WDW Magazine History Sampler - Page 21

THIS IS HALLOWEEN : A History of Haunting Magic Kingdom

This year , Magic Kingdom will be haunted by Halloweens past .
BY RAIN BLANKEN

I

won ’ t be shoving my fist into a cauldron and pulling out a wad of popcorn . I won ’ t be throwing shade at Hades while dressed like Megara . I won ’ t be singing along with the Sanderson Sisters , and I won ’ t be convincing myself that the Oogie Boogie Meringue was worth the price .
There won ’ t be a big Halloween bash at Walt Disney World this year — hard to imagine , right ? But believe it or not , it isn ’ t the first time . Relatively speaking , Halloween is one of the newer celebrations at the parks .
HALLOWEEN WEEKENDS IN THE 1970S At Magic Kingdom , the delay for a big Halloween bash was partly due to the times ( Halloween was just approaching commercial popularity in the 1970s ) and due to the condition of Main Street , U . S . A .
Back in the ’ 70s , Main Street was decidedly , well , 4th of July . America on Parade came through the streets each day to patriotic fanfare , with Mickey and friends sporting red , white , and blue . It didn ’ t exactly set a spooky scene . For decades , each autumn would see more of the same Independence Day spirit , without the familiar Mickey jack-o ’ -lantern lamps lining our walk to Cinderella Castle .
But Disney found a little bit of room for Halloween in 1972 . On October 28th and 29th of that year , Magic Kingdom hosted Halloween Weekend . That ’ s two days . Two . A far cry from the 36 Mickey ’ s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party dates in 2019 .
Advertisements for the event promised complimentary admission to Haunted Mansion ( then a ticketed attraction ) for guests 17 and under , a spooky character parade with the Wicked Witch as the “ Grand Goblin ,” screenings of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow , and free posters for the kids . Halloween Weekend celebrations continued in this manner for the next few years .
RIGHT : A flyer for the first Halloween Weekend at Magic Kingdom in 1972 . DIGITAL SCAN AND RESTORATION BY RAIN BLANKEN PREVIOUS : MNSSHP won ' t be happening this year , but the history of Halloween at Disney is fascinating . PHOTO BY JUDD HELMS pg . 19 | WDW Magazine