Expansion and Enhancements coming to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

Aug 29, 2023 in "Disneyland Resort"

Haunted Mansion ground expansion concept art at Disneyland
Posted: Tuesday August 29, 2023 1:!1pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disneyland Resort has revealed plans for a major expansion and update to one of its most beloved attractions—the Haunted Mansion. Slated to begin in 2024, these updates promise to delve deeper into the lore of the mansion while adding new features to enhance the visitor experience.

An Expanded Story

According to local legend, the Haunted Mansion was originally built by a wealthy sea captain. Over the years, the mansion's staff has dutifully maintained its spooktacular appeal. With the forthcoming expansion, visitors can look forward to an extended outdoor queue that promises to immerse them in the mansion's tales and legends. This includes stories of Master Gracey, Madame Leota, and a mysterious one-eyed cat.

Beyond The Haunted Grounds

Each of the mansion's new gardens will showcase unique elements that range from water fountains and gazebos to themed statuary and landscaping. Guests will also have a chance to explore a new greenhouse that serves as the growing space for the Haunted Mansion's groundskeepers. Fans of the attraction will be pleased to know that existing features like the pet cemetery and the horse-drawn funeral hearse will remain.

New Retail Space

But that's not all. Madame Leota, a prominent figure in the Haunted Mansion, will extend her ethereal presence to a new retail shop located next to the attraction's exit. Housed in Leota's carriage house, the standalone shop promises to offer goods that will leave visitors "dying" to know more.

More Updates Around the Corner

Besides the Haunted Mansion expansion, Disneyland also plans to spruce up the plaza adjacent to Tiana's Palace. The new design aims to create a serene, park-like setting that honors the area's historical significance while offering a tranquil space for relaxation and live entertainment.

Improved Accessibility

Finally, the project aims to improve accessibility for all. A new elevator exit specifically designed for guests with disabilities will be added to the Haunted Mansion.

Construction Timelines

Construction for these enhancements is set to begin in January 2024.

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vicariouscorpse24 days ago

Here's what it looks like to me: 1,2,3 trees are the same. For the fountain at 4, it will be replaced by a tree. Small overlay:

Disney Analyst24 days ago

I think it's close to that area, but not quite as far in. Then with the planters reduced to just surrounding the trees, they should be able to free up enough space to have walking room, plus some scattered tables and chairs. I mean, right now it's a mess with the extended queue anyway, so how do they make it work when Magnolia Park is full of queuing guests?

mickEblu24 days ago

I don’t think the fountain in the concept art is in the same location as the current fountain in Magnolia Park. Not sure how far along you are in catching up on this thread but I believe we were able to identify some of the trees to the right of the current fountain still present in the concept art.

DrAlice24 days ago

After watching David & Brickey's videos, I think (as @mickEblu said earlier) the brick wall with the fountain in the garden is the same as the brick wall in the bandstand area image. David points out the two people sitting on the bricks with a selfie stick in that image. If you look carefully, there is a fountain behind them. I think both fountains are at the same place on opposite sides of the wall. After watching Brickey's video, my sad guess is that these fountains are in the position of the current fountain in Magnolia park. If I'm correct, then my biggest concern is what happens to crowd flow going from the main walkway to the train station. If they literally cut Magnolia park in half at the fountain, flip the bandstand around and add tables, include a semi-permanent popcorn cart toward the train station, how in heck will there be room to navigate through here to the train station and bathroom?! The concept art makes the area look more spacious than it actually is. See @mickEblu 's post for images:

vicariouscorpse24 days ago

I keep coming back to the concept art and blueprints and trying to make sense of it all. This is my speculation on the layout. The green is the greenhouse in the concept art. The orange is a side path that already exists. I think it will connect the greenhouse to the already existing chicken exit crypt as it fits perfectly. In the concept art for the greenhouse you can actually see its angling up from the crypt towards the exit. My best guess for the elevator is at the end of the hallway in blue just before the load area.

Dear Prudence25 days ago

*the Disney difference*

PiratesMansion25 days ago

I would assume the ride will stay closed until everything is finished.

MichRX725 days ago

I tried to skim 12 pages, but could not see if anyone had mentioned if HM will stay open during the refurbishment? Thinking of taking our oldest child (who is the only one of 4 not to visit Disneyland yet) and our grandkids for spring break last week of March/1st week of April and it would be disheartening if it was closed. I mean, it happens, my oldest son missed Matterhorn on our last visit because it was closed.

D.Silentu26 days ago

I am also fairly certain this was in 2005.

