Jack-O-Lantern design tips from Disney’s Magic Kingdom pumpkin carving masters

in Disney, Entertainment, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Less than two weeks ago, we brought you a first look at Disney’s themed carved pumpkins adorning the Magic Kingdom. Now Disney is sharing ideas on how to design your Halloween jack-o-lantern.

They’re boasting 182 unique designs all along Main Street U.S.A., including different designs and shapes like a hot dog pumpkin over Casey’s Corner and even a snowman pumpkin. These hand-carved pumpkins on the buildings and in windows have been redesigned with different designs and shapes, according to David Hartmann, an art director with Walt Disney Entertainment.

Here’s a video round-up of the pumpkin designs they’ve created this year:

For those of you who will be carving your own jack-o-lantern for Halloween this year, Disney has also offered some advice, straight 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.>/li>
  • 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.
  • My own tip is to pick a design that appeals to you personally. Don’t worry about what others want to see. It’s your pumpkin and you can create whatever you’d like. I usually choose a character I’m fond of from movies, television, or video games, and run with it. A pumpkin carving pattern can be found online for nearly every pop culture character, so you don’t even have to be an artist to create an amazing jack-o-lantern. It just takes time and a little focus to get the job done. Happy haunting!

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