Here's what you need to know about McDonald's Halloween 2022 pails, including how to get them, price...

How To Get McDonald’s Retro Halloween Happy Meal Pails

The wait is (almost) over.

Originally Published: 
Courtesy of McDonald's

McDonald’s fans have been on high alert this spooky season, eagerly awaiting the return of the brand’s beloved Halloween Pails. Well, the rumors were true: McDonald’s Halloween Pails are returning for the first time since 2016, and the classic trick-or-treat accessories will be hitting stores so soon. With so much hype surrounding their return, it might be tricky to get your hands on a bucket. Here’s the rundown on everything you need to know about McDonald’s Halloween Happy Meal Pails for 2022 before they hit restaurants, including how to get them, price, release date, and more.

Everyone knows Halloween is all about the candy, but McDonald’s is about to make a case for making the Halloween Happy Meal a star of the season. Since the Halloween Pails have been gone so long, you may need a recap on what they’re all about. Thankfully, the buckets’ 2022 return isn’t some newfangled take on a sacred tradition, so once you unlock that core memory — or read the refresher I’m about to fill you in on — it’ll all come screaming back to you. It’s been more than 35 years since the anthropomorphic buckets made their first appearance in 1986. Originally, it was just an orange pumpkin, and then the witch and ghost designs joined the crew in 1989. It’s the latter trio that’s coming back for 2022, and you’ll be able to score your own themed bucket (and a lid) when the Halloween Pails drop later in October.

To prep for the long-awaited Halloween Happy Meal return, here’s everything you need to know:

McDonald’s Halloween Pails Release Date

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, Oct. 18 — that’s when McDonald’s will be trading in its standard Happy Meal box for the scary-cute Halloween Pails.

How To Get McDonald’s Halloween 2022 Pails

You don’t have to have a secret passcode to snag a bucket. Once they hit stores, all you have to do is order your favorite Happy Meal, and it’ll come in a Halloween Pail. It might make you feel silly, but according to McDonald’s, ordering a Happy Meal is the only way you can grab the buckets — the Halloween Pails are the toys, you guys. The three Halloween Happy Meal options are:

  • Hamburger Happy Meal
  • 4-piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal
  • 6-piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal

Oh, and don’t expect to leave with your pail of choice, because the themed buckets will be given out at random.

Price of McDonald’s Halloween Pails Happy Meal

The Halloween Happy Meal will cost the same as a regular Happy Meal, according to McDonald’s. Prices are set by individual locations and may vary by store. To get an idea of what to expect, Happy Meal prices at my New York City McDonald’s range from $4.69 to $5.69. And my editor’s store in Chicago shows prices from $4.19 to $4.89.

How Many Halloween Pails Are There?

This year’s collection of Halloween Happy Meal Pails include a white bucket (McBoo), a green pail with a witch design (McGoblin), and the jack-o-lantern (McPunk’n). All three come with a pumpkin-shaped lid in the same color as the bucket.

While there are only three different pails, there are three different face designs for each of those pails, per McDonald’s. But all three designs are on the same pail — you’ll see different face designs as you turn the pail. The faces aren’t much different from one another since they really only have a slight change in expression, but you can turn the bucket as your mood sees fit. So, there are three different pails, but nine total face designs.

Courtesy of McDonald's

How Long Will McDonald’s Halloween Pail Happy Meals Be Available?

According to McDonald’s, the Halloween Happy Meals will be available at participating locations while supplies last. If the recent Cactus Plant Flea Market box at McDonald’s in any indicator, you can probably expect some competition when scoring the buckets. You might want to plan on getting there early on Oct. 18, because there’s nothing spookier than missing out on the Halloween Pails after all these years.

Whether you’re in need of a new bucket for holding all your candy, or you want it for the nostalgia, McDonald’s collection of Halloween Pails are the ultimate spooky season accessory you didn’t know you needed.

Editor’s Note: This post was updated to clarify there are only three different Halloween Pails and nine face designs total.

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