In an effort to remain inclusive, Disney has been working to eliminate divisive attractions, shows, and language from their theme parks. We’ve seen the removal of Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, changes to opening day attractions like Country Bear Jamboree, and now, a very specific change to the fan-favorite Haunted Mansion.
Besides updating old attractions and shows, Disney has also tried to keep offensive language at bay. Often, these changes have revolved around how they address their guests. Notably, Cast Members at Disney World and Disneyland parks already point with multiple fingers as some cultures view the single point as a rude hand gesture.
More specifically, Disney has been making efforts to change the pronouns that they utilize within their parks, as many now feel that being “misgendered” is rude and offensive.
So, what does this have to do with the Haunted Mansion? Although you’ll find the popular attraction, the brainchild of Walt Disney, hidden away in New Orleans Square at Disneyland and Liberty Square at Walt Disney World, those familiar with the narration on this iconic attraction will quickly realize that there is no gender-specific terminology used in the home of Hatbox Ghost.
Instead, Tokyo Disneyland’s version of the dark ride is the debate for today, as they’ve now reportedly removed the terminology “Ladies and Gentlemen” from their version of the attraction.
United States-based Haunted Mansion attractions have notably never used the terminology “Ladies and Gentlemen,” instead opting for “Foolish Mortals” instead of the other nouns.
The famous voice behind the Ghost Host at America’s Haunted Mansion is Paul Frees, who passed away in 1986, long before the idea of living outside of social constructs was widely accepted. Therefore it is unlikely that using “Foolish Mortals” was done with “misgendering” in mind.
However, Tokyo’s version of the ride was completed in 1983 and included the terminology “Ladies and Gentlemen” when addressing guests to the Haunted Mansion.
The subtle change was noticed and reported thanks to Inside the Magic and YouTube Minicla 0830.
“For those who may have never been to Tokyo Disneyland and are not used to the phrasing “ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The Haunted Mansion. Now, it appears that Oriental Land Co. has changed the dialogue on the attraction. YouTuber Minicla 0830 shared a ride through the attraction just a few days ago, where the new narration can be heard, excluding the “ladies and gentlemen” reference.”
According to the recording uploaded by Minicla 0830, the iconic welcome speech now simply says, “Welcome to the Haunted Mansion.”
This is another step in Disney’s attempt to cater to different ideas and beliefs while maintaining a magical environment. As Inside the Magic also noted, Disney Cast Members also attempt to refrain from using gender-specific terminology when speaking to guests, so as not to offend anyone.
The Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion is a classic theme park attraction that has captivated visitors for decades. From the eerie facade to the spine-chilling experience inside, this haunted house is unlike any other. As you enter the mansion, you are immediately transported to a world of supernatural squatters and ghostly encounters.
One of the most iconic features of the Haunted Mansion is the Hatbox Ghost. This spectral figure, with his hatbox in hand, has become a beloved symbol of attraction. Guests eagerly await the chance to catch a glimpse of him, as he has a tendency to disappear and reappear at will.
Inside the Haunted Mansion, you will encounter a host of ghostly residents. Madame Leota, a mysterious medium, beckons you to join in her séance. The Hitchhiking Ghosts, a trio of mischievous spirits, may even try to join you on your journey.
The Haunted Mansion is not just a chilling experience but also a masterpiece of storytelling. The richly detailed scenes and eerie ambiance are designed to immerse you in the macabre world of the mansion. The attraction leaves a lasting impression on all who enter with its hauntingly beautiful music and intricate set designs.
‘Haunted Mansion: The Movie’
2023 saw the release of Disney’s second attempt at a Haunted Mansion-based film. Starring Lakeith Stanfield, Jamie Lee Curtis, Owen Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Tiffany Haddish, and more, Justin Simien heralded a fun and engaging story related to the iconic attraction.
Although the film included popular names like Rosario Dawson, Owen Wilson, and Danny DeVito, didn’t resonate well with fans. Although Walt Disney Pictures chose to stay true to many of the elements that make the ride so attractive to audiences, the film was still a loss.
Walt Disney Studios brought out the big guns, but the movie still underperformed. Many blame this on Disney’s “woke” agenda, although several factors have played into their recent box office slump.
Related: Haunted Mansion…Dead On Arrival
As potentially hindering pressure remains high on Disney to conform to different guest’s backgrounds and beliefs, the latest move in removing “Ladies and Gentlemen” from the Haunted Mansion shows Disney’s commitment to ensuring that their guests all feel welcome.
Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or simply curious about the supernatural, the Haunted Mansion is sure to give you an otherworldly experience. So brace yourself, enter the mansion if you dare, and prepare for a haunted adventure you won’t soon forget.