to our next look at what makes the attractions at Disney second to none!  Today we are focusing on the Opening Day attraction Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which first opened at the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971.  Prior to that opening, it opened at Disneyland on August 16, 1955.  In addition to these two locations, Dumbo was also an opening day attraction for Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Dumbo is located in Fantasyland, and features characters from the movie.  Guests that ride the attraction sit in one of the Dumbo cars, and you can move the car up or down as needed and wanted.  With the expansion of Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, there are now Dueling Dumbos — meaning that they actually have two of the rides, and they have been updated to look really cool at night!

Did you know…

that, according to Wikipedia, the original design of the Disneyland attraction had ten ride vehicles which were intended to represent not the “one and only” Dumbo, but the alcohol-induced “pink elephants” scene from the film. In fact, the working title of the attraction was “10 Pink Elephants On Parade” and the elephants were painted pink on installation. However, Walt Disney objected, not wishing Disneyland’s guests to ride vehicles themed to a hallucination and thereby ordered them painted gray.

Additionally, in honor of Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary in 2005, one of the Dumbo elephants was donated to the National Museum of  American History.

As you see from the picture at the beginning of this post, one of my favorite Disney memories was created on June 21, 2010, at 12:06AM, during Extra Magic Hours, when my wife and I saw Mickey and Minnie riding Dumbo with two very unsuspecting Guests.  It was a surreal moment, and like many very important events, this event is one that I’ll never forget where I was when it happened.

In this case, Stephanie and Sophie had gone on to get in line for Dumbo, and Cindy and I were heading over to ride Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel.  It had rained hard that day, but had stopped in the early evening, but as a result of the rain, the Magic Kingdom was practically empty.  The ground was wet, but as we were getting ready to get in line for the Carrousel, we happened to look over and see Mickey and Minnie in line with the guests, who look dumbfounded at their good fortune!

To top it all off, being the true Gentlemouse that he is, when the ride was over, Mickey got off, went back to Minnie’s Dumbo car, and helped her off as well.  Chivalry is not dead!

I hope you have enjoyed this look at Dumbo the Flying Elephant!  Tell me, is this an attraction that you and your family must ride, or can you do without?  Please let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

The Incredible Haunted Mansion!

The Haunted Mansion

As we continue our look at all the incredible detail that the attractions of Walt Disney World entail, today we are taking a look at another of the Opening Day attractions — The Haunted Mansion!

As you all know, the Haunted Mansion opened on October 1, 1971.  While it is fairly similar to the attraction at Disneyland, there are some very distinct differences.  For example, the Mansion at Disneyland is located in New Orleans Square, while the one at the Magic Kingdom is located in Liberty Square.  As a result of the different lands they occupy, the time period and decor of the mansion is entirely different.

Technically, both rides utilize the classic “Doom Buggy” car to take you on your tour of the mansion, but what you might not know is that the stretching room that you enter at the beginning of your experience operates differently!  In the Magic Kingdom, the stretching room, while it gives the illusion of movement, doesn’t actually transport you anywhere — it is just the ceiling that raises.  However, at the Disneyland version of the ride, the stretching room actually transports you down to the next level, very much like an elevator.  That sounds so cool!

IMG_1427

 

Did you know that the Haunted Mansion used to house FastPass machines?  I don’t think they were utilized for a very long time, it was probably more of a test than anything.  Lately, though, the Magic Kingdom and the Imagineers redid the queue line for the Haunted Mansion, and they turned it into two lines — one that takes you through the “interactive queue” and a second line that takes you right into the ride itself.  Obviously the interactive queue is a slower moving line because there are other things to do and see, if you haven’t experienced that it might be helpful to experience that once, then just go through the faster line to get onto the ride itself.

I was privileged to do a series of posts with my friends Terri from WDW Hints and Jonathan from Mouse and Memos back in July.  There are a whole number of different things to discover about this classic Disney attraction.  Jonathan, in particular, wrote a much more in-depth narration about the history of the Haunted Mansion, take a look at it for all sorts of details!  Also, Terri wrote about how the storyline evolved — this was something she learned during a Keys to the Kingdom tour back in 2005.  Check it out — it’s a great read!  I know that I’ve barely scratched the surface here, but I hope you’ve enjoyed your ride!  Now, to finish it off, which Hitchhiking Ghost did you get on your Doom Buggy?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks!