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Is Haunted Mansion At Disney Too Scary For Kids? Parents Guide To Rides At Disney

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Taking your kiddos to Walt Disney World or Disneyland is practically a rite of passage in America. And many parents want to take their children when they are “young enough to experience the magic”. Spoiler alert: you are NEVER too old or too young to experience magic at Disney! However, taking young children can cause concerns if they are not used to theme park rides and attractions. This parents ride guide will help you decide if the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney is too scary for kids in your household.

Is The Haunted Mansion Ride At Disney Too Scary For Kids? Parents Ride Guide

This Parents Ride Guide is part of a series focusing on the elements of Disney World and Disneyland attractions that might be unexpectedly scary for your kids. This post will mention details that could be considered spoilers, so please read with caution.

About The Haunted Mansion At Disney World and Disneyland

Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion first opened its doors and Doom Buggies to guests in 1969.

Disney World’s version followed in 1971 as an original opening day attraction.

Both rides follow a similar storyline with some differences. The differences do not make one more scary than the other, so this guide should be accurate for either Disneyland or Disney World.

Haunted Mansion under construction at Magic Kingdom Park in 1971 at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Disney)

Is The Haunted Mansion Ride At Disney Too Scary For Kids? Parents Ride Guide

As always, you know your child best. But as a gentle reminder: just because a child is tall enough for an attraction that doesn’t mean they are always ready for one.

Disney doesn’t try to make rides that are too scary for kids, but some children may have unexpected reactions to certain experiences at Disney World or Disneyland.

This parent ride guide to the Haunted Mansion will let you know about elements that kids may find concerning or scary before you get in line.

In this series, we’ll run down the ride basics to include if there are flashing lights, loud noises, spins, drops, jump scare elements, dark moments, scary themes, and overall general speed or intensity.

si the haunted mansion too scary for kids? tombstone that says in memory of our patriarch dear departed grandpa marc

What Does The Ride Vehicle Look Like For The Haunted Mansion?

You’ll be seated in a “Doom Buggy” for the entire ride, which is a vehicle system that swivels around as you move forward through the attraction.

A moving sidewalk will help you align next to your ride vehicle and you will step in.

The Doom Buggys seat 2 or 3 people each and a safety lap bar will close down on its own.

This ride vehicle and entry is similar to what you will experience on Under The Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid.

Doom Buggy vehicles. Photo: Cory Doctorow

The Haunted Mansion Ride Is Dark With Some Flashing Elements & Loud Thunderous Booms

It’s dark visually as well as thematically, at least at first. The attraction does lighten up a bit at the end.

The first part of the attraction is the most intense from a scare factor.

There is a thunderstorm and lightning flashes can be seen through some windows.

If your children are afraid of the dark, they may find the Haunted Mansion ride too scary for them.

Stretching Room Pre-Show Can Be Terrifying

When you enter the stretching room (the first enclosed room of the ride), you will hear a foreboding tale accompanied by flashing lights and thunderous sounds.

This sets the stage for the ride you will encounter through the next set of doors.

At the end of the speech, a loud scream and a hanging body is seen in the rafters if you look up at the ceiling. This initial room is the most frightening part of The Haunted Mansion ride for most children.

If this sounds too intense for your child, you can ask to skip this part of the ride. Simply ask a Cast Member for assistance.

Children who do not care for dark and spooky haunted house experiences may have initial concerns with this attraction.

is the haunted mansion too scary for kids? parents guide to the ride at disney world

Is The Haunted Mansion Ride Too Scary: Jump Scares

Haunted Mansion can be scary for some toddlers and kids when it comes to minor jump scares. This doesn’t happen until the end of the ride and nothing gets close to your face or your ride vehicle.

The graveyard scene is one big party, but the ghosts like to pop up from behind headstones from time to time.

This could make Haunted Mansion scary for kids.

is the haunted mansion too scary for kids
photo: Disney Parks Blog

Are There Drops?

This ride does not have any drops.

Scary Themes

As your narrator- aka Ghost Host- likes to say, there are 999 happy haunts inside, but there’s always room for 1000!

The scary theme is, obviously, ghosts.

Madame Leota haunted mansion

Objects will move on their own inside the Mansion and ghosts will be seen throughout the ride. There is also a seance taking place in one of the rooms with a floating head in a glass ball speaking to you (Madame Leota).

Most of it is meant to be spooky and silly, not strictly scary. But some kids may still have some concerns.

There are no gory moments or blood.

Is The Haunted Mansion Ride Too Scary For Toddlers: Speed

This is a slow-moving ride that gently makes its way through the show building.

It will go at a continuous speed unless unforeseen issues cause it to momentarily pause operation.

The Doom Buggy will rotate at various times, including one backward descent.

busts in the haunted mansion grave yard

Age Rating: Can Toddlers Ride Haunted Mansion?

It will truly depend on how well your child handles mild scares.

Overall, Disney ranks this as family-friendly and it does not have a height requirement.

But with loud noises, flashes, and an overall creepy vibe and storyline, it may be a bit much for some kids.

We’d say this ride is fine for the very young infant to toddlers (up to age 3). this is typically when toddlers start to become a bit more aware of scary things.

From 3-7 may be the key age where children are most scared by the content of this attraction.

At the end of the attraction, there is a photo op with the joke that a hitchhiking ghost may follow you home. This can be highly suggestive for impressionable young kids, so be prepared to explain the magic of Disney photos when it’s all over.

photo pass haunted mansion hitch hiking ghost

Watch The Full Haunted Mansion Ride Through

To prepare yourself or your child, we always suggest YouTube videos of attractions.

Here is one for Haunted Mansion you may enjoy.

Parents Ride Guide Tip Sheet

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