Disney’s Controversial Pirates of the Caribbean Closes Indefinitely, Reason Confirmed

in Disney Parks, Shanghai Disneyland

Pirates of the Caribbean Jack Sparrow on ride

Credit: Disney

Is Disney removing Pirates of the Caribbean from one of their theme parks?

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

It appears that, for now, they are.

While there are many Disney parks around the world that focus heavily on implementing intellectual property into their attractions, there are a few rides that started off as originals. While rides like Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean all have their own movie franchises now, they are the few that did it in the order of ride and then movie.

Commonly, we see movies debut, and then, based on their popularity, a ride may be created. We have seen this with the development of Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World, Disneyland, and soon, Disneyland Paris. Also, the new Frozen lands, which are coming to Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Tokyo Disney Resort, are another prime example of Disney capitalizing on the popularity of their movies.

At Walt Disney World, it was recently announced that Dinoland U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also undergoing a big change as it is now being rethemed to either Encanto or Indiana Jones, with a Zootopia overlay coming to the Tree of Life.

Due to Disney’s desire to constantly keep their films and rides symbiotic, we have seen updates to these “original” attractions to bring their ride storyline closer to the on-screen storyline. For Pirates of the Caribbean, we saw the addition of Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, and in the Haunted Mansion, the Hat Box Ghost, aka the film’s villain, will soon be found at Magic Kingdom as well.

When Pirates of the Caribbean premiered at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, in 1967, it became an instant sensation. Despite initial concerns that Floridians might not embrace the attraction due to their proximity to the Caribbean, making it too familiar, guests ultimately clamored for its inclusion at Walt Disney World Resort.

Pirates of the Caribbean was then situated in the Adventureland section of the Magic Kingdom.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow with the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction entrance in the background at Walt Disney World
Credit: Inside The Magic

This immersive journey unfolds in a meticulously crafted Caribbean pirate harbor town complete with imposing fortifications, welcoming taverns, and captivating waterfront vistas. The setting is intricately designed to transport guests to the vibrant era of piracy during the 17th century.

While the classic rendition of the attraction lies at a majority of the Disney Parks, including Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disney Resort, Shanghai Disneyland has a version that is much more focused on the films.

The attraction Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure debuted at Shanghai Disneyland on June 16, 2016. Drawing inspiration from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, as we noted, which, in turn, was adapted from the original Disneyland ride of the same name. This attraction is situated in Treasure Cove, marking the first Pirates-themed land in any Disney Park.

Pirates of the Caribbean Shanghai
Credit: Disney

Disney Parks describe the ride as, “Guests embark on a journey through the Caves of Misfortune, plummet to the Graveyard of the Lost Ships, explore the undersea world of Davy Jones, and become caught in the crossfires of an epic battle. Along the way, they encounter Captain Jack Sparrow, mermaids and the savage Kraken.”

The ride trails off the coattails of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2003), Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)this ride blends seamlessly within the franchise.

Being one of the more iconic attractions at Shanghai Disneyland, alongside TRON Lightcycle Power Run, Roaring Rapids, Soaring Over Horizon, Slinky Dog Spin, Hunny Pot Spin, Peter Pan’s Flight, and more, many are devastated to arrive to the park, only to find that the most technologically advanced version of Pirates of the Caribbean is shut down.

Castle setup at Shanghai Disney
Credit: Disney

While some closures are temporary and can mean the ride will be likely running within the next few hours; others are scheduled closures.

At the moment, Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure is shut down for maintenance; however, according to the Shanghai Disneyland website, the ride does not have a reopening date in sight and will be shut down through the rest of the year.

This may be updated in the future, but at the moment, there are no operating hours through to May 11, 2024.

Some visitors have even taken to the internet to ask if the ride is really closed, noting that if it was, that would be a major disappointment on their vacation.

Many have worried if Disney would remove the attraction in the past due to the presence of Jack Sparrow. Disney recently booted Johnny Depp from the franchise, therefore removing Jack Sparrow. They did this due to his allegations of abuse against ex-wife Amber Heard. Of course, the allegations were claimed as false, but Disney jumped to their decision before a verdict was made, showing their lack of loyalty to one of their biggest stars.

Depp has stated not even $300 million will have him back in the role. 

If you want to see the attraction and watch Jack Sparrow from your own home, you can see below!

Recently, Shanghai Disney shared a first look at their Zootopia land.

As we shared from the Disney Parks Blog:

“Before you know it, you’ll be assigned to back up Officer Judy Hopps and her partner, Nick Wilde, now officially a police officer, in an action-filled police chase. Here you will traverse across Zootopia’s iconic terrains, sliding across the ice of Tundra Town, prowling for fugitives through the streets of Sahara Square, sharing a too-close-for-comfort encounter at Mystic Springs Oasis, and plummeting from the canopies of the Rainforest District all in pursuit of Bellwether and her gang to track down Gazelle.”

Red paw popsicle from Shanghai Disneyland's Zootopia land
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Read more here. 

Do you think that Disney should remove Pirates of the Caribbean from their theme parks?


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