Main Streeter Diane Miller was one of the lucky 999 mortals to sign up for the Disney Store’s new “The Haunted Mansion: Ghost Post Subscription” box. This new box will arrive every month at subscribers homes and take those 999 mortals through a series of clues and challenges using the items in the box, the Ghost Relations Department website, the subscriber’s iPhone and if the subscriber is lucky enough to live near Disneyland or happens to be visiting California, the Disneyland Park itself. Diane was nice enough to share with us her recent day of “Ghost Hunting” at Disneyland with her Haunted Mansion Phantom Radio app. Currently subscriptions are closed, but may open again online once the first three months of subscriptions are sent out.~Aut
The Haunted Mansion subscription box goes beyond what gets delivered to you if you happen to find yourself in Disneyland. In the Haunted Mansion Phantom Radio app, you will find that the second button from the left looks like a map market. If you click on it, a map of Disneyland displays with a message to visit Esmeralda. For those who don’t know, Esmeralda is the name of woman in the fortune teller machine in the Crystal Arcade on Main Street. Since we were headed to Disneyland the day after my Ghost Post box arrived, I thought I would check it out. Before you begin this adventure, make sure that you have allowed notifications from the Phantom Radio app on your mobile device. You’ll need this for the spirit world to contact you.
As you head up Main Street, open the Phantom Radio app to the Disneyland map and you will see a pin for Esmeralda and a dot indicating where you are. If you haven’t seen her before, or forgot where exactly she is, this will help make sure that you don’t walk past her. When you find her, the app will ask you to allow a Bluetooth connection. Once you accept, you are notified that you may need to climb steps to reach characters and are asked if you can climb stairs. I said I could, but where I needed to go really did not require any noticeable step climbing.
Once the real-world stuff is out of the way, the app tells you that Esmeralda is reading your cards and the fortune telling machine is activated (no coin necessary). She gives you a card to help free a ghost somewhere else in the park, in this case it was Frontierland. The map in the app updates with the location listed at the top of the card and the card tells you what you need to do to free the ghost. I won’t give away the specifics for what needed to be done to free him in case someone else wants to try it, but I will say the app did a good job handling if the ghost was busy and when he was communicating with you. Once you free him, you get another radio channel added to your Phantom Radio and then you go back to Esmeralda. She reads your cards and sends you off again, this time to Critter Country. As this becomes a dream assignment for anyone counting their steps, you free that ghost and head back to Esmeralda. Your third card informs you that you have successfully rescued the ghosts. The app then updates to tell you that there is a special Doom Buggy at the Haunted Mansion just for you. Back to the other side of the park you go (and remember, the trains aren’t running now.)
When you are in line at Haunted Mansion, the app prompts you for the number in your party. It then tells you to show your screen to the maid/butler at the front door. The maid had me wait for the next group to go in and said that Victor will be preparing for me. (Victor is one of the spirits you meet through scanning your subscription items). When everyone heads into the stretching room, the maid told the butler, who then asked who was here to see Victor as I was already in the room. I have to admit it was a little fun getting to do something that no one else in the room knew about. The butler had me wait with him in the elevator until everyone else left the car, then escorted me down the wheelchair queue to wait for the special Doom Buggy. Information is passed on to other cast members that you are a “friend of Victor” so they know to get you your special car. These Doom Buggies have small cobwebs on the side to indicate which ones they are.
You are to keep the app open and ride as normal. I don’t know if the content will vary depending on what you have unlocked from the subscription box by the time you go there (for me, I think the only thing I hadn’t unlocked from the box was Madame Leota‘s Challenge). When I got to the ballroom, I heard the voices of the spirits I’d been learning from the subscription box, glad to know a mortal like me could help break the fog and happy I brought friends. When I got to the hitchhiking ghosts, they wondered what I was doing there but figured the other spirits around there trust me, so they encourage me to “hurry back”.
Overall, it was a great experience. The app was easy to use in the park with no connection issues. Just be prepared to walk and try to avoid parade times. It was fun being part of this small group of 999 mortals contacted to help the spirits. Just a little extra bit of Disney magic.
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