Disney World’s Haunted Mansion Is Getting a Major Update

The Haunted Mansion is one of the most iconic theme park attractions, not only at Disney Parks, but for the theme park industry as a whole. This one ride has grown into one of the most popular fandoms for theme park lovers, and spawned multiple movies (including the upcoming live-action retelling of the classic story) and more.

There is a lot of lore that goes into the storytelling Guests see as they are immersed in Master Gracey’s mansion and many of the ride’s special effects have become iconic in themselves. Some of the most beloved effects at this attraction are inspired by old parlor tricks, and many have remained unchanged since the ride opened at Disneyland in 1969.

Haunted Mansion

Credit: Disney

One of the best special effects at the Haunted Mansion is the Hatbox Ghost. This effect actually did not work when the attraction opened, so it was removed from Disneyland shortly after the ride began running and only returned in 2015.

The effect, as its name suggests, features a ghost holding a hatbox. As Guests pass by the ghost in their Doombuggies, the ghost’s head vanishes from above his shoulders and reappears in the hatbox.

Credit: Disney

Fans of the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World will be thrilled to learn that today’s Parks panel at the D23 Expo confirmed that the Hatbox Ghost will soon be making his way to the Magic Kingdom!

Disney did not confirm when the effect will open in the Liberty Square version of the attraction, but the new ghost will surely be an exciting addition to the ride’s attic scene alongside the other 999 “happy haunts.”

The Hatbox Ghost is also likely to become a larger character in the overall lore of the Haunted Mansion as it has also been confirmed that Jared Leto will play the role of this haunt in the upcoming live-action film inspired by the ride.


Credit: Disney

RELATED: New! Details About The Upcoming Haunted Mansion Movie

Disney’s official description of the Haunted Mansion reads:

A Spirited Tour

The disembodied voice of the Ghost Host is your private guide through the cadaverous realm of an eerie haunted estate, home to ghosts, ghouls and supernatural surprises. 

Glide past a casket-filled conservatory, Madame Leota’s chilling séance room and a ghostly graveyard of singing specters as you attempt to find your way out. Beware of hitchhikers—these phantom pranksters may follow you home. 

Happy haunting!

We will continue to update readers when we know more about the newest ghost to call the Haunted Mansion home here on DisneyTips.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."