The REAL Reason Why Pirates of the Caribbean Has a Drop (or Two!)

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

pirates of the caribbean dog and key jail scene

Credit: Disney

Pirates of the Caribbean is considered to be a classic attraction at the Disney Parks, including at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. But did you know that the reason this Disney ride includes a drop (or two, depending on the Park!) is due to interference with another popular Disney Parks attraction?

pirates of the caribbean animatronic disney
Credit: Disney

Disney Imagineers actually had to add a drop on Pirates of the Caribbean due to the previously installed train tracks from the Walt Disney World Railroad and Disneyland Railroad!

Since both the Walt Disney World Railroad and the Disneyland Railroad were opening day attractions at the theme parks, the train tracks were already in place when construction began on Pirates of the Caribbean. The boat ride attraction officially opened in 1967 at Disneyland and 1973 at Magic Kingdom.

At one point, Imagineers realized that the tracks would go over where they were building the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. In order to accommodate for both the Railroad and the boat ride, Imagineers decided to implement a drop in the attraction that brings Guests under the Railroad. In fact, the main part of the ride takes place in a larger show building, which is located behind the train tracks (The Disney World version can be seen in the image below)!

show buildings pirates of the caribbeana
Credit: Johnathon Salazar (thedisneypilot)

So even though the drop coincides with the storyline of Pirates of the Caribbean, the real reason that this was included is because of interference with the Walt Disney World Railroad and Disneyland Railroad.

Fun fact: Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney World has one drop, but the ride at Disneyland has two!

More on Pirates of the Caribbean

pirates of the caribbean dog and key jail scene
Credit: Disney

In case you have never had the chance to ride it, the official Disney World website describes this classic attraction as:

Board a weathered barge for a treacherous voyage to the 17th century, when rowdy rogues and ruthless rapscallions ransacked Caribbean seaport towns. Sing along as pirates serenade you with their anthem, “Yo Ho, Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).”

Sail past haunted Dead Man’s Cove. Navigate cannon fire between a Caribbean fort and a striking 12-gun galleon. Behold boisterous buccaneers drunk on the spoils of plunderin’ as flames engulf a seaside town.

Be sure to keep a spry eye out for Captain Jack Sparrow, from The Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Ye beware, mateys: Dead men tell no tales!

Credit: Disney

And the Disneyland version of Pirates of the Caribbean is described as:

Strike yer colors! Your adventure begins in a shadowy bayou, where you’ll board a weathered barge. Plunge down a waterfall in the dark and float through the spectral world of Pirates Grotto. Dead men tell no tales—but they guard their treasure for all eternity.

Navigate cannon fire between a fort and a 12-gun galleon. Glide into port and behold brazen buccaneers drunk on pillaged plunder. Skulk past the well-armed lass who commands a colorful auction of villagers’ goods.

Sing along as sea roving scalawags serenade you with their classic shanty, “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).” Witness flames engulf the town and pass prisoners trapped in their jail cell, doggedly trying to escape.

Keep a spry eye out for sly Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, as he schemes to get his hands on the spoils.

If ye be seekin’ adventure, ay—you’ve come to the proper place!

george the pirates ghost
Credit: Disney Parks

Did you know that the Railroad is the reason why you drop while riding Pirates of the Caribbean? Let us know in the comments below.

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