For the first time ever, Disneyland has opened up a back route into the Haunted Mansion, allowing theme park fans to grab a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the popular ride’s never-before-seen interiors.
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It’s not just Disney magic either — this back-door walkway is actually key to allowing the park to operate efficiently while honoring its extensive COVID-19 safety protocols.
Typically, riders would enter through the Haunted Mansion’s front door, walk into a “stretching room,” and proceed onto the actual attraction. When that Haunted Mansion narrator asks if the stretching room is actually stretching, it’s for good reason — Disneyland’s doubles as a functioning elevator, making it difficult to efficiently load riders onto the famed attraction while adhering to social distancing requirements. The newly-revealed back walkway, which bypasses that section entirely, solves the problem and saves riders time.
The lucky few who have been offered entry do so through a side door, located within the manse’s outdoor graveyard queue. From there, they’ll pass through a hallway with framed facsimiles of the “stretching room” portraits, before quickly popping out of a completely nondescript door and swiftly boarding the ride’s Doom Buggy vehicles. The limited-time-only opportunity is a dream for die-hard Haunted Mansion fans, as well as local looky-loos hoping to get a ghoulish peek at a part of the ride they didn’t know existed.
The entrance isn’t the only thing that’s changed at Haunted Mansion during Disneyland Resort’s 412-day closure. Enhacements to the spooky attraction, including the return of a classic aging portrait, have improved the experience as a whole, but this reveal makes things even safer for guests while providing a little glimpse at something unexpected and new.
There’s plenty to look forward to at Disneyland’s reopening — for California residents at the moment, that is — including a refurbished Snow White attraction, Avengers Campus exteriors, and exciting new character meet-and-greets.
Carlye Wisel is a theme park journalist and host. Her podcast, Very Amusing with Carlye Wisel, shares untold stories, secrets, and shenanigans from inside Disney and Universal parks.