One of the most iconic rides at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World is Pirates of the Caribbean. One of the original rides created by Walt Disney himself, Pirates of the Caribbean was originally meant to be a wax museum style walkthrough attraction. However, after the success of popularity of “it’s a small world” at the 1964 World’s Fair, the design concept was changed to a boat ride system.
After the release of the first Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) film, and in response to its popularity, both rides eventually received a re-theme. Rather than a generic pirate ride, the rides in both parks were now heavily inspired by the characters and events in the films. Johnny Depp as captain Jack Sparrow can be seen often throughout the ride, appearing in several places. The ride is still a water-based boat ride and utilizes a variety of animatronics and projection mapping to help guests feel immersed.
Both Pirates of the Caribbean rides received a refurbishment a couple of years ago, leading to some changes along the ride path. One of these changes, and perhaps the most notable, was the auction scene featuring the female redheaded pirate. While this scene was perhaps the most controversial from before the changes, it’s not the only change that guests have a problem with.
In a recent Reddit post, a Disneyland Guest states that they’re upset with the removal of the Davy Jones/Blackbeard mist screen. At one point during the ride, Guests would go through a curtain of fog that projected Davy Jones’s face (and, during 2011, it projected Blackbeard’s face to promote the latest film) A fun gimmick for Guests as they float through the fog, it was removed during the refurbish and replaced by a transition scene in which skeletons on a beach are transformed back into living pirate.
Several other users commented that they prefer the animatronic style that took the place of the fog, and that the theme parks have become too reliant on projections and screens in many recent attractions, and that the new effect makes more sense. Both American Universal Parks and the overseas Disney Parks rely heavily on 3-D ride and screen technology. As more of the rides throughout the Disney Parks undergo movie tie-in changes, fans and Guests will have to see what direction the Imagineers decide to take.