Halloween Screams: A Villainous Surprise in the Skies is a Halloween-themed fireworks show that is presented at Disneyland during the seasonal Mickey's Halloween Party event. Based on the similarly-themed HalloWishes at Magic Kingdom, Halloween Screams is hosted by Jack Skellington and features appearances from Disney Villains and music from Disney animated features.
The show was produced by Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, and its development was supervised by Steven Davison and designer Eric Tucker. This display was held nightly in 2009, during Disneyland's Halloween Time Celebration. The show is similar to that of Walt Disney World Resort's HalloWishes and uses portions of the show's audio. The Anaheim version differs in that it is hosted by Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. The show ran from September 25, 2009 to November 1, 2009 (the duration of Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort) and since 2010, it now runs exclusively for Mickey's Halloween Party. On non-party nights, the current Disney fireworks show runs unless Halloween Screams was cancelled due to winds or other issues the night before and must be presented as the fireworks can't be removed from their tubes in the event of a cancellation.
The show opens with the overture from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, an instrumental medley of songs from the film including "What`s This?" and "Making Christmas". Zero (Jack Skellington’s dog from the film) flies above Sleeping Beauty Castle. He is shortly joined by Jack, or rather his head (in the form of projection onto a sphere shaped balloon), located on the upper left of the castle. These projections can also be viewed along the Rivers of America, which recycle the mist screens used in Fantasmic!. There are only searchlights and projection mapping used in the show's introduction. No actual pyrotechnics are used for the first two minutes.
Jack and Zero fade into the night and the first pyrotechnics are launched when "Grim Grinning Ghosts", from the Disneyland attraction the Haunted Mansion, begins to play. Projections of rising ghosts make an appearance on the castle. The music from "Grim Grinning Ghosts" changes to an upbeat pop tempo, as synchronized isobar flames, shoot up from both sides of the castle. Then the mood is set with "This is Halloween" from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Then Disney's most infamous villains begin to arrive, beginning with Ursula (from The Little Mermaid). The guests are serenaded with a montage of Disney's most spookiest music. Later, Oogie Boogie (from The Nightmare Before Christmas) soon follows, and arriving last is Maleficent (from Sleeping Beauty), showing guests how Halloween should really be celebrated. The party ends with Jack and Zero initiating the "scream-along" grand finale.
× — Instrumental version is played.
The projections used on the sphere to the upper left of the castle were later used as projections on the Fantasmic! mist screens at the Rivers of America during the show. The decision to have video playback during the fireworks was made in October 2009. In 2015, the projectors installed for Disneyland Forever at the castle were also utilized. Not only are they an addition to the show, they are also used to project various images during the party hours. Projections used on the sphere were modified as well.
The show is now only performed during Mickey's Halloween Party, for party guests only. On occasions where the show is cancelled during the Halloween Party, the show is presented the next night, even if this is not a party night, as the fireworks can't be taken out from the launch tubes to be saved for another night.