Tokyo Disneyland – Haunted Mansion

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion is among some of Disney’s most iconic theme park attractions. A foreboding experience of visiting a terrifying mansion is probably incongruous in a Disney Park, but the mansion presents dark humour and chilly wit in the form of a slow dark ride and elaborate walkthrough pre-show.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: 40 minutes wait

This entry won’t be a full photo tour, because I believe that the Haunted Mansion truly needs to be experienced in person. Instead I will focus on the unique aspects of Tokyo Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion – which is essentially its exterior appearance and curious place in Fantasyland.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Fastpass Ticketing

Fastpass is offered on the left of the queue entrance. Wait times for the Haunted Mansion can go as high as 60 minutes on a moderately crowded day.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion

This ornate plaque, which hangs over the entrance to the queue, is unique to Tokyo Disneyland.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion

Several versions of the Haunted Mansion (and Phantom Manor) exists in every Disneyland-style theme park around the world. Mysteriously, the mansions never exist in the same themed land. And while the attraction follows a same structure, each mansion has its unique characteristics. On another note: Mystic Manor is a re-imagination, or distant cousin, of the Haunted Mansion.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Outdoor Queue

Many legends surround the mansion(s), from tales of real spirits haunting its halls or even stories that ashes were scattered inside the mansion. The actual narrative of the mansion has also greatly varied through the years, with technical upgrades altering both the presentation and meanings of each scene.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Outdoor Queue
Exclusive to Japan: An outdoor queue area that goes towards the left wing of the mansion.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Mansion Side

This particular Haunted Mansion, in Tokyo Disneyland, has remained true to its original form over the years. The other mansions have received new effects and artistic changes – many of which have dramatically altered the story of the Mansion. In Tokyo however, most special effects, characters and their stories have remained the same. This mansion also stands out from its siblings by being the only one with an exterior that looks rather derelict – broken windows, ruined crypts and overgrown gardens.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: East Wing

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Derelict Fountain

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Mister West

A curious change for those familiar with the Haunted Mansion’s tombstones. Master Gracey’s tombstone is nowhere to be found, but a similar one is located here, for a Mr. West.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Frog Basin

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Chauncey Xavier

The freshly dug grave of Chauncey Xavier (which in another Mansion, belongs to Master Gracey). Supposedly, a single rose is placed here each day as part of the Mansion’s “show” appearance. In Japan, some birds made the grave their (momentary) resting spot.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Torch

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion

Despite being an “old” attraction, the Mansion was designed with so much care, and remained a classic. It is very popular all times of the year; and transforms into Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare during the Halloween and Christmas period.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Signature Plaque

There it is. The iconic Haunted Mansion plaque.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: The Foyer

A gloomy cast member led guests into the foyer. The doors creaked loudly as it closed.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: The Foyer

While lavishly furnished, the room was quite barren. A single portrait hangs above a fireplace. As an invisible host welcomes guests into this seemingly harmless manor, the portrait gradually transforms – a manifestation of the mansion’s true dark nature.

The tour then continues into a gallery – one with no windows or doors. This is one of the most iconic scenes in the attraction. After a frightful encounter, a secret door slides away, leading the way to the loading platform.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Loading Platform

As a slow dark ride, Haunted Mansion uses these ride vehicles, affectionately and famously known as Doombuggies. Each could sit up to three (a tight squeeze).

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Loading Platform

Unfortunately, that will be all that I am showing inside the mansion. There are much better websites, like Doombuggies.com, which I have spent countless hours surfing when I was a teen.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Exit

For the Haunted Mansion fans: This mansion is still in its original form, with no significant addition from the “modern updates” in the American parks. Leota does not float in any way; the bride and attic are the same; there are still giant spiders after the Piano scene. Anyway, there is one effect unique to Japan, which is not often mentioned: At the Corridor of Doors, there is one portrait where a face would push “out” of the canvas.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Exit Crypt

Anyway, the exit crypt is the last part of the attraction (before the path leads out to a very happy Fantasyland, and Dumbo).

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: Exit Crypt

It totally changed at night. This was taken when the park is about to close. You see, we went into the mansion during the park’s last half hour. There was only a small group (probably 5-7?) at the foyer. After that, we allowed the other guests to go ahead first at the loading platform. We then split up and went into individual doombuggies.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: at night

And it was quite terrifying, and it wasn’t even our first time at the mansion – probably 4th or 5th. The sight of empty doombuggies (the vehicles rotate so at some scenes, you can see other people on the ride) was very unsettling. It seemed like those movies where hapless kids explore some haunted house on a hill and never came back.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: at night

We did survive to tell the tale. It was just, really chilling. While we walked into Fantasyland, it seemed we were not out of the Mansion’s grasp. The chirpy fair music was gone and Dumbo wasn’t spinning. To handle our nerves, we ran straight to Peter Pan’s Flight, barely making it into the queue before the entrance officially closed.

Well, I definitely need to do this again sometime.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: at night

And ah, how I can forget this. Two griffin statues guard the entrance to the Haunted Mansion. At night, their eyes glow red. All the park needs to do… is to make them move their heads.

Tokyo Disneyland - Haunted Mansion: HauntingsHaunted Mansion and Cast Member, Tokyo Disneyland


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3 Responses to Tokyo Disneyland – Haunted Mansion

  1. Wee-Sen December 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Wondering whether OLC will spend money to update their queue to the ‘interactive’ one in Magic Kingdom?

    Oh ya and the biggest difference in this Mansion is that the moving busts and the changing portraits are part of the ride and not experienced in the walk from the stretching room to the loading bay.

    • Dejiki December 29, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

      While die-hard mansion fans (even myself) may prefer the only “original” version of the Haunted Mansion to remain, I sometimes wish that OLC will add all of the “new technologies”. The new Expanding Room with 3D Positional Audio, Floating Leota, Escher Staircases, Constance Hatchaway, and Dynamic Hitchhiking Ghosts. How exciting!

      The outdoor queue might be a stretch, as it would require localization for guests to fully enjoy (which might break the consistency of the park). I feel that interactive queues might be received differently in Japan because (as I had observed) guests have their own effective ways of keeping themselves occupied while waiting.

      “Moving” busts were part of the ride like the WDW mansion, which TDL’s version is mostly based on. But for the portraits, TDL does not follow either of the Mansions in the US. The Sinister 11 portraits are in one corridor (shortly after boarding) and have the old “staring back at you” eyes effect. They do not transform or change, unlike in DL (flashes with lightning, walkthrough) or WDW (similar effect but only for same portraits in DL, but seen on-ride at the same corridor as TDL).

  2. Duy Anh January 26, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    ThankS ^_^

    I wouldn’t know the face from the canvas is unique to TDL, and not so many people see that… Last time, I went on holidays version and wanted to show my friend but the holidays version didnt have that…

    The mansion queue time is exactly the same with 20,000. They could be 60 minutes on peak day because of fastpass is issued, but they can be 5-15 minutes on low capacity day with no FP. And both can be easily walked in few hours before parks close. During the parade, haunted mansion can become 5 minutes wait ^_^…. I LOVE HAUNTED MANSION so if it is 5 minutes on that time, I just keep going and going…. My favorite scene is endless hallway and ballroom, so I always wish to stop the ride at these areas.

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