In the séance scene, some of the cornier special effects created in the '60s will be replaced with more modern effects. As Madame Leota continues her eternal incantations, ghostly apparitions will fade in and out as if they were struggling to cross over from the spirit world by Madame Leota's invitation. Those faces will become more important later in the ride, as they'll show up again.
The biggest changes will be coming to the attic scene, as that's where the new plotline will be most evident. As it is now, the attic scene is simply a cluttered and dusty place with a ghost inexplicably dressed like a bride with that spooky beating heart. But when the additions are all installed, the bride will become a much more sinister character who has apparently been killing off all of her previous husbands. As the doombuggies pass through the attic, riders will see portraits of several dashing young gentlemen, with each portrait piled next to "the loot" that the man brought in to the marriage.
Those portraits will look familiar as they'll be the same faces that were just beginning to appear in ghost form back in the séance circle. But a new special effect will allow the heads of these gentleman to suddenly disappear from the portrait, as if they had been decapitated in a grisly murder
. And when riders arrive at the exit of the attic scene, the bride will still be there, this time in a new location and clutching a bouquet of wedding flowers that magically turns into a blood stained axe
as each vehicle passes by. Fans of the Haunted Mansion will instantly realize how this alters the attraction, as it is now implied that the house belongs to this bride and she has been luring rich husband after husband who meet a headless demise shortly after they take their vows. The entire backstory of "Master Gracey" and his lovely young bride that became so popular in the last 10 years, mostly via the Internet, will be rendered obsolete.
More changes are still to come at the end of the ride, but these are likely to be far less controversial. The iconic "Hitch Hiking Ghosts" who appear in your doom buggy via those magic mirrors will make the jump to the 21st century. Instead of the extremely simple figures that barely nod their head as they appear in your car because they are literally mannequins on sticks attached to a turntable behind the two-way mirrors, more advanced and animated figures will now join you. They'll be able to move their arms and hands and really be expressive as they appear to interact with you in the vehicle. The hope is that this remake of the final scene of the ride will leave people asking "How did they do that?!" in the same way people do when they currently leave the clever Turtle Talk show at DCA. This is all part of Bob Iger's stated desire to use the latest technology to improve Disney's classic storytelling, and that's why the funding didn't get approved fast enough to install these changes before the ride reopens next week. But by the busy Easter Vacation period, these additions should all be installed and switched on.