First Look: Hitchhiking Ghost animatronics return with enhanced ‘spirit’ in The Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World

in Disney, Entertainment, Featured, Magic Kingdom, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

When we reported last month that The Haunted Mansion‘s animatronic Hitchhiking Ghosts had been replaced by projections, we said the change was likely temporary while work continued behind-the-scenes. Today Disney Imagineers materialized the newest versions of these famous specters, once again in animatronic form.

Ezra, Phineas, and Gus, as they’ve come to be called, are brighter than ever, with an eerie blue glow. The trio no longer stutter through repetitive hitchhiking motions, instead smoothly waving their hands back and forth, thumbs-out, in a more realistic manner. Their heads turn as well, offering additional realism to the figures.

But enough of the description. See the new Hitchhiking Ghost animatronics for yourself in the video below:

Also new is what appears to be a stack of luggage (and possibly a portrait) next to Phineas on the left of the scene. While the ghosts are bright blue, the new props are quite dark and difficult to make out, even after two rides through The Haunted Mansion.

The overall look of the Hitchhiking Ghosts now more closely resembles that of their projected versions that follows them in the still-covered mirrors in the Mansion’s finale scene. It seems that effect isn’t quite finished, though it does appear that those projections are here to say (and will possibly be interactive once complete).

The new Haunted Mansion interactive queue was also not open today, with work still going on inside. That, along with these new Hitchhiking Ghost effects (and likely projections), should be complete by the end of this month or early April. But at the moment, the classic animatronics have returned in an updated form ready to “follow you home.”

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