All the Easter eggs that Disneyland fans will love (Spoilers!)

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Spoiler alert! The following story contains major details about “Haunted Mansion” (in theaters now).

When Justin Simien was still in film school, he moonlighted as a cast member at Disneyland in California.

Stationed at Grizzly River Run, he’d use his lunch breaks to visit other theme-park attractions – including the iconic Haunted Mansion. Roughly two decades later, Simien has brought his favorite ride to the big screen with Disney’s “Haunted Mansion” (in theaters now), which has more Easter eggs than the White House lawn in spring.

The new movie brims with references to the ghoulishly giddy attraction, some of which are more obvious than others. Keep your eyes peeled for the watchful marble busts, who lurk in the background as pistol-wielding paintings and floating candelabras spring to life.

Hurry back! The Bride (Lindsay Lamb) is one of 999 happy haunts who reside in the "Haunted Mansion."

Hurry back! The Bride (Lindsay Lamb) is one of 999 happy haunts who reside in the “Haunted Mansion.”

Fan-favorite ghosts such as the bride, caretaker and opera singer all materialize, as does Madame Leota (Jamie Lee Curtis), who opens the film with a classic line from the ride: “Welcome, foolish mortals.”

“I want folks to know that we really paid attention and made this thing out of love for the ride,” says Simien, whose previous films include “Dear White People” (2014) and “Bad Hair” (2020).

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Here are some of the happy haunts and devilish details that Disney superfans will appreciate:

The ‘indelible’ Stretching Room figures into the movie’s climax

The Haunted Mansion's iconic Stretching Room plays a thrilling role in the new movie.

The Haunted Mansion’s iconic Stretching Room plays a thrilling role in the new movie.

The movie centers on paranormal expert Ben (LaKeith Stanfield), who goes to the mansion to investigate spectral sightings. When he arrives, one of the first things that eagle-eyed viewers will notice is the legendary Stretching Room, which guests are escorted into at the start of the Disney ride. But it’s not until the movie’s third act that the room actually begins to grow, as Ben is forced to find a way out with no windows and no doors.

As in the attraction, the paintings on the wall stretch as the room grows bigger, revealing horrible things such as alligators, quicksand and dynamite. In the film, all those terrors leap off the canvas and become obstacles for Ben’s getaway.

“There’s a few moments on the ride that are indelible – they’re crying out to be set pieces,” Simien says. “Once we knew that the big escape from the mansion was going to be in the Stretching Room, it was then a matter of like, ‘OK, so why is it stretching? And does that help or hurt them in some way?’ “

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Tiffany Haddish’s chair becomes a Haunted Mansion ‘Doom Buggy’

Doom Buggies line the red carpet at the movie's world premiere in Anaheim, California, earlier this month.

Doom Buggies line the red carpet at the movie’s world premiere in Anaheim, California, earlier this month.

Helping Ben in his ghost hunt is psychic medium Harriet (Tiffany Haddish), who angers the mansion’s evil spirits during a séance. Her chair proceeds to tip back and zoom right out the front door – a clever nod to the ride’s “Doom Buggies,” which carry Disney parkgoers through the attraction.

Shooting the chair sequence with Haddish, “it wasn’t just her in a blue-screen set – there was really a track underneath, almost like an actual roller-coaster ride that would rotate and move her,” Simien says. “I was like, ‘This is the most awesome thing I’ve ever done.’ It was so mechanical and practical.”

Jared Leto’s fan favorite Hatbox Ghost finally gets his due

No longer MIA, the Hatbox Ghost (Jared Leto) is now the movie's big bad.

No longer MIA, the Hatbox Ghost (Jared Leto) is now the movie’s big bad.

The attraction’s famous Hitchhiking Ghosts are smartly incorporated into the film: They travel home with Ben and his companions, and proceed to haunt their nightmares. A lesser known but equally beloved ghoul is the Hatbox Ghost (Jared Leto), the movie’s main villain and a figure of Disneyland lore. The character was part of the original Haunted Mansion in 1969, but was removed from the attraction because of a glitch in the technology. The Hatbox Ghost lived on in Disney merchandise and marketing, though, and was restored to the Disneyland ride in 2015, thanks to fan demand.

“Fans became obsessed with him and even gave him that moniker before it was officially adopted by the ride,” Simien says. “To hang our hat on this character that the fans love just felt right. And the guy’s in a cape and cowl and a top hat ‒ it was a no-brainer, really.”

Hatbox Ghost: Disney World shares new details as ‘Haunted Mansion’ hits theaters

Winona Ryder makes a genius cameo as a snarky tour guide

"Stranger Things" star Winona Ryder is best known for roles in "Beetlejuice," "Edward Scissorhands" and "Bram Stoker's Dracula."

“Stranger Things” star Winona Ryder is best known for roles in “Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands” and “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”

Late in the film, Ben visits another eerie estate called Crump Manor (a nod to Rolly Crump, a Disney Imagineer who helped design the original Haunted Mansion). There, he encounters Pat (Winona Ryder), a sinister tour guide with a deadpan delivery.

“She’s quite a queen of the horror-fantasy comedy,” Simien says. “She thankfully said yes to us, and was just remarkable to work with and so effortlessly funny.”

‘Grim Grinning Ghosts’ is rooted in New Orleans music

The movie ends with a swinging party in the mansion’s familiar ballroom, showcasing an updated version of the attraction’s theme song, “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” Composed by Kris Bowers, the “spooky jazz” arrangement is rooted in the culture of New Orleans, where the film is set.

“New Orleans is a Black city, baby. It’s where we get jazz,” Simien says. Like the ride itself, the movie’s tone “is this mix of fear and comedy and tragedy, and all these things that normally shouldn’t go together. That’s jazz, and that’s New Orleans.”

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘Haunted Mansion’ movie spoilers: All the Disney ride references

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