We’re now into the month of October, and that means the Halloween season is officially upon us. If you happen to be a diehard Disney fanatic, who just happens to also love Halloween, then you already know that this time of year presents a plethora of possibilities for incorporating the beloved magic of Disney into this very popular seasonal celebration. Perhaps you are, even now, hard at work in preparing for the ultimate Disney-themed Halloween bash, slated for sometime later this month.
If this happens to be the case, then do remember that fun and festive albeit creepy, classic music is essential for the perfect party. But are you wondering about which Disney songs should be included on your playlist? There are, of course, some very obvious options you may already be familiar with from popular Disney films or even featured at park attractions. Others, however, are admittedly far more overlooked or even forgotten classics you may not have even considered before. Here’s a list we’ve compiled of 18 excellent recommendations that definitely need to be included on your Disney-themed Halloween party playlist.
18. “Headless Horseman”
Sung by the one and only Bing Crosby, this fun and fabled oldie was featured in The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad—an animated film produced by Walt Disney Pictures and released by RKO Radio Pictures in 1949. While often overlooked by even some of the most adamant Disney fans of today, once you hear this song about the infamous Headless Horseman legend, you cannot deny it a place on your Disney Halloween playlist.
17. “Pink Elephants on Parade”
Perhaps you didn’t expect to see a song from Disney’s original 1941 release of Dumbo make it onto our list of suggestions, but when you really stop to consider this creepy classic, it all makes sense. Not only is the melody itself haunting, but when you listen carefully to some of the lyrics, you can’t deny their perfect pairing with the Halloween motif. Just consider the following:
What’ll I do? What’ll I do?
What an unusual view!
I could stand the sight of worms
And look at microscopic germs
But technicolor pachyderms
Is really to much for me!
I am not the type to faint
When things are odd or things
But seeing things you know that ain’t
Can certainly give you an awful fright!
16. “Heffalumps and Woozles”
Again we present a song you might not have expected, this time taken from various Winnie the Pooh classics, including Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and even in the Disney World attraction of the same name (and various stage performances at various Disney Parks, additionally). A chilling original by Disney’s famed Richard and Robert Sherman, the creepy elements of this earworm melody are reminiscent of the former “Pink Elephants on Parade” though this song is admittedly far more catchy and familiar with folks. The song denotes Pooh’s nightmare about those ambiguous heffalump and woozle villains that can come in all shapes and sizes and are very sly. You need to beware! Beware…and add them onto this year’s playlist.
15. “Night on Bald Mountain”
This classic orchestral work by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in 1867 far predates the Walt Disney Company. But much of its fame and familiarity in modern society is undeniably credited to its incorporation into the timeless animated masterpiece Fantasia, produced by Disney in 1940. Even for those who aren’t avid listeners of classical music have undoubtedly heard this renowned, chilling musical score, which has become synonymous with horror and almost subliminal background shrieks. There’s no denying this one deserves a place of honor on your Disney Halloween playlist.
14. “Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” (Theme Park Music)
Anyone who has ever been to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at any Disney Park where it (once was/is currently) in full operation will instantly recognize that chilling, well-known theme music inspired by the cult classic Twilight Zone television series. Well, it goes without saying that this attraction’s musical score simply can’t be left off your ultimate list of Disney Halloween hits. Consider playing the whole loop if you can find an extended version. We recommend the one included in the Walt Disney World Official Album.
13. “Poor Unfortunate Souls”
Finally a solo song by a witch—even if it is a sea “witch.” Sung by none other than Ursula in Disney’s 1989 animated classic The Little Mermaid, this one is right up there on the list of the top Disney villain songs. Not only is it one of Disney’s most recognizable songs, but the smooth rhythm and easily remembered rendition of “poor unfortunate souls” makes it fun to sing along with. And don’t forget some of those key cunning lyrics including references to being a witch, having a cauldron, etc. It would be an “unfortunate” blunder to leave this one off the list.
Related: What Would Ursula Want From You?
While there is nothing particularly Halloween-like about Disney’s 1995 feature film adaptation of Pocahontas, this very vile song lays on thick the vicious hatred and conflict brewing between the settlers and the Powhatan. Some of the lyrics are surprisingly horrific and vulgar when you listen closely. Included in the list of shocking content are references to demons, devils, ideations about killing, and so much more. And that is why this song fits so perfectly onto any list of creepy content you’re looking to build, even if it is of the Disney variety.
11. “Snuff Out The Light”
Alternately known as “Yzma’s Song,” the legendary Eartha Kitt performed this smooth solo for an earlier version of Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove. However, the song was later cut from this often overlooked cartoon classic from 2000. But that doesn’t mean it should be cut from your playlist. There’s plenty in the smooth lyrics to suggest this for being a top Halloween hit. Just the idea of snuffing out light alone is enough to invite the darkness in. Other cues include references to the singer’s father being a mortician, magic, curses, looking better dead than alive, etc.
10. “Be Prepared”
This one’s a bit more recognizable to most Disney fans though still likely a surprise to include on a list of Halloween friendly songs. It’s sung by Scar in Disney’s The Lion King—more fully expressed in the animated version from 1994 than the recent live-action remake. The sinister beat and message behind this song should leave no doubt in any listener’s mind that this one is excellent to play at a Halloween party.
