Yo ho, yo ho, a Pirates’ ride for me! The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction is one of the most iconic rides in Disney, but did you know there are five versions all over the world?
Click here to learn eight things you don’t already know about the iconic Pirates of the Caribbean!
The History of Pirates of the Caribbean
Before we jump in to the five different versions, let’s take a brief look at the history of Pirates of the Caribbean. The first version opened in Disneyland in March of 1967 in New Orleans Square. Walt Disney helped design the attraction, and it opened a few months after he passed away. Originally it was designed to be a walk-through wax museum, but it was changed to a boat ride after the popularity of ‘it’s a small world’.
The Disneyland version is the original and is located in New Orleans Square. The first difference that we see is right in the loading area of the ride. The line and loading area takes inspiration from Louisiana and starts in a bayou.
After you leave the Louisiana area, there is a small drop through a waterfall that takes us to our pirate adventure. The main parts of the attraction are basically exactly the same as Disney World. One of the few scenes that is different is where some pirates get in a shootout in a room full of gunpowder and cargo. If you’ve seen the Disney+ series Prop Culture, then you probably already know that the chest of Aztec gold from Pirate of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl can be seen early on in the attraction.
Walt Disney World
The Walt Disney World version opened in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom in December of 1973. This version takes architectural inspiration from Puerto Rico. When you enter the attraction it feels like you’ve walked into a stone dungeon.
The main part of the attraction is the same as the one in Disneyland, but there are small parts at the beginning and at the end that are a little different. Right before you take a drop down through a cloud of fog there is a projection of a villain from the film series on the fog. Sometimes it is Davy Jones and other times is has been Blackbeard. At the end of the ride, the treasure room that we find Captain Jack Sparrow in is just one room to the left instead of us going straight through the center of the room with treasure like in Disneyland.
First opening in April of 1992, this version can be found in Adventureland. The Tokyo Disneyland version is identical in every way to the Disneyland one except it borrows the projection of Davy Jones and Blackbeard on the fog from Disney World. Other than that there is no difference whatsoever. We even start in the bayou in Louisiana, and there is the ammunition room standoff at the end.
Pirates of the Caribbean first opening in Adventureland in Disneyland Paris in April 1992. This attraction feels similar to the Pirates we all know and love, but there are a few distinct differences. First, the entrance and queue area is in an abandoned stone fort. The whole area has more palm trees and beach scenes than the other Pirates attractions. When the ride first starts we enter a shipwreck, which is unlike the start to an of the others. Instead of starting with a cave area with skeletons we immediately go up in the fortress and go down a drop. We get the same projection as before, but on the way up you can get a clear look at the pirate battle below.
This version feels more open than the others with more outdoor scenes before the main portion of the ride. We also get a scene early in the attraction with a pirate swinging overhead. A Captain Barbosa animatronic appears in one scene and as the lightning flashes, his skeletal form light up. There’s also one final drop through an exploding munitions storeroom before we end up in the caves with Jack Sparrow and his treasure.
Okay, this version of Pirates of the Caribbean is unlike any of the other versions. The Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure is the newest version and first opened in Treasure Cove in June of 2016. The attraction starts in a similar way to the others with entering through an archway, but the scenes of skeletons we see afterwards are different from the other versions. There is even a scene that replicates the iconic jail cell scene but with skeletons, and includes a canine skeleton as well.
After these scenes we see a skeletal Jack Sparrow that through Disney magic turns into the regular version. We have been transported back to the age of pirates. The rest of the ride we head below the surface of the ocean and see the Kraken and Davy Jones’ crew. We even get to see an animatronic Davy Jones playing an organ. The rest of the ride is moving through the ocean depths then heading to the surface for a battle between Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones. If you like the second and third Pirates films, you will love the ride. Just like the other four versions, this one ends with Jack Sparrow surrounded by treasure.
What is your favorite version of Pirates of the Caribbean? Let us know in the comment.
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