Disney Parks Wiki
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean Magic Kingdom.jpg
Magic Kingdom
Land Adventureland
Designer WED Enterprises
Attraction type Boat
Theme Pirates of the Caribbean
Opening date December 15, 1973
Ride duration 8:30 minutes

Pirates of the Caribbean is an immersive dark ride in the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

It did not open with the rest of the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971. The Imagineers felt that residents of Florida would not have an interest in local pirates, so a unique new attraction was being planned for the Florida park: The Western River Expedition. But development of that new attraction was delayed and never did get built. Guests began asking where the Pirates attraction was, and so, due to pubic demand, a smaller variation of the original Disneyland attraction was opened as part of the Caribbean Plaza addition to Adventureland on December 15, 1973.

Attraction summary


The attraction, guarded by the Caribbean watchtower Torre del Sol, is housed in a golden Spanish fort called Castillo Del Morro, inspired by Castillo de San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Inside is a Pirate's Cove leading into a short grotto with skeletons of dead pirates, the hurricane lagoon, and an echoing "Dead men tell no tales".

The position of the pieces on the chess board in the attraction's pre-show is not random. Marc Davis carefully arranged the pieces so that any move will result in a never-ending game - hence the skeletons who have been playing the same game since 1973. The pieces were accidentally moved during a minor refurbishment and were not returned to their proper positions until someone found Marc Davis's original sketches.


The ride begins with the boat passing through a grotto. An island on the left has skeletons of pirates while a disembodied voice repeatedly says "Dead Man Tell No Tales." The boat continues through a scene where the skeletons of pirates are being occupied by a crab and a seagull, followed by the wreckage of a ship in a storm with a skeleton at the wheel. The boat then goes down a 14 foot drop into a dark passage.

Main show

At the end of the passage is a battle between a pirate ship and an island fortress. The ride continues as the boat passes through a town being ransacked and see Carlos the town mayor who is being dunked multiple times into a well in an attempt to get information from him while his wife shouts at him to not listen to the pirates on the location of Jack Sparrow and the town's treasure. Jack Sparrow hides against some dresses looking back over his shoulder at the pirates who are searching for him as this happens.

The boat next passes a scene where pirates are auctioning off the townspeople's belongings. The auctioneer is trying to sell off a group of hens, but the other pirates chant "We wants the rum!" The boat goes under a bridge and in an area where two pirates run off with a treasure chest, a woman holding a pitchfork chases a pirate holding onto chickens, a woman with braided hair holding a rolling pin chases a pirate holding a bowl of fruit and a fat lady chases a pirate with a broom. An overweight pirate sitting on the left holds a map and says that Jack Sparrow will not be able to find the treasure without his map and key while his dog barks at him, trying to point out that Jack is in a barrel behind him. On the right is a drunk pirate talking to a group of cats.

The boat then passes under another bridge and into a burning town. There are three singing pirates, a donkey and a dog who are singing along to the song "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me.)" More pirates are stealing treasure, singing, and carrying the torches which set the city alight. The boat then passes under a bridge; to the right is a pirate passed out and surrounded by pigs, and above sits a pirate dangling a leg down as a nearby parrot sings along with him. After this is a jail cell with its prisoners trying to escape by attempting to lure a dog who has keys in its mouth over to them. On the left is the key from the prior scene in an opened door, and a drunk Jack Sparrow sitting in a large chair surrounded by treasure speaking about his exploits while singing bits of Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me) to a nearby parrot. The ride then ends as riders exit on the left and take a speed-ramp up to a gift shop.


Pre-2006 changes

A Barker Bird was originally installed in the unloading area when the ride opened in 1973. However, issues with crowd control and congestion in the unloading area led to its placement outside of the entrance in 1975.

The loading area originally had a dual loading system with two channels to double the loading capacity. However, safety concerns over the underwater fin that would dispatch the boats resulted in the decision to use a single channel for both loading docks during a refurbishment made in the fall of 1991.

The original chase scene involved pirates "pursuing" attractive women in circles, an overweight woman with a broom chasing a pirate in circles, and an overweight "pooped pirate" sitting next to a barrel, exhausted from "pursuing" a woman. The pooped pirate brandished her petticoat and uttered suggestive dialogue while she hid in the barrel next to him, occasionally peering out from it. In 1994, the scene was altered to show the pirates making off with various treasure as the women chased them with weapons. The overweight pirate here holds a treasure map in his lap and a magnifying glass in one hand. His lines include, "This map says X marks the spot, but I be seein' no X's afore me." The frightened woman in the barrel was replaced with a blonde woman hiding a small treasure chest with her.

2006 revamp

A new Pirates of the Caribbean sign was placed on the outside corner of the fort facing towards the entrance of Adventureland. The design of the new sign is a ship's mast with the attraction name written in its black sails, and a skeleton of a pirate up in its crow's nest. The barker bird that sat outside of the entrance was moved to the Pirates of the Caribbean section of the World of Disney store.

In the grotto, portions of the "Scare Me" music that played were replaced with a quiet, melancholic instrumental version of "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)". A misty waterfall with a projection of Davy Jones was added. The talking skull placed before the drop that warned riders of the dangers to come was removed. The ghostly voices that played after the drop and before the ship battle were also removed.

The original ship battle involved an unnamed pirate captain and his crew against an island fortress. In the updated battle scene, the captain is replaced by Hector Barbossa who demands Captain Jack Sparrow and a fortune in gold from his enemies.

The original town scene involved pirates dunking Carlos, the town magistrate, into a well in an attempt to get him to say where the town's treasure was. His wife tells Carlos to not tell the pirates anything, and a pirate shoots at her every time she says something. The updated town scene is similar to the old scene, only the pirates now demand the treasure AND the location of Jack Sparrow while Jack himself hides between some dresses.

The scene with the overweight pirate was changed again: the overweight pirate now brags about a treasure map and a key that he claims Jack Sparrow will never find, and Jack Sparrow replaces the blonde woman in the barrel, peering over the other pirate's shoulder.

The original treasure room scene involved drunk pirates in the room with tied up guards, firing their guns in the air in triumph. The updated scene now has a drunk Jack Sparrow, having stolen the key from the overweight pirate, celebrating in the room.

Departing guests can now hear the voice of Davy Jones as they go up the speed-ramp.

2017-19 changes

A new talking skull was added before the drop in 2017, the auction scene was altered in 2018, and the misty waterfall was removed in 2019.


External links

http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/The_Disney Wiki This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the The Disney Wiki. The list of authors can be seen in the page revision history (view authors). As with the Disney Parks Wiki, the text of The Disney Wiki is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.