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Fodor's South Florida 2014
Haunted Mansion Review
The special effects here are a howl. You're greeted at the creaking iron gates of this Gothic mansion by a lugubrious attendant, who has one of the few jobs at Disney for which smiling is frowned upon, and ushered into a spooky picture gallery. A disembodied voice echoes from the walls: "Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion. I am your ghost host." An audio system with 30-plus surround-sound speakers ups the ghost-host fright factor. A scream shivers down, the room begins to "stretch," and you're off into one of Disney's classic attractions. Don't rush out of this room when other visitors depart; linger for some ghoulish bonus whispers.
Consisting mainly of a slow-moving ride in a cocoonlike "doom buggy," the Haunted Mansion is only really scary for younger children, and that's mostly because of the darkness. Everyone else will laugh while they gawk at the special effects. Watch the the ghostly ballroom dancers; Madame Leota's talking head in the crystal ball; and ghostly footprints that move along a staircase. In the "bride in the attic" scene, keep an eye on the portraits. Just when you think the Imagineers have exhausted their bag of ectoplasmic tricks, you discover that your doom buggy has gained an extra passenger. This is a high-capacity, fast-loading ride, and lines usually move steadily. For people with disabilities: Those in wheelchairs must transfer to the "doom buggies" and take one or more steps; however, if you can walk up to 200 feet, you'll enjoy the preshow as well as the ride's sensations and eerie sounds. Equipped for handheld-captioning and audio-description devices. When you reach a fork in the queue before entering the mansion, go left through the cemetery for interactive graveyard fun. Nighttime adds an extra fright factor.
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