Melodious TravelingMom Sherry and I were debating, er, discussing the merits of Walt Disney World vs Disneyland. She thinks she’s right, I think I am. Harrumph. Since we’re at an impasse, we’re putting the vote to you! Comment on the post that you agree with to support your favorite version. We’re kicking off our “discussion” series with the ultimate attraction for Halloween visits: the Haunted Mansion. Here are 6 reasons why the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is better!

Five Reasons Why Disneyland's Haunted Mansion RULES!

Welcome, Foolish Mortals… Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

Welcome, Foolish Mortals. We’ll be your hosts- your TravelingMom ghost hosts- during your stay.

Why Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Rules

It’s the original, which means this attraction has stood the test of time. It opened in 1969 with an antebellum mansion facade on the outside and 999 haunts inside.  So I yell FIRST!

In addition to the privilege of being the original, I’ll add five more reasons that I think the Disneyland version is superior to the Walt Disney World copy.


Now, as they say, look alive, and we’ll continue our little tour. And let’s all stay together, please.


Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is located in the prettiest and most distinct land of all lands that ever landed on either coast. And I’ll fight you over that statement- clearly, I feel strongly about this one!

Even if you are a die-hard Walt Disney World fan, you must admit that New Orleans Square is super romantic, a little spooky, and eerily exciting, just like the city it’s named after. The Haunted Mansion is a natural extension of 19th century Louisiana and fits right in with the land and theme.

Five Reasons Why Disneyland's Haunted Mansion RULES!

New Orleans Square is unique to Disneyland, and home to the original Haunted Mansion. Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom


Actually, we have 999 happy haunts here, but there’s room for a thousand. Any volunteers?

No, I’m not confusing my Disney lexicons! You are a true guest at the Disneyland mansion as evidence by the way you enter the house.

Here you are ushered up the steps and onto the wrap around porch like an actual guest. Maids and butlers welcome you through the doors with a mint julep and a smile.

Five Reasons Why the Disneyland Haunted Mansion RULES!

Enter through the front door and be our guest! Photo: Leslie Harvey, Frequent Flyer TravelingMom

Okay, so that’s not true. No drinks are given, and they certainly don’t smile. But the feeling of hospitality extends through those open front doors, inviting you to stay a spell.

By comparison, the Walt Disney World attraction takes you through some underground tunnel-like line and into the cemetery. We never make it through the front doors there. Maybe it’s a little more spooky that way, but if the goal is to recruit one more ghost to stay, you’ll catch more ghosts with hospitality than scares!


Is this haunted room actually stretching?

Five Reasons Why Disneyland's Haunted Mansion RULES!

Is this room stretching? YES. Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

Guys, it’s REAL.

Guests are transported on an elevator masquerading as the stretching room. So the walls do indeed stretch as we go down!

Does this matter? Not really, but it’s just that much cooler than the fake-out that happens in the Walt Disney World version. It’s a good effect, but this is one of those cases where I don’t think they are fooling anyone. We know what’s happening there.


I know you’re curious
To see what’s inside.
It’s what happens
When two holidays collide.

Disneyland has the Holiday Haunted Mansion featuring Jack Skellington and the Nightmare Before Christmas crew. Boom.

The Walt Disney World version just cannot compete with the fantastic overlay that haunts the mansion from September to January of every year.

Five Reasons Why Disneyland's Haunted Mansion RULES!

This is Halloween! The Haunted Mansion becomes the Holiday Haunted Mansion every year. Photo: Patty Holliday, Candid TravelingMom

You’ve got Jack, Sally, Oogie Boogie, Halloween AND Christmas all unfolding as you travel on the Doom Buggy. And it’s spectacular!

If you haven’t made it to Disneyland during this season, consider making a point to do so. It may take your eyes a moment to adjust to everything that’s going on (it’s quite a scene!) but it’s worth it. Especially if you are a Halloween Disney fanatic.

After all, “this is Halloween…!”

With this addition, Disneyland has TWO distinct Haunted Mansions. And as everyone knows, two is better than one!


Bonus reason: Hatbox Ghost lives! Disneyland is the only mansion that has this particular haunt. He was briefly installed in the attic in 1969, and quickly removed. He made his return for the 60th anniversary in May of 2015.

Five Reasons Why Disneyland's Haunted Mansion RULES!

The HatBox Ghost is back! Photo: Jane Mayo

Alright, those are the reasons I say that Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is superior. IT RULES! But as they say, there are two sides to every story. Pop over to Melodious TravelingMom Sherry’s Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion post and see what she has to say.

Be sure to vote for your favorite version of this classic attraction by leaving a comment.

We’re dying to meet you!  

Five Reasons Why Disneyland's Haunted Mansion RULES!