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Phantom Manor: Magical Mystery Manor Refurbishment Hopes

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spacemountainplatypi

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Phantom Manor: Magical Mystery Manor Refurbishment Hopes
« on: January 09, 2018, 12:45:33 AM »
I initially wanted to call this Thread "Star Refurbishments Episode 1: Phantom Manor , but this isn't a thread on Star Tours  ;D

As we all know, Phantom Manor has  just closed to undergo a 9-month refurbishment to beautify it, such as other attractions have gotten recently. I certainly think Manor is the most deserving of this, because through many years and multiple reasons, I think its the best attraction. At least in concept, and this refurbishment can bring that concept to life.

THE POINT OF THIS POST BEING. I'd love it to be a discussion about our own individual hopes and dreams for what the refurb will bring, and the future of the Ravenswood family.

So as to segue into what I want from the refurbishment, below are highest rated, to lowest rated hopes for what this refurb will bring.

  • A real emphasis on the plot. With the promised new scenes, I hope this means a push to honour the tragic storyline of Miss Ravenswood. Recently DLP have certainly seemed to be taking note of the story of Thunder Mesa with the refurbishment signs, and I hope it points to this. Specifically, maybe some new narration could be interesting
  • I think a lot of people agree the weakest part of the attraction is the end Wild West scene. While it certainly has a ton of good effects (how cool are those playing cards?), it takes you me personally out of the gothic storyline and makes things into a hokey carnival ghost train-feel for awhile... well until the rendezvous with zombie Phantom.
  • Fixing Melanie. That first encounter with the Bride hasn't worked in years, in the sense that the animatronics face has been covered by the veil for years. I suppose with the refurb, she'll get some much needed botox to be presentable to park guests again.
  • Again, very general maintenance, but its impossible to see whats going on above you in the stretching room. Having been on the Haunted Mansion in Anaheim and the Hanging Ghost Host being clear as crystal to the naked eye, I hope that can happen with our Phantom Manor. Because a man being hanged by a skull faced man should be seen by all looking for a good family friendly day out, right.... right?

So those are my hopes, i'd love to hear yours! Also i was inspired by this blog, so go give it some love by way of page views: http://www.disneytouristblog.com/phantom-manor-refurbishment-photos/

Also, also. How great is this? That Disney cares so much about the fans of this ride:



...Ok, but seriously. The only change that should be made is that Grim Grinning Ghosts is replaced by The Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime" as the attractions main musical motif... I mean, its IN THE NAME OF THE BAND. ???
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 12:56:00 AM by spacemountainplatypi »
"From Time to Time" -Le Visionarium.

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3 Times in 2001, Twice in 2002, Twice in 2003, Once In 2004, Twice in 2005, Once in 2007, Twice in 2008, 3 times in 2009, Twice in 2010, Twice in 2011, Twice in 2012, Twice in 2013, Once in 2014. February 26-28, 2017.  December 3-6, 2017.

Next Trip: September 2018.

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Re: Phantom Manor: Magical Mystery Manor Refurbishment Hopes
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 09:17:57 AM »
Agreed, from some angles you can hardly see the phantom scene in the stretching room. There is definately work required. My wishes would include a little more light along the hall scene. Sometimes its sooo dark that you can't see the bulging door or the grandfather clock at all. The ivories don't always tinkle like they should too. Madame Liotta could also do with a nip and tuck but I do like her voice so I don' t really want that to change. Melanie definately needs to be "tied" in to the story better. A lot of us know the story but for new riders its a bit disjointed she did seem to be sporting a new veil this Christmas...it looked a bit like like my Auntie Betty's net curtains tho'! I like the ghost town but you are right that it needs a little explaination or pre scene to knit the story together. Since they have successfully brought back the swinging pirate to full glory it would be great to have the swinging boot too! I love the sound of the barber shop heads but the projection has been offset for years now so changes there woukd be welcome. The cards are great but not working again last week. A very needed overhaul. Those playful spooks are going to have some work ahead!
1992 Honeymoon DH
1994 Oct DH, 1996 Jan DH, 1998 Oct DH, 2000 Oct DCR, 2002 Jan SL....too many babies so a big break...2010 Mar SF, 2011 Mar SF, 2013 Jan Kyriad, 2013 Apr Gite, 2013 Oct Gite + 2nts DC, 2014 New Year/Jan SF, 2015 New Year/Jan SF, 2015 Oct Gite, 2016 Jan Gite, 2016 Easter Kyriad, 2016 June Explorers, 2016/7 NY Dream Castle and Gite, 2017 Feb Cheyenne "Season of the Force", 2017 May Dream Castle,  2017/8 NY/Jan Gite, 2018 Feb Dream Castle Hotel.

