While everyone has been in a frenzy in the lead-up to the release of Disney’s Live-Action The Little Mermaid, I’ve been down here quietly counting down the days until there is more information about the new Haunted Mansion movie. It’s not that I am not interested in The Little Mermaid; I absolutely am and can’t wait to see it for myself; however, ever since the original Haunted Mansion movie didn’t quite hit the spot, I’ve been hoping that someone at The Walt Disney Studios might revive a similarly themed project that would take a different approach. Last year, that exact thing happened, and week after week, I started hearing more about the story and the cast until it’s now become number one on my list of most-anticipated Disney films to see this year. Even so, I do have one concern.
Everything about this looks great. I am not sure whether that’s because it is fantastic in its own right or simply so much closer to the experience of the attraction than the first attempt that it has my preferential attention. Nonetheless, I am confident I will enjoy the movie when it is released in late July. What I am concerned about is what happens afterward.
Do you remember the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction before the introduction of Jack Sparrow and the other characters from the movie franchise? It was better. There was a more satisfying authenticity to it that wasn’t simply about animatronics that resembled Johnny Depp, though I did enjoy that stunt where Depp showed up in person to surprise guests on the attraction. I am worried about this same thing happening to the Haunted Mansion attraction.
As much as I would have a total fan-girl moment if Jamie Lee-Curtis showed up on my ride through to the dark spirits, I don’t want Disney cramming as much character IP from the movie into the attractions as they can. When an attraction inspires a movie, like in the case of Pirates of the Caribbean, The Jungle Cruise, and now The Haunted Mansion, I would always hope that the ride can retain some of that original magic. So far, The Jungle Cruise has managed to escape the extreme movie makeover treatment that occurred in POTC, and I can only hope that our favorite spooky attraction is spared the same fate.
To be clear, Jamie Lee Curtis, you are welcome to jump into my Doom Buggy any time, but everything else, I would prefer left untouched. I don’t want a new vocal soundtrack or new music pulsing through the ride, and I don’t want any of our timeless, iconic characters traded out for movie lookalikes.
Disney, whatever you do, please don’t mess with my Haunted Mansion! Am I the only one who can envisage a threat to the original features of this ride to bring it more in line with the movie should it be successful when released in theatres? Let me know if you think this ride might be at risk.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.