Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion at Disneyland
Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

It may seem like the Haunted Mansion has been at Disneyland forever — and it has been around for more than 50 years. But before that, it took fifteen years to plan this quintessential Disneyland ride, which features a cast of busy ghosts in residence in a haunted "retirement home."

Disney Haunted Mansion gets gussied up for Halloween and Christmas every year, and what better way to do that than to turn to Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" for inspiration. The decorations are so extensive that it closes in late September and again after January 1, so it can go back to normal.

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What You Need to Know About the Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square
Steve/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

Most people who have experienced the Haunted Mansion would tell you it's a must-do ride if you have time.

  • Location: Haunted Mansion is in New Orleans Square
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Restrictions: No height restrictions. Children under age seven years must be accompanied by a person aged 14 years or older.
  • Ride Time: 19 minutes
  • Recommended for: Everyone
  • Fun Factor: High. Haunted Mansion is one of the ​best rides at Disneyland.
  • Wait Factor: High. You can use a ​Fastpass to shorten your time in line.
  • Fear Factor: Low, but there's a short period of darkness and noise in the expanding room after you get inside and before you enter the ride queue.
  • Herky-Jerky Factor: Low
  • Nausea Factor: Low
  • Seating: Ride vehicles are mounted to a moving sidewalk. You board by stepping onto the surface, then take a small step up into the vehicle. Each seat can hold two adults and a child, or three adults if you don't mind being close together. But really, don't try to cram three full-sized people into one Doom Buggy. It's a tight fit, and where will the ghost sit?
  • Accessibility: If you're in a wheelchair, go to the front porch of the ride and enter with everyone else, then ask a cast member for help. They will stop the Doom Buggy to let you get on. Service animals are not recommended on the Haunted Mansion ride. Pick up a handheld captioning device at Guest Relations.  More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV.
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How to Have More Fun

Hitchhiking Ghosts at Haunted Mansion
Kent Buckingham/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0
  • Don't ask a Haunted Mansion cast member for a death certificate. You may have seen that so many times online that you think it must be true, but it isn't — and may have never been.
  • While standing in line, look for hidden Mickeys among the gravestones and on the hearse.
  • The first few minutes in the Disney Haunted Mansion can be claustrophobic, as everyone crowds into the stretching room. You'll also experience about 5 seconds of complete darkness. Small children may be frightened by that and the noise.
  • The song you may find running through your head after riding is called "Haunted Grim Grinning Ghosts." It was composed by Buddy Baker, with lyrics written by X Atencio.
  • Haunted Mansion is one of the coolest places to go on a hot day at Disneyland. Literally. It may feel so good that you'll be hoping the ride stops for a minute so you can enjoy it.
  • Look for the Hatbox Ghost who shows up just after you leave the attic area. He does a nifty little trick that involves his head and the box.
  • In the stretching room, it may feel like the ceiling is rising, but in fact, it's just the opposite. The chamber is actually an elevator that's going down. It leads to an underground passageway to the show building.

While you're thinking about rides, you should also download the essential Disneyland apps (they're all free!) and get some proven tips to minimize your Disneyland wait time.

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Fun Facts

Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland
Betsy Malloy Photography

Disney Haunted Mansion opened in 1969, 14 years after Disneyland began.

One of the hardest parts about running the Haunted Mansion is keeping it looking grungy. They have to bring in dust and cobwebs. Otherwise, the air conditioning system filters them all out.

The clock in the long hallway is stuck at midnight, but only a few riders notice that a demon is eating the clock face - and its tail is the pendulum.

How many ghosts live inside the Haunted Mansion attraction in Disneyland park? 999

Is It Different Than the Haunted Mansion in Florida?

California’s Haunted Mansion looks much different outside than the one in Florida, looming over you as you walk in. Inside, you’ll find a better-decorated boarding area.

Some of the scenes that are part of the Florida ride are in the California queue instead. You’ll find other fun differences and similarities throughout.

The most fun — and significant — difference is that California’s Haunted Mansion is the only one that turns into Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas.

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