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WDW Radio # 749 – History of Halloween in the Disney Parks – From the WDW Radio Archives

I ventured back into the WDW Radio Archives this week to the chills and thrills of Show 606, and a spine-chilling journey into the depths of Disney’s Halloween history as continue to celebrate the “spirit” of the season as we look back at the history and evolution of Halloween in the Disney Parks, from Disneyland’s “Parade of the Pumpkins,” to the legendary Ray Bradbury’s enchanting Halloween tree, to the many iterations and locations in Walt Disney World, and the vastly different celebrations in the Disney Parks worldwide. So grab some candy corn (or pumpkin spice latte), settle in, and prepare to be transported into a world where all things spooky and magical collide as we unlock the vault of Disney Halloween magic.

Join Lou Mongello and special guest Jim Korkis on a thrilling journey through the enchanting world of Disney for a Halloween history extravaganza on the latest episode of WDW Radio. Delve into the Halloween hoedown, featuring beloved characters like Clarabelle Cow and Clara Cluck, and feel the temptation to sing like Clara Cluck herself during the event.

Discover the eerie allure of the Halloween parade, complete with the dazzling Tomorrowland float honoring trick or treating and featuring Goofy’s candy company truck. Be captivated by the final float, which showcases Maleficent, Jafar, Evil Queen, and Vanellope, along with the mesmerizing fireworks display and projection effects that have amazed audiences for years.

Immerse yourself in the intriguing world of Imagineering, as finding a champion for a project becomes pivotal. Learn how a decision to utilize an existing oak tree in Frontierland skyrocketed a unique experience and became a Halloween staple. And don’t miss the spine-tingling tale of acclaimed author Ray Bradbury, sharing his memories of Walt Disney and lighting up a jack-o-lantern-decorated tree during a special dedication event at Disneyland.

Discover the origins of Disney’s haunted tales, including a book dedicated to Halloween-related stories, and explore the captivating world of the Disney Cruise Line through Jim Korkis’ fascinating book, “Hidden Treasures of the Disney Cruise Line.” Feel the nostalgia as Lou and Jim embrace the spirit of Halloween, bringing back memories and adventures right to your ears.

Step into a world where Halloween transcends borders, as the podcast highlights Disney parks worldwide celebrating in eerie harmony, from Disney Paris and Tokyo Disneyland to Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland. Delve into the iconic film that kickstarted actor Doug Jones’ career and explore the magic of costumes and cosplay, from retro Ben Cooper outfits to elaborate Disney princess ensembles.

Uncover the history of Halloween events at Walt Disney World, from the early Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village celebrations to the intricate Halloween town square tree concept brought to life by Ray Bradbury and Disney’s creative minds. Marvel at the success of the Haunted Mansion Overlay and the enchanting Nightmare Before Christmas transformation, bridging the divide between two beloved holidays.

Intrigue yourself with the captivating details of Disney’s attention to detail, from hidden gold filigree on Disney Cruise Line ships to the reasoning behind Horseback riding exclusion on Castaway Key. Unleash your inner Disney expert and become the go-to source for all things magical to share with your loved ones.

Join Lou and Jim as they uncover the fascinating connections between Halloween and Christmas, and delve into the tantalizing world of CarsLand at Disneyland, with enchanting theming and whimsical characters donning delightful costumes. This episode is a spellbinding treat for Disney fans of all ages, igniting the Halloween spirit within and transporting you to a world of treasured memories and captivating adventures.

So grab your favorite Halloween candy and tune in to WDW Radio’s mesmerizing episode, where history and Halloween collide in the most hauntingly delightful way! ???

Thanks to Jim Korkis for joining me again. I love and miss you, buddy.

Timestamped summary of this episode:

  • [00:01:31] Festive podcast celebrates spooky Halloween memories.
  • [00:05:40] Halloween costumes for kids started in 1930s.
  • [00:10:38] Halloween and Christmas decorations blend together.
  • [00:17:41] Ben Cooper costumes, exclusive Disney license, 50s-60s, elaborate costumes too expensive now.
  • [00:21:42] Jack Lindquist’s Halloween marketing at Disney World.
  • [00:30:45] Cars Land’s Halloween theming is consistent and well done, appealing to all ages.
  • [00:35:28] “More to the story – Bradbury’s disappointment.”
  • [00:39:31] Imagineering finds champion for cost-effective tree lighting.
  • [00:42:34] Four pumpkin seeds represent different personalities, blooming yearly on four Disney cruise ships to uphold Halloween spirit.
  • [00:51:42] Holiday overlay brings Christmas to Haunted Mansion.
  • [00:54:56] Halloween events at Walt Disney World started early.
  • [01:01:22] Halloween Disney events cater to all ages.
  • [01:09:11] First film with Doug Jones, not successful.
  • [01:13:56] Well orchestrated Halloween parade featuring beloved characters.
  • [01:20:19] Fort offers diverse activities like contests, parades.
  • [01:24:43] Skeleton Friends Show in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
  • [01:29:51] Delicious food, fantastic adventures, and Halloween theming.
  • [01:33:29] Book about Disney Halloween and Disney Cruise.
  • [01:40:12] “Legend of Sleepy Hollow reveals hidden Halloween origins.”

The key moments in this episode are:

I. Introduction

  • Podcast name: WDW Radio
  • Podcast episode title: History Halloween 749 Archives
  • Host names: Lou Mongello
  • Guest names: Jim Korkis

II. Halloween at Disney Parks
A. The Halloween Hoedown event

  • Characters like Clarabelle Cow and Clara Cluck
  • Temptation to sing like Clara Cluck during the event

B. Halloween celebrations at Disney parks worldwide

  • Disneyland’s Halloween parade and floats
  • Fireworks and projection effects

C. Storytelling through Imagineering

  • Finding a champion for a project
  • Use of an existing oak tree in Frontierland

D. Ray Bradbury’s Halloween tree

  • Bradbury’s attendance at the dedication event
  • Lighting up the tree with a jack-o-lantern switch
  • Replication of the tree on Disney Cruise Line ships

III. Books and Research
A. “Vault of Vault, Volume 9, Halloween Edition”

  • Stories about ghosts at Disney theme parks
  • Research on whether Walt Disney dressed up for trick or treating

B. “Hidden Treasures of the Disney Cruise Line”

  • Creation and evolution of the Disney Cruise Line
  • Focus on Disney storytelling on the cruise ships

IV. Current State of Halloween and Disney Parks

  • Comparing the current world to a horror movie
  • Disneyland as a ghost town due to circumstances
  • Virtual celebration of Halloween through the podcast

V. Film and Actor Mention

  • Doug Jones in a supporting role
  • Jones’ notable characters in other films

VI. Halloween Traditions and History

  • Trick or treating not common until the late 1930s
  • Rural traditions involving pranks and tipping over outhouses

VII. Early Halloween Events at Disneyland and Walt Disney World

  • Events at Disneyland on October 31st, 1959
  • Halloween events at Walt Disney World starting in the 1970s

VIII. Ben Cooper Costumes and Disney

  • History and features of Ben Cooper costumes
  • Walt Disney’s involvement in approving the costumes

IX. Marketing Efforts and Halloween Events at Walt Disney World

  • Jack Lindquist’s marketing efforts
  • Halloween weekend event in 1972
  • Repetition of the event in 1973
  • Halloween events at Walt Disney World in the 1970s and beyond

X. Collaboration with Ray Bradbury

  • Adaptation of a script into a book
  • Proposal for a Halloween tree at Disneyland
  • Support from Baxter, Kim Irvine, and others

XI. Haunted Mansion Overlay

  • Involvement of Garner Holt Productions
  • Addition of a yearly gingerbread house
  • Speaker’s positive experience with the overlay

XII. Details and Significance

  • Importance of paying attention to details
  • Example of gold filigree on a Disney ship
  • Exclusion of horseback riding on Castaway Key

XIII. Halloween and Christmas Connection

  • Christmas decorations appearing after Halloween
  • Nightmare Before Christmas overlay at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion
  • Bridging the gap between Halloween and Christmas

XIV. Halloween Theming in Cars Land

  • Consistent and unique theming
  • Dressed-up cars and decorations

XV. Conclusion

  • Encouragement for Disney fans to become experts
  • Car-themed Halloween experiences in Cars Land

What is YOUR favorite way Halloween is (or has been) celebrated in the Disney Parks? Why?

Share your thoughts in the WDW Radio Clubhouse at WDWRadio.com/Clubhouse, or call the voicemail at 407-900-9391 (WDW1) and share your story on the show.


Episode Transcript

Click Here To Read The Full Podcast Episode Transcript

Lou Mongello:

Deep down, I'm a kid at heart. It's why I love Disney, and miss Saturday morning cartoons, and going to the arcade, and riding my bicycle, and finding the toy at the bottom of a box of cereal, and it's also why I love Halloween. And it's not the candy, believe it or not, but it's the fun of getting dressed up, trick or treating, the spooky and downright scary, the movies, the great pumpkin TV special, the decorations, pumpkin spice everything, apple cider doughnuts, the tricks, and of course, the treats. And that's why it's also one of my favorite times of year in Walt Disney World. And now having spent some of the Halloween season in Disney parks overseas and Disneyland, by the way, overseas, things are very different. We'll get to that. I could even extend that to say to the Disney parks worldwide and to help celebrate the spirit. Pun intended of the season, we're going to look at the history of Halloween in the Disney parks, including Disneyland, Walt Disney World, we'll even touch on the parks overseas.

