In a chamber with no windows and no doors, the crack of lightning has for over forty years illuminated the same memorable, macabre scene in Disney's classic Haunted Mansion. Since the debut of the holiday overlay in 2001, cleverly re-theming the iconic attraction to Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, the stretching room sequence at the start of the show has featured a large, static Jack Skellington head smiling at audiences from above. No more.
Though it originally began greeting guests in October, the park's love of the Halloween season has pushed the date further and further from the holiday itself, resulting in this year's early September unveiling; Friday the 13th, to be exact. With the foreboding vocals of Corey Burton setting the narrative atmosphere, guests entering the stretching room from the foyer may view around them a series of projected stained glass glass pictures depicting quaint Christmas scenes.
In years past, the scenery above appeared to be the traditional faux ceiling used in the attraction. Now taking its place is another projected image of colorful stained glass. As the sequence develops, the coloring shifts; The lighting too has been enhanced in this update of the room. Spiders scamper across the surface just before the climax occurs and the cheery wreath imagery is re-lit to illuminate a jagged pumpkin face that quickly shatters, revealing a projected version of the classic attic and an animated Jack Skellington cavorting along the edge.
Response has been overwhelmingly positive. If you've never seen the mansion in its Halloween get-up, now is a great time. The seasonal show has never looked better, inviting even guests familiar with past versions to witness the new, ghoulishly glorious sights of this year's Haunted Mansion Holiday.