Halloween has arrived at Walt Disney World! In addition to new merchandise for the 2022 spook season, Magic Kingdom is decked out for fall, with Main Street and Liberty Square now fully decorated. This post features 50+ photos of the wreaths, garland, pumpkins, and other decor–plus my commentary.
My goal for this photo report was to rope drop Magic Kingdom on a lovely autumn day, race around Magic Kingdom getting empty park photos of the Halloween decorations, and get myself really hyped up for the holiday ahead of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.
That was the dream. The reality involved a hot and humid still-summer day with overcast skies in the morning that made me unsatisfied with the initial results. After this, I felt a bit like Garfield–wake me when it’s October…
Kidding, of course. In general, the last couple of days have been great in Magic Kingdom. Area schools are back in session, the park is already starting to see its normal mid-August lull in crowds. I’m expecting today to be even better, as the 6 pm closing for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party will likely push people to the other three parks. (Lots of strategy for working around MNSSHP at Magic Kingdom in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.)
That’s not the only positive, as Magic Kingdom is looking frighteningly fantastic for Halloween!
Let’s start with what I consider to be the unequivocal highlight–and best news of all. Much to my surprise and delight, the Town Square Pumpkin People, Creepy Citizens of Main Street, Not So Scary Scarecrows–or whatever you want to call them–are back.
These Pumpkin People (my preferred moniker–I can’t resist an alliterative alias) have been gone for the last two years and I was beginning to worry that we might never see them again. Yet another sign that, slowly but surely, nature is healing when it comes to Walt Disney World.
The Town Square Pumpkin People also might be as close as we’ll get to actual Citizens of Main Street USA anytime soon.
Although nature is healing in some regards, Walt Disney World developed an allergy to (paying for) live entertainment. That predates the closure, which became a convenient excuse to cut and eliminate more atmospheric acts. It’s a real shame, because the Citizens of Main Street were fantastic, giving the front of the park a true lived-in, small town feel.
Main Street’s macabre mayor scarecrow welcomes guests into Magic Kingdom.
This is my favorite of the not-so-terrifying townspeople, both due to his location and his fun details. Among other things, the mayor has a pocket watch with a jack-o’-lantern shaped like Mickey Mouse.
You’ll find a number of hidden Mickeys and other fun details on and around the Town Square Pumpkin People.
I’m probably way more into these than the average guest, or even Walt Disney World fan. They’re a ton of fun to photograph…and ever since reading The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight (a cerebral classic that’s as thought-provoking as The Metamorphosis), I’ve had a fascination with scarecrows.
Over here, there’s another scarecrow is dressed in a marching band uniform, eager to audition for a drumming role.
Not to nitpick, but this drum has had a large hole in it for at least a decade. I remember back in the day when Walt Disney World fixed things before they even broke! Maintenance standards really are slipping.
I mean, just look at this baker scarecrow. First of all, his Main Street Confectionery costume is all unkempt–so much for the Disney Look!
Second, he’s been spilling sugar all over the place for a while now, and no one has cleaned it up. Again, back in the day, custodial would clean up messes before they even hit the ground. Cleanliness standards are in the gutter, too.
But seriously, it’s so great to see the Town Square Pumpkin People in Magic Kingdom once again.
They’re a little thing, but they make a big difference. Magic Kingdom already does much less than Disneyland in terms of Halloween and Christmas decorations, so every little bit helps to get the park (or the front of it, at least) into the seasonal spirit.
It struck me as odd that Walt Disney World didn’t install them the last two years, but it’s great to have them back. I really want to underscore that (and that my above comments about maintenance and cleanliness are a bit of lighthearted self-parody), as I think it’s important to highlight the good and positive and not just amplify the negative.
While I’m satisfied with this, I do wish there were even more Pumpkin People on Main Street and throughout the park. Disneyland Paris (in a normal year–not sure what this year will look like given the 30th Anniversary) would be a great template for this. They’re little additions, but ones guests love.
Other fun decorations that I’m relatively certain haven’t been installed–or at least have been scaled back–the last couple of years have also returned. In particular, the pumpkin crates outside the front entrance and in Town Square are back.
Aside from the goofy pumpkins that have a fun personality, I like the crates themselves. Take a close look at the Hartich Farms label, which indicates that inside the crate are Jack-O-Lantern Seeds–Proudly Grown in Indiana & Missouri Since 1886. Fitting since Main Street is based on the Midwest–Marceline, Missouri in particular–around that time.
Bouncing past Main Street, more decorations that have returned are those in Liberty Square.
There are once again wreaths, garland, and other great details throughout this area of the park. Aside from Main Street and Liberty Square, other lands in Magic Kingdom typically don’t get decked out for spook season. Too bad, because I’d love to know what Halloween is like in the future. Presumably, those gigantic skeletons from Home Depot take over. (I, for one, welcome our new bone-volent overlords.)
One thing that’s not back are the iconic Pumpkin Mickey Mouse Head wreaths on the Main Street lampposts.
Last year, Imagineering and the Holiday Services team blended a fall look with the story of Cinderella to create special pumpkin coach decorations. These were created with the idea was transitioning this area of the park from Halloween to the 50th Anniversary Celebration.
These pumpkin coaches are arguably the most thoughtful detail of the entire World’s Most Magical Celebration. This comment is not intended as praise–although the pumpkin coaches themselves are neat.
Aside from a few details like this, the rest of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary felt like one big activation of the synergy machine. A salute to all things Disney, but mostly characters–especially ones that are popular on the Disney+ streaming service. Not much in the way of tributes to Walt Disney World’s historic legacy (unless you want merchandise or food…they’ll happily sell you some park nostalgia!).
But I digress.
Regardless of how cool these pumpkin coaches are relative to the other lackluster 50th Anniversary stuff, they don’t hold a candle to the Mickey Mouse head pumpkins. There’s a reason those have a fan following.
Personally, I wish those would’ve returned this year.
I get that it’s technically still Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary…but I’m good on that event. I realize not every fan is exposed to the “celebration” with the same degree of regularity as us–and many people still haven’t made their trips for the event–but is anyone really going to complain about the return of the pumpkin Mickey heads? It seems like one positive way the festivities could’ve started to wind down this year. (Ditto removing some of the stuff on Cinderella Castle and adding the Dream Lights for Christmas.)
But you’re not here for my ranting about Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary.
In terms of the Halloween decorations, aside from a few pumpkins above shops on Main Street that may or may not have changed, these decorations are largely back to their 2019 form, which is great to see. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves:
I think it’d be pretty funny (or at least mildly amusing for me personally) if Magic Kingdom did a “countdown calendar” to Halloween between Chamber of Commerce and City Hall like they do for Christmas.
Halloween is right around the corner–we’re *almost* to the 75 day mark!
Alright, that’s a wrap for this update. As the pumpkins above say, see ya real soon.
Literally. We’ll have another update from Magic Kingdom when we report on Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party very soon, so stay tuned!
What do you think of the Magic Kingdom’s decorations for Halloween 2022? Excited to see the Town Square Pumpkin People return? Thoughts on the Pumpkin Mickey Mouse head wreaths v. the Cinderella Coaches for the 50th? Pleased to see the full decorations package after two years of scaled back Halloween decor in Magic Kingdom? Do you agree or disagree with our thoughts here? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!