ParkPeeker26 days ago

Wow thanks for replying, this is very interesting to me! It would be great to have a confirmation and/or more photos to figure out when. And yea it sucks that some older content is deleted, I came across a 3d modeler whose content has either been deleted or privated across all of his different platforms, his blog,YouTube, flickr, etc his content is just gone except for a 3d model of the switchback queue that’s been saved and shared on another blog.

FerretAfros26 days ago

I seem to recall the area outside the windows was reduced during the same refurbishment that revised the changing portraits from slowly transitioning between multiple images in increasing states of 'decay' to synching up with the lightning flashes outside the windows across the hall. At the time, nobody seemed to know why the scene space was reduced, but it makes sense that it was done to provide an accessible emergency exit. Presumably the exit path was the driver for the change, and WDI was able to add the portraits in to the project as an upgrade for guests. I can't find definitive proof, but based on some second-hand sources (the original fan websites from that era appear to have archived their older content or are gone entirely) it seems that this was done either in 2005 or 2006. From what I remember it was part of the usual post-holiday refurbishment, when these sorts of tweaks are often made. If Darkbeer were still around, I suspect he may know, or at least have the photo archive to figure it out, but it appears he's deactivated his account here.

TP200027 days ago

And yes, this will cost a lot of money. Likely at least ten million, perhaps upwards of 25 or 50 million dollars if they need to build and install an entirely new Omnimover system for the entire ride (which they probably should after 55 years). But let's also remember that Disney just set ablaze $160 Million in cash on the losses they accrued from the massive box office flop that was the Haunted Mansion movie. :eek:If Disney can afford to lose $160 Million on a Haunted Mansion movie (their fourth money losing movie of the summer), then they can certainly afford to spend $25 Million to upgrade and improve the actual Haunted Mansion ride that is far more popular than their movies. The Loading area would need to be redone into a new loading area showroom scene for this. Maybe something like a vaulted ceiling reception room (Downtown Abbey springs to mind). It would make more sense than just that blank, dusty black wall with green lights, and would provide them a place for more storytelling and show scenes. A win-win. Plus, they should probably also do something with the walls that lead from the Unload area back to the wheelchair turntable in the Loading area. In 1969 they never imagined so many people per day would be riding the full route of the Omnimover because they were in a wheelchair. Nothing fancy on the loop back to the Loading area, just some classic wallpaper and maybe a hat rack or spooky pictures on the wall with some music, or else the able bodied people will want to see it too. Just don't make the people in wheelchairs feel like they are getting a second-class show of blank walls because they happen to be disabled. It's long past time to realize that Nixon is no longer in the White House and that many people in the 21st century go to Disneyland in wheelchairs. Fix this old ride and get it ready for the 21st century, like they should have done 20 years ago already. But better late than never, TDA.

TP200027 days ago

Okay, so using these wonderful patent graphics you provided, here's how I think this could work. Please forgive the amateur-n-dirty version of this schematic, but I never attended art school and never worked for Boeing. Here's the BEFORE ride schematic for the Haunted Mansion as its existed since 1969, just to get your bearings... But, luckily in 1969 the built that cavernous loading area with all the unused space behind the Omnimover loading belt. I think it was supposed to look dark and spooky, but it mostly just looks empty and dusty, especially once they had to brighten the lighting levels in the loading area for legal/safety reasons in the 2000's. If you pushed the Omnimover track further into that empty space behind the loading area, you would open up enough room to extend the cue a bit and install the turntable loading platform for wheelchair folks. You would need to rip out pretty much that whole loading area past the Staring Busts (hey now) and rebuild it, but it can be done. There's a lot of room down there. Here's the AFTER schematic, showing the rerouted Omnimover track that opens up more space in the expanded loading area with room for the wheelchair turntable (the red circle with blue Doombuggies staging on it). The bright blue arrow and line is the path a person in a wheelchair coming down in a Stretching Room would take to board and then disembark their Doombuggy all in the same Loading area at the wheelchair turntable. After disembarking the ride, they follow the new path down existing underground hallways to the new elevator they are building south of the Mansion closer to the New Orleans train station. The bright green arrow and line is the path an able bodied person would take from a Stretching Room, basically the same way they've always done it since 1969. But now the Portrait Gallery leads to a reworked and reconfigured Loading area for them. And then exit as normal and go up the existing Speedramp. Make sense?

Phroobar27 days ago

But only in the shade. That stuff is like relaxing on melting plastic in the sun.