Ahoy, Me Hearties…anyone else love to set sail on the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction as much as I do? Most people head off to one of the popular Magic Kingdom mountains as soon as they arrive, but for me, I’m on my way to Adventureland to take a swashbuckling voyage with everyone’s favorite pirates. I love being serenaded by the catchy “Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me” tune while enjoying the hilarious sight gags filled with Disney-style pillaging and plundering. So for all of you buccaneers out there that love this attraction too, here are ten secrets about Pirates of the Caribbean in Walt Disney World:
- Pirates of the Caribbean was one of last attractions overseen by Walt, although he did not live to see its completion. Originally imagined as a walk through wax museum, Walt changed it to a boat ride after construction had already begun.
- Although the Disneyland version of Pirates of the Caribbean was a huge hit with guests, it was not an opening day attraction at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Due to Florida’s close proximity to the Caribbean, the company didn’t think guests would be interested in the attraction. After an overwhelming amount of guests’ requests, Disney listened and built a similar version of Pirates of the Caribbean in Walt Disney World that debuted on December 15, 1973.
- If the voice of the auctioneer in the attraction sounds familiar, that’s because it belongs to incredibly talented voice actor Paul Frees. Over his career that spanned decades, he voiced characters such as Mr. Granite from “The Flintstones,” Boris of “The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show,” Burgermeister Meisterburger of “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town,” and of course, the spooky Ghost Host at The Haunted Mansion in Magic Kingdom.
- That drop in Pirates of the Caribbean is not for thrills, it actually moves the boats out below the Walt Disney World Railroad’s train tracks and into the large show building that houses the attraction. And if you were wondering why the drop isn’t longer, it’s because it cannot go that deep due to the high water table in the area.
- The Magic Kingdom version of Pirates of the Caribbean is the shortest in duration in the world. With a running time of approximately 8 minutes and 30 seconds, it is a full 7 minutes shorter than the Disneyland version.
- Have you ever noticed the two scallywag skeletons playing chess in the queue? Look carefully at the board and you’ll notice they are locked in eternal check. Once during a rehab of the attraction, the pieces were inadvertently moved. Imagineers didn’t know how to set the game back up, so a search began through old drawings. Luckily, they found a detailed sketch on the back of one them that showed the arrangement of the pieces.
- The fire in the attraction looks so real, ever wonder how they do that? It’s a combination of cloth, fans, and lights together that make the effect look so realistic.
- Do you love to search for hidden Mickeys during your Walt Disney World vacations? Pirates of the Caribbean has many. Hint: Look for the classic Mickey Mouse shape in locks placed in several locations in the queue and the ride itself.
- Approximately 155 thousand gallons of water are used for Pirates of the Caribbean as well as 125 audio animatronics.
- While you would expect to hear about ghosts in the nearby Haunted Mansion, there are stories of apparitions in Pirates of the Caribbean as well. If you don’t want to get stuck on the attraction, be sure to say a kind word to resident haunt George. To read more about George and other Walt Disney World phantoms, please click here.
Is Pirates of the Caribbean one of your favorite attractions?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!
With Halloween right around the corner, there is no better time to take a look into The Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World. As a person that is terrified of anything paranormal, I am strangely a huge fan of The Haunted Mansion. But to be honest I was scared to death of the attraction until I was a teenager. After my friends forced me to watch countless horror movies, The Haunted Mansion began to look more like a Halloween version of “it’s a small world.” If you are brave enough, here are some frightening facts about The Haunted Mansion courtesy of Disney:
Happy haunts — 999 to be exact — welcome ghoulish-loving guests to The Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World Resort with a doom buggy full of tricks and treats in the eerie gothic manor.
A Magic Kingdom classic, The Haunted Mansion is one of the most beloved attractions at Walt Disney World Resort and has been eliciting all-in-fun chills and shrieks since Walt Disney World Resort opened its gates October 1, 1971.
The Haunting Highlights:
- Once inside the wrought-iron gates that surround the stately mansion, guests step gingerly past the home’s cemetery, with tombstones featuring witty epitaphs to the dearly departed.
- Throughout the interactive queue, voices, music and other paranormal behaviors get passersby in the “spirit.” Guests can tap on embossed musical instruments to hear a haunting tune at a musical crypt, play with water and bubbles from a leaky tomb and help a ghost writer overcome writer’s block outside the front entrance.
- Thanks to a little Disney magic, ghostly apparitions seem to appear out of thin air to dance and sing in certain rooms. And eager “hitchhiking” ghosts even appear inside each doom buggy at the end of the ride to follow guests home – but not before performing ghoulish new pranks.
- Summoned to the front entrance, guests enter the foyer and then an octagonal gallery that stretches…and stretches — or does it? Paintings on the wall grow longer, but the floor and ceiling never seem to move. Other portraits morph into ghastly images, including a dapperly dressed gentleman that transforms into a decrepit corpse.
- Guests board doom buggies for their ghost-guided tour of the mansion. Sound and lighting effects create the mood as the darkened, eggshell-shaped vehicles glide silently through the cobwebbed library, conservatory, hallways, ballroom, attic and graveyards. Guests even ride through Madame Leota’s séance, a collection of flying objects choreographed by a disembodied spirit trapped inside a crystal ball.
- Synchronized speakers inside each doom buggy allow a narrator to explain the supernatural scenes to riders.
- The five singing busts in the graveyard scene warble the attraction’s theme song, “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” Though sometimes mistaken for Walt Disney, the face on the bust farthest to the left actually belongs to Thurl Ravenscroft, the song’s soloist. Ravenscroft is known to millions of fans as the voice of Tony the Tiger, the mascot of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal.
- The witty epitaphs on the tombstones at the attraction’s entrance pay tribute to the designers, developers and artists who originally created The Haunted Mansion. One of the newest tombstones honors the late Walt Disney Imagineer Leota Thomas (her maiden name was Toombs). Periodically, Leota’s tombstone can be spotted slowly opening and closing the eyes on its sculpted head.
- Madame Leota also graces the crystal ball in the attraction’s séance scene. Leota Thomas provided the face for the crystal ball, and voice artist Eleanor Audley provided the voice. Audley is also famous as the voice of the evil Maleficent in Disney’s classic animated feature “Sleeping Beauty.”
- In addition to its home in the Liberty Square area at Walt Disney World Resort, The Haunted Mansion is featured at Disneyland Resort (in New Orleans Square), Tokyo Disneyland (in Fantasyland) and Disneyland Paris (known as Phantom Manor and located in Frontierland). It is the only Disney attraction to be featured in four different park “lands” worldwide.
- Ghosts aren’t the only ones hiding in The Haunted Mansion. There are several “Hidden Mickeys” to be found as well. The ballroom scene features one of the most famous — a plate and a pair of saucers on the dining table form Mickey Mouse’s familiar silhouette.
- Legendary voice artist Paul Frees — known to many as Boris Badenov from “The Bullwinkle Show” — is the attraction’s narrator, or “ghost host.”
Looking for more spookiness? Check out these Disney Ghost Stories including my creepy experience inside The Haunted Mansion!
Heading to Disney World soon?
If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:
What is your favorite part of Haunted Mansion?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!