The Haunted Mansion Review – Disneyland California

While not quite an original launch day rides the Haunted mansion certainly feels that way. While its old musty interior and ride mechanics feel from the 50’s it all adds to the appeal. This is an absolute classic not to be missed.

The Haunted Mansion Review
  • Location – Disneyland Park – New Orleans Land
  • Type – Ghost Train
  • Duration – 2 Mins 5 Secs
  • Height Restriction – None
  • Average Queue time – 10 mins – 60 Mins
  • Genie+ – YES
  • Additional Info – Classic 1969 Ride

What is the Haunted Mansion?

The Haunted Mansion is a classic dark ride utilizing state-of-the-art technology and techniques to bring to life the haunted mansion. When we say State of the art …we mean for the ’60s. Although it is quite incredible what they could actually do back then.

The Ride Starts off as a walkthrough ride before you board a “Doom Buggy” that winds its way around the castle.

  • Thrill Rating
  • Fun
  • Smoothness and Comfort
  • Uniqueness and Theming
  • Value For Time


Haunted Mansion Disneyland

The Queue is pretty good as far as queue lines go. The line enters the Mansion grounds and winds its way around the grounds where you will find a pet cemetery and the “graves” of the ride’s creators. You then head inside.

Once inside it is hard to know if the ride has started or this is more queue. As there are several set pieces intended to heighten apprehension and build the mood. These feature eerie music and sounds and creepy voices and lighting effects, and pretty cool perspective effects. All culminating in a jolly old hanging!

The Highlight is the expanding hall, where the walls stretch before your eyes and the pleasant family portraits turn into more sinister and disturbing scenes! While the tone is somber and eerie there are clear elements of humor in here so parents should not be too concerned about terrifying their little ones, although the dark and ominous setting can be a bit upsetting.

We have to be honest this is the scariest part of the ride. There are no Jump Scares, it’s just the foreboding music, macabre tones of the Ghost Host, and the, at times, pitch black that can be unnerving! Finally, you enter the loading area where you board your “Doom Buggy”

Ride Experience

Disneyland Haunted Manion

The ride itself is very very tame. There are no drops or thrills or anything at all exciting from that point of view. It is nothing more than a slow conveyer around the building. The thrill comes from the special effects and apparitions that you are confronted with throughout the mansion.

In all honesty, the ride is not very scary at all. The tech is so dated and there is no real intent to “scare” anyone, it is more of a nostalgic saunter around the castle witnessing how entertainment used to be. Theming is incredibly thorough and every millimeter of the house is converted into creepy and macabre.

While the effects are dated they are still quite cool. To witness just how much was possible to trick the mind and convinced you of an illusion even many decades ago is pretty enlightening.

Ghostly apparitions appear and float around the sets, even dancing around the great hall in one of the ride’s final climactic scenes. It really is a fun and engaging look at the way rudimentary lighting and effects can be used to such incredible effect!


We love the Haunted Mansion. Yes, it is very dated and provides no real thrills or excrement but it’s just so quaint and nostalgic it is really pretty fabulous. It evokes a feeling of Victorian culture and a glimpse of how things were done in yesteryear. With this in mind, the effects are pretty staggering, as you really do see apparitions roam about the house before your eyes.

Disneyland would just not be the same without rides like this. Come October every year, the Haunted Mansion is transformed for Halloween with A Nightmare Before Christmas overlay and ride-theming. The Holiday transformation is so popular that wait times soar, especially around Halloween. As there is a long debate on whether A Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween or Christmas Film (we say Halloween), the overlay is kept up until after the holiday season in January. Possibly a controversial opinion but we love the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion version more than the original! This may be because the overlay is a novelty and only available for a few weeks of the year but it definitely adds some much-needed update to the beloved ride. Although, it’s probably for the best that it is a temporary change to a classic attraction.

Have Your Say

Have you ridden the Haunted Mansion? What did you think? Quaint and nostalgic or had its day? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Or fire away if you have any questions.

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