McDonald's Halloween Buckets Are Returning (But Not Soon Enough)

When McDonald's decided to resurrect its Halloween Pails in 2022 after a long absence, adults and kids old enough to remember the spooky Happy Meal buckets were thrilled. But whether they'd get one for themselves or for younger children to enjoy was another matter to debate. All that mattered was that McGoblin, McPunk'n, and McBoo were back to contain our Happy Meals. It seems McDonald's got the message, and it's announced the return of the pails again for 2023.

This year's Halloween Bucket Happy Meals will feature an orange skeleton, a white mummy, a green monster, and the iconic purple vampire, which was one of the original Boo Buckets. But strangely enough, McDonald's press release reveals the new line of Boo Buckets aren't even being released until October 17 — just two weeks before Halloween. Now, many fans are wondering how exactly they're being rolled out and if there will really be time to collect all four.

"[If only] they had the dates of each release of each bucket and/or the locations, because last year, they said they ran out or they sold out while the staff was holding them and/or selling them higher," complains a Boo Bucket fan in an Instagram post by Snackolator. "Anyone know how McDonald's rolls these things out? Like a different one every week or what?" asks another.

Many fans are annoyed the buckets are lidless

According to McDonald's press release, this year's Boo Buckets are available at participating locations until stock runs out. Each pail comes with a Happy Meal, with the options of a hamburger, 4-piece McNugget, or 6-piece McNugget, along with apple slices, fries, and a kid's drink. The price will vary based on location, but typically, Happy Meals cost between $5 and $7.50.

Besides the short window to purchase them, the other issue irking customers was the lack of lids, something many also complained about with last year's Boo Buckets. "I didn't get last year's because it didn't have a lid. Looks like I'm doing the same this year," as one person says on Snackolator's Instagram post. "Why no lids... again??" writes another disgruntled fan.

As a way to remind fast food customers that they have an alternative to McDonald's Boo Buckets, Burger King unveiled that it will be debuting its own Halloween pail, simply called the "Trick-or-Heat" bucket, which will be released on the appropriate date of Friday, October 13. The bucket is black and glows in the dark, and it coincides with Burger King's Ghost Pepper Whopper and Ghost Pepper Chicken Fries, which will both be in stores beginning on October 12. Unlike the Boo Buckets, a "Trick-or-Heat" basket (which also doesn't seem to have a lid) can be added to any meal for $1.