Location: At the back of Adventureland, near the exit to Frontierland.
Date Opened: 12/17/1973
# of Ride Units: 15 boats
Ride Capacity: 23 adults per boat, in six rows
Restraint Method: None
Ticket Rating: E Ticket
Ride Photo: No
Open/Close: Opens with Adventureland. This attraction is open during evening Extra Magic Hours but not the morning version.
Wait Times: Pirates of the Caribbean is a high capacity ride, but it is also very popular. The queue area is very long and it is difficult to visually tell what the wait may be. If both lines are open, many believe the left side is generally a bit faster.
Length of Ride: 9 minutes
Single Rider: No
Queue Description: Though the outmost queue simply winds through the Caribbean fortress-style building's courtyard, the lengthy queue area is very intricate and well themed.
Health Restriction: Except for one 14 foot drop, ride motion is gentle throughout.
Ride Access: ECVs are not allowed in the Pirates of the Caribbean queue and users will be required to transfer to a wheelchair. Riders must be able to transfer from wheelchairs to the ride's boats. You exit from the boats at a different location and your wheelchair will be transferred for you while you ride.
Wheelchair Transfer: Users of wheelchairs must be able to transfer from the wheelchair into the ride's boats. The seating in the boats are lower than floor level, and require a step down to enter and then a large step up to exit. Transfers must be performed in the regular loading and exiting area.
Service Animals: No
Audio: Hand-held captioning devices are available at Guest Services and provide captioning for the audio in this attraction.
Weight and Size Issues: Leg room can be cramped for the tall, or anybody with immobilized legs, but this can be accommodated by putting fewer people in a row, allowing the rider to sit sideways.
Height Restriction: None
Child Swap: Yes
Other Issues: Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the rides where it can be difficult to tell if a child is ready for the slightly scary aspects. Much of the ride takes place in semi-darkness and scenes of violence between pirates are portrayed.
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History and Trivia
- At this location: Pirates of the Caribbean is the only attraction to have resided at this location.
- The Attraction's History: Pirates of the Caribbean was not part of the original plans for the Magic Kingdom. The reasoning was that there were plenty of real pirate sites in the Florida and the greater Caribbean area that nobody would want to see fake pirates at Walt Disney World. When the park opened in 1971 without it, guest demand quickly set everybody straight on that issue. Rushed into development, the ride opened just two years later. At about 9 minutes, the Walt Disney World version of the attraction is several minutes shorter than the Disneyland original. What the Magic Kingdom version lacks during the ride, is compensated for with a much more thorough theming project than at Disneyland. The show building is bigger, with an extravagantly themed exterior and queue area.
Though the ride remains pretty much the same as when it opened in 1973, some controversy arose in 1999 when changes were made during a refurbishment. For what most consider an attempt at political correctness, several gags hinting at sexual assualt or exploitation were altered (such as where a pirate used to chase a woman, he now chases a woman carrying a food tray)—though the most blatant example where women are being auctioned remains. Similar changes had been made at Disneyland in 1997.
In March 2006 the ride closed for a lengthy refurbishment to add new show elements drawn from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. When the ride reopened on July 7, 2006, it had received several general upgrades of lighting, sound systems, and atmospheric decorations. The big change is the addition of a Davy Jones projection on a water screen, the audio-animatronic on the Wicked Wench was changed to be Barbossa rather than a general pirate captain, and three animatronic representations of Jack Sparrow. Also during that refurbishment, Peg-Legged Pete, the parrot out front who used to sing "A Parrot's Life for Me," was removed. He has since resurfaced in the Pirate Room at World of Disney in Downtown Disney.
- Other Trivia:
- Plenty of Animatronics: The ride contains 126 audio-animatronics, 69 of them are pirates.
- Lots of water, too: The flume for the ride contains three-quarters of a million gallons of water, which cycles through at about 18,000 gallons per minute.