The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly/ a Queue in Review

by on Mar.22, 2011, under Syndicated from the Web

Welcome Foolish Mortals,

So, I have finally calmed down enough to do a fair (on my part) review of the interactive queue.
From my point of view there are two main reasons that this interactive queue does not work.
1.) Story/basic Principles
2.) Design
The Haunted Mansion is supposed to be a a real place in the real world. It was once supposed to be inhabited by real people, but now serves as a resting place for “real” ghosts. (Remembering the word “Real”may help you later.)
I have said before that the Haunted Mansion has no story. But by that I mean backstory. The Mansion does have a story, one that is not clear to some by crystal clear to others (especially those who have listened to the “Story and Song From the Haunted Mansion” album. It is very reminiscent to the “Indiana Jones Adventure” in that you, the guest, are the main character. I’ll spit it up into three acts;
Act 1.
You spot an abandoned mansion along the riverside and are curious to see what is inside. While making your approach you get the feeling that someone or something is watching you. While searching for some type of side-entrance you stumble upon an old family plot. The tombstones give you an uneasy giggle, but despite that the unshakable feeling of a supernatural presence forces you forward. You have found a door and decide to step inside.
Act 2.
(From here on I am not going to go too into detail, since I may have touched upon it before).
You are now introduced to your guide, the Ghost Host, and begin a tour through the manse. You find yourself frightened throughout the corridor of doors because it seems as if the spirits are extremely hostile, trying to “get you” even though you cannot see them. Before nearly being grabbed by the shadow of a spirit, you find yourself in a seance. Because Madame Leota is/was a medium, she has the ability to materialize the spirits, so that you are able to see them.
Act 3:
You find that these “Hostile Ghosts”were not trying to get you, but rather, trying to meet you. Most of the ghosts are friendly, not including Constance (there is always one sourpuss) and are happy to have you in their humble abode. The Hitchhiking ghosts are just trying to ensure that you come back one day.
And keep in mind that re-riding the Haunted Mansion is supposed to be like
re-watching a movie. All the events inside “never” have happened before.
So where is the new queue supposed to fit into the first act? Nowhere.
The tombs give you the premature feeling that the ghosts are friendly and they interact with you, two things that are not supposed to happen until the end of the second act. Also, keep in mind that the queue cemetery is supposed to be a family plot, but that is neither here nor there.
Remember I told you that “real” is an important word? The Mansion is supposed to be a real place inhabited by real people. What real person would have someone erect a bust commemorating them that looks like this:
The same goes for the Organist’s crypt, unrealistic, instructional epitaph and toontown style organ pipes/raven/banshees.
What was done correctly with the busts was using the “family terms” such as Cousin, Uncle, etc. What was done incorrect, and when I say incorrect I mean REALLY incorrect, was using two children. I don’t care if they are “evil” kids who kill people or whatever else you want to say, they are kids. One of the cardinal rules of the Haunted Mansion is not using children, period. Look anywhere else in the manse (but the new queue) and you will not find one child. There is nothing humorous about dead kids.
Ok, moving on.
The problems with the placement of the two original stones is obvious.
Oh, thats right, the captain’s tomb. Just take it out.
Take it out.
His singing the song “drunken sailor” with bubbles floating out just doesn’t work with the Act 1 environment. The squirting water makes for wet kids, wet kids makes for soggy carpets/ doombuggies. And, design wise, it is a giant bathtub, enough said.
Prudence Pock’s tomb is bipolar to me. On one end there is her constant yelping “MUSES!! FINISH MY POEM!” and the “whack a mole” style books. On the other end there is a fantastic crypt design and an amazing writing book effect.
And with that, here are the positive points;
The hill graveyard is fantastic (minus the tombstones that only have a name on them) and so are the tributes to Paul Frees, Rolly Crump, Ken Anderson, and Blaine Gibson.
Here are just a couple of quick ideas that I think could improve the new queue:
-Move the busts to the exit area, they will work just fine there.
-If the composer’s crypt must stay make the organ look more monumental and let it only available to play sounds every 5 minutes or so.
-take the instructions off the crypt.
-Remove the captain’s tomb and replace it with a well (similar to the one that was removed in 2007) and have an engraving in the stone along the lines of:
“Long Lost
Cousin Claire
No One Could Find You
Way Down There”
– Move X and Marc’s gravestones into the hill cemetery.
-Remove Prudence’s voice and have her book inconspicuously write something new every 4-10 minutes.
-take out the single named gravestones on the hill, especially those of Ezra and Gus, and put in ones that have clever epitaphs (they don’t have to be fan named ghosts, anyone will do).
“The Hunting Ground of
Phineas Pock
Took a Shot but
Missed the Duck”
I will be doing a post in the up-coming weeks talking about changes that I think need to be made to the entire HM, some will include sketches of (an improved) queue graveyard.
Until then RIP,
Master Gracey

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