Hatbox Ghost's placement at Disney World's Haunted Mansion is an even bigger disappointment than I imagined

I finally got to ride Disney World's The Haunted Mansion and experience The Hatbox Ghost. After all of this hype, I'm left disappointed.
Disney World The Haunted Mansion. Photo taken by Matthew Liebl
Disney World The Haunted Mansion. Photo taken by Matthew Liebl /

When Disney announced plans to add the Hatbox Ghost to Disney World's version of the Haunted Mansion, fans were excited for the arrival of one of the attraction's most iconic characters. But as the plans unfolded, it became more and more of a letdown.

The biggest concern among Disney fans was the placement of the character. Rather than placing Hatbox Ghost in the attic like he is in the Disneyland attraction, Disney opted to place him in the Endless Hallway scene of the Disney World ride.

For those unfamiliar, this is toward the beginning of the ride before the Madame Leota séance scene. From a story perspective, this made absolutely no sense as its that séance scene that allows the ghosts to materialize and for us to see them.

In all honesty, casual Disney fans probably wouldn't notice. They probably just see the fun animation effects of the Hatbox Ghost and think it's a cool ghost.

Months after Hatbox Ghost's arrival in the Haunted Mansion, I finally got the chance to see it for myself. Between constant breakdowns, massive queues (thanks to influencers), and tired kids, it's been months since I've been able to get on the attraction.

After all this wait, I finally got to experience Hatbox Ghost. And wow, what a letdown.

The technology behind the actual ghost is definitely cool but he just feels so out of place. It makes for a jarring experience, especially for someone who has been to the attraction hundreds of times. Not to mention, with his placement, only one in every couple of Doom Buggies actually gets a good view of his head vanishing from his shoulders and appearing in his box.

The whole thing just feels like such a letdown, especially with all of the hype surrounding his arrival. It's just another reason why the Disneyland version of Haunted Mansion remains superior to the Florida version.