In Frontierland of Disneyland, off the backside of the Thunder Mountain Railroad is a charming little petting zoo. During the month of October, an impressive array of gorgeous carved pumpkins are displayed in this area. Their styles and the skill with which they are made are astounding!
The pumpkins in this area are carved like all sorts of different Disney characters. Some are stencil silhouettes, others are deeply carved, and some are even painted.
Have a look at a few of the masterpieces- perhaps they will give you some inspiration for your next pumpkin carving endeavor!
Disney Pumpkin Stencils
Of all the styles presented in the display, the stenciled pumpkins are the easiest to reproduce. One can simply print out a template and trace guidelines into the pumpkin which one can either cut all the way through or shave around (as is the case in these photos).
To make the pumpkins last longer, the folks at Disneyland did not cut open and hollow out their pumpkins. This is a great option if you want to carve a pumpkin several days ahead of Halloween. You can even hollow out your pumpkin later on, scraping away the inside near where you shaved off the outer skin so that a light inside glows through the thin parts.
At the end of this article, I've plonked some links to the best sites for free disney pumpkin carving patterns that can be printed out and used as a guideline. It's amazing how easy it can be to re-create these looks!
More Elaborate Disney Pumpkin Carvings
The most impressive and elaborate pumpkins on display had been deeply carved with more advanced carpenter's tools. The most impressive gourds were large, which allowed for multiple characters to be carved into one space.
Some of the deeply carved pumpkins were also painted, which added a fabulous additional dimension.
A couple of the pumpkins on display even had other bits of pumpkin flesh attached to them to make up for extra parts. As you can see with the Captain Hook example, even a bit of black paper was added to finish the effect.
Free Disney Pumpkin Stencils
- Disney Family's Pumpkin Carving Patterns
These stencils are from an official Disney site- they're some of the best!
- DAPs Magic Disney Pumpkin Carving Patterns
Some good patterns from the unofficial Disney fan club
- Pumpkin Stencils: Disney Pumpkin Carving Patterns
These templates are simple and classic, plus easily printable
Disney Pumpkin Carving Tips
If these photos have inspired you to create a Disney Jack-o-lantern of your own, here's a summary of helpful tips to get you started on the right track:
- Start with a plan or template - either draw it directly on to the pumpkin or tape a printed template to the pumpkin and create a dotted line on the surface of the pumpkin by poking lines of tiny holes along the edges of the template with a pin.
- Pumpkin stencils can be used for cutting all the way through the pumpkin or just scraping off the surface; the latter options allows the decorative pumpkin to last longer.
- If you want the pumpkin to last longer, don't gut out the center (you can always do this later, right before Halloween when you want to light the center of the pumpkin.
- To add extra dimension to your pumpkins, add pipe cleaners, paper, hands, feet, or even additional pieces of carved pumpkin flesh.
- To make stencil carvings pop, add splashes of color with paint.
- If you're carving more deeply into the surface of your pumpkin, break out your wood carving tools - they are much more appropriate than basic knives!
I hope you've found these photos to be inspirational, and that you have fun with your pumpkin carving this year!
Have you carved a Disney-themed pumpkin before? What did you do and how did it come out?
Share your experiences in the comments! I'd love to hear about your pumpkin projects.
Paul Edmondson from Burlingame, CA on August 14, 2012:
These photos are fantastic.
louromano on March 17, 2012:
Fantastic hub ! I like this sites. Thanks !!
Madeleine Salin from Finland on November 04, 2011:
Great hub about beautifully carved pumpkins.
Mary Craig from New York on November 03, 2011:
Pumpkins and Halloween! Timely and remarkable. Wish I worked at Disney. Great article. Voted up, useful and beautiful for those beautiful photos.
Movie Master from United Kingdom on October 29, 2011:
Amazing and awesome!
I must try this! Brilliant photos.
Voting up and awesome.
Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 28, 2011:
This is such a creative idea for carving pumpkins! Thanks for the resources and all of the beautiful pictures.
RedElf from Canada on October 28, 2011:
Your photos are marvelous! The carvers showed such artistry and creativity! Wonderful hub, Simone.
Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on October 28, 2011:
Thanks for stopping by, y'all! Aren't these pumpkins amazing? I really admire the artists who created them. I'm also somewhat jealous!! Sitting in Disneyland all day, carving beautiful pumpkins... it doesn't sound like a bad way to pass the time!
Stephanie Henkel from USA on October 28, 2011:
These are so, so cute! Love the pictures and I'm sure they'll be an inspiration to all those pumpkin carvers out there with their carving tools at the ready. :)
gryphin423 from Florida on October 28, 2011:
Wow! I've got some serious respect for the carvers! Or I should say artists, amazing! Thanks for sharing :-)
Ahydz from Philippines on October 28, 2011:
Wow! Great art So beautiful!
plinka from Budapest, Hungary on October 28, 2011:
Pumpkin fun and pumpkin art. :-)
David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on October 28, 2011:
I love the caterpillars... they made me smile! a great collection of mirth!
Maria Giunta from Sydney, Australia on October 27, 2011:
These are so creative and some are really cute. Love the Nemo one. Nice hub Simone. Everyone have a good Halloween weekend.
Cindy Murdoch from Texas on October 27, 2011:
Oh my gosh! I just loved this. I am voting all the way across. This was way too cool. I can't wait to share this. Who would have thought you could get so ingenious with pumpkin carving. I liked the candy corn on top of the crown. :)
asmaiftikhar from Pakistan on October 27, 2011:
Dear Simon that is really useful,beautiful,amazing and awesome interesting article.glad to read that.voted up and keep it up!