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The Pumpkin Tree

alt="The Pumpkin Tree on the Disney Magic cruise ship."

Recently, my husband, Eric, and I were lucky enough to board the Disney Magic for some Halloween on the High Seas fun! While the official Halloween celebration takes place only one day during the cruise, the ship remains decorated for the entire trip. The centerpiece of this spooky celebration is called the Pumpkin Tree. (Many guests may think the Pumpkin Tree is unique to the Disney Cruise Line, but a similar tree has appeared annually at Disneyland since 2007. However, this tree is called The Halloween Tree.)

Loosely based on the 1972 fantasy novel The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury, the Disney Cruise Line Pumpkin Tree has been a staple on the ships since 2014. The Pumpkin Tree’s origins are “rooted” on the Disney Magic, but the legend became so popular with guests that it quickly expanded to the other ships in the line. Each Pumpkin Tree is said to be unique with one-of-a-kind decorations and name! According to an article in September 2014 Personal Navigator, the names of the Pumpkin Tree are the following; Reap (Disney Magic), Bog (Disney Wonder), Grim (Disney Dream), and Mucklebones (Disney Fantasy).

But what is the story of Disney’s Pumpkin Tree? How did it come into existence? According to Disney Imagineers, The Legend of the Pumpkin Tree is as follows;

Twas a long time ago
Before the time of now, there was Halloween. Not the Halloween of today, filled with merriment and pranks, but a darker celebration. The night was filled with mystery. The moon seemed to shine a little bit brighter, and in every shadow lurked something unimaginable. This was the time of the Pumpkin King.

But as the years grew on, the Pumpkin King grew weary. He needed someone to help him keep history of his favorite, most beloved holiday. So he reached in his head and retrieved four pumpkin seeds, each one representing a different characteristic of his wicked personality. He planted them around and watched as the seeds grew into beautifully morbid trees.

The tree blooms only once a year. Deep within its dark, gnarled branches hold the remnant spirits of Halloween memories gone past. According to the legend, once everyone has learned the who, the what, and the why, the spirit of Pumpkin King will bring the tree to life.

Next time you’re in Disneyland or taking a Disney Cruise during the fall, make sure to seek out the truly one-of-a-kind Pumpkin Tree!

Next time you’re in Disneyland or taking a Disney Cruise during the fall, make sure to seek out the truly one-of-a-kind Pumpkin Tree!

To learn more about Erin and read her others posts on the WDW Radio Blog, visit her author page.

(Photo from the author’s collection.)