Lou Mongello:

And joining me this week is someone who liked the holiday. Looks fun is a little spooky and scary and is just chock full of candy corn He is the Pumpkin King himself author raconteur and my friend. Mr. Jim Korkis

Jim Korkis:

Hey, Lou, thank you for welcoming me back. And yes, I am full of candy corn and I can see that it's already gonna be a spooky Halloween because You know before you called I was taking a look in the kitchen And there's an entirely empty bag of Halloween candy, and I can't understand how that happened because it's not even Halloween yet. How can there be a whole empty bag of Halloween, uh, uh, candy? It's just, you know, and, and again, you know, uh, boy, what a, what a trick we got this year for, for Halloween, right? We're, we're living in, uh, uh, a horror movie, you know? Who, who, whoever thought... That, uh, you know, uh, Disneyland would, would ever be a, a ghost town, you know, um, and uh, yet that's what it is. So I, I'm hoping that with this podcast here, we can, uh, sort of, uh, virtually, uh, celebrate Halloween at the parks and, and, uh, maybe bring a little Halloween, uh, Uh, spirit, uh, to the listeners or, uh, bring back some, uh, uh, memories of the times. And, and, and yes, you're, you're absolutely right that Disney parks worldwide celebrate, uh, Halloween, you know, Disney, uh, Paris started in, in 1997 with their Halloween festival and Tokyo Disneyland in 97 as well with their happy Halloween. And even Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland have. At Disney, uh, uh, themed Halloween celebrations, which is really spooky, because they're, they're, they're themed to, you know, the American Halloween.

Jim Korkis:

How America celebrates Halloween is different. Then the rest of the world celebrates Halloween, but, but sort of like, sort of like a virus, uh, the way that America celebrates Halloween has now, uh, uh, sort of, uh, infected, you know, uh, the rest of the world, like Italy and, and the UK and all of that, and so now they're, they're getting into that idea of, uh, Uh, uh, trick or treating and, uh, uh, the, uh, the decorations and, and, and the costumes and that it's not just for, for kids, but that it's for adults. And so, uh, American Halloween, like the blob in, in the horror movie has, has overtaken the world and, and even overtaken, uh, uh, Disney.

Lou Mongello:

Well, and I think, you know, let's sort of talk about Halloween, right, because I think what a lot of people might not realize, Jim, is that, you know, the history of Halloween itself in the U. S. is a relatively recent, you know, development, you know, traditionally. Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I mean, traditionally, and again, not to sort of give an overall history of Halloween, but, In, in, in Europe and the ancient Celtic people, they would celebrate Samhain, which is sort of a New Year celebration because it marked the end of the growing season. And then over time, as the holiday evolved and the Catholic Church turned November 1st into All saints day or all hollows day. That's what sort of made October 31st, all hollows Eve or Halloween. It wasn't always this idea of going out and tricking and, or treating as it were.

Lou Mongello:

Um, it, it. It really sort of began in a much more mischievous kind of way where it was about sort of practical jokes and things like that. And then eventually they want to sort of restrain the holiday a little bit, move it more inside and make it away from being destructive tricks to giving it more towards kids and younger children. And this idea of trick or treating from house to house really didn't come into. Into play really into about, you know, the, the twenties or thirties as it were.

Jim Korkis:

Well, a a actually, yeah, it, it, it's closer to the, to the late thirties and, uh, uh, it, it, we're really not even getting into, uh, costumes for, for kids, real costumes for kids, uh, until the fifties and sixties. And so, uh, as you know, I, I have that. Uh, new book out, uh, Vault of Vault, Volume 9, Halloween Edition, which we'll talk about, uh, later, which covers all aspects of Halloween and, uh, Disney. And so, one of the things that I was excited about was to, you know, do that research and, you know, Did Walt dress up, you know, for trick or treating? Did he take his daughters out, uh, for trick or treating? And, and as I started to, uh, uh, research, you know, the tradition, it trick or treating didn't exist when Walt was a, uh, Uh, a young boy and, uh, again, his daughter's, uh, you know, were kids in the 30s and that wasn't part of it either until, you know, we're talking about really the late 30s, maybe 38, 39 at the earliest and even then in only, uh, small pockets. And you're right. A lot of it was, uh, that rural thing of, yes, we're going to do tricks. We're going to. Uh, tip over outhouses, and so much the better if somebody's actually in one.

Jim Korkis:

And, you know, uh, disassemble a buggy and put it, uh, you know, on top of the roof or whatever. You know, so it'll be a pain the next morning for the person to try and get it back down to, uh, to the ground. And again, when trick or treating did, uh, start, uh, the Halloween thing was just, you know, this is, uh, This is for kids. And so a lot of times people say, well, yes, Halloween at Disney. Yeah, Halloween at Disney is big money. You know, there's food and beverage, there's merchandise and all, but it wasn't there originally. You know, the first year Disneyland opened, they did have a Christmas celebration. The first year Walt Disney World was open, they had a Christmas celebration.

Jim Korkis:

They didn't have Halloween because it was a minor... Holiday, you know, the big holidays at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, uh, were the Christmas holidays and Easter, and one of the reasons those were really big was that's when kids were off from school. So you want to do things, you know, to help generate, uh, more attendance, but Halloween, that was... Really pretty much on the back burner, except as we'll be talking about, uh, some one off events. So it really wasn't until the mid nineties that the, uh, uh, the Disney theme parks, uh, Embraced Halloween.

Lou Mongello:

Well, I mean, Disney itself, you know, even before we can get to the parks, I mean, Disney itself embraced Halloween that the 1952 Donald Duck cartoon trick or treat, I think, you know, have to give a little bit of credit where it's due. Really helped to sort of promote the idea. Of trick or treating and it being fun and it being for, for kids, uh, the candy companies very quickly jumped on board and it very quickly became, you know, huge business, um, thereafter. And so it wasn't long after that, that, that Disneyland starts to say, well, wait a minute, maybe we do need to acknowledge this holiday a little bit, but like you said, not in a way that it was this, what we have today, this month law, you know, like going to target where Halloween starts in about. March, you know, now in Walt Disney World, Halloween normally starts early, but Disneyland, not

Jim Korkis:

really, you know, a friend of mine just wrote to me and he said, it must be Halloween because I'm seeing Christmas decorations in the store.

Lou Mongello:

Well, you better get them fast because come November, you're going to be buying Valentine's Day stuff and Walgreens. So. Oh

Jim Korkis:

no. That, that is, that is truer than, than, uh, than, than you suspect. And, and again, a a lot of people don't realize that where that whole, uh, concept of Tim Burton's, uh, nightmare before Christmas came from is that Tim Burton, uh, grew up in Burbank, California, and I grew up in Glendale, which is adjacent, uh, to that. And, and I will tell you that in, in Glendale and Burbank, uh, the. The two seasons are brown and browner. Those are the two seasons out in, in Southern California there. And he said that in the, he loved Halloween, but he, he saw that a lot of retailers, uh, wanted to extend the season, the selling season for Christmas. And so it started to intrude.

Jim Korkis:

And so by Halloween, he was starting to see Christmas decorations. So he knew that the seasons were. We're, we're changing, but then it just seemed to be natural, uh, to him. That Halloween and Christmas, uh, were connected, and, and if there was a North Pole, then there had to be some type of comparable, uh, uh, city or location for, for Halloween, and so that just came because of the blending, uh, of the holidays there, you know, and, and the only reason that, that, uh, Disney, uh, finally went with, Uh, that Nightmare Before Christmas, uh, overlay for the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland was that it wouldn't just exist for Halloween, and it wouldn't just exist for Christmas, but that it could bridge, you know, uh, that, uh, larger amount of time. And, and especially when you're talking about, well, You know, you've got to close the attraction for a period of time, then you've got to, to redecorate it, then you open it, and then you've got to close it for a period of time while you take down the, the, the decorations and move it to that, it, it makes a lot of business sense that you've got, uh, Uh, a couple of months rather than just, you know, uh, a week or two weeks. Yeah.

Lou Mongello:

And let's, let's go back to the early days, because like we said, Halloween was not necessarily really acknowledged for the first few years of Disneyland being opening it really, it wasn't until. Halloween night or Halloween day in 1959 that Disneyland had a small event called Parade of the Pumpkins. And from what I was able to find, there was just, it didn't, it's not the same, certainly the scale we have today, but there's, you know, kids in, in a holiday land and they're. Dressed in Halloween

Jim Korkis:

costumes and maybe maybe you should explain to the listeners what holiday land is We know these things and we just take these things for granted but but every now and then I See that I'll mention Something I just wrote an article about a marketing campaign from the 90s that was to celebrate Uh, Mickey's birthday called Perils of Mickey, where there's all this great merchandise and all this. And it was themed to the Floyd Godforson comic strip. And people said, boy, we really like this article, but who's Floyd Godforson? And I had to go, oh, okay, let me explain. here. And let me explain, you know, why they, you know, this and, and maybe this explains why that marketing campaign didn't take off. So what is, what is holiday land? What is holiday land at Disneyland?

Lou Mongello:

So a very, very brief description is, is holiday land was an area near where new Orleans square currently is in Disneyland. It was a nine acre. Picnic ground that actually had its own admission gate. I think we talked about this, Jim, when maybe when we talked about Christmas in, in Disneyland. I know we discussed it once before, but it was really sort of this picnic area that had, you know, horseshoes and a baseball field and volleyball

Jim Korkis:

all this and, and a tent. Yeah. And, and and picnic cables and the whole bit. Yeah. And, and so,

Lou Mongello:

It

Lou Mongello:

also had beer, which it had beer there too.

Jim Korkis:

Well, that made it a happy Halloween for the kids. Right? So the beer wasn't there when, when, when the kids were there. But, but yes, it, it was a, it was an area on the other side of the, uh, Uh, train tracks, uh, you know, and, uh, and, and as you pointed out, roughly about, you know, where New Orleans Square is now, but on the other side of New Orleans Square, and it was for, uh, uh, all sorts of, uh, uh, events, so you, uh, conventions and picnics and all that. And so, and so you're right, they, uh, in October 31st, 1959, uh, And again, the reason they had that there, a lot of people don't realize this, but in those days, Disneyland was closed on Monday and Tuesday. So if, if Halloween fell on a Monday or a Tuesday, you're out of luck. And, and if, and if it fell on a, on a weekend, you were sometimes out of luck because there were all those other events, you know, Dateline, it, they, Night at Disneyland and Dixieland, Disneyland and all that. But yeah, October 31st, 1959, they had that, uh, event and holiday. But again, it was for children.

Jim Korkis:

And, and for children, uh, to carve pumpkins. And then, they would, uh, uh, Grab hold of the pumpkins and they would parade down Main Street in the parade of the pumpkins. And unless you've got some other information, to the best of my knowledge, that is the only time they did that.

