The New Redhead is More Historically Accurate Than Before

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of riding Pirates of the Caribbean for the first time since the redhead became the auctioneer. When I first heard about this change, I didn’t think much of it. It was steeped in controversy and any Disney blog I was reading seemed to think it was Disney caving to political correctness. Now, I’m the first to admit that I don’t mind a little political correctness, but I was a little sad to hear to such famous lines like “We wants the redhead” were suddenly gone.

But I gained a newfound respect for the new redhead upon seeing her as a formidable pirate rather than being an auction item. In fact, I loved it. When I saw her, I grabbed my mother and pointed her out. I felt like a kid all of a sudden. I’d never really noticed the fact that there wasn’t a single female pirate in Pirates of the Caribbean before. But now I noticed. Because now there is one and she’s a badass.

Women of the Caribbean

BREAKING: Redhead Auction Scene in Pirates of the Caribbean Getting Politically Correct Makeover in 2018

A lot of the arguments I’ve heard for why this change shouldn’t have occurred is that it’s not historically accurate. Yes, it’s true that there were auctions. And let’s not pretend that every encounter between a pirate and a woman was consensual.

But do you know what else there were? Female pirates!

The movie series did a decent job of showing this, with Elizabeth Swann becoming the pirate king and Mistress Ching being one of the most feared pirates on the sea. If the movies can manage this, why can’t the ride?

There wasn’t so much of a problem when Jack Sparrow was added to the ride way back in 2006, so why is adding a female pirate adding so much controversy?

The truth is that when Gibbs says that it’s bad luck to be bringing a woman aboard, he was actually stating a real superstition. But that didn’t stop many women from ruling the seas.

Rulers of the Sea

Elizabeth Swann

Take Cheng I Sao, who likely inspired Mistress Ching. She was originally a prostitute who married a powerful corsair and ran a crew of over 50,000 men with him. Upon his death, she took over the entire fleet. She is largely considered one of the most successful pirates in history. She ran her fleet with strict rules, including that all deserters would have their ears lopped off. The rape of female prisoners would result in beheading.

Or there’s Rachel Wall, who was somewhat of a siren of the sea. She and her husband would dress their boat up like it had been ravaged by a storm. And she stand on the deck and beg for help from other ships. But when they would approach Rachel’s vessel, she and her crew would board the ship and rob and murder those who were aboard.

Anne Bonny could have very well inspired the new redhead. She was known for her red locks and her strong temper. After divorcing her husband, she become first mate to a pirate called Calico Jack aboard his ship, the Revenge. Anne and her best friend Mary Read both sailed with Jack, with Mary masquerading as Mark. Mary eventually married one of the sailors aboard Jack’s vessel and became pregnant, revealing her secret.

Perhaps the new redhead was more inspired by Jacquotte Delahaye. She was better known, however, as Back From the Dead Red. Jacquotte was left with the care of her handicapped brother after her mother and father both passed. To do this, she took up piracy. She cemented her place in legend when she faked her own death. Government forces were closing in on her so she disappeared, faked her death, and reappeared several years later.

Happiness and History

Redhead

There are plenty more pirates out there who were women. Some masqueraded as men because of the superstition that might have prevented them from joining crews. Others, like Anne Bonny, sneered at the superstition and dressed however they wanted to.

But let’s move away from the history of it all for a moment. Let’s get back to political correctness. Political correctness is defined as term used to refer to language that seems intended to give the least amount of offense, especially when describing groups identified by external markers such as race, gender, culture, or sexual orientation.

What we’re talking about here, of redhead going from being an object for auction to a pirate auctioneer, isn’t political correctness. It’s about representation. As I said earlier, I never gave much though to the fact that there were no female pirates on the ride. I grew up with the understanding that that’s just how it was. I grew up on a ride that only included women as objects for auction. But I’d love it if my kids got to grow up seeing a strong woman (or maybe even women someday) on their favorite ride.

Really think about it. What is this scene taking away from the ride? The auction is still happening. It’s just auctioning things instead of people being treated as things.

The Auction Scene Today

On a much darker note, yes, there were auctions for women back then. Also, there’s auctions for women today. Human trafficking is an epidemic that is still a fear for many women. Going to college in a big city, we were taught during orientation week to be on our guard. We were told only to ever travel in groups. At night, we were told never go out at night if we weren’t in a group, preferably with a man in it. We were told to hold our keys between our knuckles if we are walking in a new area or if you are walking alone.

We can try to pretend it doesn’t exist and there is certainly less of it in the US, but not every country is so lucky. Anyone traveling to Disneyland or Walt Disney World shouldn’t have to face an issue that they already have to face every day in the real world. It’s the happiest place on Earth, a place that is an escape from reality.

If the new redhead gives any person a little more solace or a little more happiness, why should we deny them that?

I know this is a controversial topic. There’s been plenty of debate on it in the last year so I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Do you wants the old redhead? Or do you want the new auctioneer? Feel free to leave a comment!

