Disney has finally announced when the Hatbox Ghost will join the other haunts at the Haunted Mansion in Magic Kingdom. The attraction will close August 7-9 to prepare for the Hatbox Ghost’s arrival before reopening on August 10, 2023.
Disney also announced where the Hatbox Ghost will be located, and that decision is a divisive one to say the least.
Via the Disney Parks Blog:
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.
Based on that description, it sounds like the Hatbox Ghost will make a few appearances around the Haunted Mansion. Its primary location will be located near the Endless Hallway, which is near the beginning of the ride.
Unfortunately, the decision to place the Hatbox Ghost by the Endless Hallway doesn’t line up with the rest of the attraction’s story. Guests don’t visibly see any ghosts until after the séance with Madame Leota. Madame Leota summons the spirits to appear and materialize, which is why guests can then see the ghosts throughout the remainder of the attraction.
Placing the Hatbox Ghost before the séance doesn’t make any sense. Over in Disneyland, they stuck to the story and placed the Hatbox Ghost at the end of the attic scene in 2015, which matches where the figure initially appeared when the Haunted Mansion opened. Magic Kingdom’s version of the Haunted Mansion has plenty of room in the attic for the Hatbox Ghost, but instead the Endless Hallway appears to be its destination.
It’s puzzling why this addition that was announced in September of 2022 has taken so long to arrive in Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion. It’s even more puzzling why Disney would choose the Endless Hallway as its new home when other locations make more sense.