Pirates of the Caribbean Closed: Disney World Issues Final Decision on “Offensive” Ride

in Walt Disney World

A skeleton dressed in a tattered pirate hat stands at the helm of a weathered ship's steering wheel. The ship's deck appears old and worn, with torn sails and scattered chains. The background is lit with a blue hue, giving a ghostly, eerie atmosphere. The scene is part of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Magic Kingdom.

Credit: u/Mr_Midnight_Moon via Reddit

A group of Walt Disney World Resort guests were seconds from the drop on Pirates of the Caribbean when the ride suddenly stopped. The 51-year-old attraction’s lights came on, and Disney cast members evacuated hundreds of guests.

Pirates of the Caribbean came under intense scrutiny in the past year, and not because of Johnny Depp. The controversy began when a Disney Park guest accused the attraction of being offensive, stating that she felt “ogled” by the male pirate animatronics.

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

“I just think this is kind of a weird ride,” she said. “I don’t know… It’s just a little bit rapey.”

Walt Disney Imagineering hasn’t left Pirates of the Caribbean to rot at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Almost two decades ago, they added Captain Jack Sparrow animatronics to the Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park rides. Years later, they changed a sexist bride auction scene–turning women doomed to a life of domestic servantry into swashbuckling female pirates.

The Walt Disney Company is making other changes related to Pirates of the Caribbean, like closing Magic Kingdom Park’s Tortuga Tavern in favor of an adventure-themed bar and removing Jack Sparrow from Fantasmic! at Disneyland Park. Still, some fans are worried that public outcry is getting to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort as the dark ride increasingly breaks down.

Redditor u/Mr_Midnight_Moon shared these three photos taken during a Pirates of the Caribbean evacuation last weekend:

Our first Ride Evac!

Our First Ride Evac!
byu/Mr_Midnight_Moon inDisneyWorld

“They took us through an exit right there on the stage and we walked around the back of the Pirates building,” the Disney Park guest recalled. “They wouldn’t let us take any pictures or anything back there obviously. Not much back there worth taking pictures of really anyways. Kind of a boring ride exit for our very first one, but hey, I’ll take it.”

Despite the interruption, the guest was excited to have evacuated from a Disney Park ride. There was another perk, too.

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

“It was a great place to get stopped because it was right under the air vents for the wind and it was a scorchingly hot day,” they concluded.

It’s unclear what caused last weekend’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, but the ride re-opened and was operating normally at the time of this article’s publication.

Have you evacuated a ride at Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Share your experience with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

View Comments (78)