Disney's Pirates makeover may be too much for some fans

Posted Monday, June 19, 2006 9:13 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Purist fans of Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride are wishing they could force company officials to walk the plank for doing the unthinkable. The classic attraction, which turns 40 next year, is getting an overhaul timed to coincide with the movie premiere of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," the second in a trilogy of films starring Johnny Depp. When the popular ride reopens June 26, it will look a lot more like the movie series that it inspired, complete with swashbuckler Jack Sparrow and his nemesis Capt. Barbossa.

Read more from The LA Times.

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Monday, June 19, 2006 9:30 AM
Kick The Sky's avatar Actually, from what I have been reading (I frequent quite a few Disney boards as well), the changes have been pretty minimal on the exterior and for the most part they havent taken anything away, but merely added to the attraction. There are a few places where they added Captain Jack Sparrow, and in those scenes he does not look like the character in the movie, but rather, he fits in with the look of the other characters in the ride. The other major addition is a mist and hologram effect with Davy Jones.

Other than that, they updated all of the sound technology from when the ride was first done to modern standards making for a much richer sound experience. The Florida park received even fewer changes and will still be pretty similar to the way it was before.

One interesting tidbit, however, is that they were planning on changing the Wicked Wench to look more like the ship from the movie. The producers of the movies actually BLOCKED those changes from occuring. Kind of ironic that Disney gave license to do a movie based on one of their attractions and when they wanted to update their attraction to the movie a bit, that some of those changes would be blocked. Gotta love Hollywood.

Monday, June 19, 2006 10:25 AM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar Sounds good to me. I'm glad the ride will have some new elements, but otherwise be the same old ride it was. :)
*** This post was edited by Acoustic Viscosity 6/19/2006 10:49:11 AM ***
Monday, June 19, 2006 10:48 AM
Mamoosh's avatar I've heard the exact same things that Kick The Sky has heard and this whole LA Times story wreeks of contrived controversy simply to get create a story where there is none. What better way to get MORE people to come to the park and ride an old ride with a few new changes than to claim "purists" are upset about it?
Monday, June 19, 2006 10:58 AM
I also have heard the same as Kick the Sky and Mamoosh. And as a Disneyland Geek, I'm not worried. I'll be there on opening day next Monday and will let you know how it is.
Monday, June 19, 2006 11:10 AM
janfrederick's avatar Personally, I was jazzed about the original rumor about changing the ride at night by diverting the boats just past the battle scene through new scenes that featured ghosts jumping on your boats and whatnot. Perhaps they are simply testing the waters with this. Either that of Bruckheimer lest a sour taste in their mouths.
Monday, June 19, 2006 12:47 PM
^I dont know that really sounded lame to me (and completly un Disney to send you behind show scenes that no matter how much they jazzed up would probably still look like crap) but then again so did Rockit Mountain. There is no need to change the rides at night, the lines are long enough then as it is.
Monday, June 19, 2006 1:46 PM
And we all know how well Rock-it mountain has worked out. (In case anyone didn't hear, it's so problematic, that it's only being done for grad nights, and that's it for now. As of now it takes shutting down the ride for at least 30 minutes to switch over the music and effects)
Monday, June 19, 2006 3:02 PM
janfrederick's avatar Well, call me an optimist then. Then again, with the numbers they've pulled for the 50th celebration (no E-ticket attractions), I get the strange feeling that things are not going to change in spite of Mr. Pixar.

That being said, I think the idea was a good one. The execution probably would have been a different story.

Anyway, I can't wait to hear what folks think of the chnges.

Monday, June 19, 2006 4:39 PM
The concept art for Pirates looks fantastic. I just hope lines aren't stupid when I'm there! I also can't wait to see "Remember, Dreams come true" again......I'm still blown away from when I saw it a year ago....UNREAL!
Monday, June 19, 2006 7:21 PM
I would perfer that they would have left a classic ride like POTC alone and not tied it into some new movie. If they felt Sparrow/ D. Jones are that important then create a new ride for them, but dont tamper with a classic.

Changes like this make me very happy that the Haunted Mansion movie was a box office bomb, or we would have been stuck with eddie murphy some where in the ride HM attraction..

Monday, June 19, 2006 8:15 PM
^Make a new ride for them? Ummm.. Pirates of the Carribean II: The Ride?

From what I've heard, the changes are quite tasteful and fit well into the spirit of the attraction.

And yes, Walt would likely have done the same thing had the public been as interested in Jack Sparrow and the movie characters as they are now.

Monday, June 19, 2006 9:00 PM
Mamoosh's avatar I say this every time the "don't change the classics" opinion comes up: Walk himself stated that he NEVER wanted Disneyland to be a museum and expected attractions to be updated or removed as he saw fit. This happened quite often while he was alive...why do people get so up in arms now that he's dead?

FYI, since no one has brought it up: the "chase" scenes between the pirates and the women near the end are being brought BACK to their original forms, removing the update done in late 1990s to show the women carrying food which was thought of as being "more PC." Kudos to the imagineers!

Monday, June 19, 2006 11:20 PM
^ That's of course if you believe he's actually dead. ;)
Tuesday, June 20, 2006 8:16 AM
Yep, yellow journalism at its best. Even the hard-core disney dweebs seem to be mostly optimistic about these additions. There are a few naysayers, but significantly fewer than, say, the number of people waiting for Horizons to come back to Epcot.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006 8:16 AM
Oh, and "we wants the readhead!"
Tuesday, June 20, 2006 1:55 PM
How many attractions did Walt re-do to tie into a new movie release???

I agree that if a ride has gotten old/has reduced attendance it should be removed, but that wasnt the case with POTC which has always retained its guest appeal. I also thought the PC changes to POTC was awful and if that is being chnaged, at least part of the change is a positive.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 11:46 PM
^How about renaming the Snow White's Castle in the design phase for Disneyland to Sleeping Beauty Castle (which didnt come out until after Disneyland opened.)

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