A few weeks back I posted an entry on MiceChat about how I preferred the overlayed Haunted Mansion Holidays attraction over the traditional Haunted Mansion. MiceChat has tons of readers and a good amount of people who post regularly. A few people agreed with my assessment of the attraction. Most disagreed. A few, as has a tendency to happen on MiceChat, jumped all over my case forcefully stating that to go with anything other than the traditional Haunted Mansion ride was somewhere in between blasphemy, heresy, and the opinion of a boob. Hello, I'm boob.
One of the MiceChat moderators tacked on a survey poll to my post and I think, the last time I looked, those that preferred the traditional HM over the holiday version was a little over 2 to 1 favoring the traditional with about a hundred people casting votes. Actually, the holiday version fared better than I thought with the voting the way the discussion started off.
I gave my reasons for enjoying the Haunted Mansion Holidays a little bit in a previous post on this blog. The main reason is I really enjoy the color and life that is brought to the attraction that is mostly shrouded in various shades of gray most of the year. Of course the MiceChat HM traditionalists jumped all over that comment with (paraphrasing) "It's a Haunted Mansion. It's supposed to be dark and gray you boob". Point well taken but I will stand by my reasoning. In another thread on MousePlanet about the HM I made the contention that when I get on the traditional HM, my mind tends to wander. I think about what me and Mrs. DisneylandTraveler might want to do next, where we might go to eat, how my dog and cats are doing back home without me. I've been on the ride so much that it just becomes something to do rather than enjoying it for what it is. That feeling is on me I freely admit but it's fair. You get on the HM because most of the year, it's pretty much a walk-on, it's long, and if it's hot outside, it's nice and cool in there.
But the holiday version makes me pay attention to the surroundings, what's around the next bend, enjoying the soundtrack. Instead of resting my eyes as I might want to do in the traditional version, the holiday version dazzles my eyes. I'm not a fan of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas movie - didn't care for it at all from what I can recall. I'm not a fan of Jack Skellington and feel his presence in the park and especially the merchandise shops is a bit of an intrusion. But I like the ride - really like the ride.
And as I mentioned before, while I'm not big on Jack Skellington, I do like his portrayal of Sandy Claus, a delightful Christmas twist. Where does the Haunted Mansion rank as one of your "must-do" Disneyland / DCA attractions in it's traditional form? For me it's pretty well down the list. But when the holidays roll around, a viewing of Haunted Mansion Holidays becomes an essential. That's the power of the holiday overlay.