This Monday, March 19, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction in The Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World reopened after a refurbishment period that started last year. Chief among the renovations was the altering of a scene where pirates formerly put up wenches for auction as brides; that’s gone now.
In the new scene, the former wench auction has been retooled into a general auction of goods taken by the pirates who invaded the setting’s Caribbean town. Furthermore, Redd the wench in red who was on the block to be sold last time…is now a pistol-toting pirate running said auction.
That does make you wonder: what else have been changed by Disney Parks and Rides over the years to the attraction that launched the popular film series starring Johnny “Cap’n Jack Sparrow” Depp? Walt Disney himself said we have to “Keep moving forward”. Looks like a job for a List.
- 1997 – A segment featuring the “Pooped Pirate”, a raider chasing a wench who escapes by hiding in a barrel, was altered. For the Disneyland version, he was now a “Gluttonous Pirate” searching for a pork loin, while the woman in the barrel was changed to a cat. The Magic Kingdom version had him reading a treasure map while the woman now carries a small chest with her. The POTC attractions in Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland did not change this.
- 2006 – In the same year the POTC movie Dead Man’s Chest premiered, the Magic Kingdom’s Pirate with a Map now has somebody else peeking at said map from the barrel: Captain Jack Sparrow. Also as part of the synergy between ride and movies, a projection of Davy Jones on a cascade of water was added to the route.
- 2011 – Starting May of this year, the Davy Jones projection was briefly replaced by Blackbeard, antagonist of the then-premiering POTC movie On Stranger Tides.
- 2017 (April) – For one day, all animatronics of Captain Jack Sparrow were removed from the ride scenes, so that Johnny Depp himself – in character – would surprise guests along the way. This was to promote the release of Dead Men Tell No Tales (Salazar’s Revenge in selected areas overseas).
- 2017 (June) – Disney announced that the POTC attractions in Orlando, Anaheim and Paris will implement major scene renovations (discussed above). The Magic Kingdom version also restored the original “Talking Skull” animatronic from the original configuration.
- 2017 (July) – Disneyland Paris’ POTC reopened in July with the revamped auction scene and the addition of two Jack Sparrow animatronics, plus one animatronic of Captain Barbossa, and image projections of both Davy Jones and Blackbeard.
- 2018 (March) – The Magic Kingdom version reopens with the revamped auction scene. Disneyland will follow later this summer.