Disney Alters Pirates of the Caribbean Ride Drop, Report States

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

Jack Sparrow on Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland

Credit: TMZ

Disney World and Disneyland have two mirror images of each other: Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom. Both parks have iconic castles, Cinderella Castle and Sleeping Beauty Castle, matching lands like Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, and more. They also have a lot of similar attractions.

walt disney world burnt out sign
Credit: SouthernDisney Belle

If you are looking to hop on a coaster, there is Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain on both coasts. Fly over Neverland with Peter Pan’s Flight at both theme parks, and then travel the world in a boat on “it’s a small world”. Want to get spooky? You can join the dead while riding Haunted Mansion. Although these attractions do have slight differences from each other, they are relatively similar in story, and style.

A photo of Disneyland Park in the 1960s in California.
Credit: Disneyland Archives

Another ride that is on both coasts is Pirates of the Caribbean. When Pirates of the Caribbean debuted at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California in 1967, it was an immediate hit. It was thought that Floridians would not like the attraction due to their location being close to the Caribbean, making it too familiar, but in the end, guests demanded to have the attraction come to Walt Disney World Resort as well.

Pirates of the Caribbean finds its home in the Adventureland section of the Magic Kingdom.

This immersive journey unfolds within a meticulously crafted Caribbean pirate harbor town with formidable fortifications, inviting taverns, and captivating waterfront vistas. The setting is expertly designed to whisk guests away to the vibrant era of piracy during the 17th century.

Jack Sparrow animatronic looking at a woman animatronic.
Credit: Disney

Pirates of the Caribbean is distinguished by its unforgettable and catchy theme song, “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” composed by George Bruns and Xavier Atencio. It is a melody that often lingers in the minds of visitors long after they depart the attraction.

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the few Disney attractions that was created without an IP in mind. Most attractions that are announced today, such as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, for example, are all based off of a previous Disney movie and brings the characters to life. Pirates of the Caribbean never started as a film, but its ride popularity sparked the idea to create one, much like the Haunted Mansion, which spun off The Haunted Mansion (2003), and Haunted Mansion (2023).

Pirates in jail on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney World
Credit: Disney

There has always been debate on both Pirates of the Caribbean attractions, as Disneyland’s ride is much longer than Magic Kingdom’s. That being said, both have been suffering a similar worry from guests: is a shut-down coming?

Disney has aimed to be more politically correct with the attraction, which has fallen under some scrutiny as of late.

As we mentioned, Jack Sparrow is very much the main character of the attraction, with an animatronic that looks identical to actor Johnny Depp.

Johnny Depp has certainly had a rough go as of late. The actor who has been known for so many iconic roles from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise to the iconic Edward Scissorhands film, to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, to Coraline, and even hit start on the hit series 21 Jump Street.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney

Johnny Depp has been in the spotlight more than usual over the past few years as he and his ex-wife Amber Heard have been battling against each other in a lawsuit that defamed Depp, alleging he was abusive towards the Aquaman star. Heard recorded moments of arguments with Depp, showing him yelling, hitting cabinets, and consuming alcohol. Heard stated that Depp had pulled her hair, thrown her down, bruised her back, and more. Of course, we know now that Johnny Depp was proven to be innocent, making Heard out to be the liar.

Heard may not have won legally, but she certainly won in destroying Depp’s career. As we mentioned, Johnny Depp’s largest franchise is Pirates of the Caribbean, where he plays the swashbuckling, rum-drinking, Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp began the franchise with Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003), alongside co-stars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly. The film was a huge box-office success—it grossed $654.3 million.

That led to several more films, including Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017). Although some actors did not stick it out through the entire series, Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow has remained the leading character for years.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow
Credit: Disney

Many fans have been worried that Disney would remove Jack Sparrow from their attraction entirely since they have such bad blood with the actor now. At this point, that has not yet happened, and Jack Sparrow lookalikes still roam the theme parks as a performer that guests can actually meet.

We have seen other animatronics disappear, which has also instilled fear into fans; that being said, Sparrow is still doing well.

Now, guests are debating if the ride has changed in another way. One guest took to the internet to ask, “I have heard several people claim that they remember seeing commercials circa the 2006 renovations, stating that the ride got steeper or faster drops, along with the new film inspired animatronics. I am unable to find any evidence or records of the drops changing nor any references to such commercials. I personally don’t have any memory of the drops changing, nor those commercials.”

Pirates of the Caribbean
Credit: Disney

This is regarding the drops on Disneyland’s version of the ride.

The first response stated, “The track has been the same as it has been since the 60s. It has never been altered. The drops are as steep as they always have been.”

Jack Sparrow as an animatronic.
Credit: Disney

Although the ride has undergone countless refurbishments, the track itself has not been changed since its inception. Another guest said, “The 2006 redo was a big one when they added Captain Jack Sparrow. I know they did some work on the lift at the end by adding that treasure scene and changing the audio, but I’m pretty sure there were no major changes to the track.”

Most readers agreed that the ride had not changed, but others were convinced that there used only to be one drop (which sound more like Magic Kingdom’s). Disneyland’s attraction needs the two drops for the structure of the ride, and the level of land that it operates on.

For now, the ride will remain as is, for the foreseeable future!

What do you think? Did you ever remember Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean at a slower pace?  


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