The Return of the Hat Box Ghost

As a long-time Haunted Mansion fan, I’m familiar with the Hat Box Ghost, though of course I’ve never actually seen him in the ride.  This friendly fella was among the original 999 Happy Haunts of the Haunted Mansion, with a decidedly spooky trick, wherein the head on his shoulders vanished and reappeared inside the hatbox he held.  Unfortunately, technical limitations – well – limited his use.  They just couldn’t quite get him working right, so shortly after the HM opened, Hatbox Harold (I made that name up just now) was retired.

 

I don’t know where ghosts retiring from the Haunted Mansion would go. I always figured the Haunted Mansion was where ghosts went upon retirement.  Y’know, for the party!

Anyway, Hatty has such a great, off-putting design that he’s retained a good deal of popularity among HM fans over the years, in spite of his abruptly shortened afterlife-span; you can learn more about him at various websites like DoomBuggies.com, Wikipedia.org, and so forth.  Fans have been hoping he’d make a triumphant return to the Haunted Mansion for years now… and there have recently been hints that maybe he just might. 😀

 

Hint #1: The emergence of Hatty Harold (Rebecca! Stop making up names for canon Disney characters!) on a variety of Disney merchandise, including this really wicked awesome t-shirt!  Need a Christmas gift idea for me?  I’m linking on purpose, guys. 😉  No, but seriously, with a new Haunted Mansion movie in the rumour mill, Disney is cashing in on some new HM merchandise and I have NO complaints about that.  The inclusion of the Hat Box Ghost might just be a nod to dedicated fans, but maybe it’s a suggestion that he may soon play a bigger role in the Haunted Mansion?

 

Hint #2: Hat Box Ghost is at D23 2013!!  Hatty made it to the Expo!  Touringplans.com reports on their blog that Hatty is appearing in the “Journey Into Imagineering” pavilion at the Expo.  Now, this could easily be done as a relic, something that they designed years ago and didn’t quite work out and they’re showing it since they have it.  Right?  Except that’s not the case.  According to Touringplans.com’s, article, this is a modern recreation of the Hat Box Ghost animatronic.  He’s not holding the Hat Box, but in the promotional video for this pavilion, the speaker says that this is a showcase of “what they are working on” as well as some of their “greatest hits”, and the Hat Box Ghost animatronic is described – somewhat awkwardly – as something that “could have been created for the Haunted Mansion”.  Hmmmm…?  It’s statements like that which make us stop and give pause. 😉

 

So I don’t know about you, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is the start of a great big, beautiful tomorrow for Hatbox Harold.  Whose name is not actually Harold, I remind you for the third time.

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The Main Street Mayoral Election of 1995

Disney History!

How many people remember way back, almost 20 years ago, when Walt Disney World held an election on Main Street for a “Mayor”?  The two candidates were Captain Hook and Winnie the Pooh, and park visitors could actually submit their ballots.  The buildings in Main Street were decked out with banners supporting one candidate or the other!

My first visit to WDW was that summer, and so the banners and décor show up in a few of my old pictures (none of which are scanned. Hey, kids, has anyone ever told you about how you used to have to wait to see what your pictures looked like? It was CRAZY!), but I don’t remember voting, don’t remember who won, and don’t remember ever seeing anything more about it!  In fact, for a while I didn’t remember the election at all and Googling it got me very little information.  Except this one: you can buy copies of the ballot on eBay!

This picture is also from that auction, and is not one of mine. Click on it to be taken to your chance to buy a bit of Disney history! Disclaimer: I don't know this seller & am not recommending them. Just, hey, cool memorabilia. :D

This picture is also from that auction, and is not one of mine. Click on it to be taken to your chance to buy a bit of Disney history! Disclaimer: I don’t know this seller & am not recommending them. Just, hey, cool memorabilia. 😀

In spite of the sticker announcing “I voted for Captain Hook!”, I’m going to go with a  gut feeling that Winnie the Pooh won this one.  I’m also going to go with a gut feeling that I did, in fact, vote for Hook. 😀

This entry is a part of the Frontierland Station FastPass to History Blog Hop!  If you got here via the blog hop, here’s your link to return to it!  If you came here directly why not give the blog hop a try?  Thanks Kimberly for hosting it!