If you walk through Frontierland during Halloween Time at Disneyland park, you can’t miss the beautifully decorated oak tree near the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, with glowing orange lights and hand-painted jack-o’-lanterns hanging from its branches. The tree, which is inspired by Ray Bradbury’s 1972 fantasy novel “The Halloween Tree,” was dedicated to the author on Halloween night in 2007.
Bradbury, a lifetime Disney fan and the author of classic American novels such as “Fahrenheit 451,” met Walt Disney in 1964. In the years that followed, Bradbury helped develop many attractions at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, most notably Spaceship Earth at Epcot. He also penned the screenplays for two Disney films, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” (1983) and “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit” (1999).
Bradbury’s novel “The Halloween Tree” tells the story of a group of trick-or-treaters who learn about the origins of Halloween while on an adventure to find their missing friend. Bradbury dreamed of having a Halloween Tree at Disneyland, and on the 35th anniversary of the novel, his dream was brought to life. “I belong here in Disneyland, ever since I came here 50 years ago. I’m glad I’m going to be a permanent part of the spirit of Halloween at Disneyland,” the author said at the tree’s dedication. Bradbury would visit the tree before he passed away in 2012.
Today, the Halloween Tree delights guests of all ages and honors Bradbury’s many contributions to The Walt Disney Company. A plaque at the base of the tree commemorates the night of its dedication: “On the night of Halloween 2007, this stately oak officially became ‘The Halloween Tree,’ realizing famed author Ray Bradbury’s dream of having his symbol for the holiday become a part of Disneyland.”
Bradbury’s icon continues to be part of Disney Halloween magic even outside of Disneyland park. If you’re celebrating the Halloween season aboard one of the four ships of the Disney Cruise Line this year, don’t miss the Pumpkin Tree in the lobby that is inspired by “The Halloween Tree.”
Have you visited the Halloween Tree during Halloween Time this year?
Erin, I am so excited to be in Disneyland this Monday! We made johnny fedora and alice bluebonnet hats from scratch for the Halloween Party! I cannot wait 🙂
I love it! Have a great time!
Bradbury’s story also had a memorable animated version for TV, now available on Warner MOD disk.
(An annual favorite at our house.)
Ray Bradbury is a literary genius, the benchmark standard for short story writing and an incredible author of many types of works. And with how much Disney emphasizes (and does well with) storytelling, how fitting that the Disney and Mr. Bradbury have such a strong tie. Thanks for sharing this great story Erin, we will make sure to look out for the tree the next time we visit Disneyland!
Not only have I visited the Halloween Tree (and photographed it) over the years, I have also told other people about it so they can be sure to see it during their Halloween Time trips!
The Halloween Tree is one of my favorite things about Halloween Time at Disneyland. In the daytime, one can walk past it and look upon it as a quiet, simple, understated gem. At night, however, the tree comes alive in vibrant color, casting an almost eerie glow on the Frontierland pathway!
I also love that most of the pumpkins hanging on the tree have different expressions, and seemingly unique ‘personalities.’
Mr. Bradbury was a literary legend, whose work I first became familiar with in the “I Sing the Body Electric” episode of “The Twilight Zone.” I am so glad that he has a permanent place in Disney history as well.
Well said, Sherry!
When I was a teenager, I attended a weekend church retreat, and Ray Bradbury was our keynote speaker! What an amazing man. I will always remember that weekend… And yes, I was fortunate enough to visit the Halloween Tree at Disneyland earlier this month!