Many of Disney’s theme parks around the world share rides. Several parks, for example, have the classic It’s a Small World and Jungle Cruise rides. But a lot of other rides and attractions can only be found at one park in the world. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt is only at Tokyo Disneyland, The Carousel of Progress is only at the Magic Kingdom, and the Phantom Manor is only at Disneyland Park in Paris. The latter is a spooky attraction full of ghosts and ghouls, and Tim Hendriks recreated its iconic animatronic phantom in miniature form for Halloween.
While the Phantom Manor is only found in Paris’ Disneyland Park, it is similar to the famous Haunted Mansion at the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California and a couple of other parks. The Haunted Mansion is definitely creepy, but tame enough that younger kids can enjoy it. The Phantom Manor is a bit more intense, with a darker and edgier theme. Like the Haunted Mansion, the Phantom Manor has portions that guests can walk through and parts where they ride on Omnimover vehicles. It is also filled with ghastly animatronic characters designed to give guests a fright. The “story” of the ride is partially influenced by the Phantom of the Opera, and it’s the eponymous phantom that is the subject of Hendriks’s project.
The animatronic phantom at Disneyland Park is life-size, but this recreation was dramatically scaled down. Hendriks started by designing the phantom and the surrounding scene in Blender 3D mesh-modeling software. The various pieces, including the outer shell of the animatronic phantom, were then 3D-printed. The phantom is actuated by a total of 14 small hobby servo motors and the raven is actuated by two servos. The servos are controlled by an Arduino board, and the animation key frames were created in Blender. This let Hendriks accurately recreate the movement of the phantom. The final touch was the phantom’s tailored costume, which was made by Hendriks’s girlfriend. With the addition of music and sound effects, including Vincent Price’s legendary cackle, the animatronic diorama was complete. It’s incredibly detailed, and is the next-best-thing to visiting the Phantom Manor this Halloween.