VIDEO: Ride through Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland, taking The Haunted Mansion in a totally new high-tech direction

in Disney, Entertainment, Hong Kong Disneyland, Theme Parks

In just a couple weeks, Hong Kong Disneyland will complete its four year, three land expansion with the grand opening of Mystic Point and Mystic Manor, a high-tech new spin on the classic Disney dark ride. Though Mystic Manor doesn’t officially open until May 17, select previews have already begun landing full ride-through videos online that are immediately impressing fans worldwide.

Mystic Manor is not The Haunted Mansion. It may be set inside a mysterious house atop a hill, featuring supernatural elements inside – but that’s where the comparisons end. Instead of duplicating the gathering of grim grinning ghosts that appear in The Haunted Mansion rides in the United States and Tokyo or even elaborating on that idea as with Phantom Manor in Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland takes the spooky dark ride concept in a whole new direction.

The new land called Mystic Point is described as “the site of mysterious forces and supernatural events in the heart of a dense, uncharted rain forest.” And Mystic Manor is the centerpiece, “home to an eccentric world traveler and adventurer and his collection of exotic international artifacts.” Inside, a mischievous monkey named Albert unleashes an enchanted music box’s magical powers resulting in an incredibly unique theme park experience.

Through the use of a trackless ride system, advanced Audio-Animatronics figures, and plenty of other special visual and audio effects, Mystic Manor stands on its own as a Disney dark ride for the 21st century.

Videos below offer a fantastic look inside the new attraction, one offering highlights professionally shot from a Hong Kong news organization, the others presenting the queue, pre-show and a full ride through amateur (but fairly well shot) footage.

Prepare to be amazed.

VIDEO: Mystic Manor highlights

VIDEO: Mystic Manor queue walkthrough

VIDEO: Mystic Manor pre-show and ride

VIDEO: Mystic Manor full ride

And yes, that’s the voice talent of Frank Welker as Albert the monkey, also having recently voiced Megatron for Universal Studios’ Transformers: The Ride 3D (along with many, many other animated voices over the past several decades).

Albert is integral to Mystic Manor’s story, beginning with an appearance in the pre-show.

And ultimately, there’s plenty of Mystic Manor merchandise available in the attraction’s gift shop, including plushes of Albert.

It’s no surprise that Hong Kong Disneyland is the home to this particularly unique ride that follows the supernatural theme. The same park is also home to an elaborate Halloween event that gets bigger each year.

Here’s a further look at other areas of Mystic Point, the Garden of Wonders and Freight Depot:

Combined with the recent openings of Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Playland, the park that opened relatively small in 2005 has now become a must-see.

Amazed fans are already calling for something similar to be built at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park at Walt Disney World, more excited about Mystic Manor than the announced Avatar project slated for that park. After all, Mystic Manor does center around an explorer and a monkey, which is close enough to Animal Kingdom’s theme… right?

So, who’s ready to book a trip to Hong Kong Disneyland?


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    This really would be the perfect attraction for Animal Kingdom.

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    Teddy Leo

    Just spectacular. Imagineering have been design and making some great rides and lands recently. Radiator springs and all of carsland, New Fantasyland, Test Track. I cant wait to see what they have in store for us at AvatarLand, Shanghai Disneyland, and Marvel

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      ***Disney thinks Avatar is the answer just because it was a successful movie like Harry Potter at Universal. Problem is there are a lot of people NOT looking forward to Avatar’s next movie. If disney were smart about this bring an attraction (RIDE) that’s already creating buzz that’s not in FL. MYSTIC MANOR, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, OR INDIANA JONES would all be perfect fits for Animal Kingdom, have that disney feel and would create buzz. Not avatar….

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        HEHEHEHEHE I would be game for all three of those rides going to Animal Kingdom except Indiana Jones because that can be part of Lucus Land over at Disney Hollywood Studios. I would also love to see a Jungle Book boat ride go in.

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    Anyone else think this should be the new ride system at Imagination?

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      You could not be more right.

