The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic by Jason Surrell

“When hinges creak in doorless chambers and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls…”haunted mansion

I’ve always been a curious person. Particularly when it comes to what makes Disneyland, well, Disneyland. It could be said that I grew up with Disneyland. Technically. I live 6 hours away, but I’ve been attending the park since I was 1 1/2 and something I’m sure my parents now regret to some extent due to my obsession with the parks. I love knowing what goes backstage, reading about cast member experiences, and the history of the park and the man behind the magic, Walt Disney. Recently that curiosity has been in regards to the Haunted Mansion after reading somewhere a bit of the history surrounding the ride and watching a short documentary on it as well, so when I saw this book during my last visit to Disneyland a couple weeks ago, I had to have it.

This book will give you an in-depth look at the ride, how it works, the different sections of the ride and the stories that accompany them, what it took to  make it happen, the imagineers behind the ride, and addresses rumors that the Mansion has produced over the years. While the book centers mostly around the original ride at Disneyland, you also get a look at the other Mansions across the globe and a bit of their history. 

My thoughts on this book are quite simple: I loved it. In recent years The Haunted Mansion has easily become one of my favorite rides at Disneyland and I loved learning so many new things about the ride. One of the things I really loved about it is that it shows you not only the original ride, but the different variations that exist across the different parks. I for one loved learning more about Phantom Manor thanks to this book. I loved seeing how each park takes the original ride and turns it into something that fits the culture it exists in. The attention to detail from the Imagineers is absolutely incredible and my curiosity revolving around the imagineers has been peaked and can’t wait to read more about them.

If you’re a fan of the ride or just the Disney Parks themselves I would definitely recommend this. I loved and enjoyed it so much and can’t wait for my next trip to Disneyland in order to look more closely at the details I didn’t know about before. By far one of the best books I’ve ever read!


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