spacemountainplatypi

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Re: Phantom Manor: Magical Mystery Manor Refurbishment Hopes
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 04:13:54 PM »
Agreed, from some angles you can hardly see the phantom scene in the stretching room. There is definately work required. My wishes would include a little more light along the hall scene. Sometimes its sooo dark that you can't see the bulging door or the grandfather clock at all. The ivories don't always tinkle like they should too. Madame Liotta could also do with a nip and tuck but I do like her voice so I don' t really want that to change. Melanie definately needs to be "tied" in to the story better. A lot of us know the story but for new riders its a bit disjointed she did seem to be sporting a new veil this Christmas...it looked a bit like like my Auntie Betty's net curtains tho'! I like the ghost town but you are right that it needs a little explaination or pre scene to knit the story together. Since they have successfully brought back the swinging pirate to full glory it would be great to have the swinging boot too! I love the sound of the barber shop heads but the projection has been offset for years now so changes there woukd be welcome. The cards are great but not working again last week. A very needed overhaul. Those playful spooks are going to have some work ahead!

Yes! Excellent point on how dark the hallway was. I love that door effect (especially because its a homage to one of my favourite horror films) but I forgot its existence whilst on the ride. And again, spot on with Madam. it looks like the face is being projected onto a balloon with a wig as of pre-refurb...
"From Time to Time" -Le Visionarium.

Hey, i'm also a D23 Gold Member.... SO THATS FUN!

________Past Trips____________
3 Times in 2001, Twice in 2002, Twice in 2003, Once In 2004, Twice in 2005, Once in 2007, Twice in 2008, 3 times in 2009, Twice in 2010, Twice in 2011, Twice in 2012, Twice in 2013, Once in 2014. February 26-28, 2017.  December 3-6, 2017.

Next Trip: September 2018.

msRavenswood

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Re: Phantom Manor: Magical Mystery Manor Refurbishment Hopes
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 07:34:01 PM »
I completely agree with what you both have said. My biggest peeve in the ride is Phantom Canyon, I really wish they would get rid of it during the refurbishment! I know, of course, that such a thing is highly unlikely as it would cost a lot of money.

As for the other changes I would like the refurbishment to bring, here's what I wrote on a post more than a year ago:

New speakers, sound effects and lighting, as well as new scrims in the stretching rooms that would allow the scene to be visible. Updated projection technology for Madame Leota and they should also bring back the spirit projections on the walls between the griffins.

A cool effect would be to make Melanie appearing and disappearing from window to window holding her canderabra, this effect would be awesome at night. They should also replace the Phantom that is peeking out the window with an animatroning one which actually has a face and some cool effects.

Boot Hill could also have some new effects, maybe some new interactive tombs and sounds. They could also use subtle projections at night to make it look as if the cemetary is haunted.

And they really NEED to bring back the original Vincent Price spiel. I know the park is in France and people couldn't understand what he was saying that's why they had Gérard Chevalier record a new one, but come on, Vincent Price is a legend and Phantom Manor is the ideal place for his voice to be heard at. They could at least do altenate versions of english and french spiels, keeping just his laughter is simply not enough!