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        Joesph Killio

        Anyone else think this should be coming to Animal Kingdom instead of Avatar. I’ve been on that Journey to the Center of the Earth ride in Tokyo and its AMAZING..Journey to the Center of the earth, Indiana Jones or Mystic Manor would be an amazing addition to Animal Kingdom.

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    Oh man, that score, THAT SCORE!

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      Dan Z

      Bring in this, Indiana Jones or Journey to the Center of the Earth to animal kingdom…no one is looking forward to Avatar really.

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        Im excited for Avatar. I dont want a clone of everything. I think we need to just trust WDI and what they have planned before we bash Avatar for a proven concept

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      Any word on who did the score? It is really great.

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        Danny Elfman!

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        I believe it was Danny Elfman.

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    Seems like EPCOT’s Journey into Imagination mixed with HM

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    I agree, I would love this in Animal Kingdom somewhere (maybe in Camp Micky & Minnie, since Asia is crowded enough already with Expedition Everest?).

    I have to ask though: since this attraction has English voice acting, isn’t it already destined for the U.S.? I mean, I know there are probably enough people in Hong Kong that speak English, but why not dub a ride in the native tongue?

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      The two official languages of Hong Kong are Cantonese and English (remember that it was a British colony up to 1997). 96% of people in Hong Kong speak Cantonese, 48% speak Mandarin and 46% speak English. I suspect that they chose English for the ride because the image of an eccentric British explorer would resonate automatically with people living there. If they duplicate the ride in Shanghai, I bet it would be dubbed in Mandarin.

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    Marc Morini

    This is well beyond any expectations I had for the attraction. Since it is meant to be unique to Hong Kong I doubt it will come state side but something in the “spirt” of this amazing attraction would draw me to Animal Kingdom way more then Avatar…..

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        Duncan McPherson

        Great Idea

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    Incredible! This is the kind of updated dark ride Disney World has been missing. I do see that this could work at Animal Kingdom if an area of the park was designed to be in the spirit of adventure. Mystic Manor looks like a fantastic experience all around!

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      Dan Z

      Bring it to AK!!!!

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    Did anyone notice the Thurl Ravenscroft statue in the top left of the first room of the ride?

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      Also there are a pair of the busts that stare at you to the left of the medusa changing portrait. Besides these busts, the unbroken Ravenscroft bust in the first room, the Medusa portrait and singing suits of armor (like the singing busts), does anybody notice any other direct connection with the original Haunted Mansion in Mystic Manor?

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    Hmm, a monkey and a music box? You’d think we would have learned…
    “Lot 665, ladies and gentlemen: a papier-maché musical box, in the shape of a barrel-organ. Attached, the figure of a monkey in Persian robes playing the cymbals.” Oh wait, wrong show. 🙁

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      I liked the (trackless!) ride vehicles, the blow dart guns which I imagine use a puff of air in your face?, the cyclone room with the break-away wall, and the “painted lady” Victorian show building exterior. Kudos to all!

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    I so agree that WDW needs a Mystic Manor of some sort! Very exciting to watch! I wonder if the rooms also changed temperature when the cold wind blew the flowers off the tree.

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      Joesph Killio

      Disney really needs to reasses how their going to bring people to Animal Kingdom and let me tell you…AVATAR IS NOT THE ANSWER..As was mentioned by others THIS, INDIANA JONES, OR JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH WOULD GET THE JOB DONE!!!

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        Indiana Jones does not belong in Animal Kingdom!

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    Wow….I would love to ride this! I thought it was going to be an alternate spin on the Haunted Mansion, sort of like the Phantom Manor…but these effects are fantastic!

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    ***Disney thinks Avatar is the answer just because it was a successful movie like Harry Potter at Universal. Problem is there are a lot of people NOT looking forward to Avatar’s next movie. If disney were smart about this bring an attraction (RIDE) that’s already creating buzz that’s not in FL. MYSTIC MANOR, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, OR INDIANA JONES would all be perfect fits for Animal Kingdom, have that disney feel and would create buzz. Not avatar….

