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Disney confirms Jack Sparrow add to Pirates rides

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Published: February 2, 2006 at 12:49 PM

Confirming another one of the worst-kept secrets in the theme park biz, Disney announced today that it will this spring rehab its popular Pirates of the Caribbean rides in Anaheim and Orlando to add characters from its "Pirates of the Caribbean" films.

The rides will go down in March to allow Disney to make the changes. Coming to both rides will be Captain Jack Sparrow and Barbossa from the first film, plus a ghostly Davy Jones from the second, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," which bows on July 7. The Pirates ride will re-open at Disneyland on June 24 and in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on July 7.

"Enhancing the classic Pirates attractions with new characters and new technology will ensure their relevance and place in Disney theme parks as timeless adventures," said Tom Fitzgerald, senior creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering said in a statement. "We're adding a layer of storytelling from the films to the attraction while retaining all the familiar elements that make it vibrant and exciting for every age group."

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on February 2, 2006 at 5:57 PM
Why is Disney World's Pirates closed down much longer than Disneyland's?
From Joe Lane on February 2, 2006 at 10:38 PM
My guess, Anthony, is that there is a rehab where guests will ride the boats up the lift, exiting back at the main loading dock, similar to DL. This has been a rumored rehab change for quite a while now--and it makes sense.

I'm curious as to how people will respond to these changes, especially Pirates purists. I was personally upset when rumors of the mansions getting overhauls in line with the Eddie Murphy catastrophe movie, but with Pirates as a movie being so well done, I'm not sure how to entirely respond to this. I'd like to just see Jack in the show, but to rewrite the thing to match the movie sounds... too much. I dunno... let's hear what others have to say.

From Mitchell Botwin on February 3, 2006 at 3:53 AM
At Toy Fair last year Master Replica had the mock-up for the Jack Sparrow component. It will make a great addition, if they go with it. They have Sparrow with all the treasure.
From Terri Thomas on February 3, 2006 at 5:29 AM
There comes a point in time even for Disney purists when they say, "been there, done that." We almost didn't go on Pirates last time we were there in favor of saving time for another attraction. I've got pictures, memories, plastic & wooden swords (not to mention what the kids bought!) so adding another layer with Sparrow is due. I'm all for a change unless it goes too far -- DON'T MESS WITH THE HAIRY LEG (or the unmistakable scent of wet, musty stone. These are a few of my favorite things).
From Anthony Murphy on February 3, 2006 at 6:23 AM
Unless they change Disney World's whole attaction around (and I think they will), I don't see these new parts fitting really well. Strangely enough, Disney World's Pirates is much smaller than Disneyland's! It just doesn't seem to have any room. I hope they do not make this attraction horrible. You saw what the Disney Imagineers did to the Tiki Room......
From Robert OGrosky on February 3, 2006 at 12:12 PM
I agree that having a Sparrow AA figure wouldnt be bad, but there is no reason to re-write the whole story too fit him in.
From Mark Hollamon on February 4, 2006 at 8:18 AM
I know there is some apprehension about the change. I kind of ride the fence on this one. I love Pirates. I think over the years it is one of my favorite rides. I have thought about it being gone forever (in its present state) but then I also trust Disney to do their best in making things better. Remember, there are a LOT of things that are not the same anymore at MK! Swan Attraction is gone, Sky Ride, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (still wish that was there), Mission to Mars, etc. It all evolves. I am 44 and have watched all the progress. I have to think that the people who just scored a BIG win with Expedition Everest will not do anything to trash Pirates.
From Anthony Murphy on February 4, 2006 at 8:49 AM
That is true! I really do not think there will be a big chage to the Pirates ride in Disneyland, but I think there will be a big change to the one in Disney World! I have ridden both and the Disneyland one is much longer and has more skelleton scenes. I think that would be really cool at Disney World and I am suprised it wasn't there before because Disney World always brags about size. The one good thing is that the actual movie follows the Pirates theme anyway so there would not be any drastic change. Also, I do not Disney to get politically correct with the Bride Auction scene. I have heard that people are complaining about this because it degrades women. I think it is just there for comedy. The "Redhead" has nothing to worry about! Do you know why cause WE WANT THE REDHEAD!!!

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