Disneyland is expanding the grounds of its Haunted Mansion next year, adding handicap accessibility and deepening the lore of the iconic theme ride at the Southern California resort.
Renovation plans, unveiled Tuesday on the Disney Parks blog, include a new garden, a new gift shop near the attraction’s exit and an upgraded plaza for live entertainment. The additions are intended to bolster the experience of guests while they wait in line by building on the story of the Haunted Mansion, which was brought to life in July on the big screen.
Wait times vary but it can take over an hour to get into the Haunted Mansion.
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Renovations part of Disneyland revamp of New Orleans Square
The upcoming changes are among many coming to the New Orleans Square area of the theme park and resort in Anaheim.
Tiana’s Palace, a New Orleans-inspired soul food restaurant inspired by the 2009 animated movie “The Princess and the Frog,” will open next month.
The park also has previously announced plans to overhaul and replace the now-closed Splash Mountain ride with Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, also set to debut in 2024.
Splash Mountain closed in May after 33 years as a mainstay at the resort after a petition to change the beloved water ride’s theme went viral. Because of the attraction’s association with the 1946 Disney film “Song of the South,” the ride has long been criticized for its idealized portrayal of plantation life.
Walt Disney World in Florida closed its version of the ride in January.
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New gardens, improved accessibility among plans
Planned renovations to the Haunted Mansion attraction will focus on the outdoor area where guests wait their turn to climb into a “doom buggy” for a tour of the spooky property.
Once completed, the queue area will feature gardens teaming with fountains, gazebos and themed statues inspired by famed characters of the attraction, including mansion owner Master Edward Gracey and psychic medium Madame Leota. Other famed elements of the grounds, such as the pet cemetery and horse-drawn funeral hearse, will remain.
The plaza adjacent to Tiana’s Palace will feature a new park replete with live entertainment and the shade of new and historic trees. Plans also call for improvements to accessibility of these areas for those with physical disabilities, including a new elevator exit from the Haunted Mansion.
Construction is slated to begin in January. Renderings of the changes are viewable here.
Eric Lagatta covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.