Renovated Haunted Mansion reopens at Magic Kingdom: What's Changed?

Aug 10, 2023 in "Haunted Mansion"

Posted: Thursday August 10, 2023 7:00pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

The Haunted Mansion has reopened late this evening from its brief refurbishment at Magic Kingdom, just in time for the 2023 Halloween season at Walt Disney World.

Hatbox Ghost is yet to materialize

Despite curtains appearing at the installation location for the Hatbox Ghost last week, the highly anticipated animatronic has not made his debut with today's reopening.

The curtains remain in place, with work presumably continuing out of sight.

The Hatbox Ghost's non-appearance does not entirely come as a surprise, as going into the refurbishment, Disney had said that the closure was for routine maintenance and would not include any guest-facing changes. However, the timing raised some suspicion among fans, with some still expecting the Hatbox Ghost to be revealed today.

New look for Madame Leota

One of the Haunted Mansion's most recognizable characters, Madame Leota, has an updated appearance in the seance scene of the classic Magic Kingdom attraction.

Belts and Reliability

What did happen during the Haunted Mansion closure was a replacement of the moving walkway belts at load and unload. Repairs were needed rather urgently, and the closure this week means we should expect improved reliability over the upcoming Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party season.

The Mummy Returns

The mummy figure makes a return to the graveyard scene of the Haunted Mansion that has been part of the attraction for many years. It's dressed in typical Egyptian mummy garb and is seen holding a cup of tea.

Discuss on the Forums

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JoeCamelAug 15, 2023

If they did Spirit would close

some other guyAug 15, 2023

I thought China had strict anti-spoopy laws?

yensidtlaw1969Aug 15, 2023

What, was it the Load Belt that was replaced? I was told Unload EDIT: I see I both misread your post and made a typo in mine, thank you! I definitely meant unload

Splash4evaAug 15, 2023

They still arent running?!? That is an absolute disgrace. Wow

peter11435Aug 15, 2023

Yep. This. Except unload belt.

ToTBellHopAug 15, 2023

The Epcot trams are receiving your sympathetic vibrations but need you to vibrate 18% more.

buckeyegatorAug 14, 2023

or the trams re-appear

yensidtlaw1969Aug 14, 2023


Tha RealestAug 14, 2023

What occurs first? Hatbox arrives in WDW, or Haunted Mansion arrives on D+?

yensidtlaw1969Aug 14, 2023

It really wasn't. The unload belt needed to be replaced, and it needed to be done before the busy Halloween season started. That meant the refurb had to be done before the 11th. The WDW Mansion doesn't get a lot of downtime, so they tried to maximize it by hitting as many bullet points as possible - Park Leadership has a soft spot for the Mansion and wants it to look as well as it can (within the constraint of the necessary downtime) for when The Hatbox Ghost arrives. The Hatbox Ghost being added to the WDW Mansion is only very loosely tied in to the movie - he will look like Disneyland's figure, not like the version in the movie, and clearly his arrival is not timed with any particularity to the movie's release, given that it's already been out for more than 2 weeks and the HBG's reveal date remains mysterious. But the fact that there was a new movie featuring The Hatbox Ghost made it easier to justify throwing a couple dollars towards that project, for which interest had existed since his successful return at DL.

JustInTimeAug 14, 2023

I absolutely think the timing is due to the film but the changes aren’t directly inspired by the movie. Remember - the budget was approved for this refurb and it was supposed to be part of the 50th celebration.

SourcererMark79Aug 14, 2023

New Leota B-Mode?

π•΄π–’π–†π–Œπ–Žπ–“π–Šπ–Šπ–—97Aug 14, 2023

Fair enough...I'm not reaching for anything. I'd much rather the movie stays out of the park. I just thought it looked similar, and now thanks to this post, I see what you mean. Though I still believe the timing was likely related to the film.

BocabearAug 14, 2023

I think the new more sculptural wig looks great, and is also probably lacquered within an inch of it's life so that any cleaning or repairs to the head in the ball would not require a re-styling of the hair component... I like it... and it not so different, but feels a little more designed and stylish now.