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Re: Phantom Manor: Magical Mystery Manor Refurbishment Hopes
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2018, 08:14:10 PM »
Ooh yes! I always take a wander up to boot hill and listen to the thump thump!!  It would be great to have a bit of extra development up there. Most people come straight out and mosey back into town a missed opportunity. All this time I thought it was Melanie peeking, well there you go, learnt something new. You have my vote, Vincent in his burgundy velvet smoking jacket would be a great portrait in the entrance hall, but I think its unlikely. These ideas are great and show how much people get invested in a ride and its story. Looking forward to some others views.
1992 Honeymoon DH
1994 Oct DH, 1996 Jan DH, 1998 Oct DH, 2000 Oct DCR, 2002 Jan SL....too many babies so a big break...2010 Mar SF, 2011 Mar SF, 2013 Jan Kyriad, 2013 Apr Gite, 2013 Oct Gite + 2nts DC, 2014 New Year/Jan SF, 2015 New Year/Jan SF, 2015 Oct Gite, 2016 Jan Gite, 2016 Easter Kyriad, 2016 June Explorers, 2016/7 NY Dream Castle and Gite, 2017 Feb Cheyenne "Season of the Force", 2017 May Dream Castle,  2017/8 NY/Jan Gite, 2018 Feb Dream Castle Hotel.

spacemountainplatypi

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Re: Phantom Manor: Magical Mystery Manor Refurbishment Hopes
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 09:43:45 PM »
Ooh yes! I always take a wander up to boot hill and listen to the thump thump!!  It would be great to have a bit of extra development up there. Most people come straight out and mosey back into town a missed opportunity. All this time I thought it was Melanie peeking, well there you go, learnt something new. You have my vote, Vincent in his burgundy velvet smoking jacket would be a great portrait in the entrance hall, but I think its unlikely. These ideas are great and show how much people get invested in a ride and its story. Looking forward to some others views.

I've seen this image floating around online for a couple years now. I think its just some fan's concept art, but I think a further visual cue like this, a costume similar or identical to that of the Phantom's would really help tie the plotline together for guests who don't have any prior knowledge...

"From Time to Time" -Le Visionarium.

Hey, i'm also a D23 Gold Member.... SO THATS FUN!

________Past Trips____________
3 Times in 2001, Twice in 2002, Twice in 2003, Once In 2004, Twice in 2005, Once in 2007, Twice in 2008, 3 times in 2009, Twice in 2010, Twice in 2011, Twice in 2012, Twice in 2013, Once in 2014. February 26-28, 2017.  December 3-6, 2017.

Next Trip: September 2018.

spacemountainplatypi

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Re: Phantom Manor: Magical Mystery Manor Refurbishment Hopes
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 10:34:34 PM »
This is going to be a bit of a long winded reply, but i have a very specific hope for the attraction after refurbishment. Of course as ever, this is pure hypothetics, and there'd be no chance it'd ever actually happen, but i'd like to put the idea out there and get some feedback on it.

The blog i linked in my initial post brought up the idea of how the ride is a lot of vignettes without a clear story, and how something that could elevate the ride is playing into more out-there and uncanny visuals. My thought is, in-part based off Kubrick's The Shining. How the Overlook Hotel is a spatial impossibility, and that the initial build up of ghosts is scarier than the ghosts themselves.  Both of these apply to Phantom Manor in a big way

For instance, examining the exterior of the Manor and then what we see of it inside, it is impossible. Even the ballroom might be longer than the outside façade itself. If you look at the wealth of concepts that went into creating the original Haunted Mansion in Anaheim, the idea of spatial impossibility was played with. And of course, the Stretching Room is the idea come to life. The dead playing with the physical.

The same can very much be said for the build up to scares. Once again returning to  the original Haunted Mansion concepts and the eventual execution, in the attraction yourself there is the threat of the ghosts manifesting, but apart from the Ghost Host, and the hand reaching out of the coffin, you see nothing until the Madam Leota scene, which transitions you into the realm of the spirits manifesting. Of course this isn't applicable to Phantom Manor for story reasons, but to an extent, it adheres to the idea of an unseen threat.

So of course it would be sacrilege to change the ride to any major degree, and the ride simply couldn't majorly play on people's psyche's', but here is my idea for what the Manor could be.

