The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, located near Anaheim, CA, is a dark boat ride that takes you back to the 1700s. The story starts with pirates chasing a woman and her son. They come across your ship and hijack it, forcing you to join them on their search for treasure. You meet other pirates who tell other stories about their adventures as they sail off into the distance never to be seen again.
Pirates of the Caribbean was created by Walt Disney himself, but the story itself is based on Disneyland’s earlier ride Jungle Cruise. It was created in secret because he wanted to see how people reacted to it before creating another pirate-themed attraction like his failed project with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). When Pirates of the Caribbean opened in 1967 there were no screens or backdrops, just a ride through the scenes as they appeared from your boat. In fact, Disney’s Imagineers weren’t even sure if it could be considered an attraction at all because there was no story or direction to follow! The idea of having a dark ride came about after executives saw how well-received the Enchanted Tiki Room had been and decided a similar show would work in Adventureland with pirates instead of birds.
Disney Attraction Details
The entire experience is five minutes long but you can walk around outside for another ten before boarding to enjoy some live music. Once inside, guests are loaded into one of twelve boats that seat up to six people each. Each boat has its own guide called “Skipper” who plays the role of the pirate captain, keeping you safe and on-track throughout your journey. There are lots of effects to keep riders entertained while they make their way through over 900 audio-animatronic pirates including a waterfall, running water in rivers or sea battles, cannons that shoot smoke rings at passing boats among others.
Pirates of the Caribbean was completely revamped with new scenes added in 2006 after being closed for almost three years due to earthquake damage. The attraction wasn’t just “refurbished”, but entirely rethought with an expanded storyline playing out across multiple sets instead of all taking place on one boat ride route around Tom Sawyer’s Island! New animatronics were also introduced adding even more realism than before making it feel like the story is really happening around you.
The ride was originally sponsored by United Airlines, which had a fleet of ships named Pirates of the Caribbean at sea and so used them in promotional campaigns to increase brand awareness with their customers. Disneyland’s pirates were also featured on calendars and posters which helped promote both parties’ brands while giving guests something they could take home as a souvenir from their trip! Disney has since extended its partnership with The Walt Disney Company when they acquired ABC making it one of several media outlets that promote the attraction through tie-ins such as carousels featuring characters from “Pirates” or games based on the popular film franchise.