Bridget McCarty: Disneyland Resort Pumpkin Carver Extraordinaire!

If you’ve been able to visit the Disneyland Resort during the Halloweentime festivities, you may have  caught a very unique experience taking place inside Big Thunder Ranch!  Disney artists have spent the last two months creating incredible pieces of art by scultping characters and themes into real pumpkins!

I was lucky enough to interview artist, Bridget McCarty, one of the Resorts featured pumpkin carvers, about her role in the Park.

 

Bridget McCart
Bridget McCarty
It’s obvious you have a love for Disney, based on your work, did you grow up as a Disney kid?
Totally! I visited the Parks whenever I had a chance and saved every little gift I ever bought there.  I loved it when family came from out of town – they wanted to stay at Disneyland from park open until close.  I also grew up in the 80s and 90s, so I watched the old school Disney cartoons religiously.
How did you get started as an artist?
I was raised with a mother who is an artist and painter.  I loved art as a kid so I decided to follow into art school.  I am trained as a character designer, background painter, and model builder. 
The first thing about your work that caught my eye, was your amazing pumpkin carving skills, How did you begin with that? Any special training?
You become a sculptor and build a reputation working for companies and build a portfolio.  Just like any other field or line of business.  I began with pumpkins because someone at Disney found me and was very impressed with my art. 
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What is your process like when you get a fresh blank pumpkin? Any particular shape you look for?
I work with all pumpkins and I find the orange ones are softer than the white ones. 
How long have you been carving for the Disneyland Resort?
Two seasons.
Do you have a favorite pumpkin you’ve designed? or have a favorite theme?
 I love creating Haunted Mansion pumpkins as well as Jessica Rabbit and Ariel. 
Do you ever do any competitions or carving events outside of the Resort?
Not really.  I do special guest spots and may be asked to do more in the future. 
Any advice for someone who wants to get into this type of unique art?
Basically become an artist or sculptor.  If you don’t want to do that, just try carving a pumpkin and see what you can do!
You also have some incredible paintings up in the Disney Gallery including some Haunted Mansion pieces, where do you pull inspiration from when you start a traditional painting?
I look at a lot of reference from the attraction and imagineering art.  It gets my brain thinking and it’s very inspiring to look at. 
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Any exciting pieces in the works we can look out for?
I am creating pieces for the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland and D23 2015.
The pumpkin carving is just for the Halloween/Fall festivities and sadly, it’s winding down.  But you have been a part of the Easter/Spring celebrations at the Ranch as well! Any plans to return as an Easter Egg Painter? 
I think I will be back, yes.  Normally, we get the call a few months before the season. 
Lastly, because we have to ask … What is your most favorite part of the Disneyland Resort?
I love Splash Mountain and Indiana Jones.  They opened around the time I was really into Disneyland as a kid.  My favorite movie is Alice in Wonderland. 

 

 

Thank you, Bridget, so much for taking time with us!

She can also be seen on the latest Disney Parks video featuring Pumpkin Carving in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. Today is the last day to see these awesome artists create some Halloween fun! If you’re around, go check them out!

 

Bridget can also be found on Facebook and Instagram: bridgetmccartyart

 

If you have any questions or comments for Bridget, please leave them below!

 

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!!

Annie Hobbs

Annie Hobbs

Annie is Disneyland's unofficial resident Mermaid Artist. She can be found doodling on paper scraps, Starbucks cups, and unattended shoes...
Annie Hobbs

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Annie Hobbs

Annie is Disneyland's unofficial resident Mermaid Artist. She can be found doodling on paper scraps, Starbucks cups, and unattended shoes...

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