Up or Down? The Haunted Mansion Stretching Room

Up or Down? The Haunted Mansion Stretching Room


When you step into the famous octagonal room,
your first stop at the Haunted Mansion, the disembodied ghost-host asks: “Is this room
actually stretching? Or is it just your imagination?” Well it’s not your imagination. It is stretching, but in which direction? The answer to that question actually depends
on which Haunted Mansion you’re visiting. Both rooms do stretch. However in Disneyland over in California guests
are lowered down as the room stretches while guests over in Disney World in Florida remain
put as the ceiling stretches upwards. So why is that? Well the original design was born out of necessity. You see, Disneyland isn’t a very large park,
and so Disney always had to be careful with how they used the space they had. When it came time to designing the Haunted
Mansion, the idea was to place the bulk of the ride building on the outer edge of the
park, outside of the Disneyland Railroad which acted as a border. The ride’s facade and entrance, however,
would remain on the inside of the park, creating the problem of getting guests onto the other
side of the railroad tracks. That’s where the stretching room comes in. By lowering everyone underground on the open
air elevator disguised as a room, guests would be able to easily and safely make their way
to the doom buggies where they could experience the ride on the other side of the tracks. Over in Florida size wasn’t an issue so
they didn’t have to employ the same solution. In fact, it would have been hard to do even
if they wanted to. Because the waterbed in Florida is so shallow,
Disney can’t dig too far down into the ground. It’s the same reason why the famous underground
tunnels known as the utilidoors aren’t actually underground. They were built first on the surface level
of the land, and the rest of the Magic Kingdom was built on top of it. Even though they didn’t need to lower guests
underground in Disney World, the stretching room was still a key part of the Haunted Mansion. So instead, the room was designed such that
the upper half would raise up when stretching while guests stood in place. That said, there is one similar instance of
that trick being used in the Magic Kingdom. Because the main building for Space Mountain
sits outside of the Walt Disney World Railroad, guests need to somehow get onto the other
side of the tracks. That’s why the queue for Disney World’s
Space Mountain requires descending a few gradual ramps before eventually ascending back up
into the main queue room. The Haunted Mansion’s stretching room is
a wonderful example of Imagineering ingenuity. When faced with a problem they found a creative
solution that not only solved the issue, but made for a memorable part of an even more
memorable ride.

90 Replies to “Up or Down? The Haunted Mansion Stretching Room”

  1. Great video!! I read a lot of haunted mansion history so i already knew about the elevator in land and the moving walls in world! But I didn't know about the layouts!!!! Thanks!!!

  2. To my eyes the effect works better with the lowering elevator in Anaheim. The additional show scenes in Florida make that the overall better Mansion, however.

  3. That awkward moment when you've ridden space mountain over 20 times and it never dawned on you that the ride and queue were set up to accommodate for the train tracks. Thanks for explaining that! 🙂

  4. Hi Rob ive been a sub for the last 3 years and I remembered youre old minecraft disney server review. You should reboot that series but now with new rides added to the server

  5. I thought that I was already subscribed to you, so I wondered why I wasn't getting notifications, It turns out I was not subscribed. But I am now!

  6. Question: What do you think about the rumor of apple buying disney, do you think this a good idea to do? If so, how would it affect the parks?

  7. It's pretty obvious lol. (btw, I'm typing this before watching, just giving my quick thoughts. This only applies to the HM in Disneyland, where it DOES carry you underground. WDW is a completely different beast, as it doesn't carry guests underground) The show building that it's taking you to is underground, across from the Disneyland Railroad. The facade is ground level, so therefore the stretching room is an elevator to carry guests downwards underground. The stretching room is a clever distraction, as though not to break the theming by having guests enter a normal elevator, but instead a haunted room that "stretches".

  8. Pirates of the Caribbean in WDW also goes under the railway. Instead of the line taking you outside the ride itself has a short 'flume-like' downhill to get you there.

  9. Nice video, this explained better to my friends that I could. But the way it in just called the Utilidor, officially it is never pluralized.

  10. Your channel is what I was looking for for so long in terms of content and quality. Really really good, congratulations.

  11. The stretching room is a confusing location in The Haunted Mansion, because it's hard to interpret if it is really stretching. My parents told me that this ride is a Hollywood façade. I apologize for spoiling the magic.

  12. Hey! Where did you get that map of the park? I work at Disneyland but I've never seen anything like that. So cool!

  13. I was once on a ghost ride in the beginning room where there was a creepy ghost voice and I started crying because I was scared… turns out, since it was low budget, the voice was live. He apologized to me.

