Generally, when I talk about how I love just about anything Disney Parks, I'm talking about the Disneyland version. Well, lucky for me, Liberty Square's Haunted Mansion was built at just about the same time as New Orleans Square's, and the attractions are virtually the same. I may go as far as to say the World's version is slightly better, with it's haunted stair case scene. Now that it has the new hitchhiking ghosts and interactive queue, it's almost definitely the superior of the two manors.
Yesterday, I finally had some time off from my job at the Magic Kingdom, so what did I do? I went back to the Magic Kingdom. They've been getting quite the array of new features, so it made the most sense to go back to the place I spend 40+ hours a week.
First off, I went to visit Magician Mickey. More on that later.
Then, I went over to Liberty Square to visit the Haunted Mansion. Along with half the park.
One of the criticisms of the new interactive queue is that there's hardly anyone ever in the queue for the Mansion, seeing as it has an omnimover system, thus resulting in an extremely high rider capacity. Not the day I went. The stand-by wait time was posted at 50 minutes, which I ignored, because as the future often proves, it was a little exaggerated.
What I found in the interactive queue was great. The touch-and-play instruments, the misty organ, the bookcase and the interactive poetry were great. Also, Madam Leota's living tombstone was very creepy, and thus fantastic.
My only negatives words on the subject would be that it was really more of an area than a queue. It was nice seeing everything in one fell swoop, but it would have been nice to see it while I was actually waiting in line, like "Space Mountain's: and "Soarin's" games. There was a tone of boring, chain-linked queue as a predecessor to the interactive part that could have been livened up.
Then, there was the other part of the Haunted Mansion that I came for, at the exact opposite end of the attraction: the new hitchhiking ghosts. I'll get to the point: they're amazing. I've always pantomimed petting or elbowing the previous, static hitchhiking ghosts, and now they do the same (kind of) thing to me! I went on a tour of the mansion twice, and I was a little annoyed that both times I got the bearded ghost, who both times put his beard on my face. The other ghosts seem to switch the heads of the guests it sits in between, and I don't know what the third one did. But it was cool, whatever it did.
People were raving about both the queue and the new hitchhiking ghosts, both seeming to be a huge hit. I though the imagineers did a great job enhancing a classic without changing it too much and respecting its legacy.
Have you been in the new queue or been in the company of a new hitchhiking ghost? How was your experience?