Hatbox Ghost in Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom: New Particulars, Location & Extra!

Walt Disney World has introduced new particulars about Hatbox Ghost coming to Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom later in 2023. This put up shares the place the brand new Audio Animatronics joyful hang-out will materialize, when work is slated to begin, and extra in regards to the addition to the long-lasting attraction.

You may recall that Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro initially introduced that the Hatbox Ghost could be added to Magic Kingdom again on the D23 Expo in September of final 12 months. On the time, the announcement was temporary: “Silly mortals, put together yourselves for a brand new joyful hang-out on the Haunted Mansion. The Hatbox Ghost has heard your calls and can materialize subsequent 12 months.”

Since then, not a lot has been shared. In the course of the “Midway to Halloween” festivities again in April, there was a teaser on TikTok that includes a video of the Hatbox Ghost Audio Animatronics determine, however presumably the one which already exists at Disneyland. That is the primary substantive replace on the AA for the reason that preliminary announcement.

Right here’s the replace from Walt Disney World: “Later this 12 months on the Walt Disney World Resort, one in all our most iconic specters will arrange residence within the Haunted Mansion of Liberty Sq. in Magic Kingdom Park.”

“The Hatbox Ghost will seem to company as they go the Countless Hallway, welcoming himself inside from the swinging wake within the cemetery and grinning on the Doom Buggies as they set off deeper into the mansion. Company will quickly see non permanent limitations materialize as we await his apparition.”

Simply a few weeks in the past, Haunted Mansion was added to the 2023 Walt Disney World Refurbishment Calendar for a closure August 7-9, 2023. This iconic attraction might be shutting its doorways for what’s, based on Walt Disney World, a “routine refurbishment.” The corporate later clarified that Hatbox Ghost would not be added throughout that refurbishment. It’s a near-certainty that the non permanent limitations will seem then, although.

For reference, Hatbox Ghost was added to Disneyland as a part of a 4-day closure again in Could 2015. Nevertheless, that was after a ton of prep-work was accomplished in the course of the annual Haunted Mansion Vacation elimination closure, throughout which period a scrim went up and the attraction returned to regular operations for the following couple of months. None of that has occurred but within the Magic Kingdom incarnation of Haunted Mansion.

The Hatbox Ghost coming to Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom is the second model of the character, so it’s doable that not as a lot prep work or set up time might be vital. Then again, there’s been a ton of turnover in Imagineering and upkeep within the final decade, so it’s additionally doable the groups that labored on the primary Hatbox Ghost are now not round. It wouldn’t be in the slightest degree stunning if this whole course of is ranging from scratch once more.

Both manner, it appears unlikely that Hatbox Ghost will debut in August 2023. One of the best case situation at this level might be staging work being accomplished and the non permanent barrier being added to the attraction in the course of the fast August closure, and Hatbox Ghost materializing in October 2023 in time for the guts of the Halloween season. Possibly he’ll debut in September, however this announcement not containing a selected date and even timeframe past “later this 12 months” doesn’t bode properly.

Frankly, we’re a bit shocked by the timeline for Hatbox Ghost at Magic Kingdom. Disney’s Haunted Mansion film hits theaters at present (July 28, 2023) and options Jared Leto because the Hatbox Ghost. After that, the primary Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Get together of the 12 months is on August 11, 2023.

In case you requested me earlier this 12 months to decide on two dates by which the Hatbox Ghost could be added at Magic Kingdom, these would’ve been my picks. Nevertheless, as we’ve mentioned repeatedly in response to Encanto nonetheless not having a everlasting park presence at Walt Disney World, this firm shouldn’t be truly pretty much as good at synergy as many followers imagine.

Lacking the beginning of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Get together season can also be actually one thing. With that, it’s not only a matter of synergy. Walt Disney World might promote extra tickets to the particular occasion, as Hatbox Ghost would create extra demand for Haunted Mansion, and in flip, enhance general capability to the occasion. (That’s actually the way it works–and exactly why they’ve added journey overlays to MNSSHP and MVMCP in recent times.)

It’s actually wild to me that one thing introduced nearly a 12 months in the past that already exists at Disneyland and might be prefabricated off-site (it’s not like Imagineers are hand-chiseling Hatbox Ghost inside Haunted Mansion!) gained’t be prepared for the 2 large, logical dates that the AA’s debut would take advantage of sense. We make lots of jokes about how slowly Disney does every part…and stuff like that is exactly why.

When it comes to non-timeline commentary, the opposite shock is the placement of Hatbox Ghost in Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney World has confirmed that the Audio Animatronics determine gained’t be in the identical spot as at Disneyland. Within the New Orleans Sq. model of the attraction, Hatbox Ghost seems following the top of the attic scene after the Bride.

