Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean Ride: Nine Things You Should Know

Many people claim the Pirate’s of the Caribbean ride, located in the New Orleans section of the amusement park, as their all-time favorite ride at Disneyland. Boarding the boat to begin the ride feels like you’re taking off into the bayou on a lazy Louisiana evening. The last ride to be overseen by Walt himself before he died, it opened to the public in 1967. If you’ve been paying attention, you would have remembered seeing this ride in the news quite a bit this last year. Well, there’s a few things you’d probably like to know about your trip to meet these crazy pirates.

1. Ride or Movie?

Pirates of the Caribbean Ride
Credits: Disneyland

I’m sure you’ve probably wondered once or twice how the ride began in 1967 when it wasn’t until decades later that the movies came out. Well that’s because the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is the only ride that became a movie after the ride began instead of the other way around. Of course, the ride grew in popularity after the movies hit the theaters.

2. The skulls are fake.

You may have heard or read about the rumor that Disney used a real skull in the making of the ride. Well, you’ll be relieved to hear that that rumor is definitely not founded on fact. All of the skeletons and such are fake.

3. If skeletons freak you out, this is not the ride for you.

Speaking of skulls, everyone gets squeamish or scared about different things. So, if seeing a bunch of skeletons really isn’t your thing, you should probably skip this one. You’ll happen upon a band of dead pirates guarding their treasure as you first enter the caves and, next, an old pirate ship captained by a skeleton being tossed around by a thunderstorm. Finally, as the boat weaves it’s way through the crew’s quarters, the place is strewn with skeletons stopped dead while doing all sorts of tasks and activities. However, if that’s your thrill, hop on the bayou, and enjoy!

4. Don’t be deceived by the ride’s peaceful beginning.

Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean Ride

As you first board the boat, the ride begins so calmly. You’ll hear the sound of a banjo mixed with the sounds of nature wafting over the bayou. As you float down the water, you see an old man on his porch rocking on his chair. It’s an evening filled with fireflies – but beware of Blackbeard’s warnings. There is much more in store once you’ve gotten past the beginning.

5. No worries – cannon balls won’t get anywhere near you.

Disney specializes in making their adventurous rides seem extremely realistic. But they’re also extremely safe. That being said, part of the experience is cannonballs flying overhead. You’ll feel the blast of air as the canon ball shoots and the splash of the water as it lands. It’s deliciously realistic but wholly secure.

6. If you loved the movies, do not miss the ride.

As always, Disney manages to incorporate a gripping story within a thrilling ride. You’ll be caught up in the saga of Barbossa’s failed attempts and Jack Sparrow’s eccentric, sneaky, yet successful ways – all happening just within reach instead of on a big screen. In the end, you’ll find Sparrow sitting on a throne surrounded by treasure.

7. Disney revised the auction scene.

Auction Scene - Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean Ride

If you’ve been on the ride before this last summer, you’d know that the auction scene displayed a group of women being sold off to the highest bidder; though the company never admitted it publicly, this scene was highly controversial in light of modern issues. However, the ride was closed down for two months, and when it reopened, the auction scene shows not only the goods and materials of the townspeople being sold off, but also one of the women who previously was being auctioned off as one of the pirates now.

8. If you love the thrill of dark, cavernous rides, this is the ride for you.

Once you’ve floated past the old man’s house, you enter into a cave and go from deep caves to even deeper ones. The deeper you go, the darker it gets – this is a dark ride, so beware!

9. You’ll get your return for your money.

Have you ever paid a fortune for an amazing ride at an amusement park for it to only last a total of sixty seconds? Yea, it was a thrill, but was such a short experience worth all that money? Well, good news. You won’t be complaining about that with the Pirates of the Caribbean ride because the ride lasts a total of sixteen minutes. It’s a thrilling adventure and story – with a few drops that throw your stomach into your chest, as well!

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