Wednesday, October 4, 2023

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 completely happy hang-out will materialize, when work is slated to begin, and extra in regards to the addition to the enduring attraction.

You would possibly recall that Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro initially introduced that the Hatbox Ghost can be added to Magic Kingdom again on the D23 Expo in September of final 12 months. On the time, the announcement was transient: “Silly mortals, put together yourselves for a brand new completely happy 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. Throughout 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 among our most iconic specters will arrange residence within the Haunted Mansion of Liberty Sq. in Magic Kingdom Park.”

“The Hatbox Ghost will seem to friends as they cross 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. Friends will quickly see short-term boundaries 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 can be shutting its doorways for what’s, in response to 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 short-term boundaries will seem then, although.

For reference, Hatbox Ghost was added to Disneyland as a part of a 4-day closure again in Might 2015. Nonetheless, that was after a ton of prep-work was accomplished through the annual Haunted Mansion Vacation removing 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 potential that not as a lot prep work or set up time can be obligatory. Alternatively, there’s been a ton of turnover in Imagineering and upkeep within the final decade, so it’s additionally potential the groups that labored on the primary Hatbox Ghost are now not round. It wouldn’t be in the slightest degree shocking if this complete course of is ranging from scratch once more.

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

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

For those who requested me earlier this 12 months to decide on two dates by which the Hatbox Ghost can be added at Magic Kingdom, these would’ve been my picks. Nonetheless, as we’ve mentioned repeatedly in response to Encanto nonetheless not having a everlasting park presence at Walt Disney World, this firm isn’t truly nearly as good at synergy as many followers consider.

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

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

By way of 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 received’t be in the identical spot as at Disneyland. Within the New Orleans Sq. model of the attraction, Hatbox Ghost seems following the tip of the attic scene after the Bride.

The determine is barely shoehorned in even there, nevertheless it is sensible and roughly works. For those who 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 circulation of the attraction and fills some lifeless house at Disneyland.

Walt Disney World has indicated that Hatbox Ghost will seem as friends cross the Countless Hallway. That is a lot earlier within the trip, the place friends see a candelabra floating in a unending hallway (therefore the identify). Exterior the Countless Hallway, there’s an armor go well with on one aspect and a chair on the opposite; our guess is that a kind 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 “completely happy haunts have obtained your sympathetic vibrations and are starting to materialize. They’re assembling for a swinging wake…”

The position 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.

Actually, 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 my normal take is that rather a lot has been made up or modified over time, with fan theories changing into canon, different ‘guidelines’ being retconned, and so forth. (For some motive, I additionally thought totally different “guidelines” utilized to Hatbox Ghost.)

Principally, what I’m saying is that I don’t know off the highest of my head whether or not that is an appropriate placement for the Hatbox Ghost. And, whether it is acceptable, by what requirements? 1969? 2007? 2023?

For me, it extra comes right down to a odor check. 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 motive for this, of which I’m unaware.

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

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 every other attraction, and consider that it’s, to at the present time, the head of Imagineering. (Proper up there with Pirates of the Caribbean.)

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

For those who don’t care about any of this, fantastic; that’s your prerogative. However the sort of factor does matter and isn’t merely a matter of diehard dorks taking theme parks too significantly. You’re in all probability a fan within the first place as a result of somebody took all these things so significantly when creating it.

In the end, what I’m suggesting is that the story and historical past of Haunted Mansion do matter. With that mentioned, I’ve been across the block a number of instances with Haunted Mansion modifications, and nonetheless vaguely bear in mind the backlash adopted by the “effectively, truly…” in response to the 2007 reimagining. As somebody who isn’t an knowledgeable 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 by 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 method too lengthy, and the determine ought to’ve debuted right this moment. 

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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 received’t materialize till after Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Celebration 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 will help you reply? Listening to your suggestions—even once you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!

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