Lou Mongello:

And that's what I found too. And from what I understand, As the holidays started to get more popular and they saw that this event was popular, they talked about the idea of maybe doing something on a grander scale, but there was a lot of hesitancy in doing it for a number of reasons, which on paper and as a recovering attorney make perfect sense. They were worried one about guests. Coming in the park in costumes for safety and security. You have a mask on your face, you're falling down. People are tripping and falling. I think still to this day, Disney is, and, and, and,

Jim Korkis:

and also being, being mistaken for an official Disney employee

Lou Mongello:

character, which is why the right, which is why part of the reason why we have so many restrictions on, on what adults can wear in the parks, because they don't want that the same way. As, as an adult in costume, you're technically not supposed to be, you know, posing for photos with other people so that there is no confusion that you

Jim Korkis:

are signing autographs, which. Which, again, happened at early events. And it would be hard not to because some adults can come up with some pretty good looking costumes. And we also tend to forget that when the Disney Store first opened, the Disney Store sold costumes, Disney costumes, for adults. And I remember that there were some, like, the Maleficent costume and all of that that looked good. I'd look pretty darn authentic, you know?

Lou Mongello:

Right, these, these weren't the, uh, these weren't the Halloween costumes that we bought as kids with the plastic masks, and, uh, um... Yeah, yeah,

Jim Korkis:

those were the Ben Cooper costumes, and as I said, started in the 50s and 60s, and they had the exclusive license, uh... Uh, from Disney, and, uh, I don't know if you have any listeners who are old enough to remember those, but yeah, you had the vinyl face mask that was held on literally with a rubber band, and then you had this sort of smock with something printed on it, and, um, Actually, uh, Walt himself often approved, uh, uh, some of those costumes. He, uh, he was, uh, uh, uh, uh, friendly with, uh, Ben and, uh, Nate, uh, uh, Cooper and, uh, you know, um. There's a whole story that goes involved with that and, and, and I do a chapter in the, the book about that they, they later went out of business because, uh, what happened is, is kids wanted more and more elaborate costumes and cloth costumes and, and so it became too expensive. And so you just can't do that anymore. But yeah, uh, yeah. Well, even today, you know, I, I, I see people with cosplay and all that come up with costumes that are like, holy cow, you know, I, I was in San Diego time, uh, several years ago at, and, and they had, had these, uh, uh, women dressed up as the Disney princesses, and it was like They're a lot better than I ever saw in, in the parks. Yeah.

Jim Korkis:

In terms of, you know, the, the makeup in terms of the detail on the costumes and all that. But you can't have that in a to the or. You can't, you can't have that level of confusion. You can't have, have people with, uh, swords or, you know, uh, uh, uh, cowboy guns and, and, and things like that. It, it, you know, uh, it, uh, especially this day, these days. Not going to work. And so you're right. So restrictions had to start to get, uh, put in, in place for that,

Lou Mongello:

but as time went on, um, and they started to look for opportunity, uh, Disneyland president, Jack Lindquist, who actually interviewed, and we, I think we talked about this back on show two 28, I should say the late Disney legend, Jack Lindquist, they remember Disneyland's population for the most part is primarily local. So. Yeah. What they were looking to do was during some of the traditionally slower seasons, as in between major holidays, major attraction openings, they were looking for ways to make the park more attractive and to sort of refresh it. And they saw what was happening with Christmas in terms of it becoming these traditional family. Outings to go. So they noticed that other, some of the smaller local attractions that had popped up around Disneyland, we're doing things that were attracting guests, everything from, you know, things for, for kids and teens to some of the more scary that I think are still going on, you know, not to Perry farm and some of the little places that do some scary things. So.

Lou Mongello:

Disney decided to do something that would, in keeping with Walt's idea of a place for a family to have fun together, do something that was Halloween themed, but wanted to make sure it was always going to remain family friendly. And I think it's surprising, Jim, to a lot of people that it really wasn't until the mid nineties, like 1995, 1996, when Mickey's Halloween treat debuted. And then came back in, in later on in, in Disney, California adventure. Like I think we sometimes assume that the Halloween parties have been around, you know, for decades going back to the eighties, but they really didn't start, especially in Disneyland till the mid nineties.

Jim Korkis:

Well, and, and, and you're absolutely right about, uh, Jack Lindquist, who again, I don't think gets, uh, enough credit for, for the wonderful marketing, you know, that, that he did. And, uh, You know, I, I know we're on Disneyland, but basically, Lindquist, you know, was, was dipping his toe in, um, uh, Walt Disney World, you know, uh, to, to see if, if some of that Halloween stuff, you know, would fly, and, and, and of course, in, in 71, there was nothing at, at, uh, Walt Disney World, nothing at, at the Magic Kingdom, but in 72, Um, uh, On October 28th and 29th, uh, Lindquist, uh, promoted, um, uh, the Halloween weekend, uh, event at, at Walt Disney World, and what that was was it, it wasn't a separate ticketed event, you just paid the money to go, but, but again, uh, October 28th, 29th, that's considered, in those days, off season. There is no such thing as off season anymore at Walt Disney World, but in those days that was considered off season, so they did a Halloween weekend, and the big deal was, um, that you could have free admission to the Haunted Mansion. And I know some listeners are going, I could go on the Haunted Mansion. Well, back in 72, all of these attractions were ticketed. And the Haunted Mansion was an e ticket. So imagine paying to go to Walt Disney World and you can go on the Haunted Mansion for free. You can go as many times as you want and that there are Our, uh, character, uh, uh, appearances, uh, not in Halloween costume, but character appearances and magic shows and, uh, uh, they, they even screen Disney cartoons, you mentioned Trick or Treat, they screen, you know, Legend of, uh, uh, Sleepy, uh, Hollow, and, uh, it was so, uh, popular, uh, that it was repeated The next year in 73 on October 27th and 28th, but then it wasn't until, you know, uh, 76 the Walt Disney World, you know, Dipped its toes into Halloween again, unless you count in 1975 they're they're trying to Build up Attention to Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, which we now know is Disney Springs today.

Jim Korkis:

And so there was a village Halloween party where kids were encouraged to attend in costume and go with their parents trick or treating, uh, you know, to the various, uh, uh, stores and restaurants. And, and, and the reason for getting that free candy and all that is, well, in order for the kids to get there, the parents had to bring them there. And so that was introducing the parents to the restaurants and the, to the, the stores there. And, uh, uh, then Walt Disney World just did a lot of one off events in, in, uh, October 7th, 27th, 79. They did, uh, Halloween Hysteria at the Magic Kingdom, but it was just a, uh, a one day, uh, event. And it was just... But this time it was a separated ticketed event, uh, because it was part of, uh, uh, what was called, um, the World Series of Entertainment. So that what happened is that every Saturday, There was a different, uh, uh, themed, uh, event, a different, you know, to try and draw people in.

Jim Korkis:

And fortunately, you know, uh, OCT October 27th fell on a weekend. And so they did a, uh, uh, a Halloween event and, and primarily they were, uh, advertising, uh, magic shows and, uh, That would have special effects in them somehow and, uh, uh, musical entertainment like Dr. Hook and, and, and the police and, and, and, you know, it's always funny to me that Disney does these special events and, and emphasizes all these musical groups and, and yet a decade later or so, we're going back. Who was that? I bet Billy, Billy, Billy, Billy Ray Cyrus was at the, was the big guy at the opening of Splash Mountain. What was that all about?

Lou Mongello:

Well, that's the thing, you know, we were, we're talking about, you know, Disney World having these events, you know, in the seventies and eventually we'll, we'll, we'll pick up to where they continue on, but

Jim Korkis:

going back to just one

Lou Mongello:

ops. Yeah. Right. But it's not until. The 90s that, that Disneyland still has, you know, before we get to Disney world to sort of finish up with Disneyland, they're not, it's, it's this, this one off 1995 and then eventually they did it again the following year, this Mickey's Halloween treat was like you said, it was not a hard ticketed event, but it had merchandise and trick or treat locations and the kid costume cavalcade and things like that. And they had. Yeah. The, most of the attractions were open for the guests, but they had it again in 96, but then they discontinued it because it actually didn't do very well.

Lou Mongello:

There was actually low attendance and it wasn't for until nine years later that the party came back in a slightly different format in 2005 in Disney, California adventure. And so it was once again. The Mickey's Halloween party. And then in 2006, it became Halloween time, which was both at Disneyland and DCA, and then it was the following year, it became Mickey's Halloween party. And that's when it really started to get much more popular. I think it took a little bit of time for. it to catch on again to keep confusing guests. They now change the name again to Mickey's Mickey's trick or treat party because they didn't want confusion with the not so scary Halloween party in Walt Disney World.

Lou Mongello:

And then in 2010, they move it over to Disneyland because of construction going on at DCA. They changed the name again. to Mickey's Halloween party, but now they include things like the character cavalcade. There's a Halloween scream, fireworks, spectacular. And what they did was, was making the fireworks only during the Halloween party, forced guests to say, look, if you want to see the special Halloween fireworks, you do have to go to the Halloween parties that, you know, the paid ticketed events, the Halloween parties themselves.

Jim Korkis:

Absolutely. And, and, and again, you, you didn't even get to the moving over to Disney, California Adventure for the GIE Boogie Bash, so, you know. Right. So that's, it's, it's continually evolving,

Lou Mongello:

right? And, and it's bounced back and forth. So the Halloween party went until 2018. In 2019, it became the Oggie Boogie Bash over at Disney, California Adventure, really capitalizing, as you said before. You know, Tim Burton's nightmare before Christmas. Is it's interesting because it's very, very popular in California. And we see in terms of the overlay for haunted mansion and the oogie boogie bash, and they've got this villains grove and they do this beautiful overlay of world of color called villainous. Um, which is actually, it's, if you really pay attention to the story, it's about this little girl named Shelley Marie. who was created by Disney animator Eric Goldberg as a tribute to Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

Lou Mongello:

And there's also the Guardians of the Galaxy overlay and the Descendants

Jim Korkis:

party. Shelley Marie has to decide whether to be a princess or a villain for her Halloween costume and so goes on this journey and learns that there's a little bit of villain in all of us there. So I think that's a great overlay.