The attraction tells the story of Melanie Ravenswood, the Bride left at the altar, and the evil Phantom who taunts her (who may or may not be her father. Visual cues to hint but people can make up their minds.) Some of the story can be told through narration, but visual storytelling is important, potentially such as the portrait image i linked in an above post. I think the outside queue is incredible as it is. You know something has gone wrong here, and as you wind your way through the gardens towards the house, there's this oncoming feeling of doom. The ride would begin as before, the stretching room with the hanging above clear, and loading through the portrait gallery. Here is where my proposed changes begin: As the ride begins to progress through the house, we get glimpses at Melanie, however this is the only real encounter we have We are aware of the Phantom's presence as our narrator and that he was hanging a man in the stretching room, but other than that taste of his nature, we don't see anymore of him until later. So other than Melanie, we don't directly see any other ghosts, only the threat of them and the Phantom. This is where i make my first major diversion, the Madam Leota scene is replaced with a pitch black room, with an animatronic of the Phantom, still skullfaced, lurking silently in the darkness. The Phantom's evil corrupts the very room around you as he brings forth more  spirits from the afterlife to this mock of a party.

The ballroom is utterly perfect, and nothing needs to be changed for it. And i'd say neither does the Bride's boudoir, except some fixing up of the effects. As we leave the manor onto the muddy plane outside *and with the back walls being installed with video effects to simulate rain and wind on the trees*, we pass by the Phantom and his demon dog as he laughs, here we begin to slowly descend into the catacombs. Around us Skeletons emerge from out of their coffins, but this is where things change once again. There is no skeletal Bride, there is no singing busts (as much as it pains me to say so), but there is only the physical dead, emerging, moving towards our Doom Buggies. But we safely turn the corner and leave the caskets. But we are not in Phantom Canyon, and we certainly are not on the surface.

Still underground in ramshackle mine tunnels, we pass through as the ceiling above us quakes, as if an earthquake is occurring (see? plotline lore there), and what becomes immediately visible to us is that we pass by  Native American burial plots. THATS RIGHT. The Manor, and the very town of Thunder Mesa was built on a spiritual burial ground, which has caused the curse of the town. For now, the rumbling above has stopped as we slowly cruise past mining equipment and trains that move without an operator, as well as Big Thunder Mountain rockwork allusions and signs saying "Property of the Thunder Mesa Mining Company - by the order of Henry Ravenswood". And then, for one final time, as if the sign was his cue, we come across the puppet master, the Phantom in all his decomposed glory. Laughing at us with his arms maniacally out, standing in a dark cavern ahead of us. We swerve to miss him and the mine surroundings have changed to stone. We're in a cellar. The cellar of Ravenswood Manor, and ahead of us, Melanie, not skeletal, but fully formed, silent and sad, points to the way out, saving us from the Phantom's evil. But the Phantom tries one final time to keep us trapped in his domain by rocking the doom buggy as he appears above it in mirrors we look at, but his grasp loosens, and we depart.

On our way out, instead of a little Leota-Bride, there's merely a portrait of Melanie that's illuminated by some unseen, ghostly light. Then we exit to the outside world, and into Boot Hill, where some good old fashioned grave stone fun is.

Apologies for the long and rambling hypothesis, but this was just my thought. My personal hope for how the attraction could be made even better. I'd love to hear some feedback.... and uh, sorry about clogging up this thread   :D

Have to recommend this blog for its tireless amount of work and effort that goes into all its posts, and offers some incredible information about the attraction's various incarnations: https://longforgottenhauntedmansion.blogspot.co.uk/
"From Time to Time" -Le Visionarium.

Hey, i'm also a D23 Gold Member.... SO THATS FUN!

________Past Trips____________
3 Times in 2001, Twice in 2002, Twice in 2003, Once In 2004, Twice in 2005, Once in 2007, Twice in 2008, 3 times in 2009, Twice in 2010, Twice in 2011, Twice in 2012, Twice in 2013, Once in 2014. February 26-28, 2017.  December 3-6, 2017.

Next Trip: September 2018.

msRavenswood

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Re: Phantom Manor: Magical Mystery Manor Refurbishment Hopes
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 08:26:38 AM »
I really love your ideas, they would take the ride to a different level! Although I'd be sad to miss Leota and the singing busts.

 

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