Hocus Pocus 2 made waves last year when the long-awaited return of the Sanderson Sisters set records for minutes watched on Disney+. As Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Najimy returned to Salem for one more night, a few notables from the original film were missing, leaving fans wondering what happened.
Although the original Hocus Pocus film, released in 1993, didn’t garner much support or fandom until years later, the demand for a sequel has been brewing for literal decades. With that sequel, many expected to see fan favorites like Max Dennison, Dani Dennison, and Alison return to Salem in 2022. Instead, they were met with a mostly brand-new cast featuring Whitney Peak, Hannah Waddingham, and Sam Richardson.
Regardless of the lack of original characters, the return of Bette Midler, Najimy, Doug Jones, and Sarah Jessica Parker was more than enough to earn Hocus Pocus 2 impressive numbers on Disney+. It also promised a third installment to the series, which some speculate is already in production and could see the return of original cast members like Omri Katz, Sean Murray, Vinessa Shaw, and Thora Birch.
Luckily, fans won’t have to wait for a third movie to see the original cast Hocus Pocus return to Salem. The original crew from Walt Disney Picture’s hit film will be part of a dark and magical Halloween reunion this October in Salem, Massachusetts.
In partnership with The Horror Squad Podcast, Salem’s Black Hat Society, and the Creative Collective, Salem, the well-traveled Halloween destination of Salem, fit for any witch or wizard, is celebrating 30 years of Hocus Pocus, offering up a specialty ticketed event that details many of the theming locations of the 1993 cult-classic Disney picture.
The Salem News announced the new event, featuring Thora Birch (Dani Dennison), Vinessa Shaw (Alison), Omri Katz (Max Dennison), and Jason Marsden (voice of Thackery Binx), which will take place between October 20-21 this year.
“Last year was the first time Omri was here since he filmed the movie 30 years ago, and this being the 30th anniversary this year, it’s the first time the four of them will be back together,” said Joe Manganaro, a Horror Squad host. “It’s honestly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people to come out and see that, plus it’ll be great for them to experience Salem and see the filming locations.”
“As the marketing manager and programming manager on the Common for pretty much all the weekends in the month, I was brought into the conversation to figure out how we could get the cast in front of more of the community,” said John Andrews, executive director of the Collective. “The cast seems very passionate about Salem. I know they’re going to visit NAGLY. They’ve been very interested in how we work and how they can best come in and take part in it, while also understanding it’s an entirely huge happening with a lot of stakeholders and players, and moving parts, visitors, locals.”
Although it doesn’t seem that Bette Midler (Winifred Sanderson), Kathy Najimy (Mary Sanderson), and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah Sanderson) will make the trip back to Salem this year, the future for Hocus Pocus is very bright, with confirmation that all three will be returning for a third installment in the franchise.
As the love for the Sanderson sisters and Salem drives a high number of visitors each Halloween, bringing the original cast to the Salem Witch Trial site is a perfect fit for Disney Halloween fanatics. Since the film was released, it has grown in love and lore, becoming an essential part of the Halloween celebrations worldwide, even within Disney Parks. Seeing the appreciation of the original cast by the public of Salem is inspiring, as most weren’t included in the latest sequel to Hocus Pocus.
For those of you planning a trip to the Halloween capital of the United States this fall, be sure to consider dropping by for a visit with Disney’s spooky friends. Ticket information is available here itsjustabunchahalloween.com.