Lou Mongello:

And I even look, and I don't know if you've been there, but I have, I've been fortunate to be there during Halloween, uh, Cars Land, there's a great overlay of Halloween, of the cars and the attractions and the entertainment, uh, if you look outside very carefully, there's a, there's a spider car, a car that looks like it's, it's sprouted legs, and it was actually made from parts from Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, may you rest in peace. Um, there's also, Um. I know I still miss that attraction here. Um, there's also, um, uh, this, this car, which, um, named Lizzie outside of, of Radiator Springs too. Uh, and we never even talked about the Halloween tree. And,

Jim Korkis:

and, and, and, and Miss Lizzie has a special coolant where she's trying to bring cars back to life. So there's that zombie car there. It starts this, almost start up and, and, and then doesn't, and, and again, what I like about that, you know, because, uh, you know, we talk about Disney theming, sometimes it's never consistent, but in Cars land, it, it really, it really is because, um, it, it's how cars. Halloween. So, so you're not having, you know, the typical, uh, ghosts and bats and, and all that, you know, you, you have Sarge with, with gas cans that look like pumpkins, you know, uh, and, uh, uh, Phil Moore's, uh, Jack oil lanterns, you know, uh, so, And again, the cars are even in, in, in costumes, right? Uh, uh, uh, Mater's dressed up like a vampire and Lightning McQueen is dressed as a, uh, superhero with, with a, a flying cape, you know? And it really, the, uh, Really well done. I think A, Cars Land is a terrific addition to Disney Parks. I think it's very well done for kids of all ages. Uh, you know, from 8 to 80.

Jim Korkis:

And when they did the overlay for Halloween, I thought it kept the, the foundational story, the foundational theme, everything that, that made it work, and they really plussed it, you know? And, uh... Just a, just a wonderful, wonderful, um, uh, uh, part of Halloween and again, something that unfortunately this year, uh, uh, we're gonna miss out on.

Lou Mongello:

Well, hopefully when you go back next year, as long as we're talking about, you know, again, brilliant design and storytelling and decor, uh, we, we have to talk about the Halloween tree. So if you've ever been to Disneyland in, in Frontier Land mm-hmm. There's a beautiful oak tree out in front of the Golden Horseshoe Saloon in Frontier Land, and every Halloween. Mm-hmm. going back to 2007, they do a Halloween overlay specifically of this tree, and it really is because of, and I think really dedicated to one of America's. Most prolific writers who was not from the Disney world, but from the Ray Bradbury world. Now, Ray Bradbury, obviously he's written Fahrenheit 451, but he actually has a lot of connections to the Disney company. And part of his admitted love for Halloween began after watching the 1929 Silly Symphony short, The Skeleton Dance.

Lou Mongello:

And in the mid sixties, Ray Bradbury and Walt Disney met, they became friends. They collaborated on things like Disneyland and some of the resorts. Um, he, we all all know about Ray Bradbury's influence on Spaceship Earth. He also wrote screenplays for two Disney films, one, which I haven't seen in years. I have to watch with my kids. Something wicked this way comes. In 83 and the wonderful ice cream suit in 1999, which I have never heard of until this very moment. But in 1972, to celebrate his personal love for Halloween, he wrote a story called the Halloween tree, which is a novel that talks about these group of trick or treaters that go on an adventure to learn about the origins of Halloween while they're looking for.

Lou Mongello:

And Bradbury always wanted this idea of, uh, having a Halloween tree at Disneyland. So on All Hallows Eve in 2007, the 35th anniversary of the novel, that Frontierland oak was given a makeover with orange light and hand painted jack o lanterns hanging from the, from the branches. And they talked about how. You know, Tony Baxter, Kim Irvine, and some of these looked at this and said, you know, this is something that we want to do really as, uh, as a tribute to Bray, uh, to Ray Bradbury. And they continue to do this and actually they've extended. Now you can actually see a Halloween tree, not just in Disneyland, but on the Disney cruise line ships as well in the grand atriums during the Halloween cruises.

Jim Korkis:

And, and, as we always say, there's always more to the story, so what you said is absolutely correct. Let me give you a little, you and the listeners, a little bit of, uh, more insight, because, uh, again, I grew up out in California, so I, I was, uh, uh, fortunate enough to actually meet, that, uh, Ray Bradbury two or three times and hear him speak many more times. And I had an opportunity to, to talk with Tim O'Day, Disney Authority, Tim O'Day. Uh, first off, um, in October 66, you mentioned, uh, uh, the debut of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, which we all, you know, except as, you know, one of the great. Charlie Brown, uh, uh, holiday specials, you know, after, uh, uh, the Christmas, uh, special. But, uh, Bradbury and his daughter sat down and watched it together, and none of them liked it. They were really disappointed that The Great Pumpkin didn't show up. They felt it wasn't a proper Halloween film at all.

Jim Korkis:

It didn't cover Halloween. And so Bradbury complained to his friend, who is animator and director, uh, Uh, Chuck Jones, who a lot of people remember from Warner Brothers and, you know, Pepe Le Pew, Bugs Bunny, uh, Roadrunner and Coyote, all of that. And at the time, Jones was working, uh, at, uh, MGM, doing a lot of, uh, uh, specials like Ricky Kicky Tobby and, you know, uh, those types of things. And so Bradbury was complaining, and Jones says, well, why don't you do something about it? And Bradbury came in and showed Jones an oil painting. of a Halloween tree. A lot of people don't realize that Bradbury had some artistic background. He had painted the Halloween tree. And Jones arranged for MGM to hire Bradbury to write a half hour animated special called The Halloween Tree about the history of Halloween.

Jim Korkis:

But what happened is, as this was going on, MGM closed its animation department, and so the script was never done, and Bradbury then adapted it into the book. Uh, now, we, we flash forward, uh... Uh, years later, and, uh, at Disneyland, over at the, uh, uh, Storyteller, uh, uh, Cafe at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, uh, uh, Tim O'Day and, uh, Bradbury are, are having, uh, lunch. And, uh, they were joined by, um, uh, The head of Disney Parks Public Relations, uh, Duncan Wardle, and, uh, O'Day was completely unaware of Bradbury's book, Halloween Tree, and Bradbury was joking around that he had a new book coming out, and what it was was the Anniversary Reprint, and so as they were talking about this and all that, uh, Wardle and O'Day came up with the idea that Why don't we put a Halloween tree in town square, you know, it would be 60 feet tall, a gnarly old tree at, you know, just like the Christmas tree, you know, uh, it would be traditionally in that location and would have hundreds, hundreds of, uh, uh, illuminated, uh, jack o lanterns and, and Bradbury was just, you know, really, really excited. He's in his eighties now and he's really excited about this, I get. And so they try to push this with Disney, but Disney already had plans in place, uh, to put the giant Mickey pumpkin in town square. And so, uh, okay. told, uh, Baxter, uh, about the release of the book and, uh, Kim Irvine and got them on board.

Jim Korkis:

And, and that's what you have to do when you're at Imagineering is you've got to, uh, find a, uh, uh, champion for that, uh, project. And so they pushed that through, that instead of building. You know, uh, in the investment, it could be cost effective to just use the existing oak tree, uh, you know, in Frontierland. So on October 31st, 2007, 87 year old wheelchair bound, uh, Ray Bradbury was there, uh, at the, uh, the, uh, The dedication, they actually had a, a special, uh, uh, dinner for him in Club 33 and he regaled them with, with stories of, of, uh, knowing Walt and his work at, at Disney and all that and, and how he was, you know, just so excited, you know, that he would become a permanent part of, uh, the spirit of Disneyland. And he was the one who lit up. The tree, they gave him a jack o lantern, and he pushed the stem, like it was a switch, and the tree lit up. And actually, that first year, it was Baxter and Kim Irvine and one or two other people, and what they did is they magic markered the tree. All the, uh, the pumpkins again, cost effective, uh, that first year, you know, to get it up there and then when it became a huge, huge hit, uh, you know, it was turned over to, you know, park decoration and all that and, and that's where they do the, the painted ones now and the, the, the whole bit and, and, and you're right, it was so popular that it carried over To the cruise line to all four ships, but but again, it can't be exactly.

Jim Korkis:

Ray Bradbury's Halloween tree, because there's only one Halloween tree, and each branch is supposed to represent the different aspects of Halloween from around the world that came, you know, together to create Halloween. But they wanted something similar, and of course, the problem is, is... They've got to do this in two hours, you know, from when a guest leaves the ship, you know, to when the next group comes back on. And, and so they've got this, uh, interior metal infrastructure. It's very much like an erector set. And then they add branches and they add a trunk like covering. And they came up with a whole nother... Uh, Imagineering came up with this whole other story that it's the Pumpkin King, who's the caretaker of the stories and memories for Halloween, and what he has happened is he's gotten tired after all of these years trying to, you know, keep the history of Halloween alive that he reaches into his head.

Jim Korkis:

And he pulls out four pumpkin seeds, each one representing a different aspect of his personality, and he plants those, and they bloom once a year in each atrium, uh, on the, uh, on the, the, uh, ships there, and they're supposed to be there, um, to, uh, uh, Uh, help people understand the real and true spirit, uh, of, uh, Halloween. So the Disney, Dr. Dream has grim. The Disney Fantasy has Muckle bones. The Disney Wonder has BOG and the Disney Magic has reaped. And, um, To me, it's just amazing that in two hours, you know, Disney Holiday Services can come onto a ship, put up that Halloween tree, and then all of the other Halloween decorations, and I've been on ten cruises, but I've never been on a cruise at Halloween, and I'd like to, just to see, you know, Uh, how that's handled, because the pictures and videos that I see, I guess, are just a pale reflection. But boy, when Disney does something, uh, uh, Right. They, they really do it.

Lou Mongello:

Right. Yeah. If you think, uh, converting magic kingdom over to Christmas is amazing and how quickly they do it, watch them do the cruise line for, for Halloween. Uh, before, you know, Jim, before we leave Disneyland and make our way over to Walt Disney World, we would be remiss if we did not at least touch on, not go too far deep down the rabbit hole of the haunted mansion holiday. Um, and, and this, you know, look, going back to even. The early days and early ideas for Disneyland, you know, they, they always had this idea, Harper Goff's earliest designs for main street had this idea for a haunted house that would be there. So having the, the spooky, always being part of. Disneyland was, was in its blood from the beginnings.

