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Ahoy, Pirates fans! This month you can celebrate the 46th anniversary of Pirates of the Caribbean, the first indoor ride-through adventure to be built on a grand scale at Disneyland Park. As the last Disneyland project that Walt Disney himself participated in designing, along with his team of Imagineers, this classic attraction has been a guest favorite since it opened on March 18, 1967 (three months after Disney's death).
Has it really been 46 years since Pirates of the Caribbean first opened at Disneyland? Well, mateys, it be true. Opening day kicked off with pirates invading New Orleans Square, sword fights and some poor scallywag walking the plank. The attraction became so popular that it inspired the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, in which 4 movies were made...as well as, at this time, high hopes of a fifth on the horizon. Those films led to several refurbishments, including newer Audio-Animatronic figures and special effects, depending on which Disney Park you visit. Quite recently, there was yet another change made at the ride from the Magic Kingdom Park. There was also a new POTC attraction that officially opened last December.
Now that I summed up the history, I can now explain the meaning of this blog. This blog is for the month-long celebration of the 46th anniversary of the POTC ride, the popular Disney attraction that started it all. It continues to bring joy to fans even today and that's what this blog is for: anyone who loves the ride can express how they feel about it or about its wonderful history.
To spice things up, I'll uncover some mysteries afloat in this historic attraction.
First, courtesy of Erin Glover of Disney Parks Blog, here be some things ye may not know...
- Pirates of the Caribbean was the last Disneyland attraction personally supervised by Walt Disney.
- The attraction was originally envisioned as a New Orleans-themed Blue Bayou Mart featuring a Pirate Wax Museum, housed in a 70-foot deep basement. The basement now serves as the grotto section of the attraction.
- The fire effects in the Burning Town scene were so realistic that prior to the attraction's grand opening, the Anaheim Fire Chief asked that the effects automatically shut off in the event of a real fire.
- It cost $15 million to build New Orleans Square ($8 million of which was spent on Pirates of the Caribbean). This is equal to the amount the United States paid for the real New Orleans as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.
- The façade of the attraction was partly inspired by the Cabildo building in Jackson Square in New Orleans, which served as the seat of the Spanish colonial government in 1799. It is also noted for being the site where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803.
And second, courtesy of Michele Himmelberg of Disney Parks Blog, here is some Pirates trivia...
- Disneyland Paris includes the exciting dueling Pirates, swiping at each other with actual swords.
- At Magic Kingdom Park, guests queue through subterranean passageways of El Castillo and emerge on the shores of Pirate's Bay where they board their boats (Les Bateaux) along a rocky beachfront. In the queue, guests pass the famous gag of two skeletons locked in a cell playing chess, stuck in a stalemate.
- At Magic Kingdom Park and Tokyo Disneyland, guests disembark after the Treasure Room and then take an escalator up to exit into the park.
- At Disneyland park, the Blue Bayou restaurant also opened March 18, 1967 – an early forerunner of today's popular "themed" restaurants.
- Three Disney Parks include references to Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbossa and the blockbuster "Pirates of the Caribbean" films. All three include the smoke/waterfall effect with projections of:
And that's pretty much all I can say on the ride at the moment.
For those new of the ride, you can learn more through the following articles:
- Pirates of the Caribbean (ride) – Here you'll learn how the ride was originally developed for its 1967 grand opening, as well as the modifications and refurbishments that took place as the years passed. You'll also learn of the colorful characters that appeared in all versions of the ride.
- Pirates of the Caribbean (ride)/Gallery – Concept art, posters and images from the original and revamped versions of the ride. Videos relating to the ride can also be seen, whether it be about the ride itself or adapting a scene to the big screen(one includes a clip featuring Walt Disney himself).
- List of references in Pirates of the Caribbean – Learn of references within the Pirates of the Caribbean films; most of which that came from the original ride!
- Gallery of Pirates of the Caribbean ride references images – Take a look at the visual scenes from the ride that made it to the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise.
I hope everyone has a great time celebrating the ride that originated this beloved franchise. Enjoy! :)