We have seen a lot of negative reviews from Disney fans lately regarding their customer experience on Disney vacations — both at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort as well as Disney Resorts or Disney Parks further abroad. Inappropriate behavior on Guests’ part and an overall loss of Disney magic have certainly been a factor, but Guests have also noticed many malfunctions on Disney attractions or Disney rides that are falling into disrepair.
Journalist Kevin Wong recently mentioned his own negative Disney ride experience with Disneyland Resort in a recent article on Yahoo! Finance (in which the writer also called out Disney for being “nakedly greedy”), particularly with the popular spooky Disney ride called Haunted Mansion.
Apparently, Kevin Wong loved the Disneyland ride and sang its praises back in 2019 — but this time, Wong found the Disneyland ride to be lacking with one particularly big gap in its plot. “I was surprised to see that the climactic “Hitchhiking Ghosts” effect—in which the Pepper’s Ghost illusion is projected onto your reflection—was missing entirely,” Wong wrote.
According to Wong, “the Hitchhiking Ghosts are the most iconic part of the attraction.”
“Their likenesses are on every piece of Haunted Mansion-related merchandise,” the writer continued. “But when I asked a Cast Member the following day if the effect was still broken, she confirmed that it was. She also had no estimation or knowledge of when, or if, it would be fixed. When I got back home, I posted about it on Reddit and learned that the effect had been broken for months.”
This Disney fan found the absence of the Hitchhiking Ghosts to be disturbing, not just because such an “iconic” part of the classic Disney ride was gone for the night, but also “because Disney allowed such an iconic aspect of their park to stay that way, without repairing it overnight or over a series of nights.”
“This is not a dead light bulb or an Animatronic that doesn’t move its arm; this is the visual centerpiece on one of their most famous attractions,” Wong protested.
Disney does seem to be aware of the frequent ride breakdowns and maintenance issues, even going so far as to offer a special new hiring bonus for mechanics as the company tries to fill out its reportedly understaffed maintenance department. Hopefully, Disney will soon be keeping its rides as high-quality and consistent as Disney Guests have come to expect over the years — and hopefully, this dissatisfied Disney customer will be able to visit the Haunted Mansion in the future and enjoy a more consistently positive experience!
What did you think of the ride when you last visited the Haunted Mansion?