Disney World Guest Spends 13 Hours on Pirates of the Caribbean Ride

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Jack Sparrow as an animatronic.

Credit: Disney

Steven Amos spent his August 6 birthday riding Walt Disney World’s famed Pirates of the Caribbean attraction for an entire Park day as a part of a marathon fundraising challenge. Amos vowed to ride the attraction once for every hundred dollars raised before donating all profits to Give Kids The World, a nonprofit for whom he serves as the Vice President of Advancement.

Give Kids the World
Credit: Give Kids the World

According to their mission, Give Kids The World (GKTW) “exists only to fulfill the wishes of critically ill children and their families from around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to Central Florida’s attractions, and to enjoy the magic of Give Kids The World Village for as long as there is a need.”

GKTW partners with more than 250 Wish Granting Organizations globally to identify and serve children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.

The nonprofit was founded by Florida hotelier Henri Landwirth in 1986, who learned of a young girl diagnosed with leukemia who passed away from her illness before her dream of visiting the Orlando area theme parks was realized.

Give Kids The World Towne Hall
Credit: Give Kids The World

Landwirth was inspired to start GKTW so that going forward, a child in need would never again run out of time before their life’s one wish is granted. After three years of arranging for families to stay in area hotels for their wish vacations, Landwirth once again enlisted the hospitality and theme park industry’s help to create the GKTW Village.

According to their website, the Village is an “84-acre, nonprofit resort complete with 166 Villa accommodations, entertainment attractions, whimsical venues, and fun specifically designed for children with critical illnesses.” To date, it has served more than 160 thousand families across 75 different countries.

Enlisting the help of corporations such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, and many more, as well as countless volunteers and other generous individuals, GKTW is able to serve over 8,000 families annually. Individual stories are shared on their YouTube channel so that supporters can see the difference their help makes for families in need.

Amos began his journey with GKTW in 2019 after spending ten years working for the Walt Disney World Resort in various capacities. This year he used his birthday to bridge his past with his present in an all-day fundraising event that served to “raise awareness for the GKTW mission in new and creative ways,” a passion he lists in his company bio.

On his fundraising page, he wrote that the challenge would be the longest he’d ever done as he planned to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction repeatedly from the moment Magic Kingdom opened until its 11 pm closing. With 100% of the profits going directly towards GKTW, he set goals tied to incentives that unlocked additional mini challenges in an effort to inspire donors.

pirates of the caribbean jack sparrow disneyland
Credit: Disney

The total fundraising goal was set at $6,000, or “the cost of a wish,” and the mini goals were listed as follows:


$100 – For each $100 raised, I will ride Pirates of the Caribbean

$3,000 – Chug some of that sweet Beverly drink!

$6,000 (cost of a wish) – I will continue my quest of punishing my stomach and only eat turkey legs for the entire day

$10,000 – I will dress as a pirate as much as Magic Kingdom will allow me for the day

$11,101 – If we beat last year’s fundraising goal, I will allow someone that donated to choose face paint for me to wear all day long

Over the course of 13 hours, Amos rode the attraction a total of 28 times and raised over $11,000, posting frequent updates to his Twitter account.

Credit: Disney

He used his photo editing skills in his first post, updating the Magic Kingdom signage with his name and age to honor the occasion.

Can’t believe they swapped their signage for my birthday today! I’m riding Pirates for 13 hours straight today to benefit @GKTWVillage – Donate at: https://facebook.com/donate/1257792571704894/


He updated again, presumably when the $6,000 mark was hit, sharing a photo of himself and a turkey leg.

Time to feel awful! give.gktw.org/piratesride


He continued to show off his photo editing skills with a series of posts picturing Amos participating in various parts of the attraction.

Pirates is currently broken down so I decided to test my luck at the auction!


And finally, his last post contained a heartfelt thank you and a fundraising results recap.

Thank you to everyone who supported
today! We were able to raise over $11,000! With a couple hour downtime, I was able to complete 28 rides (and one Small World!)
To Donate: http://give.gktw.org/piratesride


At $11,413 raised, this years event surpassed last years total by several hundred dollars.

For more information about GKTW’s mission and fundraising efforts, or to learn about how to get involved, click here. 

More on Pirates of the Caribbean

pirates of the caribbean
Credit: Disney

Disney World’s official website describes this attraction as:

A Pirate’s Life for You
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

Would you be able to ride Pirates of the Caribbean for an entire Park day straight? Tell us in the comments!


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