Even the Lonesome Ghost thing is tentative. I think (1) that's definitely the chemistry they were shooting for, and I think (2) they've got a very defensible position in justifying the attempt. But whether the thing clicks, whether it has the magic, whether it all comes together and works at the end of the dayóthose are the things artists and performers can only cross their fingers and hope happens, however sound the theory or careful the execution. No guarantees. That's why I pay a lot of attention to feedback from people who are there, who see it, especially the sane and sensitive Mansion lovers whose voices I respect already.
I've already gone from a pretty positive view to an increasingly negative one, based on what I keep seeing and hearing. I honestly hate being Dr. No all the time, and I hoped I could find something to praise from these guys (remember, Carsillo sincerely means well), but it just isn't looking good for this one either. They had to go a long, long way to justify the removal of a classic Yale Gracey trick, and they've barely even gotten out of the starting gate yet.
It will be interesting to see where the consensus settles down on this one in, say, a year. There's going to be time for TDL to say, "You know, it isn't really very reliable, and it frankly isn't that magical." They haven't added creaky sounds to the stretchrooms or put in the Escher stairs (the load area is the obvious choice), so it's not as if they rush to duplicate WDW successes, real or perceived.
I've never heard of the vanilla thing before.