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Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024
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The Dish on Disney

Haunted Mansion News and Some Disney News

Good evening, folks! Today I want to discuss the news that I was looking at in terms of the Haunted Mansion ride closing. So, let’s get started! So, Disneyland has announced that the Haunted Mansion ride will be closing on January 21st, for a long refurbishment as the new que is going to be worked on.     The grounds near Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion will be expanded to accommodate a larger outdoor queue and a Madame Leota-themed retail shop, theme park officials announced on Tuesday. Construction on the new project will begin in January 2024, with the new additions expected to “build on the story and lore of the Haunted Mansion.” Each of the gardens will include unique elements like a water fountain, and gazebo plus themed statuary and landscaping. Guests will be able to see the new greenhouse where the groundskeepers for the Haunted Mansion grow their plants. The original queue will retain its iconic features like the pet cemetery and horse-drawn funeral hearse. A new expanded outdoor queue is a welcome addition as currently on days with long lines the queue will often snake outside the entrance of the Haunted Mansion and take up considerable space in New Orleans Square. I was hoping to see more shade in this area as the outdoor queue can heat up considerably in the sun but this is still a major improvement. Disneyland is also expanding the Haunted Mansion with a new retail shop just adjacent to the attraction’s exit. Currently, the only official retail store for the Haunted Mansion is a shared retail space with Pirates of the Caribbean merchandise called Port Royal Curios and Curiosities. Aside from this shop, there is also a small merchandise stand outside of the exit of the Haunted Mansion which only sells a few items like themed Minnie Mouse Ears, stuffed animals, and other small items. According to Disney, the presence of Madame Leota will be a focal point of this new retail shop as the “carriage house of the mansion” which will belong to Madame Leota herself.  Disneyland fans have long been envious of the merchandise location at Walt Disney World dedicated solely to the Haunted Mansion which often includes collectible Haunted Mansion merchandise. The Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion retail store, Memento Mori, is themed as the former home of Madame Leota so we will likely see a similar concept carried over to this Disneyland retail location. By looking at the concept art above, this space already looks like it could be larger than Memento Mori at Walt Disney World so perhaps now Walt Disney World fans will become envious of this space at Disneyland! We can only dream that we might see animatronics or other features on the level we have seen for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in shops like Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities in this new Haunted Mansion retail space. But it is more likely we’ll see similar shop effects like Memento Mori has like haunted music from the attraction or snippets from Madame Leota herself. Disneyland is on a great run of placemaking additions to the parks that improve the general guest experience. Recently Gavin Doyle, the founder of Mickey Visit took his grandmother at Disneyland for the first time in 15 years. She shared that she thought the park felt the same yet brand new during her visit. Her comment illustrates the importance and success of changes like this one to keep the parks fresh and new. Construction will begin on the Haunted Mansion expansion in January 2024. No official opening date has been announced yet but the Disneyland announcement mentioned these new additions will be coming in 2024 so I anticipate we will see them towards the latter half of 2024. This attraction is expected to be closed all the way until August 23rd, 2023 when Halloween starts again at the Disneyland resort. The season will be starting earlier than expected. The original Haunted Mansion will not return until 2025.

In the other news… Disneyland has announced that they will be adding an attraction also in New Orleans Square Pirates of the Caribbean on Genie Plus. They say that the Genie Plus on Pirates is temporary because of the two major attractions closing: Haunted Mansion and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The line for Pirates can get pretty long and I’m sure that people who don’t buy genie plus are not happy currently because it holds the line up and they let guests with lightning lane go through first. Not enough people are buying genie plus service apparently. I think it is actually the right move because Disney is going to lose two major lightning lane attractions: Haunted Mansion and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

So, what are your thoughts about the news here?

 I would love to hear your thoughts and comments down below!

Stay tuned for Disney updates.

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