Whether you’ve visited Walt Disney World hundreds of times before or are going on your first trip soon, no visit to the Magic Kingdom is complete without taking a trip on Pirates of the Caribbean. While many people came to know and love Pirates of the Caribbean through the popular movie series, this was actually inspired by the beloved attraction that originated in Disneyland. These are just a few of the top reasons why Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic ride that shouldn’t be missed on any vacation.
Created by Walt Disney
Undoubtedly, the number one reason we love this attraction so much is its connection to Walt Disney himself. The ride features a group of pirates based in the West Indies during the 17th and 18th centuries, and the concept of the original attraction was created by Walt Disney. The original ride opened in Disneyland in 1967, and this ride was the last attraction Walt Disney would oversee the construction of before his death. He died just three months before its opening, but the Imagineers continued with his vision to create the ride we know and love today. The ride has now been recreated around the world, with each version of the attraction varying slightly.
Unique Worldwide Attractions
Apart from Hong Kong Disneyland, all of the world’s Disney resorts feature Pirates of the Caribbean. However, one thing we love about this attraction is how it’s slightly different in each park. Whether it’s the queue, the theming, or the ride itself, you’ll always find something new to look at. In some of the parks, you can even dine overlooking the attraction, which is an amazing experience for kids and adults alike. If you ever get the chance to travel to Shanghai Disneyland, don’t miss Pirates of the Caribbean there. This is one of the most technologically advanced attractions you will ever see, and you’ll be completely blown away by the upgrade they’ve given this classic ride.
A Timeless Experience
Pirates of the Caribbean in the Magic Kingdom appeals to visitors of all ages, and it’s a timeless attraction that anyone will enjoy experiencing. The ride is gentle enough that younger children and seniors will enjoy it, but it still contains a few small drops and incredible special effects. With the popularity of the movie franchise, fans were excited to see the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow into the attraction as well. Every time you ride Pirates of the Caribbean, you notice something new, and it’s stood the test of time and still attracts crowds each day in the park.
Yo Ho – A Pirate’s Life for Me
One of the things that most guests remember most following their ride on Pirates of the Caribbean is the theme tune. It was written by Xavier Atencio and George Bruns and was performed by The Mellomen for the soundtrack to the ride. This theme tune has been incorporated into many fireworks shows in the parks since this time and was also referenced in the movie. Kids and adults love singing along to this theme tune, and it makes the attraction a little more light-hearted for everyone riding it.
Can you imagine Pirates of the Caribbean without the audio-animatronic pirates and animals? The attraction just wouldn’t be the same without its dozens of audio-animatronics, which help to bring the story of the attraction to life. As technology has improved, you can see the upgrades that have been made to these characters from the original attraction, especially with the addition of the movie characters. Within the attraction, there are 630,000 gallons of water, and should the ride need to be emptied and refilled, that would take a whopping three days to complete.
Enter Through a Spanish Fort
When you walk up to the Walt Disney World attraction, it looks quite different from the entrance in Disneyland. This attraction is guarded by a watchtower and Spanish fort, which is called Castillo Del Morro. It was inspired by the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, which is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The queue then enters through the fort, and you’ll see cannons and pirate skeletons on your way into the attraction’s boarding area. You board the attraction in a cavern that’s quite similar to the original attraction before heading out into the water and on your adventure.
The chess-playing skeletons you see as you enter the attraction were placed there by the famous Imagineer, Marc Davis. He was the one who was in charge of designing the Magic Kingdom’s attraction, and this was a little fun touch he added to the line. On top of that, there are two different queues when you pass through the line, one of which is called the “Soldier” side, on the left, and the “Pirate” side on the right, which is usually used for the FastPass queue.
Not An Opening Day Attraction
You may be surprised to know that the Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction wasn’t there on the park’s opening day in 1971. While the park incorporated many of the most popular attractions from Anaheim into its original design, this was one that was left out. One of the reasons for this decision was Florida’s close proximity to the Caribbean, as it was felt the visitors wouldn’t be as enchanted by the attraction as in California. Visitors were extremely upset about this attraction not being included, and so Disney quickly announced the Florida park would receive their own version of Pirates of the Caribbean. This then opened in December 1973 and has remained operational since that time.
Inspiring the Movie Franchise
Pirates of the Caribbean was the inspiration for the popular Disney movie franchise, which began in 2003 with Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. With multiple sequels to follow, it was an extremely successful venture for the company. Since that time, the characters have now appeared throughout the parks, including in the attraction. While the attraction’s storyline has never been changed completely, Captain Jack Sparrow was added throughout various scenes. There have also been temporary projections in Magic Kingdom and Disneyland at the start of the ride, featuring Davy Jones and Captain Blackbeard.
On top of the movie franchise, the attraction has gone on to inspire a whole host of products and experiences within the Disney parks. Video games have been created to coincide with the movie release, and in the now closed DisneyQuest in Walt Disney World, there was a virtual attraction called Pirates of the Caribbean II: Battle for Buccaneer Gold, which opened in 2000. In Disneyland, Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island opened in 2007, which saw a reimagining of this area of the park and a stunt show with Captain Jack Sparrow for a short time.
Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most influential Disney attractions of all time, and it’s no surprise that guests visiting the Magic Kingdom for the day still consider this to be one of their must-see attractions. The theming of the ride appeals to visitors of all ages, and you’ll enjoy singing along to the theme tune while sailing through the waters of the attraction. The ride was the inspiration for the famous movie series, which increased the attraction’s popularity even more around the time of its release. On your next visit to Walt Disney World, make sure you don’t miss out on this classic ride and enjoy looking out for some of the hidden treasures we’ve mentioned above.