Disney’s Got 999 Problems But A Ghost’s Not One

Hatbox Ghost at Haunted Mansion
Credit: Disney

The Hatbox Ghost is an iconic and mysterious character that originated from Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attractio. This spectral figure has fascinated park-goers since the attraction’s opening in 1969, sparking curiosity and intrigue among fans and enthusiasts.

walt disney world hatbox ghost haunted mansion jared leto disneyland resort theme parks guests upset

Credit: Disney

Disney Imagineers originally intended for this ghostly figure to be a prominent element within the Haunted Mansion. Still, due to technical limitations at the time, the effect was removed shortly after the attraction’s debut. The Hatbox Ghost became one of Disneyland’s mythical creatures, gaining a cult-like following and sparking speculation about its existence.

For decades, fans wondered whether the Hatbox Ghost was just a figment of their imagination or if it truly existed within the Haunted Mansion. However, in 2015, Disneyland introduced an updated version of the Haunted Mansion, and to the delight of enthusiasts, the enigmatic Hatbox Ghost was brought to life once again, this time with innovative technology and enhanced illusions.

New Disney park

Credit: IAAPA

At D23 2022, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro announced plans to bring the eerie ghost to the Haunted Mansion at Magic Kingdom (Walt DisneyWorld). At the time, no date had been given, only that the Hatbox Ghost would be making an appearance “sometime in 2023.” When the ride went down for a brief refurbishment, fans were hopeful that this was it. Sadly, the Hatbox Ghost was not installed at that time. Now, however, we not only know when but where the specter will appear! In a tweet, Disney said they will install the Hatbox Ghost in the endless hallway (likely as a nod to the film where Jared Leto plays the fearsom phantom).

walt disney world hatbox ghost haunted mansion jared leto disneyland resort theme parks guests upset

Credit: Disney

The ride will remain open as preparations are made for the ghost to take up residences in his new haunt. As a result, Disney warned that guests will see construction walls in this area temporarily. Construction will not take place during operating hours, so the ride experience won’t be diminished (unless, of course, seeing the endless hallway is a make-or-break for you).

The Hatbox Ghost’s backstory remains shrouded in mystery. The 2023 film, Haunted Mansion, touches on the ghost’s backstory, but we are partial to this version. Whatever the true story may be, the Hatbox Ghost continues to captivate guests with its larger-than-life resence and visually striking appearance.





About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones โ€” so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.