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Pirates of the Caribbean is a dark ride at the Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Park (Paris) theme parks.

This was the last attraction which Walt Disney himself participated in designing; it opened three months after his death. It is located within the New Orleans Square portion of Disneyland, its facade evoking antebellum New Orleans, topped by a 31-star United States flag (which would indicate the 1850s). An overhead sign at the boat dock names it for the famous pirate Jean Lafitte (although his name is misspelled Laffite), who fought alongside the U.S. Army at the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. The second floor of the facade was originally designed to be a private Disney family apartment. Instead it later opened as an art-related retail/museum space called the Disney Gallery until late 2007 when it was replaced by the Disneyland Dream Suite.

During the course of the indoor boat ride, guests float through an immersive, larger-than-life pirate adventure featuring gunshots, cannon blasts, burning buildings, and carousing and pillaging pirates, all accompanied by the rollicking theme song, "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" written by George Bruns and Xavier Atencio.

DevelopmentEdit

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Originally envisioned in the late 1950s as a walk-through wax museum featuring historical pirates, the attraction concept evolved into a boat ride through complex show scenes filled with Audio-Animatronics characters after the 1964 New York World's Fair brought about several advances in Disney's theme park technologies. Ultimately, humorous sketches of fictional pirates by Imagineer Marc Davis inspired the animatronic dioramas seen throughout the final attraction.

Opening on March 18, 1967, Pirates of the Caribbean represented Disneyland's largest Audio-Animatronic project to date.

The portrait of the female pirate above the bar in the Crews Quarters scene is an original work by Davis. The pirate captain in the scene where captured women are auctioned as brides is a test figure for updated developments in Audio-Animatronic technology; many innovations are tried on him first. Consequently, his movements are far more lifelike and expressive than any other Audio-Animatronics figure at Disneyland.

The ride never was intended to be part of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort because of concerns that it would not be exotic enough due to Florida's geographic proximity to the Caribbean and New Orleans, the settings of the Disneyland attraction. Instead, Imagineers developed plans for a similar attraction called the Western River Expedition, which would have featured cowboys and Indians instead as well as banditos, coyotes, miners, and a climactic boat descent bigger than those featured in the Pirate attractions. After many Walt Disney World guests complained about the lack of Disney's celebrated pirate attraction, an abbreviated version opened in Florida on December 15, 1973.

The attraction was part of the opening day of Tokyo Disneyland (April 15, 1983) and of Disneyland Paris (April 12, 1992). There is no Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland; plans to add a Pirate themed ride with some Splash Mountain-style elements were proposed to the Hong Kong government but have thus far been refused.

Attraction descriptionEdit

Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland versionEdit

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The ride begins amid glimmering fireflies during an evening abuzz with the croaking of a bullfrog in a quaint Louisiana Bayou. Daring adventurers board their boats at Laffite's Landing, and are at once afloat in the heart of bayou country. On one side is an actual working restaurant, The Blue Bayou, made to look like the backyard dinner party of a southern plantation. It takes three days to empty and refill the "bayou" for renovations. There are 630,000 gallons of water on the attraction.

Once past several rickety houseboats, the soft strumming of banjo melodies (including "Oh! Susanna" and "Camptown Races") can be heard over the peaceful symphony of nature as guests pass by one houseboat, on the porch of which an old man calmly rocks back and forth in his rocking chair. But then a talking skull and crossbones, voiced by Xavier Atencio, songwriter, above an archway provides this taunting warning:

Psst! Avast there! It be too late to alter course, mateys. And there be plundering pirates lurkin' in ev'ry cove, waitin' to board. Sit closer together and keep your ruddy hands in board. That be the best way to repel boarders. And mark well me words, mateys: Dead men tell no tales! Ye come seekin' adventure with salty old pirates, eh? Sure you've come to the proper place. But keep a weather eye open mates, and hold on tight. With both hands, if you please. Thar be squalls ahead, and Davy Jones waiting for them what don't obey.
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Then a more chilling sound becomes audible: the thundering of a waterfall, down which guests plunge. When they reach the bottom of the waterfall guests then get to enjoy the theme for the ride briefly. Then they hear the frightening echo of: "Dead men tell no tales!"

