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Disney Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns

by | Oct 26, 2019

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Halloween night would not be complete without the doorsteps of the neighborhood being illuminated with orange glowing pumpkins, each carved with care and distinctive character for everyone’s enjoyment. The jack-o-lantern is the hallmark symbol to all trick-or-treaters that your house is celebrating All Hallow’s Eve and that all ghouls, witches, and monsters are welcomed to knock on your door to get a tasty treat.
Our houses are always decorated in the Disney Halloween fashion. Every year we pick a theme and carve several pumpkins to show our favorite Disney characters or scenes. We have gathered past and present Disney jack-o-lanterns from our own homes and the Disneyland Park to help inspire you this Halloween. We have created templates from our past pumpkins and will share with you our tips and tricks to getting your ideal spooktacular Disney jack-o-lantern this season.
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[Disneyland, CA Big Thunder Ranch]

Pumpkins- Fresh or Artificial?

In the past, we were purists when it came to what we carved. It was fresh pumpkins all the way. In recent years, the quality of the artificial pumpkins has become a great option due to the improving look of them but more importantly, the way they can be carved. You can cut, chisel, and scrap away – just like a real pumpkin.

Fresh Pumpkin

The pros for using Fresh Pumpkin is that it is the classic choice and easy to obtain. Every year your carving can be different. For us, we always have at least one fresh pumpkin. This is mainly for the seeds we like to roast every year,  but also for that distinctive Halloween smell you get when a candle is placed inside your freshly carved pumpkin. We like to cut a hole in the bottom for easy lighting and we have noticed that our pumpkins seem to last longer. Seed removal can also be easier with this method. We have experienced instances where the pulp was attached to the bottom and when removed, the majority of the seeds and pulp were pulled out in one stringy lump.

Artificial Pumpkins

The pros for using Artificial Pumpkins are that you can carve it once and the following year your set up will be half the time with no mess. You also don’t have to worry about your pumpkin rotting before Halloween.  A low-wattage light must be used and a dry environment is strongly recommended for such devices, especially if it is battery operated. In areas where candles may not be allowed,  this is an excellent option. We also found that cutting the artificial pumpkin can render some cleaner lines and it allows for more intricate work due to no pulp or varied thickness which can cause designs to break or collapse. If you wait for artificial pumpkins to go on sale, it can turn out to be a more economical choice for the years ahead.

Useful Tools for Creating the Best Jack-o-lantern


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Ice cream scoop, metal serving spoon, or rice paddles work great.


Knives such as kitchen, utility, and/or X-Acto are great to cut the top or bottom along with starting initial cuts to saw out pieces. For the design work, we like to use a combination of Pumpkin carving kits, Pumpkin Punchers, and our favorite Battery-operated pumpkin saw. It is powerful enough to give your hand a break but not so powerful it gets away from you like a Dremel or drill can, and it works amazing on artificial pumpkins


Tea lights are the best choice for a safe candle. They have a low flame and burn out by the end of the evening. Other options are low-wattage lights such as,  Outdoor mini string lights (50-count) and Battery-operated lights which come in every possible shape, size, and color. This year we are using Color changing lights with remote and timer in our artificial pumpkins.


We have created some Disney inspired designs for you to print and use on your pumpkins.


Step 1: Choose your designs and print. If template size needs to be adjusted, scale up or down in 10% increments within your printer settings. Follow your printer’s instructions.

Step 2: Pin your design to your pumpkin where you want the design to be carved.

Step 3: Use a pushpin, nail, or the tool that comes in the carving kit to poke holes around the edges of the gray areas which are to be cut out (or scraped away, depending on aesthetic preference).

Step 4: Follow your lines and cut or scrap.

Step 5: Light and see if any more carving needs to be done.

Step 6: Clean up lines using a fine carving tool or scrapper.

Place outside and take a moment, before you have to get the Trick-or-treat candy ready, to enjoy your creation.

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[Dream. Wish. Blog. – Front Porch 2017]
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To add a warm and spiced fall scent to our front door this Halloween, we like to push fresh cloves into the rind of our freshly carved pumpkins. The mild heat from the candle acts like a diffuser and the cloves are small enough that they stay put once embedded.

For the artificial pumpkins this year, we are going to add some cinnamon sticks and cloves to a small dish inside the pumpkin and see if we can get the same results.


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