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Happy 44th birthday to Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean

By Robert Niles
Published: March 18, 2011 at 12:37 PM
Today is the 44th anniversary of the opening of one of my favorite theme park rides anywhere - and the ride that I'd argue has had the single greatest impact on the theme park industry.

Happy birthday to Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean.

In honor of the day, Disney released this highlight video of the ride's planning, construction and media opening:

I will now go and put on a pair of red-and-orange-striped socks for the rest of the day. :^) Arrrgh!

Readers' Opinions

From 99.185.231.202 on March 18, 2011 at 3:49 PM
In my mind, Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean is the quintessential Disney attraction. I still remember fondly when my brother and I were leaving Disneyland after a day of fun, way back in 1991, when our parents asked: "What was your favorite ride?" We both responded simultaneously, "Pirates!"

Oh yeah... a masterpiece if ever there was one. And a credit to the timeless genius of Walt Disney, Marc Davis, and WED Enterprises.

From James Rao on March 18, 2011 at 5:14 PM
^^ Sorry, forgot to log in first. ;)

BTW, it was 1981, not 1991. I still have the PotC souvenir to prove it.
DLR's PotC Souvenir Coin - 1981

From Phil B. on March 18, 2011 at 11:13 PM
Happy Birthday to Awesome! Thank you Uncle Walt!
From Sylvain Comeau on March 19, 2011 at 9:40 AM
Disneyland's POTC was the first truly large scale example of immersive theming. And it still stands today as a masterpiece, and one of the greatest rides in the world.
From Andrew Holden on March 20, 2011 at 12:42 PM
I hate to be ignorant, but who is the girl with Walt in the first clip that I have seen in several videos where Walt is showing of his Disneyland plans?
From Will Chilcote on March 20, 2011 at 1:40 PM
I also love PotC.

As to the girl, she was one of the many tour guides in Disneyland at the time. If I remember correctly she was in several of Walt's show when they were at Disneyland. Julie Reems is her name. Below is a clip where she is with Walt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgsA3v56gGg&feature=related

From Tyler Stover on March 20, 2011 at 10:21 PM
That was a really cool opening ceremony. The recent ones seem to favor a few pyrotechnics to prop up the show.
From rick stevens on March 21, 2011 at 12:58 AM
I have always loved this ride. I wish they could reinstate some of the features from when they first opened. I hate the PC changes and, just like the Haunted Mansion, the toned down aspect of the ride. I seem to remember more of an "Oh my God it is going to crumble down on top of my head" end to the ride. This might have changed when they crammed boat after boat through the ride.

This is one that I experienced first on the Wide World of Disney, then had the pleasure of riding in the early years. My Mom even liked it! She hated most of the rides (Dumbo and Peter Pan was an exception), she acquainted this with her New Orleans area upbringing.

Congrats to a great ride!

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