John D. (NDH#48) (5 Posts)

John grew up in South Mississippi, left for the military life for a few years, then decided to return home to driving distance from Walt Disney World, where he and his wife leave their hearts at least once a year (until the move to Celebration can be made, anyway). A former specialist in nuclear weapons, current specialist in web development, and aficionado of hot-air balloons, Harleys, multiplayer online game development, and the trombone, John keeps all things Disney close to his heart and always in mind no matter the situation. Just ask his Harley friends about the Disney World sweatshirt and Mickey watch he wears on the road….

Last week, the Disney Parks blog shared a behind-the-scenes look from Walt Disney Imagineering at the latest upgrades to the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World, and those upgrades are certainly exciting!

Following a revamp of the Haunted Mansion’s queue featuring interactive elements to entertain guests, the hitchhiking ghosts, as our own JL lamented, appeared to be receiving a makeover (her lamentation was due to a rather cheesy replacement animation while work progressed).  Speculations have been proven true as WDI’s project engineers show in the short but fun video displayed here.

Where the original ghosts sat and danced in our doom-buggies, they now cavort and interact directly with guests as we complete our treks through the beloved mansion.  Rich new sculptural and costume details have been made possible by modern CG and ride technologies, heightening the experience even further.

The ghosts will now, from what we can gather so far, make eye contact, move in and around the doom buggy with you, and even play a few pranks, such as swapping guests’ heads, popping them like balloons, and who knows what else (these details were gleaned from the video above, though they weren’t explicitly confirmed by Disney employees).

I, for one, can’t wait to see the changes — exciting updates for a classic ride, indeed!

Until next time,

Contributed by: John DeLancey (NDH#48).  John is the Technology and Gaming Blogger.

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