Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic Disney ride in both Disney World and Disneyland that’s a favorite among many. There are tons of details in the ride and lots of cool and interesting things to learn about it. It’s always been a popular attraction, but thanks to the movies it’s only gotten bigger with Disney fans. Because it was around for so long before the movies (dating back to Walt’s time) there are lots of fun facts floating around! Here are some of the favorite things I’d like to share.
- The original concept of Pirates of the Caribbean for Disneyland was for it to be a walk through wax museum. Once they started working on it, Walt wanted a larger space and had the waterway and boats put in to transport guests.
- The Pirates of the Caribbean ride existed long before the movies ever came out. After the films became extremely popular they added some of the movie characters into the ride, including Jack Sparrow and Barbossa.
- Pirates of the Caribbean was added to Disneyland park in 1967, but it wasn’t part of opening day at Magic Kingdom in Florida. Park creators originally thought that guests wouldn’t be as interested in a ride about the Caribbean over on the east coast because they were much closer to the actual Caribbean – but guest demand told a different story and the ride was added in 1973.
- Is it possible to make pirates politically correct? Disney attempted to make their ride a little more PC in 1999 during a refurb. In the auction scene the banner now says “Buy a Bride” – but the original one said “Take a wench for a wife.”
- The auctioneer in that scene is voiced by Paul Frees – that’s the same person who does the voice of The Ghost Host over at the Haunted Mansion.
- In the queue you can see two skeletons playing chess. They are locked in a permanent check – the only available move leads to a repetition of moves that will occur over and over again with no one winning. It’s very clever – so clever, in fact, that at one point a cast member knocked over the chess pieces and none of the Imagineers could figure out how to put it back the way it was. Luckily, they eventually found Marc Davis’s original sketch showing the set-up of the chess board.
- While the ride exists in both Disney World and Disneyland, it differs in each park. Disneyland’s is longer and has more scenes. One of the biggest differences is actually in the location – Pirates in Disney World is in Adventureland, but in Disneyland it’s in New Orleans Square.
- The fire effects in the ride were so realistic looking that the Anaheim Fire Department required them to build an automatic shut-off for the effect in case there was a real fire so they could tell the real fire apart from the fake one.
- There are over 120 animatronics in Pirates of the Caribbean, including humans and animals.
- Johnny Depp actually surprised guests in Disneyland by stepping into the ride in place of his animatronic character. Imagine going through the ride and seeing the real Johnny Depp there as Jack Sparrow!
Did you learn anything new about Pirates of the Caribbean? What’s your favorite fun fact?