Ahoy mateys! Pirates of the Caribbean has long been a fan favorite at the Walt Disney World Resort. Situated within the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, Pirates has been delighting young seafarers for ages to come. The famous ride has also inspired a cinematic franchise that spans four current movies. Aside from the mysterious mermaids lurking in the depths, or the chilling skeleton eerily at the helm of a wrecked ship, the ride is full of secrets just waiting to be discovered. Here are ten intriguing facts about Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean.
10. Walt’s Last Attraction
Pirates was the last attraction Walt Disney himself ever got to oversee. No one ever argued with the big cheese himself, even if he appointed an animator to write the script for the attraction. The ride will forever be known as his final attractions project.
9. Wax Museum
Pirates of the Caribbean was originally supposed to be a wax museum gallery, teeming with buccaneer figures and model boats. After his success with the Small World attraction, Walt decided to utilize audio, visuals, animatronics and boats to turn the gallery into an actual ride. Because the museum was already underway, Walt had to have it demolished and started from scratch. Thank goodness for Walt’s vision and trustworthiness, for one can infer how rigorous it must have been for workers to start over.
8. Davy Jones and Blackbeard
Upon beginning your journey into the caves of the boat tour, you will come across a mystical waterfall. Since the release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” guests had the opportunity to view the ominous presence of Davy Jones, staring them down. After the fourth film “On Stranger Tides” guests could see the sinister Blackbeard in the waterfall. Today, the attraction alternates between either dastardly villain.
Once you pass under the waterfall, you will soon hear the enticing and rather hypnotic sounds of mermaids. Their song echoes throughout the caves, and the remains of one of them can be found on the sand. However, most people do not ever see the second mermaid swimming alongside them. On the left side of your boat, a mermaid can be seen swimming across, her seafoam glow glistening against the surface of the water. Keep an eye out, because she is very fast!
6. Yo Ho! (A Pirate’s Life for Me)
The notorious and ever so catchy song was written by Disney Imagineers X. Atencio and George Bruns.
5. Perpetual chess
Guests in the fastpass queue of the ride will pass through a dungeon area. There, the skeletons of two pirates can be observed stuck in an endless stalemate of chess.
4. Captain Jack Sparrow
There are three opportunities to spot Captain Jack Sparrow on the ride. He can first be seen hidden behind a dress display, during the magistrate’s interrogation. Later, a pirate can be seen bragging about Jack never getting his hands on the treasure. Here the captain can be found poking his head out of a barrel. Lastly, everyone gets a great shot at Captain Jack as he lounges among and vast fortune at the end of the ride.
Beware the dreadful pirate captain! Many guests do not realize that Hector Barbossa is indeed leading the ship’s barrage against the fort on the ride. When he first appeared, he wore his classic coat and feathered hat from the Pirates trilogy. Now he can be seen draped in his British uniform from the fourth film.
2. Dinner theater
At one point, Walt almost included a dinner theater to go along with the excitement of piracy and adventure. This idea was eventually scrapped.
1. An Inexperienced Scriptwriter
X. Atencio was one of the best animators at Walt Disney Animation Studios. He is credited for exceptional work on the classical pictures of Dumbo and Pinocchio. It was Atencio that Walt decided should be his scriptwriter. To make this possible, Walt had him immediately transferred from locations and brought to work on the ride in progress. “I wondered if Walt was talking to the right guy,” Atencio said. “I had never scripted anything before, but Walt said, ‘I know you can do this.’ And that’s how I became a writer.”
The Pirates of the Caribbean will always be a fan favorite for generations to come. With each new film, the ride will continue to advance in entertainment. Be sure to experience one of the Magic Kingdom’s most famous rides!
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