I first experienced the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland as a three month old child. (Though, to my utter shock, I have no memory of the event.) Something must have sunk in on those first few rides, though, because I’ve loved this attraction as far back as I can remember. Allow me to share a few thoughts about the WDW version of the attraction, and perhaps there’s something here that will help you.
- With the addition of interactive elements to the queue, the line will split into two sides once you reach a certain point. If you head to the left, you will see all of the new queue and your wait will be longer. You can go to the right and bypass the interactive elements in the graveyard, but your wait will be shorter.
- I’ve heard many other parents say that their child balks at the stretching room content but is just fine on the rest of the ride. While I think both parts have equal scare factor, everyone is different and many are only really scared by the stretching room. If you think your kiddo might be the same way, approach the cast member who lets you into the portrait room and ask if you can bypass the stretching room portion. I’ve heard from many people who say this request is accommodated for those who need it.
- There are two exit doors from the portrait room (the octagonal room you are let into first) and each leads to a stretching room. You could be directed to either one, so if you want to be one of the first into the stretching room, cheat toward the middle, in front of the portrait and fireplace.
- In the stretching room, you will always be let into the hallway leading to the loading platform through a door under the portrait of the young woman holding a parasol. If you want to be one of the first out of the stretching room, stand under her portrait.
- If your child gets anxious on the ride, suggest they count something. Pick a color like yellow or green and have them count everything they see of that color. (But speak quietly so you don’t bother the other guests around you.)
- For the love of all that is decent and right in the world, NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY on any portion of this attraction. With a big blast of flash over-illuminating the area, your pictures will be junk (the ride looks the way it does because it’s dark) and you are ruining the ride for everyone around you.
- If your phone has a large, bright screen on it, please just put that away too. Especially in the Leota room. You’d be shocked how much light a mobile phone can put out, and it’s especially distracting in the large, open area of the Leota room.
- If you are taking photographs without flash and your camera has an LCD screen on the back, please also be aware how much light that is putting out, or just use the settings on your camera to turn the LCD off for the duration of the ride.
Most of all, though, enjoy this attraction and savor all of its rich detail. At Walt Disney World, it was an original opening-day attraction. Today, it has become a true classic.