As promised in Hong Kong Disneyland – All the Charm without the Crowds, this is a post devoted to my new favorite Disney attraction. Mystic Manor is the focal point (or, in Disney speak, the “weenie”) of Mystic Point, one of the seven lands of Hong Kong Disneyland.
As with all Disney attractions, there is a fully-developed story that contextualizes the attraction, enabling visitors to fully immerse themselves into the experience. The theme of my Hong Kong Disneyland posts is that everything is familiar, though different, and Mystic Manor is the exemplar of that idea. It is a brand new attraction (well, it’s two years old now, but still new-ish), but it is also a compilation of a variety of other rides, lending a familiarity to the new experience.
The experience starts outside, where we are directed to a side entrance. Mystic Manor is the private home of Lord Henry Mystic and his pet monkey, Albert. Lord Henry has converted a portion of his home into a museum of artifacts he has collected during his travels. In preparation for the tour, we wander the halls of the museum, lined with exhibits and models and paintings. I noted a very familiar face in one of the portraits on the wall.
During the pre-show, we’re introduced to Lord Henry (Albert makes an appearance, too) and see a “slide-show” of his travels and it’s here we learn of the music box he’s found, which is purported to have magical properties. Those of you who have been to Tokyo DisneySea will recognize story elements from its Tower of Terror, which also centers around a mystical artifact.
Next, we prepare to board the Mystic Magneto Electric Carriage, which would take us through the museum. These ride vehicles are trackless, operating magnetically, similar to the way Tokyo Disneyland’s Winnie the Pooh ride operates. The carriages load in the basement of Mystic Manor, full of piles of artifacts that have not yet been incorporated into the museum.
The first room of the attraction is the Acquisitions and Cataloging Room, piled high with artifacts of various types. The magical music box is here and Lord Henry reveals the legend that the music box’s magical power is that it brings inanimate objects to life. Albert pops up after Lord Henry leaves and, you’ll never guess this, he hits the button on the music box and Danny Elfman’s beautiful music pours forth, along with magical streams of light that prove the legend true. Does this remind you of another Disney attraction?
We follow the magic into the Music Room, which is full of musical instruments from all over the world. They come to life, playing Elfman’s music. Albert is lurking in the pipe organ. He precedes us throughout the ride, appearing in each room as we enter.
The magic then takes us into the Mediterranean Antiquities Room. There are several magical experiences here, but my favorite is the painting of Pompeii. Ghoulish, I know, but really the most fantastic effect in that room.
The Mediterranean Antiquities Room holds two references to the Haunted Mansion, which I love: the Medusa Painting and the inside-out busts.
In the Solarium Room, Albert is interacting with a giant Venus Flytrap.
The Slavic-Nordic Chamber’s effect is somewhat interactive. The vehicles are rotated so the riders face a mirror to see the impact of the room’s coming to life on them.
In the Arms and Armor Room, the vehicles split into two routes. Depending on which route you’re on, you’ll see Albert in a cannon with a warrior attempting to behead him, a Mongolian warrior holding a helmet in one hand with other helmets impaled on his spear (this reminds me of Trader Sam from Jungle Cruise, but I don’t know if that’s a deliberate homage), and/or a giant crossbow that fires into the faces of the riders.
In the Egyptian Antiquities room, there is a sarcophagus, of course, but this one is infested with scarab beetles. Check out the mummy’s expression!
Next, we find Albert in the Tribal Room. A giant tiki spews lava and then three tikis use blow darts. We feel the darts blow past our cheeks and the carriage rotates to reveal Albert pinned to the wall by the darts. Don’t worry! They missed.
The final room of the museum tour is the Chinese Salon. There are banners hanging on every wall and a large statue of the Monkey King in the center of the room. The Monkey King creates a hurricane in the room, sending banners flying, the vehicles spinning around the room, and then the walls break away and we see Albert reaching for the magical music box. Sound familiar? This room and the Albert aspect of the story reminds me of Mickey’s Philharmagic.
We end up back in the Acquisitions and Cataloging Room, where Albert has wrangled the music box back into place, closing it right before Lord Henry comes back into the room.
Mystic Manor has it all. It’s funny, scary, technologically advanced, nostalgic, complex, and, like all things Disney, full of intricate details and clever homages. I’ve been to Hong Kong Disneyland twice since it opened and I rode it two or three times each day I was in the parks. There’s so much to see and Albert is adorable! It has joined it’s a small world on my must-do list. Have you ridden it? What’s your favorite room or effect in Mystic Manor? You don’t even have to go on the ride to enjoy it. It’s one of the most beautiful structures in any Disney park.
For more pictures of Mystic Manor and Mystic Point, click here to see the full gallery of pictures:
Disclosure: Everything described in this article (including travel) was paid for by the author, and all opinions expressed are her own. For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.