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10 Facts and Secrets about Pirates of the Caribbean

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!  Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most beloved attractions at all of the Disney locations across the world.  It is a really fun and visually exciting attraction made utilizing Walt’s signature dark ride approach.  There’s just something about this swashbuckling attraction that keeps us all coming back time and time again.  Here are 10 facts and secrets about this fun adventure:


10 – The making of this attraction was the last one that Walt personally oversaw.

Walt used to personally oversee the attractions as they were being developed and created.  Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland was the last attraction that Walt personally oversaw the direction for.  Walt died in 1966 and the ride opened in 1967.

9 – The Disneyland version used to have real human bones.

When the ride first opened, there was real human skeletons that were used on the attraction.  Since then the human remains have been removed, but there is a rumor circulating that one human skull has been left in the attraction.  This is definitely rumor that hasn’t been effectively confirmed or denied.

Pirates of the Caribbean-2

8 – The cannonballs aren’t real.

This probably isn’t overly shocking.  The thought of cannonballs going back and forth over our heads would be quite frightening.  The effect is actually accomplished by using lighting, blowing air and water splash effects in the water.  Looks pretty real, though, huh?

7 – The ride used to be much more suggestive.

The pirates used to chase women around in a suggestive manner.  The audio track also included giggles and suggestive noises. There have been a few variations to change this up to make the ride less suggestive.  They changed the women over to carrying food, so that it looked as if the pirates were going after the food.  The giggles and suggestive noises were also removed from the audio tracks so that is was a little more “family-friendly”.   Not every guest liked these changes to the more conservative side and nicknamed the attraction “Boy Scouts of the Caribbean”.


6 – You will hear the Haunted Mansion’s “Ghost Host”.

The actor who does the voice of the beloved “Ghost Host” is also the Auctioneer on Pirates of the Caribbean as well as the voice for the notorious line you hear on the attraction, “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”  The actor’s name is Paul Frees.  He voices several other pirates throughout the attraction, too!

5 – How they make the city look like it’s on fire.

The “fire” throughout the city is actually created using pieces of cloth, lights and fans to make the cloth move.  It is a very realistic effect and really sets the mood for the burning city.  It is rumored that an Anaheim fire chief was about to shut the ride down because he thought it was real fire!

4 – The chess game just won’t end.

There is a scene when you are walking through the queue for the ride where there is two skeletons playing chess.  The pieces on the board are set up to indicate that the two were at a stale mate and died trying to make their next moves.  Talk about dedication to the game!

Photo Credit: Disney Photo Snapper. See more great photos at

3 – One pirate was censored.

Do you remember the pirate that is rotund and sitting in front of a barrel holding a key, and Jack Sparrow pops up out of the barrel?  That definitely isn’t how this pirate used to be displayed.  In the original version of the attraction, he was holding a pink petticoat.  There was a woman hiding in the barrel and the pirate was expressing innuendos and lust for the woman.  This was changed a couple times and then now has the focus on Jack Sparrow instead of lust.

2 – The ride inspired the movie, then the movie inspired the ride.

The ride was built and then the movie franchise was made based on the popular ride.  Once the movies became super popular, the ride was then revamped and refurbished to include popular characters from the movies like Jack Sparrow, Barbosa, Blackbeard, etc.  The ride inspired the movie, and then the movie turned around and inspired the ride so that we have a cohesive experience.

1 – It cost how much?

When the attraction was originally built it cost a whopping $8 million to build.  This doesn’t include the money that has since been spent to make various additions to the attraction and complete scheduled refurbishments.

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About Christy Caby

Hi! I’m Christy, and I am a wife and mother of 2 young boys (ages 5 and 2). I first fell in love with Disney when my mom took me when I was a child. After that I proceeded to go to WDW for my senior trip with my friends, and I completed a year in the Disney College Program (working in merchandise at Mickey’s of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). I shared my love of Disney with my now husband and sucked him in. He proposed at Disney, we honeymooned at Disney, we started bringing our boys before they were born and then as early as 8 weeks old. We then continued to vacation to Walt Disney World 2-3 times per year. We decided that what makes more sense than just moving to Orlando so that we could live the Disney life and be here for all of our favorite events and seasons every year. That is exactly what we did! Now we are at the parks a couple times a week and go for most events and major holidays. We can’t get enough and get to experience Disney in a whole different way. I love to share this love and passion for all things Disney with the world and hope that I can help others appreciate the magic that Walt Disney World has to offer!