Sunday, October 12, 2014

Why I like the Haunted Mansion

Why I like the Haunted Mansion 

 1) Despite this empire of horror I've built for myself in this quiet corner of the internet, I'm actually a massive chickenshit. Unlike a lot of horror fans I've met, who seem impervious to frights. I'm drawn to this stuff because it affects me so deeply. I like to keep a safe distance between myself and the horror in question, which is why I don't do haunted house events. I'm definitely curious about them. I've spent entire days watching Youtube videos of people walking through Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, but I need serious reason to even set foot near one.

2) When I was a kid, my parents took me on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and it scared the bejeezus out of me. I was deathly afraid of skeletons as a kid so I started crying the second I saw the skeletal captain sitting on top of his pile of loot. The Haunted Mansion was obviously out of the question. 

3) Years later, when I'd gotten deep into the horror genre, I decided to finally brave the terrors of the Haunted Mansion. Turned out that it's not only is it a lot of fun, but it's a charming ride.

4) I like the way the Mansion looks. I'm not from the South, but those old plantation homes are definitely evocative of a time long gone. Even waiting in line is a blast. I like looking up the vine-covered walls and reading the inscriptions on the tombstones. 

5) I'm told that a big part of the Disneyland design is that the experience is meant to be immersive. It seems to hold true, as every place you look holds some tiny sliver of detail.

6) I like climbing in the doom buggies and puttering along the dark track. I'm a sucker for an animatronic diorama, so watching the head in the crystal ball and the ghosts spinning through the ballroom all give little family-friendly scares for my cowardly self. I usually ride the Haunted Mansion a couple of times whenever I'm in Disneyland. It's a gleefully dark little blast of joy for my inner child. 

7) Whenever I travel abroad, I like to visit the Disneyland parks to see how they do the Haunted Mansions abroad. When I went Disneyland Paris, I saw that they'd created a ghost town version of the Wild West. It's interesting to see how classic rides are reinterpreted in different cultures.

Conclusion: When you grow up upper middle class in California, you're going to have some Disney in your childhood memories. It's got such an elemental pull on me that I'm visiting Disney World next week. The Haunted Mansion is a tiny little dark hideaway in the Magic Kingdom and I'm one of a legion of devotees that treasure the ride.   

1 comment:

Dustin said...

I liked the Haunted Mansion because it was 97º in Orlando in August, and as decrepit as that mansion was, they still had central A/C. By the end of the ride, my group was ready to move in.

- D