The Pirates of the Caribbean Ride: The last attraction Walt Disney had a hand in creating


The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is one of the most visited attractions in three Disney parks around the world. The original version of the ride, which opened in 1967 at Disneyland in California, was the last attraction made with the help of Walt Disney himself. Unfortunately, he died only three months before it was opened. It has replicas at the Magic Kingdom (opened in 1973), at Tokyo Disneyland (1983), and at Disneyland Paris (2003).

Entrance to the ride at Disneyland. Photo Credit

The experience of the ride is the same everywhere, but there are different versions of the façade. After the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were released, starting in 2003, the attraction became even more famous, and the directors of the parks added characters, including Captain Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones, and Captain Barbossa. The original ride, in New Orleans Square, is filled with many props, as well as audio-animatronic animals, birds, pirates, and villagers.

The ride was Disney’s last project; he died only three months before its opening.

The attraction was originally envisioned as a wax museum, but with the success of some of his rides at the park, Disney decided to make it a moving ride. The façade of the attraction has a 31-star U.S. flag and the ornate initials of Walt and Roy Disney above the entrance.

The spooky journey begins from Laffite’s Landing, where the visitors board their boats. After Captain Blackbeard gives the safety rules, they float inside the Louisiana bayou. Over the sounds of the birds and animals, banjo melodies can be heard including songs like “Camptown Races” and “Oh! Susanna.”

The Pirates of the Caribbean Ride at the Magic Kingdom. Photo Credit

During the songs, the visitors pass by a houseboat, where there is an old man sitting in a rocking chair. After they see the talking skull and crossbones who warns them about Davy Jones, they go to a darker part where the sounds are creepier because of the thundering of a waterfall. The boats go down the waterfall into a cavernous passage where a scary version of the theme music plays.

The frozen skeleton crew in the pirate ship. Photo Credit

Further down is Dead Man’s Cove, where the skeletal remains of an unfortunate gang of pirates are guarding their treasure. Afterward, the visitors enter a pirate ship and pass through the crew quarters where all the members are frozen in time. The captain is looking at a map, some of the pirates are playing chess, and another skeleton pirate guards the treasure.

The last thing that visitors see before entering a dark tunnel is the Aztec treasure chest from the first movie Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, located in the corner of the Treasure Room.

The skeleton pirate is guarding the treasure in the crew chambers. Photo Credit

When they enter the tunnel, they see Davy Jones, who invites them to proceed if they are not afraid of the pirate’s curse. The next scene is a fierce battle; water is splashing everywhere, and Captain Barbossa is leading the assault. After the battle, the boats enter the village of Puerto Dorado on Isla Tesoro.

Captain Jack Sparrow sitting on the throne-chair. Photo Credit

They pass the town’s square and run into pirates who are chasing women. Jack Sparrow can be seen hiding in a barrel behind the “Pooped Pirate,” the drunken pirate who is waving with a map and key and yelling that Jack will never see them.

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The next scene is a jail where prisoners are trying to escape and beg a dog to give them the keys that he holds in his teeth. Then, the visitors see a storage room filled with cannonballs and gunpowder. Finally, in a room full of hidden treasures, Captain Jack Sparrow can be seen sitting in a throne-chair.