Disneyland Makes Curious Change to Haunted Mansion That Has Fans Buzzing

A blink-and-you-'ll-miss-it change came to the Disneyland version of the Haunted Mansion recently. An added decoration surfaced without an announcement earlier this month, but then disappeared days later. The decoration appears to be a reference to some of legendary Disney animator Marc Davis' concepts for the ride.

The decoration is a birdcage, featuring a bat inside, with two bones sticking out from either side. Internet personality Rocco Botte pointed out the decoration on Feb. 15. He noted that it looked similar to a drawing Davis did while Disney was planning the ride.
Another Disneyland visitor shared a video they took on Feb. 11 that showed the decoration still there. However, that same person shared another photo on Feb. 18 with the decoration suddenly missing. There was no comment from Disney on this temporary decoration.

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion is located in New Orleans Square and opened in August 1969. The idea for a haunted mansion at the park dates back to the planning stages in the early 1950s. There were plans to make it a walk-through attraction at one point, but it evolved into a motion ride following Disney's death in 1966. Davis and Claude Coats were the two main designers of the final ride, but it still was not quite as scary as some of their more ambitious illustrations. Over the years, there have been several updates to the ride, including the popular Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay during the winter months featuring The Nightmare Before Christmas characters.

While the Disneyland version is inside a New Orleans-inspired mansion, Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion in Magic Kingdom is located in Liberty Square and has a Gothic revival style. It was an opening day attraction and has been running since 1971. The Haunted Mansion also exists at Tokyo Disneyland. Disneyland Paris' Phantom Manor and Hong Kong Disneyland's Mystic Manor are versions of the ride.

The Haunted Mansion has inspired plenty of merchandise, books, and comics for Disney. The studio also produced a film adaptation in 2003 starring Eddie Murphy. A second film, starring Tiffany Haddish and LaKeith Stanfield, will hit theaters on July 28. Justin Simien (Dear White People) is directing from a script by Katie Dippold. 

In the new movie, Rosario Dawson stars as a single mom who buys a surprisingly affordable mansion in New Orleans. She soon learns it was cheap because the mansion is haunted. Owen Wilson plays a priest, while Haddish stars as a psychic. Danny DeVito plays a historian and Stanfield plays a paranormal expert. Jamie Lee Curtis and Jared Leto will reportedly play characters inspired by the ride.