45 years ago to the day, the Haunted Mansion opened in Anaheim, today imagineers held a Q&A session in which Alice Davis said that Phantom Manor would have driven Walt mad as the attraction is designed to look ‘run-down’. This prompted Disneyland Paris fans to react in defense of the classic Frontierland attraction, but the response was not quite what was expected:
— InsideDLParis (@InsideDLParis) August 9, 2014
Enjoy it while we can? What was this supposed to mean? Well, rumoured for the 25th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris are 10 attraction updates of which Phantom Manor seems destined to be one. It is important here to remember than a previous update in Disneyland Paris was the switch from Space Mountain: De la Terre à la Lune to Space Mountain: Mission 2, a change that most fans still lament to this day. The update kept the same track but ripped out the Jules Verne inspired storyline and the original music. This attraction lost its charm.
All we know for the moment is what @InsideDLParis has tweeted, which is that ‘Time will tell what will happen to it’, ‘It won’t remain the same as today’ and that he is ‘afraid that most of us won’t be happy’ .
An update could consist of many things: The ideal would be a ride system renewal which Phantom Manor is in dire need of, or a total story change. Disneyland Paris fans love the stories and tales of the resort and how each little thing is a clue to the story, this is especially true in Thunder Mesa which has arguably one of the greatest storylines in any Disney Park. It’d be a great shame to see anything major occurring to change it.
Could updating 10 attractions be Disneyland Paris’ biggest gamble yet? From a marketing perspective its genius, come 2017 you can market 10 brand new rides though from a story perspective it’s a risk – and a big one at that. How many times have guests been heard grumbling about the story of Phantom Manor as opposed to a genuinely troubled attraction such as Armageddon? 10 failed attraction updates could be a huge downfall for the resort; on the other hand 10 successful updates could bring a real breath of fresh life into a park that has not seen much attention since the 2006 opening of Buzz Lightyear: Laser Blasters.
Let’s remain positive for now – we do not yet know what the update entails, it could just be a technology update which really could bring added enjoyment to what is already a Disneyland Paris classic. And of course until anything official comes from Disneyland Paris, it is just a rumour.
This update would land around 2017 at the earliest, so there is still time to head over to Phantom Manor and join those 999 happy haunts, before they finally take their final ghoul.