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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Haunted Mansion Holiday: Completely Missing A Point

I get it, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" is a popular movie for Disney, and a lot of people like it. So, to some people, making over the classic "Haunted Mansion" at Disneyland may seem to make sense.

I am not one of those people.

To me, "The Haunted Mansion" is a timeless classic, an attraction that I like to enjoy over and over again when I visit Disneyland. The line is never too long thanks to the omnimover, I love the stretching room, and the classic soundtrack still gives me chills. Some of it is a little corny, but overall, it's extremely well done, and I've been spooked by it many times over the years.

Not this year, though.

This year I was subjected to "Haunted Mansion Holiday," where Jack Skellington and his band of seditious sidekicks have hijacked the classic attraction, stripping it of a story line, and for me, any hope of excitement.

"Haunted Mansion" is a great attraction because it has a central theme: it's got 999 ghosts, and there's room for one more. The spooky bride with her shrill request of "Come back, come back, be sure to bring your death certificate." The perfect "Grim Grinning Ghosts," the classic scenes. It's a cohesive cornucopia of Disney magic.

No so when "The Nightmare Before Christmas" takes over. The idea seems to be more: "put a black light up here, put one there, throw some black light paints here, some stiff 'Nightmare' figurines there, a Santa hat on this classic character. What's the theme you ask? Well, it's about a movie, haven't you seen it?"

Bring back the 999 ghosts!
"Haunted Mansion Holiday" just seems lazy. I'm sure it takes the Imagineers a while to transform the ride from a classic to a clunker, but it would take a long time to make a mosaic of a turd: that doesn't give it any type of quality.

"it's a small world holiday" gets it though. The attraction's holiday overlay doesn't disrupt the classic ride's narrative. It's the same ride, just transformed to show how different parts of the world celebrate the holiday season.

If people want a "The Nightmare Before Christmas" dark ride, then they should get one, but they don't need to take away one of my favorite attractions for a third of the year to get it.

 I usually ride a Doombuggy multiple times per visit: this year, I only got in one once. I was grim, but I was not grinning, sad that the classic ride was just a ghost.

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