Lou Mongello:

But as you know, the, the mansion obviously is always such an incredibly popular attraction, but for a number of years, Disneyland had been doing holiday overlays for small world, the country bear Christmas special. So it made sense for them to think about doing the same for the mansion. But some of the ideas that they, that they played around with was. Charles Dickens, a Christmas Carol overlay or

Jim Korkis:

creating again, you've got those three ghosts and again, it's Christmas so you can extend from Halloween to

Lou Mongello:

Christmas, right? And so it makes perfect sense. And they even thought about maybe creating this separate story. Not based on any other IP that would star Santa Claus. They figured neither one of those really fit in the idea of the haunted mansion. And so they have the nightmare before Christmas. And if you think about it,

Jim Korkis:

And, and, and, and, and don't forget Imagineer Chris Merritt, you know, a lot of times we laud the original Imagineers and, and, and for good reason, but there's a lot of modern Imagineers like, like Kim Irvine, you know, who. And added to the park and kept the spirit of of of the original attraction kept it the spirit of of of what it should be. And Chris Barrett certainly, uh. Uh, one of those, and he pitched an idea on Nightmare, where visitors would enter through a tree portal to Halloween Town. Because if you remember, in the, uh, in the movie, there were different trees, and they had an image for Christmas, and an image for Easter and July 4th. You'd enter through the tree portal to Halloween Town, you would board a coffin sleigh. And take a trip through the land of Halloween. You go through the professor's laboratory.

Jim Korkis:

You go through Oogie Boogie's lair. Uh, you go through the graveyard where, where Jack finally gets, uh, uh, gets, gets the, uh, the girl. You know, but again, uh, they were taking a look at this and it's like... That's a lot of money there, you know, and, and it's only for a short period of time, you know, what are we, can we integrate Nightmare Before Christmas, but you know, uh, without losing the bank here, you know.

Lou Mongello:

Well, and keep in mind too, you know, when the film first debuted in 1993, it was, it was a moderate hit. It was not, I mean, it took a little bit of time that it really started to gain this incredible cult following. And I guess it sort of

Jim Korkis:

made sense. And it was not a Disney film. It was a touchstone film and they called it. Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas to try and set it apart, uh, from Disney as well as the fact that they're doing this because at this time, uh, Burton had done five financially successful films in a row, you know, Batman, Beetlejuice, Pee wee's, you know, Big Adventure, all that. And so, you know, it's like, well, we'll just do this and this'll just, you know... Kim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas is one of two films that retroactively... are now official Disney films. The only other film that started out as a touchstone film and was released as that, and then was so popular it became a Disney film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? So both of those films were released as touchstone films to distance them from Disney and the Disney brand.

Jim Korkis:

But you're right. People just discovered them. And there was just something in there that, uh, triggered emotional buttons. You know that, my gosh, this is what we want.

Lou Mongello:

Well, and it also fits in, you know, the, the film and the mansion are both, you know, macabre yet funny. So you're able to sort of blend. The two and, and create this storyline, having Jack, you know, spreading joy to all the, the happy haunts that live inside the mansion. And I'll tell you, Jim, like as a, as a personal aside, I love Halloween. Like I love Halloween and I love Christmas and I like Tim Burton. Like I love Beetlejuice. The original Batman is my Batman and I'm, I'm a big peewee guy. And for some reason, I've never been able to sort of emotionally wrap myself around.

Lou Mongello:

Nightmare before christmas. So the first time that I went to disneyland during the holidays. I was concerned that I wasn't going to enjoy it, but there's something about that overlay that I just absolutely love Um, and again, it opened back in, in 2001, um, that I absolutely love. And I, you know, people talk all the time about, you know, why do we not have this in Disney world? And I think it's just, I think there's, I think there's a variety of reasons. One, I think the, the crowd, the visitors in Disneyland is more local. I think people in Walt Disney World who remember it takes. Two months to do this conversion. If they come to Walt Disney World and the haunted mansion, this classic, you know, cornerstone attraction is closed.

Lou Mongello:

It's going to disappoint potentially a lot of people. And I don't necessarily know that there's the same affinity for nightmare here as there is over there. And I, and I, and look, I still even. Now here, people say, well, the haunted mansion, it's too long, right? Cause it's basically almost four months plus two months of time to convert it. So in Disneyland, the classic haunted mansion is only available really about half the year. But Haunted Mansion, the Nightmare Overlay, is still incredibly, incredibly popular there.

Jim Korkis:

Well, and, and again, the official Disney, uh, explanation is that you're right. The, the audience is, uh, uh, different at Disneyland. It, it's local, it's annual pass holders. They're continually familiar with the attraction. They would always have an opportunity to come back and see the original attraction, but by having something, um, out of the ordinary, something different that, you know, generates greater attendance. People would come back more frequently to see that. At Walt Disney World, the audience is more international. People, uh, save up three to five years to come to Walt Disney World.

Jim Korkis:

They would be disappointed if they came and the attraction was closed or it wasn't the traditional attraction that they had. Read about and, and seen, and all that being said, at one point, they were going to do the overlay at Walt Disney World, and then at the last moment, chickened out, and everything that was being built for Walt Disney World got shipped to Tokyo Disneyland, and Tokyo Disneyland used it. Um... And one of the, the thing, and again the storyline with the Haunted Mansion Overlay is this takes place after the film, and, and Jack has discovered, you know, all of these happy haunts, uh, but they know nothing about Christmas, and so he's going to bring Christmas to them, and, and those presents that we saw, You know, uh, in the film, and what's interesting is all of those audio animatronics, those were the first ones not built by Disney, those were the ones built by Garner Holt Productions, and Garner Holt is a, uh, superstar, real love of, uh, uh, Disney, you know, they actually gave him all of the, Spare parts and everything, uh, they had, you know, and so he does audio animatronics now, not just for Disney, but for other places, but he does it for, for Disney, and what a lot of guests don't realize, I, I was talking to his creative director, is that a lot of the stuff you see in the overlay, Isn't shipped in. It's just hiding in a little dark spaces around corners and, and, and things that, that if you turned on the lights, you know, in the attraction, you'd see where these things, things are something that is new that is brought in each year, of course. Is the gingerbread house on the table of the grand ballroom, you know, where it takes roughly 150 pounds of gingerbread and a dozen bakers, uh, working at the central bakery just right across the street, you know, to make it and, and it's different each year. And um, I did get an opportunity to experience the overlay once, and like you, it was like, this really makes sense. This works.

Jim Korkis:

This is good. I thought that this was going to be, you know, um, hokey. But it wasn't.

Lou Mongello:

And I've seen, and I've seen the overlay. In Tokyo and we'll get to the overseas parks. I've seen the overlay in Tokyo and it works there too But I will tell you as a as a haunted mansion quote unquote purist. I don't want to see Nightmare come to Walt Disney World and I'd like like to know from you the listener. I'll post this question In the clubhouse group on Facebook. Are you a fan of the a hundred mansion holiday overlay? And would you like to see it maybe come to Walt Disney world or just have it be in Disneyland? And I'll post that question. You can leave your comments there or, or call the voicemail at 407 900 9391. And let me know what you think.

Lou Mongello:

Uh, but let's move over Jim. Let's move over to. Walt Disney World, Walt Disney World, where the origins of Halloween actually start much earlier, surprisingly, than Disneyland, but let's keep in mind when Walt Disney World opens in the 70s, um, you know, let's think sort of Walking into Magic Kingdom and we've talked about this on on past shows to forgive me that I don't remember the number we talked about The stories of Main Street, you know when you walk into Main Street USA, it's decorated. It's already decorated for a holiday, right? It's July 4th, which is why there's a parade every day It's why there's fireworks every night and Disney's like well look we it's gonna be confusing if we try and celebrate Two different holidays here at the same time and at the same place. But what they did decide to do. And as you mentioned earlier, was they did want to have some Halloween events in the seventies taking place. Elsewhere at the resort. And the first place was at the Lake Buena Vista shopping village, which opened in 1975, um, do in part to help encourage Florida locals to, to come out and there was shops and restaurants and grocery stores we've talked a lot about there, but one thing they did do was have the village Halloween party where some of these local kids, as well as kids who just happened to be there on vacation could come by.

Lou Mongello:

And be in costume and trick or treat from store to store. They had a costume parade and pumpkin carving and character appearances there as well, and I think you mentioned two in the resorts, they also had a resort Halloween party at the contemporary. In October of 1976 in the old, uh, ballroom of the Americas. So they didn't necessarily have something in the parks, but they definitely wanted to take advantage and, and leverage the Halloween holiday elsewhere throughout the resort. Cause remember this was the vacation kingdom of the world. It, unlike Disneyland where, you know, it's mostly confined to obviously Disneyland and DCA and then downtown Disney. Walt Disney World really wanted you to enjoy more than just Magic Kingdom.

Jim Korkis:

Absolutely. It's a vacation destination. And, uh, you're absolutely right. They wanted to include things so you don't want to have kids complaining, Oh, why are we going to Walt Disney World? I'm going to miss going out trick or treating with my friends. Well, you can trick or treat in Walt Disney World. Um, you know, so that's all very exciting. But we also have to realize that, uh, You know, the Disney company is not necessarily altruistic all the time. A lot of things are driven by business.

