I've never performed the lengthy soul-searching required to select my favorite Magic Kingdom attraction, but if I had to make a quick call based on gut feelings alone I would probably say the Haunted Mansion. Sure, it's not the most thrilling experience in the park, but in terms of theme, aesthetics, and storytelling, I think you'd be hard pressed to top it.
So it should come as no surprise that much like the hitchhiking ghosts, some Haunted Mansion items have followed me home! And since they're - shh - third party items readily procured via the internet, I thought I'd throw out some reviews on them.
You may be assured of my candor; neither of the companies discussed gave me anything or even contacted me. Oh, and don't mind Minxie; she refused to get off my blanket backdrop, and as a black cat is arguably thematically appropriate I decided to just incorporate her into my shoot.
The first item is from the Magic Candle Company, a business that makes candles (and other stuff, like soap) formulated to smell exactly like theme park attractions without once mentioning the actual names of said attractions anywhere in the label or description. It's like an off-brand Halloween costume catalogue over there. What do you think they mean by "Pirate Life?" "Rome Burning" must be for the intellectuals. And if a "Pineapple Whip" doesn't mention Dole, does it violate copyright?
I kid, I kid - I would duck and cover from Disney's litigators too if I were in their shoes. Anyway, the candle I have, as you might have guessed, is called "Haunted." Is the purple color scheme and the sort of hat you might store in a hatbox an allusion to anything, would you say? Hmmm.
All right, I'm done taking the piss from this poor company, because I gotta say that smell-wise, they nailed it. It's described as cedar wood and vanilla ("beloved by all happy haunts"), and while I can't say I've ever thought too hard about what the Haunted Mansion smells like, it must be like this. The fragrance somehow manages to be both musty and pleasant, evoking age and cobwebs but making you LIKE IT. Bonus: the paper wick is supposed to crackle when lit, which ought to add to the ambiance.
In short, the Magic Candle Company's "Haunted" gets my stamp of approval. I huff this thing on the regular. I want more!
Next up: I picked up a laptop sleeve off Etsy from The Cobbler's Daughter, whose Haunted Mansion wallpaper pattern I couldn't resist. I like how it manages to be both subtle and instantly recognizable if you're a fan.
The sleeve itself is very basic - just fabric over some thin foam-like material, and then a fuzzy inside. It wouldn't do a ton to protect a computer that's been dropped, but it'll work fine to prevent scratches and provide a layer of protection in side a bag or backpack. It doesn't have any additional pockets or compartments, so if you're looking for something with bells and whistles, this sleeve ain't it. But as a basic with a nod to the fandom, I think it performs very well.
I also grabbed a Haunted Mansion pin from the same store, for no greater purpose than to make the free shipping minimum. It's cute but not ultimately worth the cost, if you ask me. I wouldn't discourage you from adding one to an existing order, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.
I always enjoy when I can insert little Disney parks touches into my everyday life. Let me know if you know any more good ones!
Don't forget, you can follow FRoA on Twitter @fairestrunofall. It would thrill me extremely if you would leave a comment with any questions or thoughts. See ya real soon!