- Thrill Scale (0=Wimpy!, 10=Yikes!): 2
Small splashdowns, mildly frightening images.
- Type: Boat-conveyed dark ride
Pirates of the Caribbean may be the quintessential theme park attraction. It is a masterful blend of fanciful storytelling and high-tech wizardry--but the latter never overshadows the former. The robotics, special effects, conveyance system, music, and other elements meld seamlessly to sweep guests away into a mythical, three-dimensional pirate world.
The experience varies slightly depending on the park. The original Disneyland version, personally overseen by Walt, has an extended "grotto" sequence at the beginning of the attraction. This is where the coveted treasure lies. Also unique to California, Pirates resides in the New Orleans Square area, and its boats drift past diners in the enchanting Blue Bayou restaurant. (Epcot's Mexico pavilion uses a similar concept with its restaurant and boat-conveyed attraction.) In Paris, the boats go up a ramp to begin the attraction and deliver the splashdown as a finale.
The three other Pirates start by sending their boatloads of passengers down a short, but attention-grabbing, drop. (California and Paris feature two small waterfalls.) It is as if Disney transports guests to a mysterious subterranean netherworld where skeletons come to life and break into rousing choruses of the Pirates theme song.
Going Below Deck with the Pirates
Background and insight from Disney legend Marty Sklar
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