Friday, June 4, 2010
The Fun, Fake Ghosts of The Haunted Mansion
Yet, despite by cynicism, I journeyed into the Magic Kingdom for one day for my children and despite myself, I liked it. I know, don't scoff. I saw everything I hate about the place there. I watched little girls dressed up like princesses for the price of one hundred dollars each and then watched the little girls scream at their mothers that they needed more things from the gift shop. I waited in long lines in the heat while wailing children filled the air with a sense that nothing is ever enough, but amidst this chaos, I also found that it was nice to spend a day with my family. It was nice to let my children, who work very hard during the school year, kick back for a day and make their own choices. It was also nice to go to my favorite fake haunted attractions and chase fake ghosts with my boys. I even bought the t-shirt.
Disney's the Haunted Mansion is a wonderful haunted attraction. It is filled with all the classic ghosts and scares that fill classic haunting stories. It is like stepping into an old Scooby Doo episode. There are suits of armor and dancing ghosts. There's a haunted library and piano that plays itself. The world of the Haunted Mansion is shrouded in fake cobwebs and dark wallpaper. There is a gypsy in a crystal ball and a murderous ghost that killed all her husbands. All of these ghostly activities are designed to delight rather than scare. Some small children do cry as they are pulled into the darkness of the old mansion, but they are always smiling on their way out.
So, even though I hate Disney in theory, in reality, after three rides through the haunted mansion and a lovely day with my amazing boys, I think my dislike has become lost in my own childish delight.