Phantom Manor Review
Welcome again Foolish Mortals to the last installment of Haunted Mansion Month! You know, one of the things I’ve noticed in my blog events is that they never really last a month. So next time I say that I’m having a month long event just assume that it’s going to be over in 2-3 weeks. Now on to the review. This review is mostly going to talk about the technical aspects of Phantom Manor because I already took care of the story and character aspects in the previous blog.
The story that’s actually told in the ride is actually a reenactment of Melanie’s attempted escape from the Phantom. The only thing that is new is that Melanie saves your life after the Phantom has taken her life she points the way out so that you can escape the Phantom. That’s really cool because it creates a semi emotional attachment to the character knowing that she sacrificed herself to save you. Anyway here’s a nice ridethrough so that you can see it for yourself. The cool thing about this is that it contains the original Vincent Price narration that was cut from the ride because the French wanted a French narrator. I was surprised to hear the original narration in this ridethrough so enjoy!
This is arguably the best part of the attraction. The music that was originally written by Buddy Baker and lyrics by X. Atencio are treated with the utmost respect and is in my opinion actually improved by John Debny (the same man that scored Iron Man 1 and 2). Taking the original theme and giving such dramatic and tragic flair is absolute genius. The music just sucks you in and Melanie’s “haunting” vocals create immediate emotional attachment and resonance in the rider. The new musical style was subtly introduced in the queue area by having guests listen to Melanie’s music box in the gazebo and I have included it in the videos below. It was very hard to gather all of the individual music pieces so I just included a medley of the attraction score. Enjoy it’s absolutely brilliant!
This is absolutely fantastic! The facade of the Manor officially came from an old schoolhouse in the southwest, but the design does look a lot like Norman Bates’s house. The structure is in disrepair and definitely looks the part as a Haunted Mansion. The inside of the house is even better. The standards regarding detail that was set by the original mansion are certainly met. The atmosphere is absolutely perfect and it compliments the musical score very well.
This is one of the greatest attractions ever created. It’s story, characters, music, and design are some of the best work that Disney has ever done. It’s one of the very few attractions that when you leave you always look back at it and actually feel a genuine emotion towards the characters encountered inside. Excellent!
P.S. Don’t worry about Melanie. I went back to the Mansion and I released Max with my keyblade and I fought Henry Ravenswood. He broke 3 of my ribs and my leg, but the keyblade’s powers were able to actually destroy his spiritual energy. Melanie and Max went to the “regions beyond” and thanked me for all my help. I can still write despite my injuries and the next review is actually not a Disney property, but it is Halloween related. Join me next time when I review R.L Stine’s Goosebumps book and TV series.
VERDICT: 5 music boxes out of 5