Walt Disney World has temporarily replaced the famous "hitchhiking ghosts" at the end of the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion attraction, as work continues to update the classic ride.
Instead of guests seeing the ghosts riding alongside them in their Doom Buggy vehicles, they instead see computer-generated ghosts projected onto a black surface. According to Inside the Magic, the new effect is effectively an "animated construction wall", put in place to conceal work to install new, audio-animatronic hitchhiking ghosts.
The animated scenes show the the ghosts holding up their thumbs, seemingly "thumbing a ride" from guests. The scenes can be seen in the video embedded below:
Work has been ongoing for months to overhaul the Haunted Mansion's queuing area, adding interactive elements to entertain waiting guests. In April 2010, Disney tested the addition of games to the Haunted Mansion queue with a temporary game based around "The Dread Family". This saw guests challenged to listen to whispered clues from each member of the deceased family, in order to solve the riddle of where they had hidden their family fortune.
Walt Disney World is placing a strong focus on improving the experience of guests waiting in line for its attractions, including testing new "virtual queuing" systems to complement the existing FASTPASS system. At the Magic Kingdom, interactive games were added to the queue line for the Space Mountain rollercoaster in 2009.