Pirates of the Caribbean New Orleans Square Disneyland
“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!” This might not be quite the “Caribbean cruise” you had in mind, but you’ll be entertained by the antics of the many audio-animatronic pirates inhabiting this attraction.
Pirates of the Caribbean is located in New Orleans Square. When the line is long, it winds around outside of the building before going inside, where there’s a 10 minute or so wait until you reach the boarding area. Once inside you’ll see the returning boats passing by you, as well as the pirate flag and a treasure chest. On the walls are paintings of famous pirates, including the fictional Captain Jack Sparrow.
At Lafitte’s Landing you’ll board one of the open boats. Each boat carries up to 15 passengers. Those in the first row and on the edges may get splashed a little.
After departing from the dock you’ll float through the bayou — listen for the sound of crickets and frogs, and look for the fireflies. The seating area for the Blue Bayou restaurant is on the right. At the entrance to the cave there’s a talking pirate skull, intoning the ominous warning: “Dead men tell no tales…” But of course you won’t be deterred by a silly talking skull…
Following two short drops in the dark are a number of scenes of skeletal pirates relaxing in lavishly appointed bedrooms, counting treasure, drinking, and sailing on the stormy seas. Then you’ll start floating past scenes of flesh-and-blood (actually latex and hydraulic fluid) pirates who are carousing and pillaging all around the Caribbean… all the while singing that wonderful “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!” song.
After gliding by several pirates who are trying to entice a dog to be their “get out of jail free” card, there’s a ramp that carries the boat back up to the main level and the unloading area.
Read about the Walt Disney World version of this attraction HERE.
The queue for Pirates of the Caribbean takes a while to build up, and is usually of quite manageable length for the first 2-3 hours after park opening. Except on the busiest of days the queue is shorter than that of other attractions like Indy and Splash Mountain.
The ride takes 14-1/2 minutes, though it can be longer if the boats start getting backed up in the final scenes, as they often do.
There are two drops in the dark that may be scary for some. The first waterfall is 52′ long and drops 18 feet, the second is a little shorter, and drops 13 feet.
There is no height requirement to ride.
Wheelchair and ECV users enter through the attraction’s exit, and must transfer into the boat to ride. Hand-held captioning devices may be used here.
The closest restrooms are located in the back of New Orleans Square, around the corner from Le Bat en Rouge.
There is no height requirement and kids of any age may ride, but some may be frightened by the darkness and the skeletal pirates.
The Bootstrappers , a group of musical pirates, entertain periodically throughout the day.
There are a variety of restaurants to choose from in the New Orleans Square area.
The Blue Bayou and Cafe Orleans are full service restaurants featuring Cajun and Creole dishes. Blue Bayou provides a bayou-side dining experience – dine alongside the bayou and while enjoying the nighttime sounds and the flickering fireflies.
The French Market serves buffeteria style, offering selections like jambalaya, salmon, chicken, salads and soups.
Counter service is available at the Royal Street Verandah, which serves chowder and gumbo in bread bowls and specialty coffees, and at the Mint Julep Bar, which offers mint juleps, coffees and Mickey-shaped beignets.
Just outside the exit to Pirates of the Caribbean is the Pieces of Eight shop, which carries all the fashion accessories necessary to the well-dressed pirate, including hats, swords, hooks, and treasure.
Le Bat en Rouge – Themed Disney dresses, apparel and accessories.
Pirates of the Caribbean opened on March 18, 1967. It was one of the last attractions with which Walt Disney was intimately involved. Walt Disney originally planned it as a walk-though attraction but eventually made it a boat ride like “it’s a small world.”
During the spring 2006 rehab, several new audio-animatronic figures inspired by the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl were added to the attraction. The villainous Captain Barbossa commands the pirate ship The Wicked Wench, and some very life-like audio-animatronics of Captain Jack Sparrow appear in three different places – he even “sings” in his final appearance.
At the beginning of the ride while floating in the bayou look overhead, and you may see a shooting star.
The pirate ship that’s firing on the fort is named the “Wicked Wench.”
In the original version of the attraction, after the “Buy a Bride” auction the pirates were shown chasing their “brides”, with the exception of the “stout-hearted” lass who was chasing her groom. It was changed into a more “politically correct” version in 1997, and now the women are chasing the pirates – who are carrying food that they apparently stole.
Several new audio-animatronic figures that were added in the 1997 rehab came from the World of Motion attraction at Epcot. Most of these were added in the village scene.
In the village scene where the pirate trio is singing accompanied by the accordion, listen carefully for the dog that is “singing” with them.
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