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    Duncan McPherson

    I like Walt Disney World, but I always wonder why attractions like Carsland or Mystic Manor are put in other parks. I thought all the Parks and resorts were under same umbrella

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    Why does everyone want this ride in WDW?
    Do you know how much that costs?
    WDW guests are very happy with the current parks and all their historical rides. We give them a half ass “game” with some lame effects and they line up in front of our hotels, eat our food and buy our “made in China” souvenirs.
    And just to show you how much we appreciate our guests we are going to build Avatar. There are warehouses full of crap, excuse me, beautifull souvenirs we can sell in the park that didn’t get sold at Walmart after the movie came out.

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      I agree – people complain about the upkeep/lack of WOW attractions at WDW, but they keep showing up and spending money.

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    This is truly incredible! I think most people are in agreement that the Avatar project will not bring huge crowds to Animal Kingdom, much in the same way that the New Fantasyland has not brought in huge numbers for the Magic Kingdom. Unique rides like this are essential for Disney to compete with Universal’s continued expansions, which not only showcase some of the best theming ever brought to a theme park, but utilize some of the newer technologies available. Homerun for Disney on this ride!

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    michael stapf

    the most amazing version of the haunted mansion ever!, i’m very happy that it has references to the original, a fun video to see 😀

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    i love Disney and i live in the Orlando area but i cant understand why all of these other parks besides Disney world are getting original and awesome rides while we just keep getting dumb downed rehashes of those rides

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      You couldn’t be anymore wrong, even if you tried! >:(

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    In my opinion Disney really needs to rethink their new ride concepts in order to keep up with Universal. According to rumors the new avatar ride layout concept is just another simulator ride. That’s definitely not going to get the job done. Disney should or MUST develop a new ride that is original and unique OR construct a ride that is already successful for Animal Kingdom like Tokyo Disney’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, Disneyland’s Indiana Jones or Mystic Manor. All are relevant to the Animal Kingdom’s categorized theme. Avatar on the other hand just seems like a last minute desperation ride concept from disney in chasing a random movie that did well in theatres…AND isn’t it ironic how disney says the ride won’t be complete for a few years JUST around the same time the next movie will come out..UNFORTUNATELY no one is looking forward to the next movie and this will not bring disney the success their looking for….ALL IN ALL- Journey to the Center of the Earth, Indiana Jones, or Mystic Manor ARE THE SOLUTIONS!

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      its a sorin type of sim and there is also a log flume but ya not very inventive

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    Jeff Lynch

    I want this built at Animal Kingdom. They could build the Adventurers Club there too as a restaurant. It would be great, because it would be like going to animal kingdom to be a great explorer and discover all about the animals.

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      I completely concur. When I first saw these ride-through videos on YouTube, I instantly thought that this would fit perfectly into AK and also thought that reviving the Adventurers Club would make for a fantastic new land. Forget about Avatar land, don’t they see how many people hate this idea. Mystic Point at Animal kingdom makes so much sense and could finally bring the fantasy element that has been promised but never really delivered since the inception of AK.

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    Sabi Reyes

    Who knows someone who speaks well about the idea of ​​making ‘Avatar’ themed land and rides for Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World?

    I have not seen any positive comments about the idea, in any forum

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      I asked Joe Rohde about it. He explained that it fit in DAK because the story it tells is that we should respect nature and animals are cool. I’m super-paraphrasing. That it’s an adventure but it’s not the movie. Also, he reassured me that James Cameron would not be writing any dialogue for it, which was a great relief.

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        Which is kind of funny because Avatar is the most anti-nature “environmental” film ever made: constructed almost entirely within computers, it imagines nature as a computer system in which minds can be booted up into fleshy machines that connect with a planet-wide fibre optic network by their built-in USB cables. It doesn’t speak to nature. It speaks to people who have no experience of what nature is actually like.

