Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Visual Comparisons: Part 1

Ah, there you are...

  As you can see, this post's title is accompanied by a "part 1" indicating that it will be the first in a series. This series won't be a back to back installment with a final chapter though. Think of these Visual Comparison installments as small trivial posts. There are many things that you can compare with photos when it comes to the Haunted Mansion; especially if you have a constantly growing photo library the size of mine. So, let us begin this first installment:

  As many of my readers already know, I'm an avid Orlando Mansion supporter. I'm used to receiving negative feedback from some of my readers for my constant nagging about the Anaheim original. In this initial installment of Visual Comparisons, we will take a look at some elements in the attraction, comparing the Anaheim versions of the element to the Orlando version of the same element. You can't argue with visual proof.

  I think we'll start in the Attic, because I don't like to go in chronological order all the time. Plus, I was specifically asked to share a comparison of one of the most infamous elements that all S&FS readers should be familiar with: The dreaded garage door of ugly in the attic scene. Both the American Mansions have a garage door locate at the same point in the attic scene off to the left of the track. The only thing that makes them different is, well; just look:

Photo Credit: R. Padilla
  That's Disneyland's Attic garage door. Now here's nearly the exact same shot, taken at Walt Disney World in the same spot:

Photo Credit: A. Grancoin-Vinet
  Both shots were taken using flash; you can see the glare on the back of the Doombuggies in each shot. But the Orlando version of the door doesn't reflect the light of the flash like the Anaheim version because it's been painted black. From the look of it, I'd say at one point the Disneyland door may have been painted black, although it's pretty clear that it hasn't been painted in years. The shiny metal finish of the Disneyland door is further illuminated due to the brighter lighting in the attic scene. While I don't have good enough pictures to prove it visual for you, take my word for it, as I've been on both fairly recently.

  The Ballroom scene has two sheets of reflective materials dividing you from the show set. One of those is between you and the ghosts, and the other is between the ghosts and the set. The later is the huge sheet of glass which is used to achieve the pepper's ghost effect while the former is a sheet of plexiglass used to keep anything a guest might throw over the balcony from landing down bellow where it could turn into a "ghost object" in the show scene. (Another fun fact about the plexiglass is that it can be used to explain why your reflection can sometimes appear in the ballroom scene without spoiling the entire effect for someone. If a first time rider sees the glare or reflection, you can simply tell them that the plexiglass is there so that the ghosts can't get onto the balcony where you are) Anyhow, the plexiglass bounces off the lighting in the attic scene, creating a pretty crisp visual reflection in the final pane near the Duelist, Organist, and Dancers. Both American versions reflect the attic scene, but at Orlando, I've noticed that it isn't as harsh as it is in Anaheim. 

  I've never liked that the reflection was there in Walt Disney World's Mansion, but when I visited the Disneyland version in May, I noticed how much brighter the reflection was. After re-riding the Orlando version several times over the past months, I've realized how much less of a reflection there is in the Liberty Square version. This is one place where I must give proper acknowledged to Phantom Manor. They don't have any issues with reflections of another scene in their Ballroom. That can partially be attributed to the fact that they have a long dark hallway in place of the the first stretch of what is normally the attic scene. Also, they don't even have a garage door; only an indent where one normally would be:

Photo Credit: M.Brilhart
  So yeah; that's one more post about the ugly garage door.Who knew it was possible to do two full posts on such a lack-luster element in the Mansion? Next time, we'll look at something that isn't as technical and more show-related. Until next time...

I'll see you all a little later...



  1. Disneyland's Haunted Mansion garage in the attic scene is very dirty and dusty. It needs to be cleaned, since you can see all those white stains on it.

  2. So what is the purpose of the garage doors???

    1. They lead to a maintenance garage and storage area. That particular area of the track next to the doors is the location where they can remove the Doombuggies via an overhead hoist/crane contraption that is pretty well hidden unless you're looking for it. They can store them in that room, although from the pictures I've seen (some can be found on this blog in a previous post) it's pretty crowded in there with clutter of all sorts.