Guess no more — the goblins and ghoulies of Phantom Manor will once again summon you to dance through the night at Melanie Ravenswood’s ill-fated wedding celebrations: from 3rd May 2019.
Following a prolonged refurbishment which has reportedly seen Disneyland Paris battle with a number of technical challenges (none of which publicly confirmed), the attraction will eventually re-open to Disneyland Park guests after 16 months of work behind the scenes.
The Omnimover dark ride originally closed on 8th January 2018 and was slated to re-open that autumn, before this was pushed to January and then left hanging indefinitely, in true Phantom style.
A spectacular short teaser video was produced to announce the final date, depicting a figure we assume to be Henry Ravenswood signing off the re-opening, inviting us back to the perpetual wedding ball of his daughter, ongoing since the groom failed to show.
What to expect from the revitalised attraction? Not just the first and most major spruce-up of the interior and exterior in all its 27 years, Imagineering have taken the opportunity to make a number of adjustments — many aimed at better communicating the backstory above to a wider audience. Most are being kept hush, but a few secrets have been revealed.
Top of the list is the return of the original English narration by Vincent Price. Wonderfully chilling, it was cruelly replaced completely by Gérard Chevalier’s French spiel, leading to much of the opening scene-setting going over the heads of non French-speaking guests. Fans have championed its return for years and hearing it at last within the walls of the manor, interspersed with the French, will be a surreal and long overdue delight.
We can also anticipate Melanie Ravenswood and her father having a much greater presence throughout the scenes.
An image has already been released showing a figure of the bride stood stop the staircase in the loading area of the ride, looking mournfully out of the window.
Tidbits released alongside the date yesterday suggest a big change to the stretching portraits in the gallery rooms, now featuring her unfortunate suitors meeting their untimely fates, with a new special effect to “remove” Melanie from the picture. The gallery afterwards will feature a new portrait of Henry Ravenswood himself — who will finally be “outed” as the Phantom who sought to crush the wedding plans.
Every scene within will have its own improvements: re-animated figures, new props, new special effects techniques to bring the likes of Madame Leota in her crystal ball to life, a complete revitalisation of the unique Phantom Canyon “town” scene and subtle new details throughout to bring the nuptial storyline more to the forefront.
Outside the walls, the exterior grounds have also seen some interesting changes. Along with a new covered gazebo area initially used for seasonal character meet ‘n’ greets, a new Cast Member shelter and clock has been installed in the main queue area, leading to obvious suggestions that the attraction will at some point join the Disney’s Fastpass line-up — perhaps as the first to use only a “virtual” paperless app system. Nothing is yet confirmed.
Around the re-opening date itself, we’re also anticipating the release of a brand new souvenir book, Phantom Manor: Decrypted, featuring the story and secrets of the attraction in a similar style to the recent Pirates of the Caribbean release.
So R.S.V.P. and be sure to bring your death certificate. Or, if you’d like to be first through the doors, bring your Infinity or Magic Plus Annual Pass — soft opening previews have just been announced too:
- Wednesday 1st May 2pm to 9pm: Infinity Annual Pass holders only
- Thursday 2nd May 10am to 6pm: Infinity and Magic Plus Annual Pass holders
Hurry back, hurry back for May 2019.