Top 5: Reasons Pirates of the Caribbean is the Best Disney Attraction.

Seems that many attractions these days are all about being fast thrill rides that pack lines for a 60 minute wait. At Walt Disney Imagineering, E-ticket attractions are being planned all the time, and why not, these are the new attractions bringing back guests year after year. As time flies and guests find that new favorite thrill, it seems some of the older attractions get forgotten. Some attractions, however, get that magical rub to always be relevant and to always attract an audience no matter how old they get. For me, one attraction stands out in particular. That’s Pirates of the Caribbean. The original attraction at Disneyland opened in 1967 and has had the power to stay in the spotlight for over 45 years now. It is still respected as a technoligical breakthrough, even after all of this time. So why has the attraction stayed as popular as it has and is arguably the best Disney attraction Imagineers have ever created? Here are my top 5 reasons why.

5-Updates Made It Better. For some attractions, Disney fans complain about unnecessary updates to attractions, like the “Under New Management” addition to the Magic Kingdom’s Enchanted Tiki Room. Despite Pirates getting a near story change and the addition of several technological advances, fans of the attraction have embraced it. Is that due to the success and acceptance of the films or is it just that special attraction that can just change with the times? Whatever the case might be, the new updates of smoke screens, film star animatronics, and mermaid voices have been embraced by everyone.

4-The Ride is Worth the Wait. Some attractions, whether they are at a Disney park or at a local carival, aren’t worth a long wait. Let’s get real here. Who wants to wait 30+ minutes to ride something that lasts 2 minutes? It’s what I find so special about Pirates. No matter what version of the attraction you ride at any of the parks around the world, it’s an attraction that last 10+ minutes and you always have something to look at. The set designs, the animatroic humans, and the story are all compelling enough to keep your attention for the 10+ minute time frame of the ride. Also, due to the large capacity of the boats and the quickness of cast members getting guests loaded and unloaded from the attraction, the time spent waiting in line is usually less than the time spent on the actual attraction. It’s why I can usually get multiple rides on Pirates of the Caribbean during a trip. I love that fact about it.

3-Details. Simply put, Pirates is loaded with details. From hidden mickeys to small hairs added to the legs and arms of pirate animatronics, there is so much to take notice of. Something Disney Imagineers have done very well here is add small details to find. Even after riding this attraction countless times, I still notice new things I never had before. Disney also does a great job of keeping things looking fresh. Animatronics have multiple costumes and have their hair done nightly. New paint jobs are also applied to keep the attraction looking new, and if you had never ridden before, you may assume that Pirates of the Caribbean may have been built after the film series came out.

2-The Film Adaptation. When Disney Pictures decided to turn some of their attractions into films, it seemed like a hit or miss situation. Tower of Terror was a made for television film which got praise, but the Country Bears was surely a flop for the company. Then Disney gave Jerry Bruckheimer the chance to make a Pirates of the Caribbean film and it seemed as if all the stars aligned. Is there a better Disney film beyond Curse of the Black Pearl in the last 10 years? The film was a major success, more than any of the other attraction inspired films, and the series is continuing through a possible 6th installment. Some people don’t enjoy the sequels to the original film, which comes with the territory of sequels, but nobody can deny the monetary success of the films that came from this long time favorite attraction. The film has even made it’s way into it’s own attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studio. No other attraction has ever inspired a film which inspired a second attraction at the Disney parks.

Pirates 3

1. Human Animatronics. It’s been over 45 years since Pirates of the Caribbean opened at Disneyland and to this day, I don’t think there and any animatronic figures more impressive than those inside the Pirates attraction. We’ve come a long way since then. Radiator Springs Racers, which opened at California Adventure in 2012, shows us the evolution of animatronic figures. Eyes, projected onto the figure, can blink or change with the expression of the character. Animatronic figures can now move a bit smoother than older ones, but I still don’t feel like these match up to what was accomplished at Pirates of the Caribbean. Prior to the opening of Pirates, Disney’s venture into robotics started with the Enchanted Tiki Room and had progressed to the human figure of the Carousel of Progress in a matter of a year or two. Advancement in robotics was moving quickly and eventually progressed to what we see on Pirates then it seemed to have peaked. In my opinion, nothing can touch the realistic feel of the figures on that attraction, even if they are a bit cartoonish at times.

What are your thoughts on Pirates? Is it the best attraction ever created? In your opinion, why or why not? As always, thank you for reading and I’ll catch you all later.

Josh Taylor
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Posted on January 18, 2013, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Josh what a fantastic article!! You hit the nail on the head. Thanks so much for writing it. Being more of a Disney princess then a pirate doesn’t mean I don’t adore this attraction. To me it’s a can’t miss! I’ll be sharing a link to this with everyone. Have a magical day!

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    By the process, you’re reinforcing that negativity and attracting to yourself MORE.
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