A look at Pirates of the Caribbean around the world

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Jack Sparrow in the treasure room scene in Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Photo courtesy of HarshLight on Flickr.

I’ve heard people argue before that they’ve been to Walt Disney World once before so they really don’t have to ever go again. These are the same people that argue that they have a Disney park in their own country so why bother going to one in a different country? If you’ve never even thought about going to Tokyo Disneyland or Disneyland Paris, you’re missing a lot.

One of my favorite things that you’re missing is the way that certain rides transition from one park to the other. In this post, we’ll take a look at the difference between each parks’ “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the last ride that Walt Disney himself personally oversaw the design of.

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Skeletons in Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Photo courtesy of Harsh Light on Flickr.

The original ride is the Disneyland version is also the longest and is in New Orleans Square. When you enter the ride, you actually ride right through the Blue Bayou restaurant and feel like you are riding through a real bayou, before dropping (literally) into the world of the pirates. You first enter Dead Man’s Cove and see what may or may not be some real skeletons (they totally are real). You go through what some might mistake as Tortuga, but is actually Puerto Dorado on Isla Teroso. In 2006, Barbossa and Jack Sparrow were added to the story as well as a curtain of mist after the drop, on which the images of Davy Jones and Captain Blackbeard are alternately shown as they invite the riders to “face the pirates’ curse.” The version in Tokyo Disneyland is nearly the same but it’s interesting to note that it’s not actually very popular there the way it is in Disneyland in California. In Japan, the image of swashbuckling pirates isn’t nearly as recognizable and not considered iconic the way it is in America.

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Magic Kingdom’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” in 2000, before the hiding woman was replaced by Jack Sparrow. Photo courtesy of ckramer on Flickr.

The Walt Disney World version is slightly shorter and is in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom. In this version, there’s no Blue Bayou. Riders travel directly into Pirate’s Cove, but there’s no real skeletons in this version. To get there, you go through another cloud of mist, but Blackbeard was only a temporary installment when “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” came out. Now it’s Davy Jones all the time to welcome riders to face their fate.

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Dead Man’s Cove in Disneyland Paris’s “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Photo courtesy of Haydn Blackey on Flickr.

If you are a Disney purist and miss the way that “Pirates of the Caribbean” was before the film series came out, then you’re looking for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” in Disneyland Paris. This version goes through the bayou and enters the pirate world in the same way. It’s the exact same story line and scenes, except Jack Sparrow, Barbossa, and the cloud of mist featuring Blackbeard and Davy Jones was never added. Going through Disneyland Paris’s version of the ride is a bit like riding Disneyland’s version in the 60s. Disneyland and Walt Disney World made changes to coincide with the need to be a bit more politically correct. The “Pooped Pirate” in Disneyland became the Gluttonous Pirate so that he would be associated with food, rather than alcohol and a woman hiding in a barrel became a cat instead. In Magic Kingdom, the Pooped Pirate is given a treasure map instead of booze. The woman in a barrel is replaced with Jack Sparrow. And another famous scene was changed there. There’s a part in the town square scene where a woman is being chased around a balcony, trying to get away from two men attempting to grab her. Instead the chaser and chasee are reversed now. The men are trying to escape with treasure and she’s chasing them with a broom. None of these changes were made to the Disneyland Paris version.

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The final battle scene in “Pirates of the Caribbean- Battle for Sunken Treasure” in Shanghai Disneyland. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Thompson on Flickr.

The most unique version of the ride isn’t just called “Pirates of the Caribbean.” It’s “Pirates of the Caribbean- Battle for Sunken Treasure” in Shanghai Disneyland. Shanghai Disneyland opened in 2016 and this ride opened with it. It’s the first version of the ride to be based on the film series and not the other way around. It’s filled with some of the most incredible animatronics ever created, with projection mapping that makes it look like a real person is standing there talking to you. The story follows Jack Sparrow as he gets into battle with Davy Jones. It’s still a boat ride, but with 360 degree screens around you, your boat actually goes underwater and you come face to face with Davy Jones and his terrible beast, the Kraken. Check out the full ride below, courtesy of SoCal Attractions 360 and let us know in the comments which version of “Pirates of the Caribbean” you wish you were riding!

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