Everything You Need to Know About Pirates of the Caribbean

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You’re going on vacation to Walt Disney World! The only problem? You’re not sure which attractions are right for you and your kiddos and you have questions. Which attractions are too intense for little ones? What rides do I really need a FastPass+ reservation for? What’s the disability access like for certain attractions? We’re answering all those questions and more in our Everything You Need to Know attraction series with today’s focus on Pirates of the Caribbean at the Magic Kingdom!

What is Pirates of the Caribbean?

Pirates of the Caribbean is an indoor boat ride through a variety of incredibly detailed scenes showcasing pirates raiding towns and hunting for Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Where is Pirates of the Caribbean?

by wikipedia

Pirates of the Caribbean is located in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom.

What is the History of Pirates of the Caribbean?

The original Pirates of the Caribbean opened at Disneyland in 1967. It was and is one of the greatest and most influential theme park attractions ever constructed. The ride is equally famous for its signature song “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” written by Xavier Atencio and George Bruns.

When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, guests were both surprised and disappointed to discover there was no Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Due to Florida’s close proximity to the Caribbean and the area’s rich pirate history, Disney didn’t anticipate the interest in an pirate attraction from its East Coast guests. Therefore, to meet demand, the Magic Kingdom’s version of Pirates of the Caribbean opened in 1973 with an elaborate queue but a shorter ride time and without several scenes and elements from Disneyland’s version.

In 2003, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow debuted in theaters to great acclaim and success. The film, inspired by the classic attraction, launched a franchise which then re-inspired the attraction when Disney began to incorporate the film’s characters into the ride’s show scenes in 2006.

This change was not the first or the last for the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Despite its popularity and influence on theme park world, it has long been a problematic attraction since it is about pirates and their actions. Through the years, Disney has altered specific scenes and characters that were considered inappropriate. For instance, in a scene where pirates once chased women, women now chase the pirates.

(c) Disney

The most significant change occurred in 2018 when the famous auctioneer scene was changed from pirates auctioning women to now auctioning hens; and the famous “redhead” that was once being auctioned off is now a pirate herself named “Redd.”

What You Need to Know About the Queue

The queue begins inside of a dark and cool Spanish fort called the Castillo Del Morro where guests wind past cannons, barrels, barred windows, and even a cell where two skeletons are locked in a game of chess. Guests eventually make their way to the loading area to see boats leaving the dock and setting sail for adventure.

What You Need to Know About the Ride Vehicles

The boats for Pirates of the Caribbean seat 2 to 4 guests per row depending on size. Each row consists of a hard bench with a back. There are no safety restraints.

What You Need to Know About the Experience

Aboard Pirates of the Caribbean, guests sail back in time where pirates raid a town and wreak all kinds of havoc. The ride experience is, for the most part, that of a slow-moving boat ride where guests take in the detailed sets and the antics of audio-animatronic pirates.

There is one short drop in the dark towards the beginning of the ride plunging guests into the time of the pirates. The ride time spans around seven and a half minutes.

What You Need to Know About Accessibility

Guests must transfer to a standard wheelchair and then to the ride vehicle. After guests disembark, there is a steep moving walkway to the exit and gift shop.

What You Need to Know About Health and Safety Advisories

© Sarah GraffamThere are no health or safety advisories; however, there is one small drop in the dark and guests may get wet. Also, there are moments of darkness, and the cannon fire between the fort and galleon can be scary for young kids.

What are the Height Requirements?

There is no height requirement for Pirates of the Caribbean!

Does Pirates of the Caribbean Offer FastPass+?

Yes, Pirates of the Caribbean does offer FastPass+. However, it’s not always recommend or necessary since Pirates of the Caribbean is a high-capacity attraction.

Does Weather Affect Pirates of the Caribbean?

A June storm pops over World Drive as a rainy afternoon gets started.

Since Pirates of the Caribbean is an indoor attraction, inclement weather doesn’t impact that ride’s operation.

What’s the Best Time of Day to Experience Pirates of the Caribbean?

Pirates is a good attraction to check out before noon or in the late afternoon.

Pirates of the Caribbean Wait TimesThis chart shows you roughly how long you’ll wait for Pirates of the Caribbean when you visit on a day with a given Magic Kingdom Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average “peak” wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it’s the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see Pirates of the Caribbean Wait Times.

Did I answer all of your questions about Pirates of the Caribbean? Is this attraction at the top of your family’s vacation to-do list? Let us know in the comments.

Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

One thought on “Everything You Need to Know About Pirates of the Caribbean

  • June 24, 2020 at 4:19 pm
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    Pirates is actually a great place to literally ride out a rainstorm. The queue, like the ride, is entirely indoors — and you can easily get off at the end of the ride, meander through the gift shop, and get back into the queue without exposing yourself to a drop of rain. Of course, you may get a bit of a splash (or a lot of a splash) when the boat lands in the bay after the drop, but a seat in the middle should keep you dry. I’ve ridden Pirates many times in a row while waiting for a storm to pass.

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