This classic may be on your list to rope drop at the Magic Kingdom, but do you know these five Pirates of the Caribbean facts?
Pirates of the Caribbean opened in 1973 in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom after growing popularity from its 1967 Disneyland counterpart. And, with classic songs and memorable scenes featuring the antics of Audio-Animatronic pirates, a battle with cannons, and even a small drop, the ride has everything you need to create the ultimate Disney dark ride. Now, 50 years later, the ride is still so popular that we’re actually getting a new Pirates of the Caribbean-themed tavern added to Adventureland in Magic Kingdom in the future! So, we’re celebrating this epic ride and sharing five incredible Pirates of the Caribbean facts that you may not have known about the beloved attraction.
5 Pirates of the Caribbean Facts
How well do you know Pirates of the Caribbean? It’s time to test your knowledge, as we share five fun facts about the must-visit attraction you can ride at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.
1. The Voice of Paul Frees
If the auctioneer’s voice in Pirates of the Caribbean sounds familiar, you may have started your day in Liberty Square. Paul Frees, who voices the Ghost Host in the Haunted Mansion, makes an appearance as the auctioneer in this Adventureland staple.
Originally auctioning off brides to the other pirates (especially the coveted redhead), the auction scene was modified in 2017 so that the pirates were selling various items looted from the town rather than women. During this refurbishment, Redd, the redhead character, was transformed into a pirate herself, taking on a more active role in the auction alongside the auctioneer.
2. The First Attraction to Inspire a Movie
With the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, the theme park attraction became the first of its kind to inspire a film. The film premiered in June of 2003, and later in November of the same year, The Haunted Mansion became the second film released based on a Disney attraction. In 2023, Disney released another movie based on Haunted Mansion.
The Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise re-inspired the theme park attraction with the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow in 2006. And as the movie series continued, additional elements from the films were brought to the theme parks, like Davy Jones and Blackbeard appearing in the smoke effects in the first show scene.
3. The First Attraction from a Disney Legend
X Atencio is a household name among Disney theme park fans, most notably for his work writing the script for the Haunted Mansion. Before working on that ride, X Atencio created the script and song featured in Pirates of the Caribbean.
His career with the Walt Disney Company started in animation. There, he was responsible for creating animated sequences and blending them with live-action films, as seen in projects like Mary Poppins and The Parent Trap.
4. The Show Building is Based on a Real Fort
The show building, “Castillo del Morro,” for Pirates of the Caribbean in the Magic Kingdom, is based on Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, Puerto Rico. Construction on the real-life Spanish fort began in 1539 under King Phillip II of Spain.
To take in more of the design inspiration behind the attraction’s exterior, extend your Disney vacation and spend some time in St. Augustine, Florida. The Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine was designed based on similar Spanish styles about 100 years later and is just about two hours from Orlando!
5. An Eternal Stalemate
Imagineer Marc Davis added some of his legendary sense of humor to the queue of Pirates of the Caribbean! In the ride, he created a scene where two pirate skeletons are engaged in a chess game that is stuck in a stalemate.
Next time you walk through the queue, check out the jail cell featuring the chess-playing skeletons, where you’ll want to make sure to note the positions of the pieces on the board. You’ll notice that no more moves can be made on either side, so the two pirates are entrapped in a stalemate seemingly for eternity.