Over the weekend at Destination D23, new concept art was shared for the addition of the Hatbox Ghost to the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom. However, one iconic gag from the ride was noticeably missing — the floating candelabra in the Endless Hallway scene.
Floating Candelabra Missing From Endless Hallway Concept Art
In the concept art, riders pass by the Endless Hallway in their Doom Buggies, as the Hatbox Ghost has welcomed himself in to the Mansion. An “unhappy haunt” who can come and go as he pleases, the Hatbox’s Ghost’s head can be seen in his titular hatbox in the art.
Looking over to the right side of the image, however, shows the Endless Hallway without its trademark gag, the floating candelabra. Normally, it can be seen floating around in the distance down the length of the Endless Hallway. If this art is accurate to the final product of the installation of the Hatbox Ghost, it is plausible that the omission of the candelabra is intentional.
At the time of press, Disney has not announced or confirmed the removal of the gag.
Though it is quite difficult to capture in a photo, you can see the floating candelabra as its normally seen in the photo above.
In addition to the missing candelabra, a new door has appeared behind the Hatbox Ghost in the concept art. The new doorway has a face similar to some of the grates and other adornments found in the house. A rolling fog comes in from its opening, having just let the unhappy haunt into the Mansion uninvited.
The Hatbox Ghost will make his debut in the Endless Hallway scene of the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World in late November, though an exact date has not been given. Work began on adding the new audio-animatronic figure back in August, with a large black curtain going up tot he left of the Endless Hallway, removing or hiding the “Donald Duck chair” that was previously located there.
Hatbox Ghost History
A version of the Hatbox Ghost was present in the Disneyland version of the Haunted Mansion when it opened in 1969 but was quickly removed due to technological limitations and its physical placement within the attraction itself. The lighting within the Haunted Mansion prevented the spirit’s effect from working as intended, and thus, the Hatbox Ghost was removed entirely.
The character became folkloric amongst Disney Park fans, with many long calling for his reinstallation. The Hatbox Ghost made his highly-anticipated return to the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland in 2015, appearing at the end of the attic scene.
The Hatbox Ghost has become an even larger part of the Haunted Mansion’s allure and branding since his return. In September 2022, Disney Parks announced that the Hatbox Ghost would be making his debut in the Magic Kingdom version of the Haunted Mansion in 2023, with the company announcing his location in the Endless Hallway in July of this year. Initial preparations for his arrival were made in August, with curtains going up in the Endless Hallway on August 1. The Haunted Mansion closed for refurbishment from August 7–10, and while the Hatbox Ghost was not present when the attraction re-opened, some minor changes were visible, such as an updated Madame Leota and the return of Prince Amenmose, the tea-sipping mummy, to the graveyard scene.
The Hatbox Ghost even appears in the recent “Haunted Mansion” film adaptation. He’s portrayed by Jared Leto in the film and serves as its primary antagonist.