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Is McDonald’s Bringing Back the Halloween Bucket for 2022?

If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, no doubt you remember the iconc Halloween buckets that McDonald’s gave out with Happy Meal orders in October.

Truth be told, we weren’t a big fast food family growing up, but when the spooky season hit, I was begging for McDonald’s just about daily. Who can blame me?!

If you didn’t collect all three variations, were you even living? And then, for seemingly no reason at all, the famed Halloween buckets were gone.

Except, if the rumors are to be believed, according to Nightmare Nostalgia there is reason to believe "on good authority" that the buckets are coming back!

McDonald's Sign at Night Photo

Is McDonald’s Bringing Back the Halloween Bucket for 2022?

In full disclosure, McDonald’s has so far been mum on the rumors that they’re bringing back the Halloween bucket for the 2022 Halloween season.

That does not mean we don’t have our fingers crossed! And it does not mean that the internet isn’t abuzz with excitement like a kid on Halloween night.

The delightful, seasonal Happy Meal pails have made several appearances over the years, but were last featured back in the fall of 2016.

Would I be absolutely thrilled if the Halloween buckets made a return this year? That is an undeniable, 1000% yes. Yes, I would.

McDonald's Halloween Buckets Photo

A History of McDonald’s Halloween Buckets

The origins of McDonald’s beloved Halloween pails dates back to 1986 with the release of three pumpkin buckets just in time for Halloween.

Styled to resemble a classic orange pumpkin or Jack O’Lantern, the buckets featured different faces known as McPunk’n, McBoo and McGoblin.

Following their huge popularity, the pumpkin pails were featured again in 1987 and 1989, after a pause in 1988 for unknown reasons.

McDonald's Boo Bucket Photo

In 1989, the fan favorite Halloween buckets were back, but this time McDonald’s introduce two entirely new bucket designs, no longer just pumpkins.

McBoo, with a classic Jack O’Lantern face, made a triumphant return along with McGhost and McWitch. These are the ones I remember from childhood!

The buckets continued in 1990 with just a few slight variations, like a redesignd McWitch face while McGhost’s white face now glowed in the dark.

In 1992 and 1994, the buckets featured cookie cutters in the lids, but then wouldn’t return until 1999 with a new deisn, and in 2001 the lids were nixed. 

McDonald’s continued to reiusse Halloween buckets periodically throughout the aughts and 2010s, but regrettably they haven’t made an appearance since 2016.

Why Did McDonald’s Stop Giving Out Halloween Buckets?

Nobody really knows for sure why McDonald’s has gone so long since last giving out Halloween buckets, but fans have no lost hope for their return!

In the 36 year history of McDonald’s Halloween buckets, it has not been unusual for McDonald’s to take frequent pauses in issuing the festive buckets.

Perfect for both storing small toys and bits and bobs, the Halloween buckets also make the perfect pail for trick or treating, especially for little kids.

So, will we see new Halloween buckets at McDonald’s this spooky season? Unfortunately, it’s probably too soon to know for sure.

Update: Shortly after publication, I was to indepdently confirm via a McDonald’s franchise employee that McDonald’s Halloween buckets will be available October 18, 2022 through Halloween night, October 31st. Hooray!

Our Favorite Halloween Treats

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Halloween! While we’re hopeful there won’t be a candy shortage this Halloween, here are a few favorite Halloween treats.

We’ve got you covered if you’re planning a Halloween party (check out our candy corn vodka recipe) or simply want to make candy corn Oreo pops!

Fans of a sweet and salty combo should try our candy corn trash recipe while our deviled egg eyeballs make a creepy addition to a party.

From icky intenstines bread to homemade candy apples to meringue ghost cookies, we’ve got a something fun (and tasty) to add to your spooky season.