  14. Splash Mountain in WDW also has a small down/up section in the ride that was designed to get guests under the railway

  15. You can find out yourself! Next time you ride either WDL or WDW's Haunted Mansion, just jump. You'll feel a slight pull at WDL, but nothing in WDW.

  16. When my class went there for our senior trip, the Disney employee guide asked if there were any chaperones in the room. It was silent. So he goes "Have a SPOOKY 420 yall". Everyone lost it. There was def a few people chillin on that ride….

  17. 1:29 "Because the water bed in Florida is so shallow…"

    * water TABLE. A water BED is something people slept on in the '70s.

  18. You're so astute! I knew one did and one didn't but I didn't know it was because of the train. These imagineers are so clever.

  19. I just wanna thank the Kingdom Keepers books for telling me this fact and making me feel really smart as the video started😂😂

  20. So does the disneyland haunted mansion descend while the room also stretches upwards, or is the effect achieved by descent alone?

  21. The stretching room was my favorite part of the whole ride, where it started off as so normal , the first time I went there I ask if it was the haunted mansion ride, then it started to change with a climax of the ceiling disappearing and revealing the the remains of the ghost host. As a child I drew endless pictures of this room. It's a neat trick that both the ceiling and the floor go in opposite directions giving the audience a magician's misdirection on what's going on. This is not just a creative solution to a problem of space for the attraction but it serves a symbolic purpose to the mythos of this ride, a passage from the real world into its "underworld" of supernatural dark fantasy. From then on the scenery of the ride becomes dark and foreboding.

  22. i have one question though. For Anaheim, I know it goes down but when on it, I never see an outline of the door we walked in to to get inside the elevator. There has to be an outline somewhere because how do we get in and not see an outline of an entrance.

  23. Hey! Great video and quick question – I'm at Disneyland Paris and was wondering: does this room stretch down or does the ceiling stretch up? It is oriented very high up on the hill so I'm assuming the room would stretch down.

    Similarly I was in Tokyo last year and do you know about that haunted mansion? I'm assuming because it's right on the water that the ceiling would stretch up similar to Magic Kingdom's.

  24. I learned the difference between the two through personal experience. My brother is in a wheelchair so, in order for him to go on the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland we had to use the stretching room to get back to the exit, but we did not have to in WDW. That's when I learned that one was an elevator that lowered us down, while the other was a ceiling that rose up.

  25. The Haunted Mansion was the first attraction developed for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World at the same time. Since they knew WDW would have a HM counterpart, everything was duplicated and it was one of the first things completed. It was actually built and ready at nearly the same time Disneyland's version opened.

  26. The portraits that line the stretching room have always fascinated me even as a kid, has there ever been an official backstory to the people in the portraits? Did the lady sitting on the tombstone kill her husband with an axe? Why was the man standing on a barrel of lit TBT in his boxers? Who was the girl on the tightrope? Who was the top man on the guys sinking in quicksand?

  27. Rob, you're wrong, the water table isn't too high in Florida for underground construction. Sure there's areas of the state where you can't build underground due to the high water table, but I doubt the Orlando area is one of them

  28. Uhm. That's strange, I went to DW for the first time on February, and although I had already watched videos of the stretching room I never had stopped to think how that worked. When I was at it felt like I was slowly descending and it clicked to me it probably was an elevator. Now knowing the DL really uses and elevator system but DW doesn't, left me scratching my head.

  29. I honestly don't remember any of this ride. I couldn't ride it the first time I went for reasons and the last time I went it's how I found out I had epilepsy (blacking out within the first 20 or so seconds of the ride). Still cool effects.

  30. I always wanted to know how the haunted mansion thing where you go into a large room (now remember I was a kid when I went so it's hard to remember exactly) and it's a large row of seats……… like ummm rows of benches maybe…

    And all of a sudden the whol room starts to spin up side down…. and go nuts and the room definitely rocks back and forth and it feels like you're flipping up side down and shit (obviously ur not it's visuals) but I remmeber that was awesome…. and i think it was the haunted mansion where you go in an elevator……

    or maybe the one where it's liek train and you see holographs of ghosts and shit. I can't remember xD

  31. They should make a Netflix movie about this character. I heard they also call her Daisy De la Cruz and she was a witch who turned her lovers to gators and one got revenge

  32. The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland had the elevators installed as early as the facade’s construction in 1962, but it wasn’t really used until 1969.

  33. When I was little my grandma was in a wheel chair so since I was small I knew the portraits would shrink back. I never knew it was because I was actually on an elevator till I was older. The host actually said “take this secret to your graves” lol. I never told anyone about the pictures secret cause I actually thought I would be haunted by the ghost host. Now everyone knows.

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