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Disney Tips For Designing Your Jack-O-Lantern

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

If you’re looking for ideas on how to design your Halloween jack-o-lantern, we’ve got 182 of them – and they all can be found on Main Street U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park.

It’s not the usual squares and rectangles for pumpkins at Walt Disney World Resort this season – they’re unique. Different designs and shapes include a hot dog pumpkin over Casey’s Corner and my favorite snowman pumpkin. There’s even a pumpkin featuring a spilled ice cream cone.

The Magic Kingdom Park hand-carved pumpkins on the buildings and in windows are redesigned with different designs and shapes, according to David Hartmann, an art director with Walt Disney Entertainment. Disney’s Event and Decorating Support then took David’s sketches and made them real. Check out some of David’s best in a quick video.

If you’re carving your own jack-o-lantern in the next few days, here’s some advice from the people who make Main Street, U.S.A. so unique this time of year:

Pick your pumpkin – Before you buy, put your potential pumpkin on the floor or ground and make sure it sits straight. If you can “see” where the face should go, it’s the right pumpkin for you.

Start sketching on paper – Once you start cutting into the pumpkin, it’s too late to go back. First, draw your design on a piece of paper (grocery bag, old wrapping paper, newspaper) the same size as your pumpkin. Once you’ve got your design just how you want it, you’re ready to move the design to your pumpkin. Disney’s Event and Decorating Support used an overhead projector and a black marker, but you can just as easily use a toothpick or fork. Hold your pattern to the pumpkin and poke a tiny hole through the paper every half-inch or so. When you take the paper away, you’ll have a dotted outline to follow.

Carve the lid at an angle – If you cut up-and-down around the pumpkin’s stem, your cap could fall through. Don’t worry if you don’t carve a perfect circle. That will actually help you find the “right” way to put the lid back on.

Skip the candle – All of the pumpkins along Main Street, U.S.A use LEDs (light-emitting diodes). Much safer than an open flame, LEDs don’t get hot. The also last longer than a candle and won’t blow out in the wind. New LEDs even flicker like a real flame.


  • Thank you so much for this post! Every year when I come to Disney in early October I stalk up and down Main Street trying to find a pumpkin idea to take home with me. This year I completely forgot, so thank you!

  • Thank you for all your attention to detail. I’m a long time Disney fan, my mom was there on opening day. Everyone in my family has worked there (including myself as a hat writer in the 80’s) and I was blown away by the halloween decorations this year! The only thing I love as much as Disneyland is Halloween, and you brought them together in a spectacular way!

    When the lights went down prior to and during the fireworks….the eerie glow of the jack-o-lanterns were truly magical!

  • We noticed these when we visited the Magic Kingdom a few weeks ago. It’s just another detail that makes us want to always come back! We really enjoyed checking out each one.

    Thank you for the great post!

  • These pumpkins are awesome! I absolutely love the bowl of spaghetti above Tony’s Town Square!

  • Wow….these pumpkins are amazing. I can’t wait to try and carve a unique one for my family. Also, if you have never seen the disney pumpkins you really should.

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