Jim Korkis:

And so, uh, also putting in terms of a larger context, you know, Halloween was really not... Uh, an adult, uh, celebration until fairly recently, you know, that, that's one of the reasons, you know, Hocus Pocus didn't do well as a film originally, but then later became a cult film because when Hocus Pocus came out, Halloween was just not that big a deal. It was for, it was for kids primarily. But Disney is taking a look from a business standpoint, and, and they see that Mickey's very first merry Christmas, uh, uh, party in 1983, you know, one night only. And then it expands to two nights and three, and then multiple weeks. Hey, this, this is a good thing. And then they take a look over across the street at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood starting in 91. Uh, you know, for three nights and now that becomes, you know, multiple weeks,

Lou Mongello:

but we did say earlier too. I mean, Disney didn't wait and, and respond to what was going elsewhere. I mean, these first official Halloween events start with that Halloween weekend back in 72. And then they have the Saturday night world Halloween party. So it's going on throughout the seventies. Um, you know, but

Jim Korkis:

But sporadically, it doesn't connect and it doesn't repeat, you know, and so taking a look at Mickey's Very Merry, taking a look at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal, how can we come up with an alternative? And so let's do a family friendly Halloween, you know, and this will generate, you know, uh, a lot of

Lou Mongello:

revenue. They also saw too, they also saw too how popular, you know, flower and garden was and the holidays, you know, somehow some of these other festivals in other parts of the park do in terms of not only generating revenue, but obviously attracting more guests. You know, to or back to the parks

Jim Korkis:

and again, in a business sense, it's also creating new food and beverage options. It's creating new limited merchandise. Uh, you know, but even then, uh, Disney's hesitant. So the first Mickey is not so scary. Halloween party as 31st, 1995. But it's one night only for more importantly, 16 and 95 cents.

Lou Mongello:

That's the important part. It was 16 and 95 cents. And look to your point too, just to sort of touch on again, you know, while they did see what was going on at universal with Halloween horror nights, Disney obviously had to make theirs much like in California where some of the other events are more geared towards, you know. Frights and fears and scares. Disney really had to make their continue to be something that was going to be family friendly first.

Jim Korkis:

And, and, and, and especially kid friendly because Halloween is a, is a time that can, uh, scare. Uh, children, you know, you've got the darkness, you've got, uh, you know, uh, the monsters. You know, how do you, you know, um, sanitize that? At Disneyland, you'll notice that the colors are the warm colors of orange and red, but when you go to the Oogie Boogie Bash at Disney, California Adventure, they're trying to appeal to, uh, an older demographic, maybe a teen, maybe an adult. So you're getting these blues and purples and deep magentas. So that even subconsciously, you know, you're being told there's something here that's not, you know. And, uh, you know, and now when you're dealing with jack o lanterns, you want the jack o lanterns smiling. You don't want that. Evil jack o lanterns, you know, um, you

Lou Mongello:

know, what I think was, sorry, what I think was interesting too, you know, you mentioned how that 1995 Halloween party was just one night. If you start to look at it as it trends over the years, So 97, it becomes two nights. 99 it becomes three nights. 2001. Mm-hmm. an unbelievable five nights, 2003. It's come

Jim Korkis:

five nights. There's enough people to come five

Lou Mongello:

nights, but two years later, it's 10, two years, it's 15. In 2013, it's 23 nights, which was four more nights. Then how, then the Christmas party. So, it very relatively quickly eclipsed what was the, still remains to be the incredibly popular Christmas party.

Jim Korkis:

Absolutely. And again, one of the things that Disney, um, is very clever about is, uh, It makes it, it makes Halloween feel safer and it, and there's that sense of humor, you know, that, that sort of a, of a wink, you know, that, that all of it, you know, a lot of people don't realize that the, uh, the only Disney film where the villain wins Uh, animated film, where Disney, where the villain wins, is Legend of Sleepy Hollow. And, uh, and the Headless Horseman. And, and, and again, people, listeners can now scratch their heads. We're all thinking right now. There's gotta be, be another one. And, and, and I will admit that... You might include, um, the Chicken Little short from the 1940s, where Foxy Loxy wins.

Jim Korkis:

He eats all of the animals off, off, off stage there, but, uh, generally, the, the only big Disney animated film where, um, uh, a villain wins is Legend of the Sleepy Hollow. And... But again, as I take a look at Legend of Sleepy Hollow, all of those are unpleasant people, you know. Ichabod Crane is unpleasant. He's not in love with Katrina Van Tassel. He's in love with her father's fortune. And, and he's a glutton. And, you know, he, he, there's a lot of things about him that, he's a coward, he's, there's a lot of things, Katrina Van Tassel is manipulating, she doesn't care for Ichabod, she's manipulating, you know.

Jim Korkis:

So, for her vanity's sake, Rombones, you know, uh, uh, can think hard and still come up with the wrong answer, you know. Uh, and even the, even the supporting players are not, you know. Uh, uh, but I will say one thing about Disney, Disney added to the Legend of the Headless Horseman, which we see in the parks and especially over at Walt Disney World, is that, um, before the Disney version, the Headless Horseman always carried a pumpkin. It was Disney that made it a jack o lantern and a fiery jack o lantern. Uh, and if you watch, uh, the movie, um, Ichabod looks down the neck of, of the Headless Horseman and all he sees is just darkness. So there's the, the implication that maybe this is not Brom Bones, this really is... A supernatural entity, uh, that he's, um, uh, encountering. But, uh, bringing, swinging this back, uh, uh, from the tangent, from the side road here, swinging this back to the parks, uh, Headless Horseman is pretty prominent.

Jim Korkis:

Uh, at Disney Halloweens at Walt Disney World,

Lou Mongello:

which I love and we'll, we'll go from Magic Kingdom. We'll talk about some things outside the parks a little bit too. But the other thing that Disney does, you know, speaking of tying it into other movies and shorts and properties is, is the integration of some of that very successfully. Into Halloween, specifically the Halloween party. And I think over the last few, few years, again, talking about films like nightmare that maybe initially were not incredible successes, but achieve this incredible pop culture status years later. 1993's Hocus Pocus is very much the same type of thing because now in the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, we have this Hocus Pocus Villain Spectacular which,

Jim Korkis:

again, is

Lou Mongello:

this wonderful, fun, funny, somewhat you know what! Uh, chilling, but like wonderful musical show presented, uh, um, during the party, which I think has breathed much more newer life into that film. Like now there's a lot of hocus pocus merchandise. There's hocus pocus themed food. And it's interesting how one has sort of fed the other because simply because of, I think in large part, the Halloween party itself. Well,

Jim Korkis:

they're even talking about a reboot of the film

Lou Mongello:

rumor has, I believe that they're actually filming something now for, for, for TV or for Disney plus, or, or ABC, um, with the Sanderson sisters for, How like some sort of virtual Halloween in this COVID 19 world for Halloween this year, too

Jim Korkis:

I I wouldn't I wouldn't doubt it. I wouldn't I wouldn't doubt it and It really is a scary film when you take a look at it you've got these These three women who are literally, uh, trying to steal the souls of, uh, of uh, uh, children. And, and they even had the film starts with them actually stealing the soul of, of, of a little girl.

Lou Mongello:

You know, my kids were terrified of the film. They still won't, I still can't get them to watch it.

Jim Korkis:

You know, and, and, and again, that, that is the first, uh, uh, film that has any, uh, uh, supporting role by actor, uh, Uh, Doug Jones, who plays, uh, Billy the zombie, you know, and, and he later went on to do all of those, uh, uh, I, I think he's on Star Trek Discovery now, but he, he did all those, uh, great characters of, uh, uh, like that, and, and, and Fabian, and, um, the shape of water, and he, he, he was the silver surfer in the Fantastic Four movie, and, And all of this, you know, very, very talented, uh, physical, uh, actor, but, but this was his very first, uh, uh, film where he had a large, uh, uh, role, you know, and, and he thought that this was going to be a huge success and all. And, and it wasn't, you know, people were just not. In that Halloween mood at that particular point. And then part of the reason, of course, is that the film, um, Uh, was released during the summer because Disney didn't want to conflict with that same year at Halloween was being released, Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. So yeah, release a Halloween movie during, during summer. That makes a lot of sense. That, that oughta, that oughta pack, that oughta put, uh, butts in seats. Yeah, that'll do it.

Jim Korkis:

Well,

Lou Mongello:

look, for both movies, they, they were right that they were going to be successes. It just took a little while for it. For them to attain. For people to find them, yeah. Yeah, for that sort of cult following, uh, and look at. Well,

Jim Korkis:

it'd be the same thing for It's a Wonderful Life and Wizard of Oz, you know, uh, sometimes it takes a while for people to catch up with, with what's being done there.

Lou Mongello:

And, you know, look, as long, let's sort of continue with that thread. And obviously having to mention the boo to you parade and the legend of sleepy hollow and the headless horseman made me think of that connection. That too is a relatively newer thing. There was Mickey's not so scary. Halloween parade was the parade in, in 1999. And then it eventually became the Boot Tou Parade. Uh, it was updated in 2014, updated again in, uh, 2019. But that pre-pa parade ride, it used to be a gallop.

Lou Mongello:

Now more of, it's a little bit more of a, of a slower trott of, uh, the mm-hmm. um, the headless horseman from Kobad and Mr. Toad set to flight at the Valkyrie is, is one of my favorite parts. Of I think the parade alone is worth the price of admission to not so scary. Oh, yes, yes,

Jim Korkis:

yes.

Lou Mongello:

The parade includes a number of different floats. There's Mickey and Minnie. There's the, um, the pirates floats, which is sort of this blending of both Peter Pan and pirates of the Caribbean. And this medley of pirates life and Yoho. Um. It was actually originally it was like two different floats. It was a pirate ship and then there was a tick tock crocodile mini floats that had Captain Jack and Barbossa and then they added a new float I think in 2018 or so. The haunted mansion is um, is, is Possibly my favorite part because the zombie gravediggers dancing with those shovels and then scraping the pavement, creating those sparks is just, it's so much fun to watch.

