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When we reported last month that The Haunted Mansion‘s animatronic Hitchhiking Ghosts had been replaced by projections, we said the change was likely temporary while work continued behind-the-scenes.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.”


  1. Clay Matthews

    Ricky – Thanks for the update: it looks good, right? I’m looking forward to seeing them in August but wondered if you thought it was a real improvement.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      Yes, the new animatronic ghosts definitely look good. They retain their classic look, but enhanced. They’re brighter than they ever have been and the motion is not jerky and repetitive like it used to be.

      1. Clay Matthews

        Fantastic! Now I just have to wait 149 more days to see them! Yuck!

      2. Hi evunsore,Becaeye several months have passed since we published this post, we’re closing the comments to help us focus on the work ahead. If you still have a question or comment you’d like to discuss, free to visit and/or post your topic in our .Thanks and take care,The Webmaster Central Team

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  2. thanks for sharing this – I was quite curious to see if they’d still look the same.

  3. Greg

    Looks like you need to delete the “v” in httpv for the video url to work.

    1. Ricky Brigante

      It works now. I think you happened to load the page in the middle of me doing some behind-the-scenes work on the site that temporarily broke a few things.

  4. walkingdisneyfreak

    Can’t wait to see this in person! By the way there was a funny thing i heard in the first 2 seconds of the video. I heard a kid saying “I think this is a Roller Coaster”. Its not really that funny but I smiled when I heard it lol

    1. Ricky Brigante

      I laughed silently to myself when I heard the kid say that in person while shooting the video.

  5. Pretty pretty pretty!! Love the seam binding… I was just playing with my inks and ribbons… I looked a bit like the child of The Hulk and Smurfette when I was fih#nsed&i8230; LOL

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