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This version of The Haunted Mansion was featured in Fantasyland in Tokyo Disneyland. The ride opened on the April 15th of 1983.

Development

Location

This mansion was originally planned for Westernland (Tokyo Disneyland's Frontierland) before it was decided to save the space it was planned to go in for Big Thunder Mountain instead. In-part this is because in Japanese culture, ghost stories are classified as being an extension of fairy-tales.

This version is near identical to the mansion attraction in the Magic Kingdom, with a few differences both in the design and the ride-experience.

Description

The Mansion

Setting

It is unknown where this incarnation is intended to be set. In-part this is because of how culturally and chronologically anachronistic Fantasyland is. The Fantasyland setting could be an indication that this manor may be set in Europe, rationalizing certain other more medieval/fairy-tale designs such as the griffins on the gates. Possible European settings based off of settings from the rest of Fantasyland might include: Germany (namely the free-state of Bavaria), the English country-side, London City, France, Denmark, or Italy.

Another possibility is that this Haunted Mansion has no true setting in-lore and occupies space within the anachronistic magic world of Fantasyland. This would rely on Fantasyland being a geographical space within the story which can be found geographically, likely connecting the different settings it represents. If true, this might re-contextualize the, "Famous Ghosts" found within the mansion, particularly within the house's portraits (namely the Sinister 11) as having possibly had direct connections to the house in a non-specific setting.

The mansion is however architecturally modelled after the manor from the Liberty Square version of the ride in Walt Disney World. That version of the mansion was located in Upstate New York in the Hudson River Valley, as a means of thematically connecting it to American ghost-story settings like Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1820). As stories such as that of Sleepy Hollow are considered fairy-tales (not only in Tokyo but in America), it could be possible that the attraction is intended to be set in the Sleepy Hollow area, connected by the fantasy-world of Fantasyland. There is however no further indication of this colonial origin being the case.

Just like the Magic Kingdom's mansion, Tokyo's manor is a two-floored brick and stone Dutch gothic mansion. The Mansion has a tower and cupola located above the front-doors which guests do not enter from, rather entering from the remains of an unfinished wing. In real-life, the manor was visually based on the Joel Rathbone estate that was built outside of Albany, New York in 1841 and demolished in 1867.

Wailing Skull replacing the Devil on the plaque

Known Rooms

Background

At some point in time, the mansion was home to what was presumably a family which all came to die and be buried on the house's grounds. The manor would be the place of death for a Japanese speaking man who was possibly an owner or head-of-staff for the estate who commit suicide from within its cupola, going on to be one of the mansion's most prolific spirits as, "The Ghost Host".

The attic of the Haunted Mansion holds onto the belongings of a deceased bride whose spirit still roams the floor. Her story is unknown but it is known she is affiliated with dead grooms and/or groomsmen with some non-official sources putting forth she might have been a black widow bride.

Before the mansion was overtaken by death and decay, the then-owners of the estate were constructing a new wing for the manor. Whatever consumed the house in darkness did so before this installation was complete, leaving it largely in unfinished ruin.

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Notable Variations

This version of the ride includes quite a few considerable changes from most other Haunted Mansions. Examples include.

Exterior

  • The mansion's gates are decorated with statues of Griffins in order to tie in better with the ride being set in Fantasyland.
  • The waiting queue is decorated to look more like an unfinished wing of the Mansion left in ruin.
  • In the unfinished wing, there is a fountain which has the Devil head from the ride carved into it. The devil's usual place is replaced by a wailing skull.
  • A spear is shattered through one of the windows on the Mansion's exterior.
  • The names on the tombstones in the family plot are different. New characters here included are: Mr. West, Digger, Chauncey Xavier, Brother Dodd, and Borden; existing ones are Fred, Grandpa Marc and Brother Dave.

The Ride

The original, unidentified character in the Corridor of Doors

  • The Ghost Host was voiced Teichiro Hori in a complete Japanese redub of his dialogue.
  • Instead of featuring a Changing Portrait Corridor, this Mansion features a hallway decorated with the Sinister 11 portraits, all of whom stare at guests with glowing green eyes.
  • Instead of the endless staircase, this version of the ride features a dark room covered in cobwebs with three giant animatronic spiders. This scene used to appear in the Magic Kingdom version of the ride but was removed.
    • Unlike the original Magic Kingdom version of this scene, this version of the ride is not noted to have ever had the animatronic of the spiders' webbed up victim.
  • The Corridor of Doors features a portrait of an idle gentleman in the pose of Alexander Nitrokoff. This is located where Disneyland's incarnation of the ride has the portrait of the Ghost Host. As guests pass by, the face of the man pushes out from the wall with a ghastly expression. The head-mould seems to be borrowed from that of one of the pop-up ghosts/family portraits.
  • The Attic is features the Beating Heart incarnation of the Bride rather than the Black Widow incarnation. The attic scene also doesn't give much past the the bride's backstory and rather than the portraits of her husbands, well dressed cadavers pop out from within hatboxes.

Other

Trivia

  • The queue being themed around an unfinished wing is likely an allusion to the real-life Winchester Mystery House which is a mansion that was under constant construction because the owner believed she was haunted and that continued building of the house made the spirits unable to find her.
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