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The Russo family from Wizards of Waverly Place standing inside the subway train set up in their restaurant: Waverly Substation
Photo by Disney / Design by Nick Collini

A Disney Channel Halloween: Rewatching the Wizards of Waverly Place Halloween Special

This Halloween, I’ve decided to go back to my childhood by rewatching things that remind me of celebrating Halloween as a kid. To be honest, as a Brazilian, Halloween was never a big thing in my house, so most of my Halloween memories have to do with North-American content, such as Disney Channel’s Halloween celebration. So, I decided to rewatch the Wizards of Waverly Place Halloween episode and here are my thoughts!

In season three, episode two, the Disney channel series created a Halloween special titled “Halloween” which aired over 12 years ago on Oct. 16, 2009. It is now available to stream on Disney+.

The episode begins with Justin planning a haunted house at the Waverly Sub Station. According to him, it’s not a regular haunted house, it’s “an amusement attraction that teaches people lessons about the gravity of life’s decisions.” And this year’s theme is: “Peer Pressure: When Good People Make Bad Choices.” 

Harper and Max are on board, but of course, Alex hates the idea. As for my opinion, I think it’s very interesting and smart, but not for Halloween. Where are all the creepy things? 

Besides Alex not liking Justin’s idea for a haunted house, the Waverly Place Neighbourhood Association also isn’t a big fan. They show up at the Russo’s shop to say that if they keep creating boring haunted houses that they will ban the family from ever participating again. The association leader, in turn, asks them to make the haunted house really scary. 

Justin doesn’t think they can pull it off and decides to quit, but Alex knows exactly where to turn to: the Wizard World. What they plan to do is create a haunted house with some real––not-so-scary––ghosts from the Ghost District at the Wizard World so that Justin and Alex’s mom doesn’t suspect they used magic. 

The ghosts Alex ends up finding and taking back to the Waverly Sub Station turn out not to be very scary––in fact, they get scared by Alex. After failing to train the ghosts to scare people, Mama Russo asks them to go back to the Wizard World to find terrifying ghosts. 

After searching, Alex and Harper manage to find the ghost who used to haunt Justin as a kid. Of course, Alex decides to take it on fun test-drive to the human world to give Justin a good scare for old times sake. In the end, the Sub Station actually looks really great. It’s not that scary without the ghosts at first, but it’s very Halloween-esque. Once Alex gets to the Sub Station at the last minute, she saves the day with the scary-scary ghosts who actually end up petrifying all the children attending and even the leader of the association. On account of his fear, he bans the Russo’s from ever hosting another haunted house again.

The entire episode gave me serious flashbacks. Justin and Alex’s relationship is so funny and the Russo family dynamic is super cute. It’s very refreshing to see a family––especially a Latino family––work together so well. At the end of this episode, even though they lost their rights to participate in another haunted house, they hug it out and move on to enjoy their Halloween. 

So yeah, a not-so-scary episode, but definitely nostalgic and worth the watch. An even better idea is to binge an entire marathon of Disney Channel Halloween episodes. Disney+ actually curates a whole section for that under “Disney Channel Halloween Episodes” on the app or the online browser.

Mariana is second-year Journalism student from Brazil. She is quite obsessed with pop culture and loves to write about it. When she’s not studying she is probably watching some Netflix (and taking notes on whatever she’s watching).
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