Pirates of the Caribbean is a dark ride that can be found at Disneyland, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Park in Paris, and Shanghai Disneyland.
The ride relates the story of a band of pirates that lived in the West Indies islands around the Caribbean Sea in the 17th and 18th centuries, including their journeys, hardships, and exploits. The original version of the ride debuted in 1967 at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, near Los Angeles, and was the last ride designed and built by Walt Disney, who died three months before it opened. Following its enormous popularity, the rollercoaster was duplicated seven years later in 1973 at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom near Orlando, Florida. Disneyland Tokyo opened in 1983, and Disneyland Paris opened in 1992. Each of the first four incarnations of the attraction features a distinct exterior but a similar ride experience. Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, a redesigned version of the ride inspired by the worldwide success of the feature film series, debuted at Shanghai Disneyland Park in 2016.
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride inspired the song “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” composed by George Bruns and Xavier Atencio and sung by The Mellomen on the ride’s CD.
The ride inspired the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, which began in 2003. Since 2006, Disney has included characters from the film series on the rides at Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris.
Arrow Development created the original display at Disneyland, and Arrow advised on the next two installations.
The passenger carrying boats on the attraction are strikingly similar to those in a patent awarded to Walt Disney Productions but filed by Edgar A. Morgan, one of Arrow Development’s founders.
Beginning in 1953, Arrow was involved in the design and building of numerous rides at Disneyland.
The ride contains 630,000 gallons of water, 53 audio-animatronic animals and birds, and 75 audio-animatronic pirates and peasants, and emptying and refilling the “bayou” for refurbishment takes three days.
The Blue Bayou Restaurant, located across from the ride’s boarding station, is designed to look like a backyard dinner party on a southern plantation. The restaurant, which opened on the same day as the ride, is regarded as one of the first theme restaurants.
Next Point of Interest: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa