Walt Disney World is testing new cutting-edge special effects for the Haunted Mansion ride at the Magic Kingdom, according to a new report.
Inside the Magic reports that cast members at the Magic Kingdom were involved in late-night testing of the new effects on Wednesday, March 30. The effects are set to be added to the finale of the ride, which sees "hitchhiking" ghosts join guests in their Doom Buggy vehicles.
Previously, static versions of the ghosts were implemented using two-way mirrors. However, the replacement effect is set to be much more advanced. By employing motion-tracking technology, it enables the ghosts to interact with riders. Full details (and spoilers) of the effect can be found in Inside the Magic's report.
The new special effects are not expected to be permanently added to the Haunted Mansion for some weeks, and the finale will continue to use a temporary effect in the meantime. Currently, non-interactive projections continue to "follow" guests in their vehicles.
Disney has already added updated animatronic versions of the hitchhiking ghosts to the Haunted Mansion, which appear just prior to the finale "thumbing a lift" from riders.
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.