Last October, my family and I went to Sleepy Hollow, which is, as most of you know, also the name of a very famous Disney animated movie! “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is my family’s favorite Disney movie to watch during the fall and every year our family visits the very place the story is located, Tarrytown. There are so many fun things to do with the whole family and a cool cemetery to explore!
As I was in the cemetery, sitting down reading all of the gravestones, the Imagineer department in my brain stared rolling, ticking and pumping really hard… I thought, “Why shouldn’t they include more of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman into the Disney parks?”. I know that they have Sleepy Hollow Refreshments and The Headless Horseman comes out in the “Boo-to-You!” parade, but that’s it! Why couldn’t they incorporate more of it into the parks? So, in celebration of Half-o-ween, (April 30th, a day to celebrate 6 months till real Halloween.) I am talking about new Sleepy Hollow themed features and attractions that I think would be cool at Walt Disney World!
So here is my first idea:
1. Name: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Location: Fantasyland or Liberty Square
Outline of the attraction: This one is a dark ride. The design would almost be exactly like Winnie the Pooh or Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. (In my opinion, it should replace Winnie the Pooh) In this attraction you’ll be riding along the story of the Dutch schoolmaster, almost like you’re going through the book! But instead of riding in a honey pot, you’d be in a Jack-o-lantern. And just like the movie, Bing Crosby will be narrating the story. It’ll have sharp turns, spooky sounds and would be dark most of the time, just like Snow White’s Scary Adventures! (R.I.P.) It would use Disney’s new technology, yet you’d feel some sense of older attractions.
This next one is one of my personal favorites…
2. Name: The Old Dutch Cemetery of Sleepy Hollow
Location: Outside and inside of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (The ride I just explained to you)
Outline of the attraction: This is sort of like atmosphere but you would also be able to explore it. Like I said before, Sleepy Hollow has an amazing and humongous cemetery that you can visit. You could spend days looking through it. Washington Irving’s (The author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) gravestone is actually located there! “The Old Dutch Cemetery of Sleepy Hollow” wouldn’t be as big, but it would go through the ride cue. (You would also be able to enter it in the front of the ride) Also when you got off the attraction it would lead you to an entrance of the cemetery instead of a gift shop. And in some scenes of the ride, you could see it through glass windows. It would have crypts and statues of angels, just the like the real cemetery! I always wish I could read all the gravestones in The Haunted Mansion queue but you can’t just climb over the fence and read them! Now with this, you won’t have the urge to jump over fences. I would love to see something like this inside of the Disney parks.
Now before I tell you this next one, I have to explain something to you. During October, Sleepy Hollow has a haunted walk through called “The Horseman’s Hollow” at Philipsburg Manor. Now I’m NOT saying that Disney should do that… I’m talking about what happens outside of it. Since my sister and I do not want to go into the walk through, we go in a waiting area located right outside “The Horseman’s Hollow”. (Which is just as fun and just enough spooky.) It has food and drinks, a vampire DJ playing music and scary characters entertaining the people in line. It also happens to be outside of a gift shop… Disney isn’t the only place that has them everywhere! But the best thing that happens is when the Headless Horseman comes out and rides around the area on his horse!!!! (Sometimes he rides REALLY fast and reaches for your head) You can take pictures with him and if you’re lucky his horse will nuzzle you on the head! Now listen to my thoughts…
3. Name: Sleepy Hollow Takeover Meet and Greet
Location: Liberty Square, outside (or somewhere near) Sleepy Hollow Refreshments
Outline of the attraction: This would only be during October. After seeing the characters from the walk through come out and talk to us, I had an idea. Disney should have a special meet and greet for the Headless Horseman! And the best part would be that Katrina VanTassle, Brom Bones, and Ichabod Crane would come out and talk to you while you’re in line! (Because I’m sure that you would need to be entertained because the line would be so long) I’m 100% sure that Disney has NEVER had those characters before, but I’m one hundred percent sure that for big Sleepy Hollow fans like my family and I, it would be an experience never to forget! (Also I think that when you are waiting in line actors and dancers should come out to recreate the scene when Katrina is dancing with Ichabod and Brom tries to butt in… Not so successfully!)
Another place to visit in the Hudson Valley is Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, a place to visit the author’s real house! A little while ago, they had an event there and I watched a man telling Dutch folklore and the stories were great! Also in The Old Dutch Church, master storyteller, Jonathan Kruck, will tell you the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It has live music and everything! Maybe something similar like that could work in Disney too…
4. Name: The Tale of the Horseman
Location: In the Old Dutch Cemetery of Sleepy Hollow
Outline of the attraction: So just around the time when it starts to get dark, inside of “The Old Dutch Cemetery of Sleepy Hollow” various characters from the movie will come out and tell you The Legend of Sleepy Hollow from their own point of view! The best part is that you never know which character you’re getting and the times change everyday. So all of a sudden you could be reading gravestones and “BOOM!”, Katrina VanTassle will ask you if you want to hear a story! It would be for kids and adults; no one will be bored watching this!
What didn’t I talk about yet…hmmmm? FOOD! How can there not be a restaurant?
5. Name: Irving’s Place
Location: Liberty Square
Outline of the attraction: They would serve meals like “Ichabod’s Dinner plate”, (turkey, peas, corn on the cob and rice) stews, sandwiches, and pumpkin pie, etc.! There would be tons of different foods and desserts for everyone. You wouldn’t ever leave there without being stuffed and wishing you could go back eat more.
So those are my top 5 Sleepy Hollow themed experiences that I think Disney should add to the parks! But now it’s your turn to put the Imagineer department of your brain to use: Have you ever been to Sleepy Hollow? What’s your favorite part about it?? What’s your favorite one of my ideas? Do you have any ideas? I would really love to know so just tell me in the comment section below!! So pop in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow or Hocus Pocus and celebrate this Half-o-ween, Disney Style!
Thanks for listening and have a magical day!
Ruby is a twelve year old Disney fan, and she credits her mom with starting her early love of Disney. In addition to her enthusiasm for Disney, Ruby enjoys singing and writing. She will be reviewing Disney-related topics that are of interest to younger Disney fans—and their parents and grandparents!