- "The carriage that will carry you into the moldering sanctum of the spirit world, will accommodate you, and one or two...loved ones. Kindly watch your step as you board, please."
Doom Buggies normally fit up to three people at once but are traditionally used for two at a time. Doom Buggies are a play on Dune Buggies which are motorized vehicles that are driven on beaches.
The Doom Buggy vehicle is a variation of the Omnimover, a vehicle system where the seat can swivel around all the way while still going in the same direction. This makes the ride seem more like a movie because the car limits what guests can see, which makes it like a camera; each scene is controlled not only in what happens, but in what guests can see.
Omnimovers as a ride vehicle were first used in Adventures Thru Inner Space in Disneyland's Tomorrowland. Here the omnimovers were referred to as, "Atommobiles" and were practically identical to Doombuggies, albeit painted blue. The similarities were enhanced by the ride having been narrated by the disembodied voice of Paul Frees (the voice actor of the Ghost Host). The part that guests sit in, the "clamshell" is separate from the part that follows the track as seen on The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure/Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid located in Disney's California Adventure and the Fantasyland of Walt Disney World where the omnimovers are referred to as, "Clammobiles".
The Haunted Mansion
You first board your Doom Buggy in the Loading Area, which will be in a different location, depending on which version you are riding. For the original Haunted Mansion, you board after the Portrait Hall. The original load area is a sort of limbo of decay. As for The Haunted Mansion in Florida and The Haunted Mansion in Tokyo, the loading area is directly after the Stretching Room. These load areas are dimly lid portrait galleries, with the Magic Kingdom's having the portraits of the Sinister 11 decorating the chamber. After you board, the safety bar will come down on its own, as the Ghost Host says, "Do not pull down on the safety bar please. I will lower it for you".
At the end of the traditional Haunted mansions, one of the Hitchhiking Ghosts materialize beside you in your vehicle and are seen in the mirror you pass by in the Exit Crypt. In Walt Disney World, this is achieved by a dated CGI effect that projects half-rendered CGI models of the ghosts onto the mirrors similarly to the function of an Xbox Kinect. In Tokyo, California and Disneyland Paris however the effects are achieved by a more convincing illusion where the mirror is semi-transparent and showing identical doom-buggies with Hitchhiker animatronics on the other side of the mirror pass-by, making it appear they are in the vehicle with you.
Guests exit the Doom Buggies within the exit crypt, walking onto a moving walkway with a design similar to the attraction's famous wallpaper. They are assisted by the manor's servants and alerted that one of the hitchhiking ghosts will follow them home. A relatively new photo-service in Walt Disney World has guests be able to witness photos of them on the ride in their doom buggies (taken in the Portrait Corridor) with the Hatbox Ghost looming overhead and pop-up ghosts beneath them.
In Haunted Mansion Holiday, the Doom Buggies are renamed as "Black Sleighs" or, "Black Christmas Sleighs". A monster can be seen in the portrait corridor, holding a sign which advertises them as being, "Sleigh Rides".
Phantom Manor's load area is a grand staircase with Mélanie Ravenswood's ghost brooding upon it. The scene is found after the portrait corridor, similarly to the original Disneyland incarnation of the attraction. As for the mirror scene in the exit crypt counterpart, in Phantom Manor, this was originally used to show the Phantom's corpse looming overhead guests as if to attack them before they make their escape. In 2018 this was replaced by the ghost of Mélanie (portrayed by a recording of a live actress) appearing beside you similarly to the Hitchhiking Ghosts, crazed and asking guests to marry her.
The Doom Buggies are playable entities within the Haunted Mansion themed levels of this video-game. While playing as the Doom Buggy, Hitchhiking Ghosts will appear throughout the map, attempting to hitchhike a ride on you.
- Omnimover on the Disney Wiki.