On September 30, 2011, the Walt Disney World Resort will honor the Haunted Mansion with a special merchandise event, titled ‘Room for 1 More,’ at the Contemporary Resort, according to the official Disney Parks blog.
Walt Disney Imagineering has released this new video which goes behind the scenes at the most recent additions to Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion attraction: the hitchhiking ghosts.
The video goes into quite a bit of detail and goes behind-the-scenes at the changes which include new audio animatronic figures and the attraction finale which now offers digitally projected animations featuring the beloved Gus, Ezra and Phineas which dynamically detects and interacts with the guest.
Stitch Kingdom first identified and reported on the patent behind this technology over a year ago and on March 12 of this year, nearly one month prior to the unveiling of the new additions, correctly identified that the tech was being applied to the Haunted Mansion.
InsidetheMagic.net has posted video of the new interactive hitchhiking ghosts at Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion at the Walt Disney World Resort.
As was confirmed earlier this week, Haunted Mansion is now using a technology we first reported more than a year ago in which cameras trained on the guests and recognition software work to dynamically generate images that appear to interact with the guests. From swapping hats (or beards) to experimenting with guests’ heads to just going for a ride, the video provides many of the sample animations which also highlights the virtual limitlessness of the technology in that it’s fully capable of determining how many guests are in the omnimover doom buggy vehicle as well as their physical locations inside the vehicle.
Last night, Walt Disney Imagineering did some preliminary tests with willing
victims cast members at Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom. The results had the victims cast members losing their heads laughing their heads off as the hitchhiking ghosts interacted with them in ways that have not yet been experienced in a theme park attraction.
Early last year, we shared with you news of a patent from Disney Enterprises which, in part, calls for being able to use cameras combined with software to detect a guest and identify certain features while also being able to combine dynamically generated images with projected or reflected images of the guests themselves.
Then, we were led to believe that this technology would first be seen as part of a new meet and greet experience at Pixie Hollow in the New Fantasyland. With those plans seemingly out the window, we now focus our attention to the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom which has very openly been making some unknown changes to the hitchhiking ghosts scene at the end.
Fresh off a recent small refurbishment, the Liberty Bell Riverboat in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square is scheduled to undergo yet another (and longer) refurbishment beginning May 5.
Although there could be very good reasons for the temporary closure pertaining to the attraction itself, it’s no secret that the Haunted Mansion queue has been walled off to curious eyes waiting to enter the retirement home for ghosts with room for a thousand. For those who see the construction walls as merely an obstacle, the Liberty Belle has become a vehicle of choice for peering in from the other side to check in on how things are moving along.
New footage and the new TRON Legacy trailer at the San Diego Comic-Con panel weren’t the only surprises up Walt Disney Studios’ sleeve. After the panel supposedly ended and many had scattered, moderator Patton Oswalt introduced a couple of new juicy items for those who remained.
Reminiscent of the Studios’ D23 Expo presentation, those who left early failed once again to see Captain Jack Sparrow himself. Not in the flesh this time however, Johnny Depp as Sparrow made a 3D appeal to the audience denying he was involved in gathering up a crew on a quest to find the fountain of youth. Zombies, mermaids and Penelope Cruz were enough to fight off any interest he may have had embarking on the quest and — he adds quite simply — he’d need a bloody map to find it — or at least a bloody mary, if not both.
You may have read this blog entry written by Disneyland Merchandise Marketing & Communications Project Manager Michelle Harker on the official Disney Parks blog earlier today. In the article, Michelle talks about some upcoming theme park merchandise including brand new Mickey ears, specifically of the Mickey Bar and Popcorn variety.
We are pleased to bring you a first look at some of the new ears you can expect to find in the Disney Parks later this year in addition to the Mickey Bar Ice Cream and Popcorn editions: a skull pirate and, our personal favorite, the Haunted Mansion edition.
Beginning November 17, Disneyland Merchandise Guest Services will begin accept phone orders for this brand new limited edition cel featuring Mickey, Goofy and Donald as Ezra, Phineas and Gus, the famous Hitchhiking Ghosts, with Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion looking in the background.
The edition is limited to just 1,000 pieces with 200 being framed with a pin ($225) and 300 framed with the pin plus a postcard signed by Imagineer WDI’s and Director of Concept Show Design, Kim Irvine, whose mother was Leota Toombs ($250).
The following is a list of confirmed seminars that will be taking place at Stage 23 during the D23 Expo. More information will be provided as it becomes available:
Early Bird Books Seminars
Kingdom Keepers and Peter and the Starcatchers Book Series with Ridley Pearson (in person) and Dave Barry (via Satellite)
September 11, 9 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
The Alchemy of Animation: Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age with author Don Hahn
September 12, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
South of the Border with author JB Kaufman
September 13, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.