Disneyland’s legendary Hatbox Ghost rematerialized at the Haunted Mansion this morning.
The Hatbox Ghost was one of the early residents of the Haunted Mansion and also one of the shortest in longevity. The Hatbox Ghost featured an effect where the ghost’s head would disappear, then reappear in his hatbox. The effect relied on lighting and never worked particularly well, so Disney removed it from the Mansion within a few weeks of the attraction’s opening in 1969.
At the 2013 D23 Expo, Walt Disney Imagineering showed off a new Hatbox Ghost animatronic, reviving fans’ hopes that an improved version of the Hatbox Ghost would return to the Mansion. Earlier this year, Disney hinted at and the eventually announced the Ghost’s return. This morning hundreds of Mansion fans to rushed to the attraction at rope drop to see its debut.
When some Haunted Mansion fans spotted a new window appearing at the end of the attic scene around the time of Disney’s announcement, this prompted fears that the Hatbox Ghost would be a screen effect. This morning, that window and the wall around it were gone, revealing an open space in which the Hatbox Ghost performs his new, and much more convincing, disappearing “hat trick.”
Here is a short video of the Hatbox Ghost –