Friday, April 24, 2009

...Its Only a Trick of the Light...

The Haunted Mansion goes Weird West at Disneyland Paris.

Based on the uber-popular Haunted Mansion attraction at the Stateside (and Tokyo) Disney parks, Phantom Manor takes the the dark ride attraction and pluses it into a great Old West ghost story. While at the same time it tries to inject a plot that isn't there in the other parks......with limited results.

The Bride, while a staple of the attic scenes in the HMs, is in the forefront here, as the sympathetic heroine trying to escape, and save us, from the evil Phantom.

Originally, Vincent Price narrated as the Phantom, this attractions "Ghost Host", acting as our tour guide into the dank, dark halls of the crumbling long abandoned mansion. However, Price's English narration was replaced fairly soon after the attraction opened with actor Gérard Chevalier's more region friendly French narration.

The music by John Debney is gorgeous. Debney took the Haunted Mansion music, and expanded it into full lush orchestral score that really turns this almost into a tragic operetta, including scenes of the Bride (and other characters) accompanying the music with juxtaposed singing.

The layout of the ride is the same as Disneyland's, with a tour around the most haunted parts of the manor...however the one place it deviates is the Graveyard...and instead takes guests into Phantom Canyon, a literal "Ghost Town" inhabited by the spirits of residents who died in a devastating earthquake that destroyed the whole town....of course, like always, singing and merriment are present.

Here is a really well edited ride thru I found, Enjoy!

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