Phantom Manor closed from January 9th, 2018 until May 3rd, 2019 for an extensive period of renovations and modifications. The script was reimagined, and finally, Vincent Price narration returned to the Foyer and the stretch rooms. A new French narration was recorded to match the new story, which shows Melanie and a few of her suitors. As we will go into detail with what happens inside the Manor, this article could spoil the attraction for our readers who have not had the chance to experience it since its refurbishment.
As part of the renovation, the music box sound effect was restored along with the fountain in the outside queue line that works perfectly now. Modifications for Fast Pass were implemented to the queue line, but as of the writer’s visit in September 2019, not in function.
The restored fountain in the covered waiting line.
Entering the Foyer, the new narration starts, which we transcribed and will include at the end of the article. A portrait of Melanie and her latest suitor hangs on the wall. As the Phantom invites us to visit the manor, the walls change colors before the door to the Stretch Room opens.
Inside the Stretch Room, the old portraits were replaced by new ones, showing Melanie (the bride) with four different grooms. As the room starts to stretch, Melanie disappears from all four portraits and, we now see the unfortunate fate that awaited each man. One is standing on a TNT box in a flame-filled mine shaft; another is on top of a tree with a ferocious bear lunging at him, the top hat man is sitting on a log heading for a saw blade and the guy sitting in a boat about to fall off a waterfall.
Once lightning strikes, the ceiling disappears, showing the Phantom threatening us with a noose. His intentions are clear: he will not allow Melanie to marry anyone, and this is our fate if we continue.
Exiting the Stretch Room, we reach the hallway that has three portraits hanging inside. We see Henry Ravenswood, a distinguished gentleman (and father to Melanie), wearing a suspiciously similar purple suit to the one the Phantom was wearing. Another is of a sailing ship in a raging storm and last, two men about to duel, one of which appears to be the same person as the first portrait. Lightning strikes again, showing another aspect: the ship is exploding and is on fire. The duel indicates that the purple suit man shot his opponent in the back, and last, Henry Ravenswood transforms into the Phantom. What is happening here?
We see a refreshed version of the original 1992 full-size painting of Melanie at the end of the hallway. We then turn and reach the loading area. Melanie now stands on top of the grand staircase, sadly looking outside, waiting for her groom…
We board our Doom Buggy and, at the top of the stairs where we first saw Melanie, the armor moved there. It rattles and shakes as we pass by as we hear an eerie music box play music. In the endless hallway, we see in the distance Melanie chased by the Phantom. The door hallway was restored to perfect conditions, and, combined with the upgraded audio, sounds terrific.
The Séance room received smaller updates, such as an eerie green light under the table. The audio is crystal clear and is incredible.
The Ballroom with the ghosts that appear changed for the new story as instead of the Phantom appearing at the window, he now stands behind Melanie. She looks on helplessly at the fact that the guests to her wedding party turned into ghosts.
In the Boudoir, Melanie now sees the Phantom in the mirror’s reflection. Speaking of our tormentor, he received a significant upgrade in the cemetery with sharper movements and bright red eyes. As we descend toward Phantom Canyon, the updated audio and more acute projections benefit the singing busts. The lighting improved for the scenes like the Skeleton Dance, Phantom Canyon, and the Phantom final appearance. Phantom Canyon has never looked as good with a beautiful greenish tint to the skin of its inhabitants.
At the end of Phantom Canyon, the Phantom stands next to a noose and open coffin. The skeletal Melanie was replaced with the crypt containing the four suitors, one of which has broken in or out of his stone prison. For the mirror scene, Melanie materializes inside our Doom Buggy and, sadly lost her mind. She asks us in a crazed tone in both French and English if we want to marry her. The experience concludes after.
One change that was not received well at all was to the Ballroom. On the preview night for the new Phantom Manor, the music changed to the jazzy and upbeat ballroom music that plays in the Haunted Mansion in the other parks. It clashed too much with the darker and more dramatic music of Phantom Manor, so Disneyland Paris removed it after the preview night, and original version returned.
2019 Foyer and Stretch Room narration:
English: When Hinges creak in doorless chambers.
French: When strange and worrisome sounds are heard all around.
English: Where Candlelight flickers where the air is deathly still.
French: It is because the Phantom of the house manifests himself. (This is a tough one to translate as it refers literally to the Ghost of the surroundings, but you could also take it as the Phantom manifests himself)
English: Welcome curious friends, it is so nice to have guests.
French: We are happy to greet you humble mortals in this mysterious manor.
English: You may not believe it, but beauty once lived in this house.
(At this point, the portrait starts transforming)
French: Phantom Manor had happy days in the past, but times changed. (Phantom Manor is in English during the french portion)
English: Now curious souls, come. I have more to show you.
French: Brave mortals, please enter, and let’s visit this famous manor together.
As you enter the Stretch Room:
English: Our tour begins here, in this gallery, where you gaze upon the sweet innocence of youth. Kindly step all the way in, make room for everyone. There is no turning back now…
French: Here you can admire the portraits of the beautiful mistress of the house and her… slightly less lucky suitors. (the … refers to the pause that implies the fate that befell upon the four men that were the suitors of Melanie). A small cackle follows.
English: Perhaps you sense a disquieting metamorphosis.
French: Alas, things are not always as they seem. Not all story tales have happy endings.
English: It appears everyone is doomed at Phantom Manor. Even you. And notice this, this chamber has no windows and no doors, which offers you this chilling challenge: to find a way out.
French: By the way, there is no door and no window, how do you get out? If you don’t find the way to escape, the Phantom of the Manor will happily help you. (Fantome des lieux, directly translated to the ghost of the place, I interpret it as Phantom of the Manor given the context)
Stretch Room goes dark and year crazed laughs.
Portrait Hallway, leading to the Doom Buggies.
English: I didn’t mean to frighten you… prematurely.
French: Come meet the future bride whose beauty will give you chills.
English: The Real beauty of this house awaits farther on, and she’s dying to meet you, but beware the Phantom.
French: Our future bride is still waiting for the man of her life. Any volunteer?
English: There is much to see, so look alive and stay together. I’d hate to lose you so soon.
French: Don’t be scared, go, and move forward.
The return of some English voiceover is certainly good news! But it would be GREAT to have the full English voiceover, perhaps on certain days of the week, or certain times of the day, or via a separate queue (like Honey I Shrunk The Audience used to have).