Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Most Entertaining Queue - Phantom Manor!

Welcome to those of you joining me from The Disney Chick and those of you just hopping
aboard! I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail!

This months topic is most entertaining queue/pre-show!

Of course ... mine comes from Disneyland Paris! There are so many to choose from! I found it really hard to pick just one! Star Tours and the Tower of Terror are definitely up there ... but I adore the queue area for Phantom Manor! And the pre-show is pretty amazing too ... a real Disney classic!

Lets start with the outside queue area - Phantom Manor is designed to look derelict and run down, which really adds to its spooky haunted feel. There's an errie, but equally gorgeous, little old gazebo with a music box inside that softly plays a slow version of Grim Grinning Ghosts, the attractions theme music.

Guests then zig zag their way past some peculiar looking fountains, up onto the porch of the manor.

Phantom Manor is unique from other Haunted Mansions in Disney Parks because you get to enter through the front door! A Castmember dressed as a servant of the Manor opens the door and invites groups of guests into the foyer. It the top corner, guest can see a mirror which Melanie Ravenswood, the doomed bride of the manor, fades in and out of.

From here guests are led into 'The Stretching Room' ... this is where the real fun begins! Around the top of the room there are four portraits of Melanie, one of her picking flowers in the Manor's gardens, one of her holding a parasol in a boat, another of her stepping into a stream and finally, one of her having a picnic with her fiance. With a voiceover from the Phantom, the room begins to stretch, along with the portraits! Each portrait reveals a more macabre situation for Melanie! She now picks flowers above a grave where a skeleton is emerging from, her boat is now at the top of a waterfall, the stream now has a water monster underneath her, and bugs, snakes and spiders are now heading for her picnic!

The Phantom points out in his sinister voice that there are no windows and no doors in the stretching room, leaving guests with a "chilling challenge" - to finding a way out! He laughs and says, "There's always my way". Suddenly, the lights go out, lightning and thunder effects rattle through the room and the ceiling high above turns see through - revealing the attic, in which the groom is hanging from the rafters on a noose!

The lights slowly come back on while a hidden door in one side of the room slides open to reveal a hallway in the manor, lined with morphing portraits! One of a knight on his horse that transforms into skeletons, one of a woman who transforms into a hissing Medusa, one of a ship that becomes a ghost ship and one of a woman who transforms into a panther. There is also a bust of a woman who's glare follows you as you walk by. At the end of the hallway there is large portrait of Melanie in her bridal gown, and a grand staircase leading to the upper floors, surrounded by flickering candelabras while a lighting storm thunders outside - here is where you enter your Doombuggie!

And then of course guests experience the amazing ride itself!

Phantom Manor also has a really cool post show! As guest are exiting the Manor, a tiny figure or Melanie can be seem along the way behind bars, telling guest to "hurry back" and "be sure to bring your death certificate". Ooooh er!

Finally, guests enter Boot Hill - a cemetery filled with some rather interesting gravestones! Here you can hear Melanie's beating tomb - a tribute to the original Haunted Mansion bride, whose red beating heart can be seen through her chest!

I've never noticed before, but apparently if you look back at the house from the exit, you can see the Phantom looking out the window! I'll be sure to keep an eye out for this on my next visit! :)

 Thank you for joining me today! Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is The Magical Mouse Pad!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ The Disney Point
2nd Stop ~ The Disney Chick
3rd Stop ~ Mandas Disney Blog
Final Stop ~ The Magical Mouse Pad


Rosanne said...

Manda, every time I read your blog I begin to price out vacation to Paris :)

Anyway, I love this post so much. Thanks for sharing the videos. It makes me feel like I'm really there. I love that you can enter the Phantom Manor through the front door - so cool!

I also stayed at a bed and breakfast recently that looks somewhat like the Phantom Manor - http://www.southernmansion.com/

Thanks for sharing!
Rosanne @ The Disney Point

Unknown said...

After reading this I am ready to book my flight to Paris. I love that you enter through the front door. Great post!

Manda said...

No way Rosanne!! That is TOO cool! Thank you for reading! :D Thank you so much Melissa! :D x

LizzyBeth said...

Phantom Manor is always a highlight for me! Although in all my trips I've never seen/heard the heart beating tomb, so, next month I shall investigate! I've got 1 month and 1 week to go till my trip.....excited doesn't cover it!

Manda said...

Let me know how you get on LizzyBeth! I've heard it before but it's very faint ... it has to be real quiet for you to hear it ... or maybe I was imagining it! :P Oh I'm so super jealous of your trip!! :D x

Diane said...

I always love learning more about this park. That's so awesome you can go thru the front door.. I wish they would do that at WDW too.