After a second hair-raising plunge (absent at Tokyo) further into the depths of an underground grotto, guests behold the skeletal remains of an unfortunate band of pirates, guarding their loot and treasure with macabre delight.

The boats glide gently past a thunderstorm tossing an old pirate ship about, though the ship's pilot is nothing more than a skeleton. The boats pass through the Crews Quarters, complete with skeletal pirates playing chess, the captain looking up treasure on his map, an old Harpsichord playing the theme, and a huge amount of treasure being guarded by another skeleton pirate. The Aztec chest from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl sits in the corner of the Treasure Room and is the last thing guests see before entering a dark tunnel. There are 40,000 gold coins in this scene.

A waterfall with a projection of Davy Jones then appears, and the riders seem to float through without getting wet. He invites guests to proceed if "they be brave or fool enough to face a pirate's curse".

Next, Cannonballs whistle overhead and explosions throw water into the air — a fierce battle between a marauding pirate galleon and a Caribbean fortress is in full swing. Captain Barbossa leads the assault from the deck of a pirate vessel named the Wicked Wench, while The Medallion Calls also used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies plays. From the deck of the Wicked Wench Barbossa yells: "Strike yer colors ye bloomin cockroachers. By thunder we'll see you to Davy Jones. They need persuasion mates. Fire at will! Pound 'em lads! Pound em'!" When a cannon is shot, guests may feel a powerful blast coming from the cannon, accompanied by a large splash and underwater lighting effect to simulate cannon fire.

The village on the Isla Tesoro beyond is overrun with pirates in search of the Town Treasure. The first sight is the town square where some pirates have kidnapped the mayor and threaten to drown him in the well if he doesn't tell where Captain Jack Sparrow and his Town Treasure is. Carlos' wife tells him to be brave and not talk, but the attempts are useless; she is shot at as the mayor continues to repeatedly get dunked in the water, while several other city officials tied up look on. Captain Jack Sparrow is seen hiding behind some dresses looking to see if anyone sees him. Followed by that is the famous auction scene where a pirate Auctioneer auctions off the town women while the drunk bidders hoot and holler for a redhead who is next up for bids.

But unfortunately for them, the only person the Auctioneer wants to sell at the moment is an overweight forty-year-old that seems not to care what the others think of her. There is a pirate by the name of "Old Bill", who wants to share rum with terrified cats. The next scene is the chase where pirates run around holding treasure, chasing girls, and two foolish buccaneers have stolen some snacks and are chased by an angry woman holding a rolling pin. Just beyond is the infamous "pooped pirate" drunkenly waving a map and key to a treasure vault, boasting that Captain Jack Sparrow will never see it. Little does he know, Jack is hiding in a barrel just behind him, popping out and getting a good look at the map over the pirate's shoulder.

Carefree, tipsy pirates succeed in ravaging the town and setting it aflame, filling the night air with an orange glow. Riders next float past a jail where imprisoned pirates are doing their best to escape as flames draw near. A small dog just out of the prisoners' reach holds the key to their escape in his teeth; he seems all but immune to the pleas of the pirates trying to coax him closer. One of the pirates holds a noose, hoping to trap the dog.

Timbers are smoldering and cracking overhead as riders sail through a storage room filled with gunpowder, cannon balls, and rum-filled, gun-shooting pirates singing "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me". A shootout between the inebriated crew and captain of the pirate ship in a flaming ammunition warehouse threatens to demolish the entire village.

