Yesterland
 
Halloween Carnival
at Big Thunder
Ranch Jamboree

 
(2012, 2013, and 2014)
Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

There’s a carnival in Yester-Frontierland. It’s at Big Thunder Ranch. Or, more accurately, it’s at the Jamboree area deep inside it.


That’s the old Festival Arena where The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Festival of Fools used to be performed.

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Entrance to Big Thunder Ranch, gateway to Halloween Carnival

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Ticket booth

Carnivals have ticket booths. So there’s one here too. But this carnival is free! At least it’s free if you don’t think about what you paid to get into the park.

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Daily schedule

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Billy Hill and the “Haunted” Hillbillies

Most of the year, the Hillbillies aren’t haunted, but they’re always talented and entertaining. Perhaps they’ll treat you to their versions of “Ghost Riders in the Sky” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Ghosts and devils are appropriate this time of year.

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Hay bale queue for Conjure a Villain

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Jafar, one of several villains who might be conjured

Step into the Conjure a Villain tent for a cute little show. Your host teaches you the magic spell, “Higitus, Figitus” (and clap twice). With the help of a child from audience, a steaming cauldron, and a magic wand, there’s a puff of smoke and a villain materializes in your presence.

It could be Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Captain Hook, Cruella De Vil, Jafar, or any other Disney villain. Well, maybe not any other Disney villain. Nobody has reported seeing Bowler Hat Guy from Meet The Robinsons.

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Spin for a fortune card

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Make a mask or color a Halloween Disney picture

After you make a Halloween mask at the craft station, follow Mickey and his pals around the carnival in a “Mask-Parade.”

There are Disney characters wandering around, casually interacting with guests. This isn’t one of those cases where you need a FASTPASS or a long wait in line just to spend a minute with a character.

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

A game where you toss rope rings onto witch hats

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Donald Duck, costumed for the occasion

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Where’s Pluto’s Halloween costume?

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Minnie and Mickey entertaining children while the Hillbillies perform

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Carnival Treats kiosk

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Carnival Treats menu

Every good carnival has food. And this one is no exception. Try the Fried Apple Burrito. There are plenty of tables in front of the stage. Food tastes better when you’re listening to the Hillbillies.

There’s a lot that’s clever and fun at the Halloween Carnival. It’s a relaxing escape from the rest of the park. And it’s perfect for Annual Passholders seeking something a little different during the Halloween season.

Where else can you see such wonderful pumpkins? And you even watch the carvers transform orange-colored produce with a thick rind into works of art.

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Pumpkin carvers who are genuinely incredible

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Mary Poppins Pearly Band pumpkin

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Pumpkin artist Bridget at work

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Incredible!

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Pumpkin featuring Jack Skellington’s spider snowflake from Nightmare Before Christmas

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Haunted Mansion pumpkin

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

“it’s a small world” pumpkin

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2014

Elsa and Anna pumpkin

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

A Happy Halloween from the Halloween Carnival

And a Happy Halloween from Yesterland!


Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree ran three consecutive Halloween seasons:

September 14 through October 31, 2012;
September 13 through October 31, 2013;
September 12 through October 31, 2014.

Each year, there were some changes to Halloween Carnival, but the overall experience was similar.

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2015

Big Thunder Ranch portal during the Halloween season, 2015

Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2015

Halloween decorations, 2015

The final full year for Big Thunder Ranch was 2015. But it turned out that 2014 was the final year for Halloween Carnival. Although Disneyland could have mounted it one more time, that didn’t happen.

In 2015, the front of Big Thunder Ranch, including the cabin and Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue, was adorned with jack-o’-lanterns and other fall decorations. But the Jamboree area remained unused.

Big Thunder Ranch closed forever January 10, 2016, to make way for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disneyland’s Star Wars-themed land.


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Updated May 20, 2017.