New Disney World’s Haunted Mansion Queue

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New Disney World's Haunted Mansion QueueThe lonely wolf howl echoes across the landscape, cutting through the music and merriment of the Magic Kingdom.  For a split second, images of fog-filled graveyards and half-seen shadows flicker at the edges of park guests’ minds, and then they are gone, burned away by the bright Florida sunshine. Yet that chilling call is a siren song for many visitors to the Magic Kingdom. In its mournful tone, they find fond memories of one of the most dearly loved attractions at the Disney theme parks: The Haunted Mansion.

Without question, the Haunted Mansion is one of the most iconic attractions in the Disney parks. It is one of the rides that visitors return to over and over, savoring its dark humor and gallows charm.  And, because of its beloved status, any change to the attraction provokes a veritable storm of interest, concern, and speculation.

The most recent updates to the attraction included new, technologically advanced “hitchhiking ghost” projections that are truly remarkable and render the classic end-of-the-ride mirror sequence all too brief. They also included a new, extended queue.  Both additions are worth a trip to the Magic Kingdom. The ghost technology is truly revolutionary with its ability to track the movements of guests and its perfectly animated interaction.  The new queue, the “crypt,” is filled with delightful, interactive elements, and brings a new depth to guests’ introduction to the mansion.

Both the new animations and the new queue have received a good bit of attention from fans, but before you head off to visit the 999 happy haunts (and remember, there’s always room for one more), you should know a few fun details about the queue that you might overlook.

New Disney World's Haunted Mansion QueueThe Master

Master Gracey’s tombstone has had a place in the Haunted Mansion graveyard for many years – always freshly dug, frequently adorned with a rose. A reference to Disney Imagineer and Special effects wizard Yale Gracey, the appellation of “Master” on the tombstone engendered speculation, and “Master Gracey” has been associated with the Ghost Host as the lord of the manor.

With the new queue, Master Gracey’s grave has been relocated to the center of the crypt, and there was  much complaint about the outlined grave being ridiculously small.  But there’s something to keep in mind…

Disney Historian Jim Korkis wrote that Disney Imagineer “X. Atencio has continually pointed out, at the turn of the century, the term ‘master’ meant a boy too young to be called ‘mister.’ In creating the tombstone, Gracey’s “fellow Imagineer was trying to offer a tribute to the boyish Yale, not make him the owner and master of the house.”

In that context, perhaps the grave was not too small. Perhaps Master Gracey was heir to the mansion.  A young heir…who never made it to adulthood.

Guest’s complaints about the grave’s size, however, found resonance with Disney imagineers, and as of the end of May, the grave has been expanded so that “Master Gracey” now has leg room!  Stop to say hello and honor the boyish imagineer who created the ballroom ghosts and the fires of Pirates of the Caribbean.

No one is innocent

Don’t hurry past the semicircle of busts just inside the crypt entrance.  These motley portraits are not just for show; they’re a murder mystery puzzle.  Take a moment to read the inscriptions on each pedestal and look at the images above them.  Can you find out who murdered whom?

Although the puzzle isn’t complicated, it’s fun, and it’s certainly a fun game to play with your kids.  It leads to all manner of speculation about the characters portrayed in the sculptures, their motives, and other suitably haunted topics…

Seriously cracked

New Disney World's Haunted Mansion QueueThe tomb of Captain Culpepper Clyne honors one of the early concepts for the Haunted Mansion, a plotline that revolved around a brutal sea captain who murdered his wife.  For the queue, however, the Captain has been dampened a bit.  Guests can hear him gurgling and singing, and occasionally they will be drenched by an explosive sneeze from the watery crypt.

But there is an interactive element here too.  A number of cracks are visible in the captain’s crypt, several of them spewing water.  Try plugging them.  Several of the “leaks” are programmed to stop and appear at other locations, creating a wet, cool game of chase the water.

Haunting Harmony

New Disney World's Haunted Mansion QueueThe beautifully detailed pipe organ at one of the turns in the queue is decorated with raised instruments on both sides.  Touching any one of the instruments will produce a noise.  Touching all of the instruments will play “Grim Grinning Ghosts.”  One side displays traditional instruments, the other rather…unorthodox ones (like an arched back cat that yowls when touched).  Both sides will play different versions of the tune on the instruments displayed, and the pipe organ itself will play a traditional version, accompanied by cooling mist.

The real fun?  Get others in the line to cooperate with you and see if you can play all 3 versions at once.  They will harmonize and create quite a remarkable rendition of the familiar Haunted Mansion theme.

Most importantly, take your time in the queue.  It’s a wonderful addition with plenty of interactivity.  Even if the attraction isn’t crowded, it’s worth the time to visit the crypt area, get a bit wet, and enjoy the theming.  Kids will love an area where they are supposed to touch everything and are provided many opportunities to get wet.  Adults will love trying to solve the puzzles, and, depending on the temperature, may enjoy the moisture as much as the kids.  Try everything, enjoy the details…and watch out for that ghost following you home.

  • Video Sneak Peek: Haunted Mansion Interactive Queue at Magic Kingdom Park (
New Disney World's Haunted Mansion Queue


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