Updated September 4, 2017
I attended the 2016 Happiest Haunts Tour at Disneyland recently.
Let’s see what it’s all about.
This year’s tour is quite different from years past. Disneyland’s tour direction has changed drastically, scaling down from several options to just three now – Happiest Haunts, Holiday Time at the Disneyland Resort, and Walk in Walt’s Footsteps.
I loved the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour from a few years ago, and will be reviewing it again after the 2017 holiday season.
For now, let’s talk Happiest Haunts.
This tour typically lasts around 2 hours. Most days include two options, time wise. 10:00am is your first available time slot and 11:00am is your second.
The 2016 tour cost $85. With that, you’ll be included in the walking tour of the park and you’ll receive:
A souvenir name tag:
A cookie mid-tour:
A commemorative trading pin and FASTPASS for the Haunted Mansion to be used at any time:
What to Expect
Guests of all abilities and ages can enjoy this experience. One guest on the tour I enjoyed was in a scooter and another had a walking cane. The pace is set so that anyone could keep up.
After checking in about 15 minutes prior to tour time, we set out through Town Square, onto Main Street, over to the entrance of Tomorrowland, into Adventureland, through Frontierland and finally into New Orleans Square. We finished at the Haunted Mansion, naturally.
This experience is completely focused on the Haunted Mansion. You’ll go through other parts of the park to see how bits and pieces of the attraction were influenced from other attractions and time periods within Disneyland’s history.
I enjoyed walking down Main Street the most, learning how imagineers from Disneyland history came together at varying times to create this attraction.
You’ll be shown specific people who influenced the Haunted Mansion, one of which was Marc Davis:
Before enjoying the actual Tiki Room attraction and learning how audio animatronics played into the creation of the Haunted Mansion, you’ll meet “Ophelia”, one of the flowers from the Tiki Room, and see more in depth how these characters work:
My favorite part of the tour was learning about the Museum of the Weird and what all we could have seen had this part of the Haunted Mansion actually taken shape. Sad that it didn’t.
Small details throughout the park will be shown to you and you’ll learn how they each tied into the Haunted Mansion. For example, above the porch on Main Street, the palm in the Palm Parlor is connected:
As the tour concludes, you’ll learn how the mansion compares to others throughout Disney parks. You’ll learn that within each park, the mansion resides in a different land. No two are the same and each has defining qualities that make it fit within its park.
The history of how our Haunted Mansion – the first – came to be is discussed at great length. You’ll hear details of how and why it stood vacant for 6 years, as guests wandered by wandering WHAT was happening inside.
You’ll also be told specifics of how the Jack Skellington Nightmare Before Christmas overlay came to be, why it first was considered, and how the 2016 version’s gingerbread house developed.
Other specifics, tied to the Haunted Mansion, that will be highlighted include:
- Sarah Winchester
- Trees from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Constance, the bride
- Madame Leota
- Harriet Burns
- How the Disneyland Haunted Mansion elevator compares to others
- How you actually exit the park during the attraction
- Which flowers – and why- grace the Haunted Mansion
- Why the pillar with FASTPASS return times is important
- More on previous versions of the gingerbread house in Jack Skellington’s overlay
- Hatbox ghost
I thoroughly enjoyed the tour, as any experience with the history of Disneyland is completely thrilling for me. Our tour guide, Nicholas, was an absolute delight. I would love to see him on other tours, too.
Young children won’t enjoy this as much as older ones will because it’s heavily focused on history. The cookie mid-tour was a nice surprise, however, I recommend bringing along a bottle of water or other drink so that you have something to accompany it.
For more on Halloween Time at Disneyland, be sure to visit my post. I’ve shared many details from the first party of 2016, how you can enjoy the season if you don’t attend the party, what the new parade looks like and more.