Disney Confirms Controversial Pirates of the Caribbean Ride Change in New Update

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

Pirates of the Caribbean Jack Sparrow on ride

Credit: Disney

Pirates of the Caribbean is about to go through a pretty big change, as the Disneyland attraction is introducing a new feature in a matter of weeks that we have never seen before.

Pirates of the Caribbean Disneyland attraction with people inside the boat riding through the tunnel.
Credit: Inside the Magic

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, a truly timeless attraction, first welcomed visitors on March 18, 1967 in New Orleans Square. Imagined by Disney Imagineer Marc Davis, the ride’s design showcased lifelike animatronic figures sculpted by Blaine Gibson. Although Walt Disney was involved in the initial planning, his passing in 1966 meant that he did not witness the ride’s opening, but thankfully, was able to see many of the iconic characters we still have today, come to life.

The inspiration behind Pirates of the Caribbean was to create an immersive dark ride using audio-animatronics technology and became so popular that it is now in every Disney park around the world. Over the years, the attraction underwent changes, including the incorporation of characters from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, including Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow and updates to address inappropriate scenes, such as the women being auctioned off.

Pirates of the Caribbean auction scene
Credit: Disney

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When guests visit the Walt Disney World location, they are able to utilize the Lightning Lane queue to skip the line if they had Disney Genie+. Walt Disney World Resort was built to hold many more guests, and therefore, the parks are larger, giving more space for queues and Lightning Lane entrances. Disneyland, the original park, never anticipated or knew to anticipate its guest count or the need for more space, and therefore, many of the rides do not have Lightning Lane options.

While Disney Genie+ is offered at Disneyland Resort, Pirates of the Caribbean was never on the list when it came to Lightning Lane attractions, but soon, it will be.

New Orleans Square and its surrounding area will soon be undergoing (and is currently undergoing) massive transformations, making the space feel more like a construction zone, and placing more pressure on the other lands in Disneyland, causing more traffic in those areas. At the moment, while it is not in New Orleans Square but just next to it in Critter Country, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure construction has held up what used to be a major ride, Splash Mountain. Mark Twain Riverboat is also under refurbishment through to next month.

To add to that, last year, we got the notice that Haunted Mansion would be extending its storyline with a new updated section, including a new store and queue. That will leave the ride shut down for a lengthy closure beginning January 22, which gives guests less of a reason to stick around that section of the park.

Holiday decorations shown on the outside front portion of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland Resort in California.
Credit: Disney

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So, in order to mitigate these changes, Disneyland is adding Pirates of the Caribbean to the Disneyland app for Disney Genie+, giving guests who purchase the offering a substitute attraction. This change will begin on January 22, when Haunted Mansion shuts down. An end date for this new Lightning Lane experience has not yet been stated, but Disneyland did note that it will be temporary, as stated by the Orange County Register.

The publication spoke to guests who were seemingly unhappy with this new change, as it will make the currently extensive and long line for Pirates of the Caribbean even longer. “They’re going to ruin the best people eating line in the park, just another ride that has to be planned instead of walking up and enjoying at any time”, said one Disney guest. Another wrote, “That line is bad enough without Genie+, you’re not going to be able to move in New Orleans Square now.”

Pirate skeleton scene from Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean attraction
Credit: Disney

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It will be interesting to see where the Lightning Lane queue is placed within the attraction, and how it extends the regular queue for Pirates of the Caribbean, which tends to spill into the streets of New Orleans Square on busier days, creating a difficult and crowded section of the park that already experiences a bottleneck problem.

Do you have a problem with Pirates of the Caribbean being added to Disney Genie+ at Disneyland? 

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