Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ray Bradbury's "Halloween Tree" in Disneyland (The actual tree! Well, kinda.)

(This is probably a stretch for Sci-Fi November. Maybe it's more fantasy. But I think that counts)

So, there is a Ray Bradbury book that I love called The Halloween Tree. It's about this group of boys in the Midwest and how one  Halloween they and a mysterious man named Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud move through time and space to see how Halloween came to be as we celebrate it. Or other things that feed into how we feel about death and creepy things. Like Samhaim in ancient Ireland, Dias de Los Muertos in a small Mexican village, and (my personal favorite) the building of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and just how did all of those creepy gargoyles get up there anyway? The titular Halloween tree is a huge tree in from of Mr Moundshrouds' creepy mansion in a ravine (because of course). When the boys stumble across it the tree has hundreds of jack o lantenrs filled with candles hanging from it's branches that all suddenly light of their own accord (awesome! scary!) 

Ray lived for most of his life in Southern California (though he is a Midwestern boy by birth, hence a lot of his story settings in the Midwest) and became friends with a man named Walt Disney. Two people with very active imaginations, I can only imagine what some of those conversations sounded like to an outsider! Ray was especially involved in Epcot in California. (I think he even wrote the narrative that plays when you go on the ride through the golf ball looking thing, but don't quote me on that).

Walt honored Ray and his friendships and contributions to the Disney "vision" by naming a tree in his park "The Halloween Tree" and every Halloween it's decorated with hundreds of jack o lanterns in it's branches. There's even a plaque! I imagine thousands of people walk by it every fall not knowing that it's Ray's tree. I found out about it on accident while scrolling through Pinterest looking for activities for when Quinn and I were at Disneyland (that post coming soon). I decided I MUST FIND THIS TREE. Luckily, one of my cousins works for Disney and was able to find the tree for me so I could take pictures with it. It was kind of dreary and spooky with none of it's leaves and no longer decorated for Halloween and I thought it was perfect.

Thanks Quinn for the tree photo shoot!



  1. I am going to Disneyland next month and will try to find this tree. That was an interesting piece of information that I did not know. I also did not know that Ray and Disney were friends. Where exactly in Disneyland is it?

    1. It's in Frontierland. I remember it being kind of by the Riverboat on a little side road.

  2. I've been to Disney World more times than I can count, but not to the Park in California, so I had no idea about this!


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