Popular rides like Jungle Cruise and Splash Mountain are already confirmed to be getting updates due to backlash from guests regarding their cultural insensitivities, with Disney recently confirming that, while there are no plans in place to make changes to The Haunted Mansion, those discussions have taken place. The nature of the ride's narrative leans into the macabre, though it's done with plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor, but the opening of the attraction and its depiction of a hanged man has caused some guests to ask for a modification to this sequence, due the evocative imagery's association with suicide and lynchings.
"It's been discussed for sure," Disney's Michele Hobbs, who managed the Haunted Mansion refurbishment, confirmed to the Los Angeles Times in regards to removing those elements. "It's definitely something that we're thinking about."
Throughout all of Disney's various rides and attractions, there's a sense of whimsy and playfulness, even in its more intense experiences. The actual Haunted Mansion ride sees guests sitting in a "Doom Buggy" as they encounter a number of specters (999 of them, according to the ride), though the entire ordeal kicks off when guests are instructed to turn their gaze towards the ceiling, only for lightning strikes to illuminate what appears to be a corpse hanging from the rafters.
Disney describes the attraction, "Dearly depart into a foreboding estate, drag your body to the dead center of the Portrait Chamber and watch as the walls begin to stretch before your eyes. Climb into your waiting Doom Buggy and embark on a shivering journey into an unearthly realm. The disembodied voice of the Ghost Host is your private guide through the cadaverous dwelling — home to grinning ghosts and other spectral surprises. Glide past a rattling casket in the conservatory. Head off to Madame Leota's spooky séance room. Float by the Grand Ballroom and its waltzing apparitions. Take a spin through a cemetery where the spirited residents regale you with song. Beware of lurking hitchhikers — these phantom pranksters may try to follow you home!"
The amusement park also adds the disclaimer, "The Haunted Mansion is dark and contains some mildly frightening scenes, but there is no gore. The ghostly residents are friendly and the ride is slow-moving."
Given how many years Disney fans have been hoping to see changes made to both Splash Mountain and Jungle Cruise, the parks' decisions to remove their insensitive components is a step in the right direction, though it seems unlikely that The Haunted Mansion, given its entire concept, will undergo any changes in the near future.
Stay tuned for updates about The Haunted Mansion.
Do you think the park is going to modify the scene? Let us know in the comments below!