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The Original Great Movie Ride

Possibly the saddest day at Disney World for me was when I went to say goodbye to The Great Movie Ride one last time. The Great Movie Ride was what introduced me to cinema. It’s what made me love movies. To see it leave was nothing short of heartbreaking for me, especially after seeing what they’re replacing it with. Seriously, a runaway train ride complete with the worst animation ever for Mickey and Minnie? Kind of a let down.

Anyways, The Great Movie Ride was the reason that I love movies and at one point I thought I would be a host on the ride so I memorized the entire (before TCM takeover) script. Here it is laid out scene by scene!

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Photo courtesy of Sam Howzit on Flickr

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How Disney Does Immersion

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Stormtroopers fill the streets during Star Wars Weekends. Photo courtesy of Gordon Tarpley on Flickr.

When we think of rides, we typically think of them in the most basic terms. You get on something that has been created for you to have a certain experience, you experience it, and then you get off. Back during Walt Disney’s time, you could only have one experience, designed for you. You could always count on the fact that Space Mountain had the same track, every time. As time progressed, so did the advancement of the experience of the ride. Star Tours, for example, boasts that you can have a unique experience every time you ride.

But Disney is taking things a step further. Next time you head to a Disney park, you might just be the one in control of the story.

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Is Disneyland adding Marveland?

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The Avengers hatch, recently discovered at Disney’s California Adventure. Photo courtesy of CBR.

As I’ve already discussed, the relationship that Disney has with Marvel in terms of what they can do in the parks is kind of a mess, but ultimately what you need to know is that Disney has the right to use any Marvel characters west of the Mississippi which is why Captain America will not be in Walt Disney World anytime soon. But if you’ve been to Disneyland in California recently, you might noticed that Disneyland has already kind of become Marveland. And it doesn’t seem like they’re stopping anytime soon.

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How Moana is resurrecting a long forgotten Disney ride idea

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Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Animation Studios

New rumors (that aren’t all that new, it would seem) are circulating about a fourth “mountain” being added to Magic Kingdom. In a way, the mountains will soon resemble the four elements: water, earth, fire, air (PS: if you didn’t read that in the voice of Katara listing the elements in the opening of “Avatar: the Last Airbender,” we’re not friends anymore). Water is Splash Mountain. Earth is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Air is Space Mountain. So what’s fire? Well, this one is more literal. Disney may be gearing up to make a Fire Mountain. Here’s how Moana may be making the ride a reality.

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The Rumors of the Haunted Mansion

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Photo courtesy of fortherock on Flickr. 

Many rides at Walt Disney World have rumors surrounding them. Perhaps you’ve heard the one about the person who got decapitated on Space Mountain or that River Country was closed down because deadly amoebas were found in the water (which turned out to be partly true). But no other attraction seems to have as many rumors as the Haunted Mansion.

Perhaps because it is a bit of a more morbid attraction and morbidity tends to fuel a rumor mill. But those 999 ghosts have been telling stories. That’s what we get for putting so many ghost writers together, I guess.

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A Star Wars Update

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Stormtroopers walking through Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Photo courtesy of Gordon Tarpley on Flickr.

While Pandora is underway in Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as Disneyland in Anaheim, has been undergoing it’s own major overhaul, usually referred to as Star Wars Land. To be fair, as we’re finding out now, that’s a misnomer, because it’s not just one land. It’s two brand new lands that will be Star Wars based and are set to be open in 2019.

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Typhoon Lagoon’s newest ride quietly pays homage to one of Disney’s most forgotten films

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Lost kingdom of Atlantis from “Atlantis: the Lost Empire.” Photo courtesy of Disney Wiki

Back in 2001, Disney had a brand new franchise underway. With a cast led by Michael J. Fox, “Atlantis” was supposed to hit. Called a “monumental treat” and “worth it” by the New York Times and given 3.5 out of 4 stars by Roger Ebert, it critically was a hit. And yet it was a box office bomb.

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A Pandora Update

I may not be the biggest Pandora supporter, but some recent photos and videos may have me changing my tune. I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. I’ve never enjoyed “Avatar” and could barely get through the movie, but Pandora really does look like it’s preparing guests to enter a new world. Disney Parks has been keeping us updated on what’s happening in the world of Pandora and giving some insight into what we will being seeing.

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Why you will not be seeing more Marvel characters in Walt Disney World

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Marvel sign at the “Marvel Universe” exhibit in Shanghai Disneyland. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Thompson on Flickr.

For $4 billion, Disney bought Marvel in 2009. The companies had been working together already, since they launched the “Iron Man” trilogy the year before and started the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise.

Just three years after that acquisition, Disney acquired Lucasfilm and they cashed in.”Star Wars Land” is now underway in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Before the construction started, they’d already begun “Star Wars Weekends” where guests could actually meet the stars of the movies, as well as have special character themed meals and do meet and greets with characters from the originals and prequels. In the four years since Disney bought Lucasfilm, “Stars Wars” has gone from just being one ride in Walt Disney World to being one of the biggest parts of Hollywood Studios. But it’s been seven years since Disney bought Marvel and the company is still absent from the parks. You aren’t likely to see that change anytime soon.

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