Welcome foolish mortals, to the reopening of the Haunted Mansion.
Every year, from October to January, the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland receives a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. The ride closed down in January in order to be converted back into its original state, and its reopening was conveniently timed right around the release of the trailer for the new Haunted Mansion (2023) movie that will be released later this year.
However, some eagle-eyed Guests noticed that the ride wasn’t exactly as it had been before closing. In the endless corridor scene, next to the “Donald Duck chair,” a brand new prop could be seen.
Riders recently noticed the addition of a new prop, a seemingly empty bird cage, with a pile of bones at the bottom of it. In a video posted to TikTok, @mr.unofficialceo pointed out that it’s a nod to a prop from the original concept art of the ride from Imagineer Marc Davis. This was confirmed by various people on Twitter.
I went on the Haunted Mansion early this morning at Disneyland and uhhhh I may have discovered something new- it looks like they added the bat in the birdcage with bones & blood from this old Marc Davis artwork???? That’s what that is right?? (Sorry for grainy dark pic) pic.twitter.com/BPBrtBv1S9
— Rocco Botte (@rocco_botte) February 15, 2023
Unfortunately, it seems the prop has pulled a “blink and you missed it” move, as it’s no longer able to be seen. In a follow-up to the original video, @mr.unofficialceo states that the prop has actually existed since a 2019 Club 33 Haunted Mansion themed event and speculates that the prop may have been there for a private event for the attraction and has since been placed back into storage.
Commentor @hauntina responded saying,
“It was an invite only after hours event for a few content creators/media. NDA’s were signed so not much info but I’m assuming it was for the movie”
With this year being the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company and the 110th birthday of Marc Davis, it’s possible that new or previously unseen props could be seen throughout different parts of the Parks and rides.
While not a permanent feature of the ride, it was an interesting “I spy” moment for riders for a brief time. As more pieces of original concept art have made their way into the attraction, riders could eventually see the bat make a return one day.