For those not up on their Disney theme-park lore, the Hatbox Ghost was an effect for the Haunted Mansion ride that failed to work as planned, and was quickly removed from the attraction. The idea was that, using lighting effects, the ghost’s head would disappear, and reappear inside the hat box he was holding. Though the animatronic figure was removed, a picture of him still hangs on the wall.
But in honor of the 60th anniversary of Disneyland, theme-park blog Inside the Magic reports that they’re bringing him back, with today’s technology having presumably long since caught up to what was originally intended. And the anniversary may not be the only thing they had in mind – Guillermo del Toro’s long-gestating Haunted Mansion movie finally seems to be moving forward with Ryan Gosling in the lead – and the director previously announced, several Comic-Cons ago, that the Hatbox Ghost would be the focus.
Is it possible they held off on the movie until the character could be brought back “in person”? I wouldn’t put it past the undisputed masters of corporate synergy.