Do you want to know everything there is to know about the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland? Well, at the end of this post, you will know the history, facts, secrets, and tips and tricks!
March eighteenth marked the 50th anniversary of the Pirates Of The Caribbean ride. It is a fascinating ride as it has garnered the attention and amusement of over 400 million riders over the past 50 years. Considering that the United States population is 324 million….that would be at least once for every US citizen.
However, we know not everyone in the US has ridden it (and why haven’t you yet if you are one?!?), considering I alone am probably 1,000 of those rides, it is a legendary attraction!
We want to share some facts, secrets, tips and tricks regarding this famous and popular ride so that the next time you ride it, you can keep these fun facts in your mind and be the expert on the ride.
History of the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride in Disneyland
First, this was the last ride that Walt Disney had a hand in himself. He rode the ride 3-months before it’s opening in a wooden boat on wheels through the attraction after many years of ideas, designs and labor. That was his last ride as he died shortly after this “pre-ride.”
It is facts like this that I like to point out just how special Disneyland itself is. It is the baby of Walt Disney, started by Walt Disney and much of the Park was orchestrated by Walt Disney himself until his death in 1966.
Since Disney World did not open until 1971, the rides and attractions are replicas and assumed imaginations of Walt Disney. Disneyland was his.
I find this funny at times because when we talk about Disneyland, many stop and say, “Wait, you mean Disney World, right? What is this Disneyland you speak of?” as if to say that Disneyland is like the red-headed step child of the Walt Disney Co., when in fact, it is the original, the real deal!
Pirates of the Caribbean is one of those heartfelt projects!
In fact, the Disney World copy is not as popular, well taken care of, as long or as loved. But it is still an iconic ride in both (or all worldwide) Parks.
Country Living as shared a very fun and informative history of the creation of Pirates of the Caribbean, complete with the old timey pictures!
Tips and Tricks for Pirates of the Caribbean Ride in Disneyland
- Much of the ride is loud, so you might wan’t to bring earplugs for the little ones or just get ready to plug their ears.
- Although there are no height restrictions, there can be a few scary points, like when the cannon ball effects shoot out across the water. The realistic scenes can be a little scary for little ones and pirates aren’t the classiest of folk to hang around – their mere presence is a little unsettling. Most kids 8 and up will be fine, but something to be mindful of with younger ones.
- Set sail in the morning or evening for an even faster boarding time. Many people try to avoid heat by riding during the hottest times of the day.
- It’s a fantastic ride to take a break and breather from all of the people and foot traffic in the park, it’s also a great place to go when it is too hot, too cold or rainy to get a break. Note, everyone has the same thought, so it is the busiest at these times.
Secrets for Pirates of the Caribbean Ride in Disneyland
- Walt dreamed up this attraction in 1958, 3-years after the park opening. His original vision was that this was going to be a walk through wax museum. Over the next 9 years, new technological developments happened, including the animatronic attractions of It’s a Small World and the Enchanted Tiki Room, that the concept changed to an animatronic pirate boat ride.
- There’s a second floor apartment called the Disneyland Dream Suite. This apartment was intended to be for Walt and his family, but since he died before it was completed, it remained unfinished for quite some time. Walt did hire Dorothea Redmond, who created the sets for “Gone with the Wind,” to help design the apartment. Her design drawings remained unused for decades as the apartment became a gallery. Then the 2,200-square-foot apartment officially opened in 2008, designed with the original drawings from Dorothea. See pictures and details on Insider.com.
- Hidden Mickeys are found all over the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and area in Disneyland. Here are those hidden Mickeys we know about!
- Pirates of the Caribbean (shell Mickey in beach scene)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (treasure room treasure chest lock)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (Davy Jones projection, barnacle Hidden Mickey)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (fort wall impact crater)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (Mickey decorated armor in the gunfight room)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (Exit Corridor – antique lock outside Pieces of Eight
- There are over 120 Audio-Animatronics on Pirates of the Caribbean ride. This is a mixture of both human and animal animatronics.
- The actor who does the voice of the Ghost Host in the Haunted Mansion is also the one who does the voice for Dead Men Tell No Tales in the beginning of the ride. The actors name is Paul Frees.
- The director Gore Verbinski was actually scared of the Pirates Of The Caribbean attraction when he was a kid.
- When the ride was being designed and built, Walt Disney requested using real skeltons for the many skeleton scenes. At that time in the mid 60’s there was not a realistic fake version of skeletons. Has technology and times have changed, the skeletons have all since been replaced with fake replicas that look realistic, except for one…the skull and crossbones on the headboard of the bed are still the real deal…the only one left.
- As you are in line and around the are before entering the building, take a peek at the wrought iron fence on the balcony. You will find the initials “WD” and “RD” for…yep, you guessed it…Walt and Roy Disney – the famous Disney brothers.
- This one is not really a secret, but it actually took me several visits to Disneyland to discover what and where the entrance to the restaurant inside of the Pirates Ride was called – the Blue Bayou and it has been there since the ride opened.
- Many of the pirates were fashioned after the creators and designers of the ride. In other words, they created a pirate that looks like himself/herself. In fact, there is supposedly a pirate that looks like Walt Disney. I am still trying to find it, but I am determined one day to find it!
- When you are riding the ride, notice the name of the dock where you load. The name is Laffite’s Landing. The Laffite brothers, Jean and Pierre, were real pirates in the early 1800’s and from Louisiana and smuggled goods into Louisiana from the ports. They also helped General Andrew Jackson defend New Orleans against the British in the War of 1812 in exchange for a legal pardon of the smugglers.
Facts about the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride in Disneyland
- For every 100 people ahead of you you can figure roughly a three minute wait time.
- Even though they do have drops on the ride you shouldn’t get very wet – perhaps a couple of drops.
- Time to load is very fast one of the fastest load times of all the Disneyland rides.
- There are no available fast passes.
- The ride duration is approximately 15 minutes, one of the longest rides.
- There are no height requirements, which makes the ride perfect for the whole family as the little ones just sit in your lap.
- There are 122 audio-animatronics on the Pirates Of The Caribbean ride – 68 humans and 54 animals. See if you can spot them all!
- Jack Sparrow and characters from the movie like Barbosa and Black Beard appeared in the ride later as the film empire began to become very popular.
- There are three Jack Sparrows on the ride! Spot them all, some are semi-hiding.
- Changes and additions are a common task on this ride, often being just a little different than the last time you rode it.
- The ride cost $8 million to build, including parts of the needed New Orleans Square. When the entire New Orleans Square was completed, it cost $15 million, the same price of the Louisiana purchase, which expanded our country by 827,000 square miles in 1803. The same price of a 3-acre replica 163 years later.
There you have it! You know now more than probably 99% of the 400 million riders of Pirates of the Caribbean. Next time, you can impress the people in line with your mad skills!