Today, we are going to cover a very current, very controversial topic. Well, okay, it may not be as controversial as the interactive queue updates, but in my eyes, it's controversial. Today, we are going to explore Mystic Manor; something I have said time and time again on various S&FS media outlets that our site will not cover. Let me restate that much used phrase. We will only cover it for instances because it's a "related attraction or medium", not a Mansion, and that's the whole reason why we're going to look at it today. Because it's not a Mansion. I'm not against it like I used to be, but that's only come to light very, very recently. I have very strong opinions about it, and much like the others who blog about my local Mansion in Orlando without ever visiting it and trying to make a point about how terrible something is. I'm going to be a hypocrite and do the same thing.. well, sort of. I'm going to post strong opinions about something I've never seen in person, and am only relying on videos and images to piece together my strong opinion. Unlike the other bloggers though, I'm not going to force you to agree with me. I just want to make a point, and you can choose if you want to agree or not. But because I strongly believe in my point on mystic point, this blog post may be a bit bias. I've never been to Hong Kong Disneyland before, nor do I have any plans in the foreseeable future to do so. You'll understand why momentarily. Let's begin.
The single mutated offspring of Expedition Everest, Grizzly River Rapids, Big Thunder Mountain, and Silver Dollar City's Power Keg made it's debuted in Grizzly Gulch; a small land standing in for Frontierland under the overly long name of Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars. Take a look at this themed thrill ride lovechild bellow:
Sure, it looks like a pretty awesome ride if you try and keep out of your mind the fact that it's a stand in for several other attractions combined into one to save space. Thus, we can assume Hong Kong Disneyland will never receive any of the attractions that were combined into this one to save space. One less Big Thunder Mountain... That's just the point though; other than Space Mountain and it's a Small World, every single major ride has been downsized or mutated into another to save space by combing the experiences of several rides into one. Jungle Cruise now takes place in the rivers or america shaped water way, and functions as a transportation ride to reach Tarzan's Tree House. And don't even get me started on Toy Story land, which should not exist in a Disneyland park, period. Big ugly carnival rides have to business in the heavily themed park, no matter how much themed overhaul they try to toss on them. They just don't belong. Send that stuff over to a Studio back lot park where it can exist without ruining the atmosphere!
Pretty awesome, eh? But it's no Haunted Mansion. Why so? Well, besides my issue with the Monkey wearing a Fez, it's doesn't fit certain criteria.Things that Phantom Manor fits, as well as the other three Haunted Mansions. Just because the concept art presented was overlaid on Rolly Crump's infamous indigo wallpaper doesn't mean it's automatically the fifth mansion. First and foremost, there is a certain lack of ghosts! Due in part to the fact that apparently for cultural reasons, it is frowned upon in Hong Kong to represent the dead as ghosts. So we don't have that grand ballroom scene or anything like it in Mystic Manor. No ghosts at all in fact. How can you call it a "Haunted" Mansion if it's not even haunted? Mystic Manor is cursed, not haunted. Phantom Manor and the other three Mansions are haunted, Mystic Manor is not. There's not Grim Grinning Ghosts, even though I'm sure Danny Elfman's Mystic Manor music is fantastic. There's no Doombuggies, or ride track for that matter. And there's a Monkey with a Fez. It's not Hong Kong Disneyland's Haunted Mansion; it's the ride Hong Kong Disneyland ends up getting in place of a Haunted Mansion, which is a ride they will never have due to spacial constraints.
I don't blindly hate Mystic Manor as I did when it was first announced. After seeing the footage, I can safely say it's not a Haunted Mansion without needing to convince myself of that fact. It's not haunted because there are no ghosts. Maybe someday we will see that fifth Haunted Mansion get built. Mystic Manor isn't it. Mystic Manor is an awesome stand alone attraction that pushes the limits of what can be done with rides today. I'm honestly pretty impressed by what I've seen. It does not fit the criteria to put it alongside the Haunted Mansion in Anaheim Orlando, Tokyo, and Phantom Manor in France. But it is an awesome little ride that makes Hong Kong Disneyland just a little bit better. With all the past failures in the short history of Hong Kong Disneyland, Mystic Manor looks like a step in bright direction. Now just tear down Toy Story Land and build a Splash Mountain in it's place, and it will finally be worth a visit!
Who's idea was it to go all Cedar fair in a Disneyland Park? Seriously... not cool...
I'll see you all a little later...