Today in Disney History, 2006: Jack Sparrow Added to Pirates Ride

by | Jul 7, 2020 | Disney History, Magic Kingdom, WDW Blog

On Sale Now- The Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction Special from WDW Magazine!

All of my favorite Disney attractions are Uncle Walt originals. From the Haunted Mansion to it’s a small world to Pirates of the Caribbean, if it is one of his creations, then it’s always on my to-do list. And today, July 7, celebrates the day Disney added Captain Jack Sparrow to Pirates of the Caribbean!

There is something that will always be magical about an original concept and the Pirates of the Caribbean is no exception. The attraction found in the Magic Kingdom and in the Disney parks around the world was made even more special by the launch of the film franchise. 

While I now can’t even imagine the sweet-smelling Pirates water without thinking of the oh so realistic Johnny Depp animatronic, the world that breathed life into Captain Jack Sparrow existed long before the early 2000s. 

But it’s also no coincidence that certain timelines regarding Disney films and attractions often coincide, and Pirates of the Caribbean the attraction and film franchise is no exception.

If anything, it is an indicator of how closely Disney ties in both films and the park experiences, bringing the magic of the silver screen to you in the most magical way possible. 

Grab your treasure map, we’re off to discover parallels between the second Pirates film, Dead Man’s Chest, (which released today in 2006), and the beloved attraction in Walt Disney World!

Blending the Movie with Real Life…

On July 7th, 2006, the second Pirates installment, Dead Man’s Chest opened up in theaters in the US along with the unveiling of the newly refurbished Pirates attraction in Walt Disney World in Florida. 

Jack sitting on Pirates ride with treasure

Disney added Jack Sparrow to Pirates of the Caribbean in several locations. Photo by Cliff Wang

The new and exciting additions that were released included realistic animatronics of Captain Jack Sparrow and Barbossa that will most definitely make you do a double-take. While it may not have been entirely exclusive to the Pirates franchise, you can see even more of the Pirates magic outside of this ride. 

If you happen to be in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, be sure to find the Crow’s Nest in Adventureland. There, you can start your own journey to being a pirate!

In this free activity, you are charged with the task of seeking out treasure, and your only help is a treasure map found at this very same location. 

There are six treasures in all, with the final reward being a treat from Captain Jack himself. This is a great way to immerse yourself in the magic of Disney and the world of our favorite pirates!

Note: Disneyland in Anaheim, if you take a short jaunt to Tom Sawyer Island you can find the Dead Man’s Chest itself! 

Hey, That Voice Sounds Familiar!

Note with Captain Jack Sparrow's signature

See Captain Jack’s signature? Photo by Brett Svenson

With the addition of Captain Jack and Barbossa to the ride, Disney Imagineers wanted to find a way to start the refurbished experience off the right way. When you first set sail, you will move through a wall of mist into the fantastical world of the pirates. 

Audio and a projection of Davy Jones, first introduced in Dead Man’s Chest, now greeted riders! And if you think Curse of the Black Pearl had all but captured the ride—you may want to check out the deleted scenes in Dead Man’s Chest. 

You will be treated to a very familiar scene which may leave you feeling a little un”well!” In addition to these moments, throughout the ride you will also hear the voices of Paul Frees and Thurl Ravenscroft—who also provided voices for the Haunted Mansion. The magic works both ways. 

Keep Moving Forward

Jack hiding on the pirates ride

Jack Sparrow hiding on Pirates of the Caribbean. Photo by Cliff Wang

Walt Disney had a dream, and that dream was to create a place that not only felt like home but also encouraged everyone to keep chasing their dreams.

It’s no surprise that Imagineers continue to push through boundaries and build upon what came before in new and exciting ways. 

Whether they are making improvements, updating scenes, or just adjusting the animatronics so they move a little more realistically, the Disney crew is dedicated to making every experience the best it can be.

In fact, if you check out the history of the ride in Anaheim, you will find a story in which the fire marshal almost closed down the ride thinking the fire in the town was real!

When Dead Man’s Chest first came out in theaters, lovers of the ride were eager to see this next chapter in the Pirates franchise and Disney did not disappoint. They knew that bringing the magic to the place Disney lovers called home would only make it even more special. 

Lovers of the original ride and those who experienced it for the first time alike could rediscover the magic. There is always something new to behold, even when a ride is considered a classic. There is always a new story to be found. In Walt Disney’s words, “We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

As long as Disney introduces new stories for us to experience both in the theatre and in the parks, you can rest assured we will be along for the ride!

Want to learn even more about Disney history? We’re covering it all the time on the WDW Magazine blog! Subscribe to our newsletter to follow along.

Written by Britta Stephens

epcot-clothing_creations-shop_chiu
Britta Stephens is a contributing writer for WDW Magazine, Disney blogger, hairstylist, and dog mom x2. The first book she ever read was Hans Christan Anderson’s The Little Mermaid and she's been a fan of Disney endings ever since. When she’s not fostering kittens, she can be found reading literature from a dog’s perspective and singing the opening of The Lion King to her greenhouse plants.
Britta Stephens

Written by Britta Stephens

Britta Stephens is a contributing writer for WDW Magazine, Disney blogger, hairstylist, and dog mom x2. The first book she ever read was Hans Christan Anderson’s The Little Mermaid and she's been a fan of Disney endings ever since. When she’s not fostering kittens, she can be found reading literature from a dog’s perspective and singing the opening of The Lion King to her greenhouse plants.