Featured in Disney’s 1996 animated adaptation of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, this chilling song starts out in a way that’s reminiscent of a Gregorian chant before the lyrics take a detour down a darker path via fiery lyrics about being bewitched by Gypsy magic, obsession, and internal struggles. The overall composition puts the listener in mind of something out of The Phantom of the Opera, though we must remind ourselves it is in fact a song from a Disney film and definitely one that should be added to the list.
8. “Once Upon A Dream”
Here is another example of a preexisting classical song, in this case Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s “The Garland Waltz,” also nicknamed the “Sleeping Beauty Suite.” Later in 1959 it was used in the Disney animated film classic Sleeping Beauty with added lyrics. The song then became better known as “Once Upon A Dream.” But that’s not the version we’re talking about. We’re referring to that hauntingly melodious “Once Upon A Dream” dreary deliverance by Lana Del Rey from Disney’s live-action Maleficent film from 2014. A chillingly eerie piece indeed, you have to be sure to include this one on the list.
7. “Trust in Me”
Here’s another sinister song that seems to slither smoothly and coil around the listener in a creepy way. That’s because it’s a snake singing it—in this case Kaa from Disney’s The Jungle Book. While both the animated 1942 classic and the 2016 live-action remake feature this song, it’s the later version by Scarlett Johansson that gets the prize for being the creepier of the two. So this is definitely the one you’ll want to go with.
With its unique storyline revolving around the budding relationship between a human cheerleader and a zombie football player, the Disney Channel original hit Z-O-M-B-I-E-S, which came onto the scene back in 2018, is by far one of the most ideal picks to kick back with for doing Halloween in full-fledged Disney-style. And as a musical, it features a lot of great songs and dance numbers you and your party guests just might want to get into yourselves. One of the movie’s best performances, though, is called “BAMM,” which is performed by the characters during a scene featuring the ultimate underground zombie celebration. Consider taking your party to the next level with this upbeat catchy number by assigning it a special place on your playlist.
5. “Rotten to the Core”
Another great Disney musical that meshes well with the whole Halloween theme is Disney’s Descendants, which premiered on the Disney Channel back in 2015. With a unique plot centered around the offspring of some of Disney’s most notorious villains, it features a wide range of wickedly witty songs and dance numbers with the most famous one being their signature opening number “Rotten to the Core.” A close second to also consider would be “Evil Like Me,” performed by Kristin Chenoweth and Dove Cameron in their roles as Maleficent and her daughter Mal.
4. “Ways To Be Wicked”
Two years later, Disney followed up its success from Descendants with a sequel, which unleashed a batch of brand new sinister songs in its wake. But in competing popularity with the first movie’s opening number is the second film’s opening hit “Ways to Be Wicked.” Both pair well with one another as the ideal Halloween package deal, and therefore neither one should be omitted from the final cut.
3. “The Is Halloween”
The title alone is telling enough that this featured song from the 1993 Tim Burton classic The Nightmare Before Christmas is an obvious no-brainer that should garner a place of honor on any Disney Halloween playlist. This ahead-of-its-time stop-motion animation masterpiece gets praise for numerous other original songs as well, all of which should be considered in addition to this top suggestion. Perhaps you ought to play it safe in covering more grounds by running the entire movie soundtrack.
2. “I’ll Put A Spell on You”
Here is another obvious must-have to add onto your list, featured in Disney’s timeless classic Hocus Pocus. As a cult classic that’s just a few years shy of its 30th anniversary, this live-action movie continues to withstand the tests of time as a Halloween mainstay tradition, as does this well-known and overly familiar tune. Performed by Bette Midler along with Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy in their roles as the witchy Sanderson Sisters, this highly recognizable song has become synonymous with Halloween celebrations. Perhaps this is owing to the fact that the song itself does in fact predate the film, though it cannot be denied that the film is responsible for the song’s popularity and longevity to a great extent.
1. The Haunted Mansion Attraction Soundtrack
The votes are unanimous. This is, hands down, the absolute most vital inclusion to have on your ultimate Disney Halloween-themed playlist. From start to finish, the entire musical loop featured in the beloved Disney Parks attraction The Haunted Mansion simply must be included in the lineup. It’s essential to do so for a spook-tacular celebration of Disney’s “liveliest” ghosts. You can find many versions of the Haunted Mansion attraction’s soundtrack, including a version spanning 5:32 minutes under the title of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” featured on the Walt Disney World Official Album we previously mentioned. The Story and Sounds from The Haunted Mansion Album from Disneyland Records, which was first released in 1969, is another awesome recommendation.
There are numerous other Disney-related songs to consider for a Disney-themed Halloween party. We also strongly encourage that you take the time to scout around and look at various Disney Halloween album collaborations that may be out there. On that latter note, two such suggestions we can offer include Walt Disney Records Halloween Songs & Sounds and Mickey’s Spooky Halloween Collection. Whatever other ideas you end up incorporating into your Disney Halloween-themed playlist, we wish you very happy haunts!