Lou Mongello:

It is only possibly a very close second and I'm not a big parade guy, Jim, but. It's a close second to the march of the, of the wooden soldiers in the Christmas day in the Christmas parade, but the hitchhiking ghosts and the haunted mansion, and, and,

Jim Korkis:

and, and, and, you know, that happened by accident, right? That, that, yeah, there were grave diggers and, and, and they were carrying shovels, but the show director one year. You saw that, you know, as, as they were leaving, one of the grave diggers was just so tired he was dragging his shovel behind him, and it was scraping and creating sparks, you know, uh, on, on the pavement there, and she goes, I think I can use that. But you're right, because it's such, it's a natural effect, and it really is scary when you see those sparks come off of the pavement there, and especially when it's almost like synchronized swimming. And they're doing this boom, boom,

Lou Mongello:

boom, you know? Yeah. Incredibly well orchestrated. And then it, it's followed up by the Halloween hoedown featuring Clarabelle Klau and Clarabelle Clarabelle Cow. Say that to you. Not fast. Yes, and Clara Cluck and Jim, I never sing on the show, but I'm so tempted to cluck the way she sings to Ghost Riders in the Sky. is, is just so, and I do when I'm at, if you happen to see me at the parade, Next year, I will be I'll be doing that along with Claribel because I think it's just so much fun It's followed by the Tomorrowland float, which was introduced in 2019 the trick or treat celebrating the candy and the Goofy's candy company truck Which now is, is also, I think it's Sugar Rush now with Vanellope taking place aboard the, the candy machine, and then the final, uh, Villains of Go! Go! final float with, um, Maleficent, Jafar, Jafar and, and Evil Queen, um, Vanellope. Again, the parade, the, the, the party also has the fireworks, the projection, which was introduced a number of years ago, really has added another layer.

Lou Mongello:

So while it has taken Disney, well, it took them, you know, more than two and a half decades to sort of hop on the Halloween bandwagon, as it were, what we have now specifically in the parks, um, is pretty spectacular.

Jim Korkis:

And, and what I like is they give away top quality candy, you know, you. You know, that they could go and get away with, you know, getting, getting the, the cheapest, you know, Tootsie Roll and Smarty roll and all, and, and I love those Danis, but boy, they go with the top of the line and they also have alternatives. Um, You know, uh, for people, uh, who are, uh, allergic or, or don't want that, that sugar. And so, again, when, when Disney does something right, they really, uh, do it right. And, and boy, talking about, uh, uh, sweet treats, there, there's some that just pop up at Halloween, you know, at, at those different food and beverage locations that are just... My gosh, those would put me in my grave if I, if I, if I, if I had, if I had, uh, uh, all of them, uh, there, and they're just so creative, too, but, but they're delicious. They're not just creative, yeah, let's, let's put a, a pumpkin face on this. They're not just creative, they're really...

Lou Mongello:

Well, Walt would be proud because not only have they plussed the Halloween experience and look, we didn't even talk about, you know, the, there's the Halloween soundtrack over at Space Mountain. There's the live actors at Pirates, the Mad Tea Party and

Jim Korkis:

Monsters Incorporated now too.

Lou Mongello:

Um, but you know, it's also merchandising. So there's an incredible array of Halloween themed merchandise and food, but it really has made Walt Disney world, both for locals and visitors. Halloween time is now made at Magic Kingdom specifically has made the park and the resort, a, a vacation destination during this time of year. And I would feel remiss if I didn't mention, it's not just confined to. The parks. I think that Fort wilderness, um, as long as we're talking about Halloween, I think that Halloween at the Fort is absolutely a nighttime destination. Like if you can go and rent a golf cart, because. There's so much that happens.

Lou Mongello:

And again, I'm talking outside the confines of the COVID 19 2020 world, but there are parades like guests go and they decorate their campsites in incredibly well themed, like. And I, and I'm not sure if they no longer allow it, but they would actually build these walk through like mini attractions and rooms and incredibly well decorated campsites. And they would decorate their golf carts and have these, you know, they almost look like little floats created by guests and do these nighttime parades. And those are just things done by and for other guests, but they also have. The Return to Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman, um, I don't know, again, going forward, but they used to have the, um, uh, the, uh, wagon, the, the carriage ride, and Jim, a quick story. Well,

Jim Korkis:

actually, for several years, it was the Haunted Hayride. Right, that's true. Uh, along the Bay Lake in the climax of the encounter with the Headless Horseman. Right! And then it became the carriage ride in 2008, and then was completely discontinued in 2012,

Lou Mongello:

unfortunately. And I blame my children, because years ago Ha ha ha ha ha! Years ago, look They were frightened! Well, I, I booked a carriage ride and I got it on Halloween night and I love to surprise my family. They hate when I surprise them, but I love, so I was like, okay, so we went out to dinner and then I surprised them and I'm like, and I was like, I had this huge grin on my face. My children, I have his picture. I'm sitting across the row from them. They are. buried. Their faces are buried in their mother's lap.

Lou Mongello:

And she's looking at me like, what did you do? Because it's in the, and it wasn't overtly scary, but at one point I can say it now, spoiler alert, because it doesn't happen anymore. As you're going through this darkened forest and you hear the clap, clap and the rustling of the leaves, the headless horseman comes right up next to your, your carriage. And it freaked my kids. I'm grinning and I'm laughing ear to ear and my wife is looking at me like You are gonna pay for their therapy bills because your children are frightened.

Jim Korkis:

So Another reason for them to strike Texting, uh, uh, child services, right? Child protection services. It wasn't scary, but They have it now on speed dial, right? So they have somebody, uh, uh, uh, designated there that goes, Oh no, it's the Montielos

Lou Mongello:

again, alright. Yeah, what did Lou do now? Um, but they also have, you know, they've campsites. Pumpkin decorating contests, the cart parades, food trucks, trivia, a villain lip sync contest. They usually will do movies under the stars like nightmare before Christmas or hocus pocus. I don't know how I ever missed out on the frightening donut eating contest. I need to get back to that next year, the candy corn toss contest, hollow wishes, viewing party, mummy rap contest. I mean, so they had a lot of different things to do. There's also a headless five K run, a pet parade, lots of stuff going on at the fort, which when it comes back, I believe, hopefully in its same form next year, it, it almost makes the fort a destination, whether you want to rent a campsite or just rent a cabin and stay at the fort because there's so much to do there.

Lou Mongello:

During the Halloween season

Jim Korkis:

now, I know we're getting close with time here. Now, I'd love for you to explain to me, uh, Halloween at the parks overseas. Cause I have no, uh, uh, knowledge or insight into that. And so what I'm going to do is I'm going to let you talk about that while I look around this, uh, empty bag of Halloween candy to see if a piece or two rolled out and, and, and, and ended up. Uh, under some other place here while you fascinate us with these stories and, and, and bring all of this, uh, uh, to a final wrap. So, so what is Halloween like at, at Disney parks overseas?

Lou Mongello:

So I am fortunate to, to have been able to visit all the overseas parks except for Disneyland Paris. It was on my list this year. Again, it's 2020, but I'll start at Disneyland Paris where they began. Celebrating All Hallows Eve in 1997 with the Soiree Halloween Disney, which is Disney's Halloween party. It evolved to the Disney Halloween festival, which according to them is this mixture of, of mischief and fun that, uh, takes place from late September through early November. I have been to Tokyo Disneyland, which also began. In 1997, celebrating Halloween with the Disney Happy Halloween. There are parades with guests, lots of things for, uh, kids under 12.

Lou Mongello:

And to be clear, all of, remember Halloween is. Literally and frequently a very foreign concept, especially in the Asian parks. So it is celebrated quite differently. Um, so for example, in Tokyo Disneyland, um, I think of all the parks I had been to, I think decoration wise, they had the Beck's deck, the best decorations overall. They did have the Haunted Mansion holiday so you could see what it would be like because their Haunted Mansion is basically a mirror of the Walt Disney World version. I will say that the Japanese and specifically Tokyo Disneyland fans really go all out in celebrating all of their holidays, not just Halloween, but Christmas, but Easter. All of them really are made a very big deal. I think Tokyo probably has the best parade, some amazing stage shows.

Lou Mongello:

And again, all of these are included with the regular theme park admissions. So everything that happens from the decorations

Jim Korkis:

is not a

Lou Mongello:

separate ticket. It is not a separate ticket event. So they have a, um, a festival of mystique Harbor show food. Merch, all of that takes place into this Disney Halloween season at Tokyo Disney resort that's included. Now, when you go across the way to Tokyo Disney sea, this is where it changes because while it's still, isn't scary. It is a little bit more adult oriented. So for example, at the waterfront park stage in the American waterfront, they have this show called the New York Halloween follies, which is set in 1920s, New York, wonderfully well produced. Uh, show with music and dance and, and fashions of the era.

Lou Mongello:

There is a welcome skeleton friends show in, uh, on Lido aisle, the Chippendale skeleton Fiesta, which is this, um, long cavalcade that goes from port discovery to Arabian coast. What I loved seeing in Tokyo. Was not just the wide variety of entertainment offerings, a huge selection of food offerings, but the guests are very, very much into celebrating and dressing up for Halloween. Uh, I, I sort of get the sense that they are encouraged to dress up because there were times that I couldn't tell if they were wearing Halloween costumes or were they just dressing a sailor moon because they like dressing that way all the time. But it's, um, it is very much embraced in Tokyo. Now in Hong Kong, it's incredibly different because Hong Kong Halloween, they're also referred to as Disney Halloween time is. While it, yes, is not a separate ticketed event, it's very scary. Like not just Disney scary, it's like scary, scary.

Lou Mongello:

So they do have a lot of fun things that go on. There's the Mickey and friends costume party. There's a Mickey Halloween time cavalcade, a villains night out parade, but they also have this. Villains garden where you can go and trick or treats, you know, you get a bag and he go trick or treat again, it's all included, but they also have these walkthrough attractions and these shows, which are legit scary. So they have something called the revenge of the headless horsemen. Which, um, and, and this Graves Academy walkthrough. So the Headless Horseman is like this traveling circus side show where there's all of these, um, to use the circus carnival, you know, all these different sort of freaks are in there. And one thing, Jim, you can't, you won't see any photos cause you're not allowed to take any pictures anywhere.

Lou Mongello:

Um, Graves Academy. Is that this idea that this principal graves at the school called the graves academy is recruiting students and turning them into all of these evil creatures that are trapped inside the room. So you go like from classroom to classroom and lunchrooms, and there's all of these weird, the thing that was odd. And I still, to this day have nightmares is. One of the, the, um, the walkthrough attractions, I think it was called, uh, it's either the nightmare experiment or journey into Halloween town. They take characters from, um, the, the, they're Disney characters like. uh, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, but they're very dark. They're very scary.

