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Magic Kingdom Haunted Mansion image

Walt Disney World has added new versions of the famous animatronic "hitchhiking ghosts" to the finale of the Magic Kingdom's Haunted Mansion attraction, with work on updating the classic ride nearing completion.

Inside the Magic reports that the ghouls, nicknamed Ezra, Phineas and Gus, have been restored after they were temporarily replaced by projections. The new animatronic models feature smoother motion, waving their hands back and forth to "thumb a lift".

Projected versions of the hitchhiking ghosts currently still "follow" guests in their vehicles during the ride's ending scene. However, the effect is not believed to be fully finalised with the mirrors that normally feature still being covered at present.

Work has been ongoing for months to overhaul the Haunted Mansion's queuing area, adding interactive elements to entertain waiting guests. The updated graveyard area has been soft opened to guests on several occasions during recent weeks, and Disney has released an official video showing off the new additions.

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.

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