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Friday, September 14, 2007

An insider's view of the WDW Mansion enhancements

Long-time DoomBuggies forum member wdwcaretaker, who spent a decade working in the Haunted Mansion as a maintenance tech, has shared some insider insights after a lights-on walkthrough:

"...Seeing that so much has already been said with the show just opening, I can only tell you my impression from an experienced eye. From the portrait gallery - which has totally changed much for the better - to the Grand Staircase, which is totally mind blowing, the new Knight in Armor action... [there is] so much action and change."

Walt Disney World's Mansion also received some scenes that were added to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion over the past couple of years, as wdwcaretaker reports:

"Then the Seance Circle. The glowing harp is now more sedate and haunting, (and) some of the props have added enhancements, and the wires they hang from are virtually invisible - even with the work lights on. The Banquet hall has changed very little, but then you get to the Attic...

"No pop up ghosts, no great loss there, less trash - (but) more meaningful treasures and antiques, no bats, but then there she is... the new bride. So spectacular I cannot describe her. Across from her past location, she will haunt your memory for a long time. Amazing."

The newly enhanced Mansion ends with a bang, according to wdwcaretaker:

"The Graveyard scene is the same, but is much more lively... The audio system in the pods is totally changed and updated. Little Leota? New projection makes her so lifelike (ghostlike?), and Madame Leota and her floating crystal ball back in the Seance area have to be seen to be appreciated. The Stretch room portraits look great."

"My overall impression, made with a jaundiced eye, is that this is an attraction that needed change and improvement, and it was worth the three-month wait. An excellent job done by everyone involved. Oh yeah - the mechanic's bay where repairs to the ride system are made? A complete makeover. It looks like a lab.

"I give this baby 4 stars out of 4."

Read more ride reports and critiques at the DoomBuggies forums.