The large, rundown Phantom Manor mansion was supposedly
built by one of Thunder Mesa's early settlers who became rich
during the gold rush, but tragedy struck on the eve of his daughter's
wedding day when she disappeared. Since then the house was left
to decay, and has since been occupied by 999 ghosts, looking to
fill the house with the 1,000th occupant (or so the theming goes).
Now as you approach it's large doors you can hear the wind howling
around the manor, and can see how all of the plants in the area
have withered and died.
As with the version at Walt Disney World (The Haunted
Mansion), the Disneyland Paris version of the attraction is basically
a slow ghost-house style ride in which the guests sit in "Doom
Buggies" for a journey through the house. The "pre-show"
(which takes the form of a short route through the house to the
loading area) is quite effective in building the anticipation
for the attraction, and the theming of the ride itself is quite
staggering, and is amongst Disney's best theming examples.
The Phantom Manor takes approximately 30 guests at
a time, and as a consession to those of a nervous disposition
doesn't contain any of the sensory special effects that have become
common at some of the recent 3-d film style attractions, so there
aren't too many suprises in store.
Some of the best special effects throughout the attraction
are created using holograms, particularly those used for the wedding
feast, where guestsdance and fade out while the apparitions of
ghosts and ghouls appear to follow them around the room.
On leaving the ride guests are deposited near the
Boot Hill Cemetary, overlooking the Rivers of the Far West, where
amusing gravestones mark the passing of various Thunder Mesa patrons.
In reality, as with the Floridian version of the
attraction, many of the names mentioned on the gravestones are
derived from the names of Disney Cast Members and Imagineers that
have made a big contribution to the company in some way.
The full journey through the Phantom Manor takes
between 15 and 20 minutes, but since it's a relatively popular
attraction there is often a 45 minute or longer queue, particularly
late rin the day. The majority of the queueing area is under cover
however, so it can eb a good attraction to visit if the weather's
not too good.
Children between 4 and 7 years are only admitted
to the attraction when accompanied by an adult. Children under
4 years aren't allowed to enter the attraction because they are
likely to find it too scary.
The manor is definitely worth a couple of rides,
even if only to try and figure out how some of the effects are