Next year, Disney will expand the queue section for the famously spooky ride to include new areas aiming to deepen mansion lore. Then, near the exit, the ride’s currently meager merchandise offerings will be expanded with a full new gift shop, themed to everyone’s favorite crystal ball dweller, Madame Leota.
This, of course, goes along with the previously announced news of the now defunct Splash Mountain—which sits directly northwest from the mansion— being remade into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, as well as the imminent opening of the new restaurant Tiana’s Palace, which sits just southeast of the mansion. Plus the area in between the mansion the the palace will get a facelift too.
The news was revealed on the Disney Parks blog, which had this to say about the queue expansion: “Each of the gardens will feature unique elements ranging from a water fountain and gazebo to themed statuary and landscaping. In fact, guests will be able to see a new greenhouse where the groundskeepers for the Haunted Mansion grow their plants. The pet cemetery and horse-drawn funeral hearse will continue to reside on the attraction’s grounds.”
As for the gift shop, the site said this: “Speaking of Madame Leota, we felt it was time to continue her presence beyond the walls of the Haunted Mansion with an all-new retail shop. This carriage house of the mansion, belonging to Leota, will be a standalone shop that we are just ‘dying’ to tell you more about in the future.”
Above you can see the concept art for the gift shop, and here’s the art for the queue.
Construction on all this is expected to begin in January 2024, which means Disney probably wants it all done by the time Tiana’s ride opens later in the year. Read more over on the Disney Parks blog.
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