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    This ride really makes me miss Figment. And I wish/ hope the Imagineers are planning something for the old Imagination! Pavilion

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    it’s B-E-A-U-tiful!!!!! I agree with what everyone is saying here about bringing a particular three attractions to DAK…. HOWEVER!!! everyone keeps saying the word “OR”… I do not agree to that word. I agree to the word “AND.” DAK needs a lot of help. It’s beautiful don’t get me wrong, but it needs a huge injection of attractions to make it worth wild. I feel like three really good E-tickets would be great (with a different story plot to the Indiana Jones ride), a good night time show and/or parade, and a reimagined Dinoland USA. All of these combined would make for one very amazing worth wild place. Maybe so good and current that it would maybe be my second favorite Disney park. That’s all I’m asking announced at the D23 expo. Is that too much? And after all of that is built and done, if they still want to build Avatar, then I will let them. Until then Disney, please drop the taller smurfs… PLEASE!!!!!…. that is all

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    Wonderful article. Thanks to Ricky for putting all the video and details in one place.

    Apart from the monkey character, this ride doesn’t have an animal theme, so why the drumbeat to see this in DAK? Thematically, it’s a much better fit for Adventureland in MK (whether there’s room is another matter).

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      Adventureland is effectively a whole Adventureland theme park, much like how Epcot is effectively a whole Tomorrowland theme park. Mystic Manor fits the idea of exploration and adventure in far-flung, exotic locales, which is how Animal Kingdom contextualizes it display of animals. If one were to consider putting a Haunted Mansion-type of dark ride in Animal Kingdom, Mystic Manor would be perfect.

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    From what I had heard about this, I thought it was just gonna be a new hyped up and technically advanced version of the Haunted Mansion. But after watching these videos I realize that this is much more than that. This is really cooler than the haunted mansion. And, one of the main characters is voiced by Frank Welker, who did stuff like Megatron and Scooby-Doo! That man voiced my childhood!

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    First Imagineeers give us Cars Land, then New Fantasyland, and now this? Honestly, I think Imagineers must have the funnest job in the world.
    And I never really was on board with all the Avatar-land hate, but I would much rather see “Mystic Manor” come to U.S. parks before Avatar-land.

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    Craig Hargrove

    Thanks for the ride Ricky. Awesome!

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    ANIMAL KINGDOM NEEDS INDIANA JONES, MYSTIC MANOR AND JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH!!! NOT AVATAR…ITS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE DISNEY…Stop trying to just go after any movie that does well…small secret…not many people are looking forward to the next avatar movie anyway. BRING IN INDIANA JONES!!!

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    Amazing ride! Thank you so much for posting the videos of the que, preshow, and 2 rides through. The new ride system makes for interesting changes of perspective on each ride Seems like there might be new things in each room that one can see depending on the angle of the ride vehicle. I probably will never get over to that part of the world :,( but I sure would love to see some more videos maybe of the exteriors.

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    I would looove to see this ride brought to the US (Hong Kong is so far!). And it would be a great way to bring back the Adventurer’s Club along with it (kungaloosh!)

    I also think this ride, or one very similar, could do extremely well in Epcot, actually. Maybe not as ‘Mystic Manor’ exactly, but possibly a replacement for Imagination (as a couple others on here have said).

    The story and theme would have to be adjusted a bit, kind of like how the Tower of Terror is slightly different in each park. Maybe instead of an Explorer, this time its an Inventor and his pet monkey ( or even Dreamfinder and Figment) with a new machine that can enhance guests imaginations and make things seem to come to life…. just an idea, or rather, one little spark 😉

    But over all, I am just sooo happy with Mystic Manor! Really well done, and love the subtle nods to the original Haunted Mansion.

    Also, anyone else notice that the moving/ changing paintings are all done in Marc Davis’s style? Fantastic touch, Disney 😉

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    While I agree that Mystic Manor would be a great addition to DAK, I can’t agree that Indiana Jones would be because of its similarity to Dinosaur.

    Maybe Journey To The Center of the Earth, but I’d rather see that at Disneyland, in a Steampunk addition to North Frontierland.

    And while I’m no fan of James Cameron, and I’ve never seen Avatar, I do think there is an incredible and unreasonable rush to judgement on this project.

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