Lou Mongello:

And there are scenes

Jim Korkis:

where they're the Tim Burton version. They're worse than the timber on a bad day.

Lou Mongello:

Like the Pinocchio still gives me nightmares. And then there's one scene where you're, there's like, you're walking down a street and there's like a barbershop. And the characters come out and they take somebody from the audience and they put them in this chair, like things that could never happen here in the States. Happened overseas. Yeah. Um, horrors of the Amazon is really interesting because it's a stage show featuring a character named Jonas Brisbane, and it's portrayed by. A popular Hong Kong actor who is a jungle cruise skipper who wants to join the S. E.

Lou Mongello:

A., the Society of Explorers and Adventurers. So I dig the fact that there's that connection there. But there's this wonderful 20 minute show inside the theater in the wild. Reminds me sort of like a Harrison Hightower type of character. Shanghai Disneyland also. Um, celebrates not just in the park, um, the first year they only did it in their Disney town, which is their version of downtown Disney or Disney Springs. And now they go throughout the resort into the parks. They have a villains cavalcade.

Lou Mongello:

They have a late night Halloween party and a new firework show. Um, they bring in also theming from, uh, Coco nightmare before Christmas again as well. So. The, the overseas parks, especially the Asian parks, look at and celebrate, celebrate Halloween in some very different, very unique, and in some respects, um, you know, kind of scare, not jump scares, but a little bit more intense than what you find here, certainly Stateside.

Jim Korkis:

It sounds very intense, at least the way you're describing it there.

Lou Mongello:

It's also delicious, by the way. The food is fantastic. Um, but yeah, there's, um, and I know we've talked about, um, on, on, when I've, I've done the recap of our Um, our adventures by Disney to China and their adventures by Disney to Japan where I talk about these in much more detail. Um you can you can hear a little bit more about um the parks and how they celebrate. I believe the Hong Kong show was show 440. And I might, I think I touch on, I think we touch on Shanghai and, um, and Tokyo there as well. Um, as long as we're talking about outside the parks too, Disney Cruise Line also has Halloween themed specialty sailings with lots of, um, it's not just a Halloween sort of day at sea like Marvel or Star Wars, but they actually have Halloween events and theming that goes on throughout.

Jim Korkis:

Isn't, isn't this amazing, you know, all of these things taking place at, at the Disney parks and they're not, uh, uh, even, uh, permanent. They're just, they're just a seasonal, uh, uh, compliment added to the main entree there, you know, just, just, and, and I think that's one of the reasons that people love going to, to Disney parks is, is there, is that. Extra magic, that extra something, you know, that, that you can enjoy and, and I hope that, uh, listeners who, of course, this year aren't able to maybe celebrate Halloween at, at a Disney park, uh, you know, can, uh, to celebrate with this podcast.

Lou Mongello:

You know what else they can celebrate with, Jim? They can also celebrate with the Vault of Walt Vol. 9 Halloween Edition, which has spooky stories. Oh, you are so kind. Oh, of course. That's, listen. Disney films, theme parks, and things that go bump in the night. I dig that. Right, and,

Jim Korkis:

and, and, and, and just like my regular, uh, Vault of the Walt... Walt of Walt series, you know, it's divided into sections. So there's chapters devoted to animation. Like there's a chapter devoted to night on bald mountain, a chapter devoted to. The stories behind, uh, Legend of the Sleepy Hollow and, uh, Trick or Treat. There's stories about films like, uh, The Hocus Pocus and the Halloween Town Saga. You know, four films in that series. People tend to forget that.

Jim Korkis:

And Twitches, you know. Uh, and, uh, stories about the, the, uh, The parks. Uh, you know, a lot of times people forget that Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was struck by lightning on October 31st, 1939, you know, so it's a Halloween attraction, whether people realize it or not. And then there's other chapters like on the Ben Cooper, uh, Uh, Halloween costumes and, uh, all sorts of, uh, things. Because the challenge that was given to me, because my, my Vault of Wolves book about Christmas, uh, uh, did pretty well, and, uh, My publisher says, Gee, do you think you could write one on Halloween? And I said, well, yeah, maybe. And he says, well, I guess you'd just write about the villains. And I know Disney has made some spooky films. And I said, no, if I'm going to write about Halloween, it's going to be just Halloween.

Jim Korkis:

And so it took over two years. Uh, to write this book because again, I, the stipulation was it's got to be Halloween, not just, you know, Maleficent, not, you know, it's got to be, uh, something that is Halloween, uh, related and, and in fact, I even cover, um, uh, stories about ghosts at the Disney, uh, theme parks, not just, not just the ones that you'll, all your animatronic ones you'll find in the Haunted Mansion, but, but I talk about, uh, Some guests and cast members who have seen the ghost of Walt Disney. Uh, and, and in fact sometimes when they, they see him, they also smell that, uh, strong stench from, uh, the French cigarettes he used to, to smoke later in life. And little pups of smoke in the air, you know, where and sometimes won't even talk to, to people. Um, If you want to celebrate a Disney Halloween, uh, you might want to go to Amazon. com, and then one of my books that was due out earlier this year and then just got delayed until just now, uh, Hidden Treasures of the Disney Cruise Line, which is not a guidebook. It won't help you get, you know, a better, uh, uh, discount, or pick the best room, or when to go sailing, whatever. It tells the story of the evolution and creation of the Disney Cruise Line, starting with Walt's original cruises, and where he went, and what his experiences were, and the movie Bon Voyage, and all that, leading up to the creation, and then, uh, the majority of the book Goes through Disney storytelling on the ships.

Jim Korkis:

What is there that you're not, uh, seeing, you know? Or, or you're seeing and you're not understanding what it is. And so, uh, for instance, when you see that, uh, gold filigree on the outside of the ship, you go, Oh, that's kind of cute. Actually... It had only appeared before on one ocean liner in 1927, the Stellar Polaris, and that ocean liner only had, could hold 165 guests because it was meant for millionaire class people. And so that's one of the reasons that Disney has that. On the, uh, outside of the ship there, and there's several chapters on Castaway Key, including, uh, why there's no horseback riding on Castaway Key, they talked about it, they talked with, uh, the, uh, folks at Tri Circle D, uh, ranch to work out, you know, logistics and all that, and then finally, finally, there was just one decision It said, no, we can have bike riding, but we cannot have horse riding. And it was because, what do you do with the horses when there's a disaster like the hurricane? How do you evacuate them? And there wasn't a good plan for that, so no horseback riding at Castaway Key. So, those of you who listen to the Toulouse podcast, you are the, uh, Disney experts for your friends and family.

Jim Korkis:

So, if you want... Uh, some of those insights, make sure you get Vault of Wolf, Volume 9, Halloween Edition and, uh, Hidden Treasures of, uh, uh, the Disney Cruise Line and, uh, right now the paperback versions are available but they're, they're brand new books and so the Kindles will be coming, uh, within this next week for those of you who like Kindles and, um, You can make it a very Merry Christmas for a little Jimmy Corkus. And Lou, thank you again so much for inviting me back on. And thank you for allowing me to promote my books.

Lou Mongello:

Oh, listen, it is my pleasure. And there's one thing I love, Jim, is you always have stories literally that you can't hear anywhere else, whether you're listening to you on the podcast or reading your books or are so many wonderful aha moments, uh, which is why I'm

Jim Korkis:

full of stories. And this time of year. I'm full of candy corn. I only eat candy corn this time of year. No, no. Just like Peeps. You eat Peeps at Easter. You don't eat Peeps at Christmas.

Jim Korkis:

You don't eat Peeps at Halloween. You eat Peeps at Easter. You know? This is my philosophy and it has worked

Lou Mongello:

for me. Well, now I know exactly what to give you for Christmas. I'm going to, I'm going to shop the day after Halloween and get all the candy corn and I will give it to you for Christmas. So you can load up, but listen, I want to know from you, our friend that has been sitting here with us talking about Halloween at the Disney parks. I want you to share. So if your story is either memories of spending Halloween at the parks, would you love to see nightmare before Christmas come to Walt Disney world? And maybe what does the future hold? You know, right now the Halloween holidays have evolved so much. In the parks throughout both Magic Kingdom here at Walt Disney World, as well as in Disneyland, but what does the future hold? You know, what would you like to see? Would you like to see something maybe coming from the overseas parks? These walkthrough attractions, something a little bit scarier, more villains. I'd love to hear.

Lou Mongello:

Your thoughts as well. You can call the voicemail at 1. Call in, let me know better yet. Go to our group on Facebook. It is the WDW radio clubhouse. You can go to www. com slash community. We'll pose some of these questions there as well as your own share memories or photos.

Lou Mongello:

of you in the Disney parks during Halloween. And certainly I'm going to ask you to share some of your Disney inspired Halloween costumes as well. And, uh, Jimmy Korkis, I will have you back. Of course, my friend, I look forward to seeing you and I sincerely appreciate you. All right. Very quickly. Favorite Halloween happy

Jim Korkis:

Halloween to happy Halloween to the Manjaro family. Happy Halloween to the, uh, uh, listeners, and may it be a Disney Halloween for you all.

Lou Mongello:

Favorite Halloween movie, Disney or otherwise, go. Uh, Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Oh, very nice. Very nice. I'll have to put that question in the group too. I dig the scary, I like the scary ones. I like getting scared around Halloween.

Jim Korkis:

Yeah. Well, when, when you read my book, you'll see that there's so much behind Legend of Sleepy Hollow that we just take for granted. Great. That we, you know, and, and you, and you had people like, um, Blaine Gibson working on it and Yale, Gracie, and all the, and, and in an animation, uh, uh, uh, standpoint. And it's like really all these people literally went on to create all these horrific things. This is, you know, where they're getting their first little taste of, of Halloween. We gotta get out of here. We gotta get out of

Lou Mongello:

here. I gotta go. I gotta go back. I gotta

Jim Korkis:

go do some writing.

Lou Mongello:

I need to go to Hong Kong. I'm telling you that headless horseman

Jim Korkis:

thing. That's too scary for me. Way too scary. I'm a scaredy cat. That's

Lou Mongello:

too scary for me. Pinocchio, Pinocchio is frightening. It'll give you nightmares. Ahhhh.


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