The first members of the public have been experiencing the new interactive queue line for the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, with a "soft opening" period now underway.
The revamped "graveyard" area opened to guests on Monday, March 14, allowing them to interact with a number of friendly ghouls. The area is expected to open again at unscheduled times over the next few days, before a permanent opening several weeks later. The Haunted Mansion itself will also receive an update, with a new "hitchhiking ghost" effect in the works for the ride's ending.
Disney's Imagineers have added a wide range of interactive elements to the new Haunted Mansion queue. These include talking busts which challenge guests to solve a riddle, organs that cause spooky sounds to be played, a crypt which appears to be "leaking" water via mist effects, and a bookcase on which the books continually attempt to push themselves off the shelves. The video below, captured by Inside the Magic, shows off many of the new additions:
While the layout of the graveyard has been updated, Disney has retained the mock gravestones which pay tribute to Imagineers who designed the Haunted Mansion. Some of these have been replaced with updated versions, while others have simply been moved to new locations.
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.
You can see more photos and video of the new Haunted Mansion queue at Inside the Magic.