Finally, Jack Sparrow is seen in a room full of the hidden treasure. Slightly drunk (as usual), he is draped over a large throne-like chair and waves his new treasures around happily while chattering to himself (and passing guests). Every once in a while he will sing "Drink up me hearties yo ho!". At Tokyo and Florida a small parrot talks with him. Riders then return to the sleepy bayou where the journey began, passing by the parrot, Beauregard, viewed from the queue. Template:-

Magic KingdomEdit

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.[1]

Inside the Blue Bayou has been replaced by Pirate's Cove and into a short grotto with Davy Jones, skeletons of dead pirates, the hurricane lagoon, and an echoing "Dead men tell no tales". There is no treasure room sequence as found in other parks. Following the plunge down one waterfall the remainder of the ride is similar to Tokyo and California. Unlike in California however, you do not return to ground level in your boat. Instead you exit the boat immediately after the Jack Sparrow in the treasure room scene, then take a speed ramp up to the ground floor gift shop. The Florida version also does not include the scene past the powder room with the intoxicated pirates firing cannons.

The exterior of the attraction was slightly altered during the 2006 modifications. Included in the changes were the removal of the barker bird, and original attraction sign. A new sign was placed on the outside corner of the fort facing towards the entrance of Adventureland. The design of the new sign is a ships 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 was eventually moved to the Pirates of the Caribbean section of the World of Disney store at Downtown Disney.

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.[2]

The ride begins with your boat passing through a cave and an image of Davy Jones appears. You then pass an island on your left with skeletons of pirates while hearing a disembodied voice saying "Dead Man Tell No Tales." You continue and pass by the wreckage of a ship in a storm with a skeleton at the wheel. The ride drops and you go down 14 feet, in the process, passing under the Walt Disney World Railroad and dropping down to ground level (the ride actually begins on a second level, and the surrounding Caribbean Plaza is graded to match the rest of the park). At the bottom you pass through a dark passage and pass a battle between a pirate ship and an island fortress. The ride continues as you pass through a town being ransacked and see a woman screaming down to her husband who is being dunked multiple times into a well in an attempt to get information from him on the location of Jack Sparrow. You then see Jack Sparrow hiding against a wall looking back over his shoulder at the pirates who are searching for him. The boat next passes a scene you see women being auctioned off as brides. You will hear a pirate yell, "Me wants the red-head!" You go under a bridge and see pirates stealing a treasure chest, and an old lady chasing a pirate with a broom. A pirate sitting on the left holding a map says that Jack Sparrow will not be able to find the treasure without his map and key. You then see that Jack Sparrow is behind him hiding in a keg and looking right at him. On the right is a very drunk pirate surrounded by and talking to cats. You then pass under another bridge and see that the town is on fire. There are three singing men, a donkey and a dog who are singing along to the song "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me.)" You see more pirates stealing treasure, singing, and carrying the torches which set the city alight. You then begin to pass under a bridge, there is a pirate on the right passed out and surrounded by pigs. Above a pirate dangles his hairy, dirty leg down. As in the Disneyland version you see prisoners trying to escape from their jail cell by attempting to lure a dog who has keys in his mouth over to them. On the left you see the key from the prior scene in an opened door, and Jack Sparrow, drunk as usual surrounded by treasure rocking in a large chair and speaking about his exploits, and singing bits of "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me.)" The ride then ends as you exit to your left.

Disneyland Park (Paris)Edit

The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland Park is the only installment not to feature the movie characters. It is housed in a battle-scarred fortress and is much different than the originals. The ride begins as guests depart on boats from a landing and enter a lush lagoon at nighttime with the thundering of waterfalls everywhere. The boats pass through a shipwreck and enter an old fortress nearby. Inside gun noises and sword clanking are heard in the back as the boats climb up a large lift hill used to haul cargo throughout the fort. At the top flames are engulfing the fort and the shadows of fighting pirates and soldiers are seen. Up ahead the guests see the pirates in jail trying to coax the key out of the naughty guard dog. The boats go down a waterfall in the side of the fort caused by a cannon ball and pass the bombarding-the-fort scene, where the soldiers and the pirates fire at guests. Entering the relative safety of the town, guests see all the original scenes from the Disneyland original except for a new pair of swordfighting men who duel for a girl in the chase scene. After passing the burning town, darkness fills the air and red flashes and hot air appears as the arsenal of the town has blown up sending the guests to Davy Jones' Locker. They pass all the grotto scenes from Disneyland and exit the boats after a parting thought from the skull and crossbones.

