Welcome back to our 50 Days to 50 Years countdown to the World’s Most Magical Celebration. In honor of the upcoming 50th Anniversary, we are taking a retrospective look at the resort’s past. Today we are thrilled to feature a guest blogger from Scotland! Manda shares her unique perspective of Walt Disney World 1992.
Walt Disney World 1992 Memories
In 1992 my favourite place in the world opened … Disneyland Paris! I was lucky enough to visit the year it opened (thanks to my awesome parents!!) and I’ve been back 7 times since! I’m also hoping to return next year for the 20th Anniversary Celebrations!
But hold up! This awesome series “50 Days to 50 Years” is focused on Walt Disney World in Florida! There’s one problem … I’ve never been! But fear not … I set off for my first ever trip to Florida in 2011! To say I was excited is an understatement! And one of the first rides I headed to in the Magic Kingdom was … the Haunted Mansion!
I adore the Phantom Manor in Disneyland Paris … so I couldn’t wait to see how the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World compared! Here are some comparisons between the two:
Disneyland Paris Phantom Manor
Phantom Manor opened the same day as Disneyland Paris (known as Euro Disney back then … cringe!) – April 12th, 1992! The Haunted Mansion in WDW has been around much longer – opening on the same day as the Magic Kingdom – October 1st, 1971!
Phantom Manor is part of Frontierland, where as the Haunted Mansion is part of Liberty Square.
Unlike the Haunted Mansion, Phantom Manor has a fundamental story line, centered around an ill-fated young bride – Melanie Ravenswood. Disney Imagineers left the specifics of the story to Disney Fans, who have come up with their own theories and ideas. And of course, these stories and rumours have become a mysterious and intriguing legend … You can read all about the legend of Phantom Manor in an article I wrote way back in May over at the Magical Mouse School House!
The Haunted Mansion was designed to look clean and pristine, where as Phantom Manor was designed to look derelict, decaying and run down. Phantom Manor was also designed to be scarier and darker than the Haunted Mansion, with a more sinister theme and feel to it.
Here’s an overview of the Phantom Manor Re-Opening Event in 2019:
Since Disneyland Paris is part of Europe, Phantom Manor has many European influences. One being the Gaston Leroux novel, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, as well as many other European gothic legends. The architecture of the manor represents the victorian second empire, and also bears a strong resemblance to Bates manor from Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’. The Haunted Mansion, on the other hand has more of an American influence. It was given a dutch gothic revival style based on old north-eastern mansions from areas of Pennsylvania and the Hudson River Valley region of New York. It’s also surrounded my large oak trees, red maples and pines, which are all native to Florida.
In both attractions, there is a clock hall featuring a grandfather clock. However, in the Haunted Mansion, the hands of the clock look like skeletal fingers. While in Phantom Manor, one hand is a snake’s tail and the other is a crescent moon.
The Haunted Mansion contains a room that Phantom Manor doesn’t – the attic scene.
Phantom Manor features a room that doesn’t appear in the Haunted Mansion – the bride’s boudoir. Here, Melanie Ravenswood is an old woman, weeping in front of a skull shaped mirror.
There is no graveyard scene at the end of Phantom Manor, as with the Haunted Mansion. Instead, guests are lead into the Manors backyard, where the Phantom stands over an open grave laughing menacingly. The doombuggies then travel backwards, deep down underground into some catacombs! Guests pass coffins with moving skeletal figures inside before coming across four white marble busts singing that infamous tune – ‘Grim Grinning Ghosts’!
Guests then enter Phantom Canyon – a supernatural version of the town ‘Thunder Mesa; (the town Frontierland represents). An eerie figure offers guest train tickets to the underworld, a Mayor tips his hat and his head comes off with it! A ‘Dr. Hyde’ type character is in a pharmacy, drinking a deadly looking medicine! One of my favourite effects is a ghostly game of poker played by four invisible figures! At the end of Phantom Canyon, guest enter a dark passage to see Melanie’s corpse pointing to the way out. Guests then enter a corridor lined with mirrors, in which a ghostly Phantom can be seen above the Doombuggies! Finally, Guests enter a wine cellar and disembark.
As you may be able to tell … I know a lot more about Phantom Manor! lol! But like I said … I couldn’t wait to see the Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World! 🙂
Thank you SO much to Didi running this awesome series! I’m honoured to be a part of Walt Disney World 1992 and can’t wait to see more! 😀
We were proud to recently take part in Manda’s 17-part Summer Series. We both wish her a magical first experience at Walt Disney World next month! (@mandahdisney)
Tomorrow, Jackie (@jjzmgailey), Senior Editor for @TheDIS (#Disney Information Station) will … us to Walt Disney World in the year 1993.