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Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Haunted Mansion en Français
I'm one of these people that travels all the way to a foreign country and spends a full day of the trip in a Disney theme park. I did it in Tokyo and I did it again in Paris. You can only eat so many crepes and stare at so much art in a week. Plus, seeing how Disney regurgitates and reinterprets their parks for foreign audiences fascinates me to no end. If I had the ability to con my way into a doctoral program, I'd probably BS a disertation on the subject.
One of the many differences between Euro Disneyland and its stateside counterparts is its Haunted Mansion. Redubed Phantom Manor, this mansion is much more geared towards adults. There's an elaborate background story involving a ruthless land baron and his efforts to prevent his daughter from marrying some chump. His plan went terribly awry, of course. After hanging the groom in the manor's portrait chamber, the baron and the rest of his family was killed in an earthquake, dooming them to spend the rest of eternity trapped inside. In addition to the more mature plotline, there's a wild west ghost town, flesh-covered bodies that pop out of coffins and an elaborate corpse bride that shows up at the end of the attraction. If I had ridden through Phantom Manor as a kid, I would have spent grades K - 6 wetting the bed.
Do I prefer it to the mansions here in the US? No, mostly because the Paris version cuts out my favorite part: the "hitchhiking ghosts," replacing them instead with a lame phantom projection that hangs over the attraction's "Doom Buggies."
Doombuggies.com, a one stop resource for everything you could ever want to know about the world's four Haunted Mansion, has an exhaustive write-up on Phantom Manor that can be found here. If you're going to waste your valuable time reading about a string of haunted houses in the world's Disney parks, Halloween is probably the time to do it.