ModificationsEdit

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In its original form, the Disneyland attraction contained a scene in which pirates were shown chasing attractive females in circles (achieved by simply placing figures on rotating platforms hidden below guests' view), along with a comical reversal in which an overweight woman was seen chasing a pirate. Some guests were offended by this depiction, and in response Disney initially changed the woman chasing the pirate by having her try to hit him with a rolling pin. In 1997, this sequence was changed so that the pirates pursued women holding pies, and the large woman is chasing a pirate with a stolen ham. However, the audio of the women's giggles while being chased remained despite the complaints. Sometime after this the audio was also removed.

Originally, one overweight pirate (sometimes known as the "Pooped Pirate") was shown exhausted from his pursuit of an unwilling teenaged female. He brandished a petticoat as guests floated past, and uttered suggestive dialogue, including: "It's sore I be to hoist me colors upon the likes of that shy little wench," and "I be willing to share, I be." Behind him, the woman he had been pursuing would peer out from her hiding place inside a barrel. This scene was altered in the American parks, but it remains unchanged in the version at Disneyland Paris.

In the 1997 refurbishment, the "Pooped Pirate" was recast as the Gluttonous Pirate, a rogue in search of food. His dialogue included lines such as: "Me belly be feeling like galleon with a load of treasure," and "I be looking for a fine pork loin, I be." The woman hiding in the barrel was replaced by a cat.

At the Magic Kingdom, the chase scene was altered to show the pirates making off with various treasure as the formerly "chased" ladies attempt to thwart them. The "Pooped 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 woman in the barrel remains, although this time she is hiding a small treasure chest in the barrel with her.

These modifications garnered criticism from longtime fans and some of the attraction's original Imagineers; in Jason Surrell's book Pirates of the Caribbean: From The Magic Kingdom to the Movies, showwriter Francis Xavier "X" Atencio referred to these "softening" touches as "Boy Scouts of the Caribbean".

In 2006, Walt Disney Imagineering debuted refurbishments at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean feature films to coincide with the release of the second movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. With the recent revisions of the ride to incorporate features from the movie, Disney has completely done away with the sequence of women being chased by pirates. Instead, one turntable features two pirates running in a circle, each holding one end of a treasure chest (taken from the aforementioned Magic Kingdom modification). In another, a woman is chasing a pirate who is making off with some stolen pies. In the third, a woman is chasing a pirate while menacing him with a weapon. The "Pooped Pirate" character is now brandishing a map and the key to the town's Treasure Room, while Captain Jack Sparrow stealthily observes him from inside the barrel.

The refurbishments also included other Audio-Animatronic figures of Captain Jack Sparrow, and one of Hector Barbossa (who replaced the original captain of the Wicked Wench ship), along with new special effects, improved lighting and audio, and an appearance by the films' supernatural character Davy Jones, all voiced by the original actors (Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and Bill Nighy). The skeleton beach and hurricane scenes are now accompanied by a quiet, mysterious instrumental version of "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" and a re-recorded part of a cue from Klaus Badelt's score to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl now underscores the Battle Scene. The Disneyland version also features a new final "lift scene". When the boats are being lifted back to ground level, guests pass by an Audio-Animatronic figure of a tipsy Jack Sparrow relaxing and humming bits of the theme song amongst a collection of treasure. A similar scene replaces the Treasure Room scene at the end of the Magic Kingdom version of the ride. Smaller modifications have been made to coincide with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. In the first treasure room, in the pirate's grotto, the chest of cursed Aztec gold from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl can be seen at the far right. In the skeletal bar room, in the very back of the room, Elizabeth Swann's discarded dress from Dead Man's Chest is visible. Also, portraits of Jack Sparrow and Captain Barbossa have been added to the pirate portraits that line the inside walls of the lobby at the Disneyland attraction.

