Haunted Mansion Hitchhiking Ghosts go digital, play high-tech pranks on riders

Inside the Magic has an early look at the latest revision to the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion, where they have replaced the venerable (and wonderful) post-climactic “Hitchhiking Ghosts” scene with a high-tech version. The original used half-silvered mirrors to make it appear as though a ghostly apparition was sitting in your “Doom Buggy” with you as you headed for the offload area; the new version uses extremely clever digital “mirrors” and sensors that allow the ghosts in your cart to interact with you — swapping heads with you, dancing around in and on your car, and playing other tricks. I always like the original’s elegance: a very simple trick, executed so well that it never failed to delight. But the new version has an unabashed technical virtuosity that is unquestionably delightful; the problem, I fear, will come in a few years when this sort of trickery is common in your living room (thanks to Kinect systems and their successors), making this stuff all commonplace. Unless Disney commits to continuously revising and upgrading the digital systems to stay ahead of the household equivalents, I think it’ll staledate much faster and more dramatically than the old analog systems.

First Look: New Haunted Mansion animated Hitchhiking Ghost mirror scene effects materialize at Walt Disney World playing pranks on guests (via Neatorama)