Pirates of the Caribbean Nears Uncertain Future Following “Woke” Complaints

in Walt Disney World

Auction scene featuring Pirate Redd, the auctioneer, and townspeople in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

Pirates of the Caribbean, the iconic Magic Kingdom attraction, is nearing a lengthy closure following complaints about the ride’s divisive history.

Pirates of the Caribbean is undoubtedly one of the most popular attractions in Magic Kingdom since the park opened in 1971, with thousands of families demanding the experience be brought to Orlando since it was not an opening day attraction at the Florida-based Disney Resort.

Cinderella walking toward Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom
Credit: Disney

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However, after decades of debate surrounding the beloved attraction and its polarizing history, Disney World appears to be ready to start changing the Adventureland ride with extreme plans.

Refurbishment walls up around Pirates of the Caribbean at Magic Kingdom

During a recent visit to Magic Kingdom Park, Inside the Magic saw multiple construction walls surrounding part of the iconic Adventureland attraction and tarps covering the clock tower near the ride’s entrance.

No signs were posted on these walls to inform guests of the work behind them or the schedule for this sudden refurbishment. Instead, signs with humorous quotes were in place.

The entrance to the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride at Disney World's Magic Kingdom is seen, partially covered by construction scaffolding and tarps. Despite some pirates of the caribbean complaints, the iconic sign with the ride's name is visible on the right, and a palm tree stands nearby under a clear blue sky.
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

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The scene could confuse guests walking to Pirates of the Caribbean, as the shut-down area is hard to ignore. However, the ride remained open, providing a refreshing break in the air-conditioned queue while waiting to sail with Captain Jack Sparrow.

While the ride was operational at the time and continues to welcome guests for a swashbuckling voyage (and a great escape from the high temperatures striking Orlando), Pirates of the Caribbean could be nearing an indefinite closure and massive changes after complaints about its history.

What are the cultural impacts of the Pirates of the Caribbean refurbishment?

Pirates of the Caribbean, like many decisions The Walt Disney Company has made in recent years, is always a hot topic for discussion due to its polarizing history.

For those unaware, the beloved Disney ride used to have multiple scenes sexualizing women and depicting attempts of sexual assault by the pirates while pillaging the town in the ride.

Fortunately, Walt Disney Imagineers took notice of these heavily misogynistic, outdated, and inappropriate behaviors and decided to reimagine the attraction in 2018.

The auctioneer in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort holding a whip in his hand with a woman from the town holding a hen and a basked of eggs and a pirate beside him
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

Related: Misogynistic Past Continues To Haunt Pirates of the Caribbean

With this refurbishment, Disney replaced the “bride auction” scene on the ride and reverted the roles in the town pillaging scene, with women now defending themselves and chasing the pirates out of their homes.

Sadly, some conservative fans criticized these changes, deeming them “woke,” a term that has plagued the public’s opinion on The Walt Disney Company, particularly in recent years with the legal and political battle between the company and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

If you didn’t have a chance to experience the attraction before these scenes were removed, you can take a trip back in time through the lens of Inside the Magic in the video below or click here to watch our video.

Additionally, the legal battle between Johnny Depp and his former partner, Amber Heard, caused panic among fans of the beloved Disney ride and the actor’s supporters.

This was caused by rumors speculating that the Captain Jack Sparrow animatronics would be removed from the attraction due to the polarizing drama surrounding Depp and Heard. Regardless, The Walt Disney Company decided to maintain Depp’s image of Captain Jack Sparrow at the attraction.

Throughout the boat ride, guests can encounter Captain Jack Sparrow in multiple scenes. But Johnny Depp shocked parkgoers in 2017 by replacing his audio-animatronic and greeting guests riding the Disneyland Park classic in its 50th anniversary.

You can see the video of this magical experience below or click here to watch it.

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Is Disney modifying Pirates of the Caribbean soon?

Aye matey! During last year’s Destination D23 live panel, Disney World revealed plans for a unique expansion at Pirates of the Caribbean in Magic Kingdom.

Per the announcement, the expansion will include a brand-new dining experience themed to an old-style tavern where guests can sit down and enjoy a meal, drinks, and snacks while immersed in the vibes and theming of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and film series.

Disney Parks (@disneyparks) followed the announcement with a hilarious video, which you can see below or click here to watch.

THIS IS NOT A DRILL. A new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lounge is coming to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World @Disney D23 #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #MagicKingdom #DisneyNews #Pirates #PiratesOfTheCaribbean #DestinationD23


☠️ THIS IS NOT A DRILL ☠️ A new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed lounge is coming to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World 🏴‍☠️ @Disney D23 #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #MagicKingdom #DisneyNews #Pirates #PiratesOfTheCaribbean #DestinationD23

♬ original sound – Disney Parks

While Walt Disney Imagineering teams are undoubtedly working hard to bring this exciting expansion to life — along with a divisive reimagining at Disney’s Animal Kingdom — additional information about the upcoming tavern and expansion has not been released.

However, changes to the attraction itself were not mentioned in this announcement.

Unfortunately, it could be expected that, similarly to the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland Park’s New Orleans Square, the expansion would require an indefinite closure of the beloved attraction or at least operational changes while Walt Disney Imagineering carries out the construction.

Concept art for the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean expansion coming to Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

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Will Disney World shut down the iconic attraction?

As of this article’s publication, Walt Disney World Resort officials have not revealed plans for the Pirates of the Caribbean closure or the schedule for its expansion. Inside the Magic will update you once more official information becomes available.

What are the alternative attractions during the Pirates of the Caribbean refurbishment?

In addition to Pirates of the Caribbean, Adventureland is home to many fun attractions for the whole family, including the world-famous Jungle Cruise—which often exceeds the half-hour wait time mark—the Swiss Family Treehouse, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.

Construction walls surrounding the nearly completed attraction Tiana's Bayou Adventure in Magic Kingdom
Credit: Ed Aguila, Inside the Magic

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As if that weren’t enough, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is scheduled to open in Frontierland, just steps away from Pirates of the Caribbean, on June 28, bringing more fun to Magic Kingdom Park.

Is Johnny Depp returning to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise?

Of course, we can’t talk about Pirates of the Caribbean without mentioning the man, the myth, the legend, Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp throughout the Disney movie franchise, which was inspired by the original Disneyland Park attraction, which has expanded at Disney Parks worldwide.

While millions of fans worldwide would love to see Johnny Depp reprise his role as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and the actor has stated that he would be willing to return to Disney “for the right role,” his return as the franchise’s lead is unlikely.

Johnny Depp screaming as Jack Sparrow
Credit: Disney

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Inside the Magic recently reported that Johnny Depp wants to continue his acting career and “stay busy.” However, information revealed that if he chose to participate in the latest installment, Depp’s role would be limited to a cameo appearance rather than reprising his iconic role.

Do you think Disney should modify Pirates of the Caribbean at Magic Kingdom? Share your opinion on this divisive topic in the comments below!

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