The determine is barely shoehorned in even there, however it is smart and roughly works. In case you didn’t know Hatbox Ghost was added in 2015, you’d in all probability by no means query the position. Hatbox Ghost matches with the circulate of the attraction and fills some useless area at Disneyland.

Walt Disney World has indicated that Hatbox Ghost will seem as company go the Countless Hallway. That is a lot earlier within the journey, the place company see a candelabra floating in a unending hallway (therefore the identify). Outdoors the Countless Hallway, there’s an armor swimsuit on one aspect and a chair on the opposite; our guess is that a type of is being changed–in all probability the chair–by Hatbox Ghost.

This implies Hatbox Ghost will seem earlier than Madame Leota’s Séance Circle, and the narration indicating that the “joyful haunts have acquired your sympathetic vibrations and are starting to materialize. They’re assembling for a swinging wake…”

The location of Hatbox Ghost in Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom is thus certain to upset some followers. He’ll be the primary ghost to seem within the attraction, and are available earlier than Madame Leota has summoned them. Prior up to now within the attraction, there’s the casket–however that’s technically a corpse and never a ghost.

Truthfully, it’s been some time since I’ve dug deep into the lore of the Haunted Mansion (compulsory plug for the wonderful Boundless Realm), however I believe this contradicts the story of the attraction. With that mentioned, so much has been modified over time, with fan theories changing into canon, different ‘guidelines’ being retconned, and many others.

Mainly, what I’m saying is that I don’t suppose that is an appropriate placement for the Hatbox Ghost. And, whether it is acceptable, by what requirements? 1969? 2007? 2023?

For me, it comes right down to a odor take a look at greater than the rest. Once I give it some thought, the position strikes me as barely odd–the logical development of Haunted Mansion appears to counsel {that a} ghost shouldn’t seem previous to Madame Leota’s Séance Circle. With that mentioned, maybe there’s a compelling story or historic purpose for this, of which I’m unaware.

Furthermore, that’s what I’m pondering whereas sitting at residence. I’m actually not analytically scrutinizing or dissecting Haunted Mansion whereas driving it. From my perspective as a visitor, the attraction is extra a collection of vignettes, and there are a number of factors at which ominous or foreboding imagery protends of one thing to return.

Hatbox Ghost might go muster as that, particularly if had been added in an analogous spirit because the eponymous character from Phantom Manor. (However that may current its personal issues, with Hatbox Ghost out of the blue showing and dominating the story.)

To be clear, none of that is to say that Haunted Mansion must be a complete free-for-all, with story and historical past each being meaningless as a result of the attraction is all about vibes. On the contrary, I’ve extra reverence for Haunted Mansion than some other attraction, and imagine that it’s, to today, the head of Imagineering. (Proper up there with Pirates of the Caribbean.)

Consequently, each change must be accomplished rigorously and it’s all properly worthy of scrutiny. Haunted Mansion is a murals, not simply senseless theme park escapism. Treating Haunted Mansion with respect and reverence shouldn’t be the identical as being a Dino-Rama disciple.

In case you don’t care about any of this, high-quality; that’s your prerogative. However such a factor does matter and isn’t merely a matter of diehard dorks taking theme parks too critically. You’re in all probability a fan within the first place as a result of somebody took all these items so critically when creating it.

In the end, what I’m suggesting is that the story and historical past of Haunted Mansion do matter. The location of Hatbox Ghost strikes me as off, however it might work. I’ve been across the block just a few instances with Haunted Mansion modifications, and nonetheless vaguely bear in mind the backlash adopted by the “properly, truly…” in response to the 2007 reimagining. As somebody who shouldn’t be an skilled in Haunted Mansion lore, I’ll defer to those that are on this one.

All I can say with certainty is that Hatbox Ghost showing that early strikes me as suboptimal placement when fascinated with it now, however will in all probability strike me as ‘cool new foreshadowing’ whereas driving. I’m much more sure that the set up of Hatbox Ghost is taking manner too lengthy, and the determine ought to’ve debuted at present. 

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Your Ideas

What are your ideas on Hatbox Ghost lastly coming to Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World? Disenchanted by the lengthy delay between announcement and set up, or that he gained’t materialize till after Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Get together season begins? Ideas on the position of the Audio Animatronics at Magic Kingdom vs. Disneyland? Any perception into whether or not this breaks any ‘guidelines’ or lore for Haunted Mansion? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we may help you reply? Listening to your suggestions—even while you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!

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