Man, was 2021 was one heck of a year? A lot of what made 2021 special was getting back to a semblance of what events used to regularly occur, even if they were scaled back. Slipping in between the ebb and flow of cases.
That’s why Midsummer Scream surprised us this year with not one, but three events scheduled throughout the year. The most recent of which was the biggest gamble yet, Season’s Screamings, which took the exact same spirit and culture that made Halloween what it is today, and brought it over to Christmas.
At this point, there are a few facets of every Midsummer Scream event that people look forward to. But this time around, while there were some talks and presentations to be held, it’s clear that couldn’t be a focus of the event because we’re well outside of the announcement period right now for any upcoming events. That left the bulk of the event relying on the vendors to bring their A-game. And they did. Everything was so photogenic!
Without the need to rush constantly to the event hall, it was nice to take in the myriad of booths. I had a fear early on that “Halloween meets Christmas” was just going to result in Jack Skellington and the rest of the characters everywhere, but that turned out to not be the case. Everyone stepped up and did Christmas in their own way which was an absolutely friggin’ delight and accomplishment. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a fun world, but it’s best to take it in measured doses. It’s just one facet of this crossover.
Even the “Hall of Yuletide Spirits” was festive and spooky at the same time. It worked! Like a Christmas miracle! The intro to the hall, decorated with carolers and actors in the world of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol worked because that’s literally a ghost story! Plus, seeing a giant evil gingerbread man chase around other attendees was a laugh riot.
There was a palatable excitement among the monsters, too. Something I hadn’t felt in a while, even at the Halloween events earlier this year. It just felt good to have a convention floor alive again, even if it was the undead.I’ve long thought about how “mazes” during Halloween are amazing and useful tools for telling a story, and it’s been limiting having them forced to be focused on a single holiday. Granted, while these were all very ‘scary’ little experiences, it was so refreshing for a change of pace. It felt new again.
And yes, there was plenty of sightings of the Krampus all over. The opening night even attempted for a Krampus run. I’m hoping next year there’s a bigger involvement of it. Because there were so many unique takes on that character, it made it exciting to find a new one. There was also a Y2022K bunker from Mr. He that was everything I hoped it would be. It’s so easy to forget about how New Year’s Eve when it gets bundled in with Christmas. And next to that was a crazy Dia De Muertos, but Christmas-y area. It worked. It all worked.
One notable presentation was by the famed Garner Holt. While nominally about their work on the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay at Disneyland, it was a great look into the history of the company and the extensive work they’ve done around the globe. It was very much a relaxing presentation, with Garner himself narrating a slideshow of his favorite memories working on the attraction, and just working on audio-animatronics in general.
Finally, the absolute highlight of the event was helping Barry ruin Christmas. This was a timed scavenger hunt put together by the rascal Jeff Heimbuch and there were prizes for the fastest teams. We didn’t start it until later, but we had an idea of what to expect seeing people going around trying to count the number of Gremlins on a banner, or give a passphrase to Mr. He in the bunker.
Given how glowing this article has been, it shouldn’t be surprising that in addition to 2022’s regular Midsummer Scream that Seasons Screamings has already been announced for a return in 2022, for the weekend of December 2nd! We’re excited!