Ask ten people to name ten fantastic fictional baddies -- or even to name five -- and you'll find one pretty prominent theme: Captain Hook and Maleficent and Ursula and other memorable Disney villains have a way of charming their way onto those lists, again and again.
Disneyland, after all, isn't all singing princesses and glowing balloons and mouse ear-shaped marshmallow treats.
And the Magic Kingdom's creepier side is on full display come Halloween Time, which begins at the Anaheim resort not in October but, rather, the first half of September. Friday, September 12, to be specific, which is when the thousands of pumpkins, including a giant Mickey Mouse one, and orange-toned decorations make their seasonal debut at the world's most famous theme park.
Oh yes: And Mr. Jack Skellington, too. The Haunted Mansion appears in its full "A Nightmare Before Christmas" garb starting on Sept. 12, which means fans of Tim Burton's iconic stop-motion movie will hop a Doom Buggy to see Sally, Jack, and all the characters of Halloween Town. (They'll hold court inside the New Orleans Square attraction through the holidays.)
Will Space Mountain once again transmogrify into Ghost Galaxy? Boo. (Boo=you bet.)
Will Mickey's Halloween Party summon trick-or-treating kids over a few special nights in September and October? For sure -- it's a whole thing, wandering Main Street in costume. It's also a special ticket, so check it out before costuming up the tots.
Will other places in the parks, like ...it's a small world, have a bit of Halloween flair? Boo.
Plus a bevy of baddies -- think Captain Hook or others -- shall haunt Big Thunder Ranch, from time to time, during September and October.
As for spooky food treats, Dia de los Muertos displays, the Mad T Party in Disney California Adventure, and other goblin-like goodies? They're all in the macabre mix.
For sure, the Magic Kingdom does have its princess thing going on, and how. But how less textured the Disney catalog would be without its cadre of cads, yes?
Thank goodness they get to come out to play each autumn. Cue villainous cackling and pipe organ music...