The Haunted Mansion Gets a Makeover

The Haunted Mansion Gets a Makeover

Walt Disney World’s The Haunted Mansion is one of my absolute favorite theme park rides. One of my earliest Disney memories is seeing the hitchhiking ghosts during my first visit to Disney World when I was four. During my honeymoon visit last fall, I saw the moving eyes of the Madame Leota tombstone for the first time, but most of the cemetery surrounding the line queue was under construction.

Leota's tombstone in the Haunted Mansion graveyard, image from insidethemagic.net

For years, the line queue’s graveyard has featured tombstones with the names of Disney Imagineers and humorous epitaphs such as Dear Departed Brother Dave, He Chased a Bear Into Cave, and Here Lies Good Old Fred, A Great Big Rock Fell On His Head. After months of renovations, the graveyard has been revamped and expanded into a longer, interactive line queue.

Master Gracey's tombstone in the new Haunted Mansion line queue, photograph by Samantha McElhaney

Joining the old favorites are dozens of new tombstones with epitaphs tributed to Disney Imagineers (Drink A Toast To Our Friend Ken, Fill Your Glass And Don’t Say ‘When.’), but the most exciting new features are interactive, including a Composer’s Crypt with spooky instruments that guests can play with a touch of their hands, and a family of murderous busts (Bertie, Aunt Florence, Uncle Jacob, the Twins, and Cousin Maude) who challenge passersby to solve the riddle of which character killed which.

Solve the murder committed by this family of killer tombstones, image from insidethemagic.net

In the video below, Eric Goodman, Show Producer with Walt Disney Imagineering, gives an exclusive look of some of the line queue’s new additions, unveiled for the first time in a preview this March.

The other exciting Haunted Mansion upgrades that debuted this year are the new and improved hitchhiking ghosts. The ghosts have been revamped with new special effect animation technologies which have brought out their mischievous sides and now they prank the guests as they follow them home – swapping heads, switching beards, and blowing up heads like balloons.

In the following two videos, Disney Imagineers give an exclusive look at the new hitchhiking ghosts, and InsidetheMagic.net catches the playful ghosts in action.

I can’t wait to experience the new Haunted Mansion, and I know that I’ll be welcomed with open, ghostly arms. As the Ghost Host says, “We have 999 happy haunts residing here, but there’s room for 1,000.” Any other volunteers, hmmm?

June 6, 2011 - Latest News, Theme Parks - Read More

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