There’s a brand new haunting experience being offered by Disney, and it’s actually catering to dedicated Park fans!
The Walt Disney Company have many classic rides and attractions at their Parks all around the world — from the first-ever Disney theme park created by Walt Disney himself, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California, to the Walt Disney World Resort and the Magic Kingdom, far beyond to the Disneyland Paris Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Shanghai Disney Resort, and the Tokyo Disney Resort.
Nearly everyone has a favorite attraction at the Disney Parks — and one favorite of many is the spookily fun classic attraction, the Haunted Mansion.
This new endeavor is something that The Walt Disney Company has not done before, and it features an augmented reality (AR) and mystery-solving experience being offered to Guests. The experience appears somewhat experimental, with the whole event teased in an extremely mysterious manner over the course of nearly the entire month of November. Although the event is currently only for the Tokyo Disney Resort’s Tokyo Disneyland (not in sister Park Tokyo DisneySea, either), its success could lead to it being implemented at other Disney Parks around the world. The event, titled “Disney Story Beyond”, was previously shrouded in mystery and had been vaguely teased to take place in January 2023. Now, we have a definite date and more concrete details, as well as a general overview of what to expect.
The Oriental Land Company technically own the entirety of the Tokyo Disney Resort, while Imagineering, intellectual property, concept, and design are entirely handled by The Walt Disney Company. This frees Disney from having to worry about the financials of the Parks, and allows them to focus on the quality of the Parks’ internals — arguably what matters most. This results in a lot of experimentation within the Tokyo Disney Resort and its two theme parks, Tokyo Disneyland (modelled after Disneyland Resort’s Disneyland Park in California), while Tokyo DisneySea is built around an entirely unique concept inspired by the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.) from Disney Park canon. It’s therefore very interesting that this lore-heavy Haunted Mansion update is coming to Tokyo Disneyland first, as the entire Resort has very deep connections to specific Disney Park lore. The Disney Story Beyond event will theme itself after the Haunted Mansion’s “Ghost Registry”.
The new Disney Story Beyond experience has had information slowly drip fed onto a separate webpage from the regular Disney Resort’s, as we previously covered. A brand new page has now been set up, detailing the Haunted Mansion’s story is much greater detail (in Japanese). It also features spooky new images of the Haunted Mansion ride animatronics and interiors.
Oricon News reports on the brand new event coming to the Disney Park, introducing the Disney Story Beyond concept:
This event is designed to give visitors a deeper understanding of the “stories” of the Park’s areas and attractions, allowing them to enjoy the world of the Park even more. The first installment will be held with the theme of the popular attraction “Haunted Mansion” at Tokyo Disneyland.
The report continues with more details on how the augmented reality (AR) will be implemented, and how it will be used by Guests to solve mysteries tied to Haunted Mansion’s story.
The report then discusses how Disney Story Beyond might be implemented, and also mentions special Haunted Mansion merchandise that will be on sale for this event:
While in the Haunted Mansion you may encounter a bride in a wedding dress, three Hitchhiking Ghosts riding a Doom Buggy and more — that may appear, installed at a special site that develops a new story. From January 26th to March 31st next year, there will be special merchandise on sale, a “mystery solving event” where you can enjoy these stories even more, and “AR content” where you can take pictures with the characters using your smartphone camera. Prepare to further enhance your experience at the Park.
Until the event begins, these quirky characters’ stories will be introduced at the special site.
What this appears to be hinting at is the introduction of some sort of smartphone application that will allow Guests to interact with real life elements at the Parks, overlaying a sort of AR mystery to solve and additional lore, it will also likely provide a new photo-taking opportunity. Additionally, what appears to be limited edition merchandise will also be available for those with an undying love for the beloved Haunted Mansion ride and its spooky story.
It’s definitely a step in a slightly different direction for the Disney theme parks, aimed almost explicitly at a more “hardcore Disney fan” sort of crowd. This sort of mini-event is the exact sort of thing that may drive interest up for Annual Pass holders and local Disney fans and families, encouraging more frequent visits, engagement, and merchandise sales during the period that it is scheduled to run.
Either way, if you’re intending to visit the Tokyo Disney Resort during this event period, we’re pretty sure Constance Hatchaway is just dying to meet you!
What do you think of Disney adding more mini-events like this to the Parks? Are you a fan of the Haunted Mansion? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
In other Haunted Mansion news, there is an upcoming Haunted Mansion movie starring Jamie Lee Curtis (Madame Leota), Rosario Dawson (Gabbie), Jared Leto (Alistair Crump/Hatbox Ghost), Tiffany Haddish (Harriet) and Owen Wilson (Kent) as a priest (plus Winona Ryder in an undisclosed role) — in another attempt by Disney to reboot the franchise after the less-well received Eddie Murphy movie from the early 2000s. Disney appears to be realizing the power of the Haunted Mansion as an intellectual property, with several Haunted Mansion-adjacent projects of late, including Disney+’s Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021).
More on the Tokyo Disney Resort
Unlike other entirely Walt Disney Company-owned Parks like the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, Japan exists as the Walt Disney Company’s first-ever international Disney Park and is owned and operated by the Oriental Land Company. Located just beside the JR Maihama Station, and connected to Narita Airport and Haneda Airport by convenient transport networks, Tokyo Disney Resort comprises two theme parks – Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, all connected by the Disney Resort Line monorail. Nearby are official hotels, the Disney Ambassador Hotel, Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel and Tokyo Bay Maihama Hotel.
The resides just a short distance from the and Toy Story Hotel, and features a similar castle to ’s , with their own . offers more than one unique , including the Tokyo-exclusive, trackless Winnie the Pooh , Pooh’s Honey Hunt, plus Monsters, Inc. “ & Go Seek!”. Familiar favorites from other parks include , , , : The Adventures Continue, It’s a small world and Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blaster.