Walt Disney World has announced the location of the Hatbox Ghost in the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom. The ghost will materialize in the attraction later this year and guests will soon see temporary barriers set up for his arrival.
Hatbox Ghost in Magic Kingdom
Here is what Disney said:
“Later this year at the Walt Disney World Resort, one of our most iconic specters will set up residence in the Haunted Mansion of Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom Park. The Hatbox Ghost will appear to guests as they pass the Endless Hallway, welcoming himself inside from the swinging wake in the cemetery and grinning at the Doom Buggies as they set off deeper into the mansion. Guests will soon see temporary barriers materialize as we await his apparition.”
The Hatbox Ghost will not be in the same location he’s in at the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland. In the original version of the ride, he’s at the end of the attic scene, after the Bride. At Magic Kingdom, he’ll be earlier in the ride, by the Endless Hallway, where guests see a candelabra floating by itself.
This will make the Hatbox Ghost the first specter guests actually see on the ride. In fact, the ghost will appear before the narration that states happy haunts are “beginning to materialize.”
The temporary barriers will presumably go up during the ride’s August closure, but the ghost won’t be installed in time for the start of the Halloween season.
Hatbox Ghost History
The Hatbox Ghost was in the original Disneyland Haunted Mansion on opening day. Technology had not quite caught up to the ghost’s vanishing and appearing head, however, so the ghost only last a few weeks before disappearing for nearly 50 years. The Hatbox Ghost returned to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in 2015. He appears at the end of the attic scene, after the Bride. In April, Disney shared a video about the Hatbox Ghost’s history, teasing his future appearance in Magic Kingdom.
See the Hatbox Ghost in our 2021 POV video of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland below.
The Haunted Mansion
The original Haunted Mansion opened in 1969 as part of the New Orleans Square expansion in Disneyland. Two years later, it was an opening day attraction in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom. It was also an opening day attraction at Tokyo Disneyland in 1983.
Phantom Manor is a version of the Haunted Mansion with its own original backstory at Disneyland Paris.
In Hong Kong Disneyland, guests can enjoy Mystic Manor. This ride is inspired by Haunted Mansion but is ultimately a completely different attraction that avoids references to the afterlife out of respect to Chinese traditions.
New ‘Haunted Mansion’ Movie
July 28 marks the release of the new “Haunted Mansion” film. It features a star-studded cast including Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Danny DeVito, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jared Leto. Dawson portrays Gabbie, who moves into the Haunted Mansion with her son, Travis. They call in Owen Wilson’s priest, Kent, as well as other experts to help take care of their ghost problem. Curtis and Leto portray Madame Leota and the Hatbox Ghost respectively.
“Haunted Mansion” is directed by Justin Simien from a screenplay by Katie Dippold. It’s produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich.
This is the second attempt to adapt the classic ride into a film, following the poorly received 2003 “The Haunted Mansion” directed by Rob Minkoff and starring Eddie Murphy.
Director Guillermo del Toro was also attached to make a new “Haunted Mansion” film and even turned in a script a decade ago, but this never came to fruition.