Welcome, foolish mortals, to a post all about the iconic hitchhiking ghosts! A visit to the Magic Kingdom is not complete without heading over to the Haunted Mansion for a little fun, fright and a hitching ghost or three!
We love a good scary attraction (another favorite ride of ours is the Tower of Terror!) Of course, as you near the walls of the haunted mansion, you are subjecting yourself to 999 ghosts – or happy haunts, as they call them at Walt Disney World.
Keep in mind, however, that there are still 1,000 seats available if you wish to volunteer.
The Haunted Mansion is one of our favorite attractions at Disney World. It’s a beloved attraction by most people who visit the Disney parks!
You have your three resident spirits of the haunted mansion aka the hitchhiking ghosts, Madame Leota sending sympathetic vibes from her crystal ball and the Grim Grinning Ghosts (the Screaming Song) as the theme song accompanying you on the ride and you ride along in Doom Buggies!
You will encounter something at the end of your ride as you ride around the haunted house on your Doom Buggy (aka the mode of transport during the ride). You will find that there are three ghosts who are trying to make their escape out of the Haunted Mansion ride by way of your buggy.
Let’s let the “Ghost Host” explain what happens during the ride: There’s a little matter I forgot to mention: beware of hitchhiking ghosts! …Ha ha ha ha ha haaa. They have selected you to fill our quota and they’ll haunt until you return. I’m going to raise the safety standard and send a ghost following you home. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
At the end of the haunted mansion three hitchhiking ghosts get in your buggy and follow you home?! These three ghostly hitchhikers are who and what do they know?
9 Fun Facts About The Hitchhiking Ghosts
1. Names of the Hitchhiking Ghosts (*9*)
The original names for the three hitchhiking ghosts are The Traveler, The Skeleton and The Prisoner. In the beginning, they had no “real” names. Although no one knows how it began, fans and Cast members began to give the ghosts hitchhikers new names.
The Traveler is now known by Phineas, while The Skeleton is now known under Ezra and The Prisoner as Gus. So today, the trio of infamous hosts go by Phineas, Ezra and Gus are the names of the three Hitchhiking Ghosts.
2. Description of the Hitchhiking Ghosts (*9*)
Ezra is the tallest of the group. He is covered in a trench coat and a bowler cap, which he takes off while hitchhiking. He has a bony face with his eyes bugging out and has a very slim, skeletal body…hence the name Skeleton.
Gus is the smallest. Gus carries a ball, chain and a beard that goes down to his knees.
Phineas, the Ghost who carries the luggage is also wearing a trench coat and a top hat. He is quite plump.
3. Most Popular Ghosts(*9*)
Of the 999 Ghosts in the Haunted Mansion, the most popular are Phineas, Ezra and Gus, the Hitchhiking Ghosts! In almost all the promotional materials Disney puts out they are front and center.
We like to refer to them as the Poster Ghosts. In fact, the Hitchhiking Ghosts are so popular they recently showed up in a Chevrolet commercial!
4. Names on Tombstones (*9*)
If you look around the exterior of the Haunted Mansion you will find the tombstones of Erza, Gus and Phineas along with other Haunted Mansion characters. This feature was added in 2011.
5. The Fellas Get a Makeover (*9*)
Also in 2011, the Hitchhiking Ghosts “mirror trick” was replaced with CGI animated characters. It gave the Ghosts more flexibility in interacting with the guests.
6. Additional Names (*9*)
Just so we can become more confused with names, sometimes you will see additional last names for our Hitchhiking friends. Ezra may be called Ezra Dobbins (Ezra Gasser), Ezra Beane (Ezra Beane).
Gus may be called Gus Gracey and Phineas Phineas could be called Professor Phineas Queeneg, Professor PhineasQ. Hackenbush or Professor Phineas Plumb (often called Prof. Phineas plump).
7. Movie Stars (*9*)
In the 2003 film “The Haunted Mansion”, the Hitchhiking Ghosts make a cameo appearance in the graveyard scene and in the hearse.
8. The Haunting Hit from the Start. (*9*)
The trio along with the Haunted Mansion got their start at Disneyland in 1969 and just passed their 50th anniversary! The hitchhiking ghosts are such an icon of Disney that we have rounded up some of our favorite Haunted Mansion products here.
The original crew had a ghost as well. The Hatbox Ghost was a part of the first two days of the ride. It was a man who’s head would appear in the hatbox but after too much technical difficulty it was quietly removed. He eventually returned in 2015.
9. The Ghost Host(*9*)
Many think that the Ghost Host (the voice you hear throughout the attraction and tells you about the hitchhikers) is Vincent Price, but you would be mistaken. The voice actually belongs to Paul Frees who was the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy…hehe.
Now you’re familiar with some of the secrets that these three lonely ghosts keep. Did you know that there were many more? Before you go on to the ride, make sure to take a look at the clever wordplay found on the tombstones. You’ll likely find some things to chuckle about!
Also, keep an eye on the Ezra sipper drink, Phineas popcorn bowl and Gus Dessert Novelty bowl. These fun snacks were only available during the Mickey Mouse Not So Scary Halloween Party and are now available all the time in celebration of the Disney’s 50th anniversary!
If your travel plans don’t include heading to any of the Disney theme parks, we have another option! There’s fun activity for you to do with the kids right at home! Disney A printable activity has been created by Family to allow you to invite Gus and Ezra to your party. All it takes is this!
The Haunted Mansion is a classic Disney attraction that is great for almost all ages. Children under 5 years old may find this attraction to be a bit scary at times.
We have the complete list of all the top rides in the Magic Kingdom that toddlers can enjoy!