In addition, the outdoor portion queue has been substantially changed since the Disneyland attraction's opening. The queue was originally all indoors, beginning at the doors that enter the ride's first show building. Lines of people frequently spread out into the entire walkway, creating a human barrier separating New Orleans Square, Tom Sawyer Island and Critter Country from the remainder of Disneyland, the walkway in front of Pirates of the Caribbean being the only access to these areas except for the Disneyland Railroad. In 1987, Disney decided that the ride's popularity necessitated a reorganized, permanent collection of switchbacks outside. A hole was dug in the original walkway, forming a lower patio for the queue's switchbacks. A bridge was then built over the patio so that passersby could continue past the attraction without having to fight their way through people in line on crowded days. Today, guests in line for the attraction walk through an archway beneath the bridge, through switchbacks in the patio, and eventually continue up curved ramps that lead back up to ground level and the building entrance itself. Severe crowding can result in the queue being rerouted into the small courtyard east of the main entrance, adjacent to the jungles of Adventureland, and/or into additional temporary switchbacks along the front of the bridge on the Haunted Mansion side of the arch. During the 1997 refurbishment, a 30th anniversary plaque and decorative fountain were installed against the back wall of the courtyard.

Adaptations Edit

In 2003, Disney released Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, a feature film inspired by the attraction starring Johnny Depp in an Oscar-nominated performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. Three sequels, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides opened on July 7, 2006, May 25, 2007, and will open in July 2011, respectively. Dead Man's Chest won an Oscar for Best Special Effects in 2007. As of 2007, the trilogy has grossed over US$2.6 billion worldwide. These films included numerous allusions to the ride, most notably the attack on the fort and the famous jail scene.

At Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom Park of Walt Disney World, the character of Captain Jack Sparrow is occasionally available for photos and autographs, and is further featured in the short show, Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate Tutorial based loosely upon the film series. The show is presented in front of or adjacent to the respective park's Pirates of the Caribbean attractions and features Captain Jack holding court and enlisting budding pirates to join his crew. Alongside Captain Jack is Mack, his faithful crewman; together they teach the audience how to be a pirate. Longtime Disney actor and performer Mark Priest was fatally injured in an accidental fall while performing in Pirate Tutorial in Florida in July, 2009.

A computer game (by Akella), loosely connected to the first movie's plot, was released to coincide with the film. Port Royal, a world based on the Pirates of the Caribbean films, appears in the Square Enix video game Kingdom Hearts II.

In 2000, Pirates of the Caribbean II: Battle for Buccaneer Gold , opened at DisneyQuest at Florida's Walt Disney World Resort. On this attraction, up to five players board a virtual pirate ship to sail around a small 3-D world. Players may fire cannons at other virtual pirate ships; if opposing ships are sunk, their treasure will be "stolen".

Video game developer Ron Gilbert has often said that the ambience for the Monkey Island computer game series was partially inspired by the Disney attraction. One obvious homage is the prison scene in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, in which a key-carrying dog is named Walt after Walt Disney.

On May 25, 2007, Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island opened at the Disneyland park on the existing Tom Sawyer's Island section of the park. It features new caves and a Captain Jack Sparrow meeting area. The island also features a 20-minute musical performance by pirate band "The Bootstrappers" and (through January 6, 2008) a 20-minute stunt show featuring character Captain Jack Sparrow.

Recently it has been announced that a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film. The film is called Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Johnny Depp will reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow. Geoffrey Rush will also return as Captain Hector Barbossa. It is undecided whether Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley will return for the fourth. On Stranger Tides is scheduled to be released in Summer 2011.Template:Citation needed

References Edit

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