Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion now hosts a new spectral resident, the Hatbox Ghost. The announcement of this spectral figure’s arrival was made more than a year ago, and he has finally materialized in the Endless Hallway scene.
As visitors journey through the Haunted Mansion in their Doom Buggies, the Hatbox Ghost greets them with a grin beside the never-ending passage. This makes him the first apparition that guests encounter on the ride, appearing even before the narration declares the “beginning to materialize” of happy haunts.
The Setting of the Hatbox Ghost
Despite not being included in the Hatbox Ghost concept art and causing concerns, the floating candelabra is still present in the Endless Hallway scene. The “Donald Duck chair” did not reappear with the ghost, but a similar chair can be found in the library scene just before this. Instead, behind the Hatbox Ghost is a door and next to him is a cart filled with hatboxes and topped with a lantern. A few suitcases have also been added outside the doors in the Endless Hallway.
Preparations for the Hatbox Ghost’s Arrival
Initial preparations for the Hatbox Ghost’s arrival started in August, with curtains being put up in the Endless Hallway. The Haunted Mansion was then closed for refurbishment from August 7th through the 10th. While the Hatbox Ghost was not present when the attraction reopened, minor changes were visible, such as an updated Madame Leota and Prince Amenmose, the tea-sipping mummy, returning to the graveyard scene. Rolly Crump’s Candleman was also added to the attic scene a week ago.
The Lore of the Hatbox Ghost
There have been speculations about whether the placement of the Hatbox Ghost in this particular location will disrupt the lore of the Haunted Mansion. However, Disney Imagineer Daniel Joseph clarified at Destination D23 2023 that since the Hatbox Ghost is an “unhappy haunt,” he can come and go as he pleases.
The History of the Hatbox Ghost
The Hatbox Ghost was present in the original Disneyland Haunted Mansion on its opening day. However, due to technology not being advanced enough to handle the ghost’s disappearing and reappearing head, the ghost only lasted a few weeks before vanishing for nearly 50 years. The Hatbox Ghost made a comeback to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in 2015. He appears at the end of the attic scene, after the Bride.
Hatbox Ghost in Popular Culture
The Hatbox Ghost is also the antagonist of Disney’s 2023 “Haunted Mansion” film, which is currently available on Disney+. Now that he has materialized in Magic Kingdom, visitors get the chance to experience this enigmatic character in person.
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