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Disney CEO Bob Iger reveals new details about Shanghai Disneyland's Pirates ride and land

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Published: March 18, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Disney CEO Bob Iger today revealed new details about the company's Shanghai Disneyland park, now under construction in China.

On the 47th birthday of the original Pirates of the Caribbean ride at California's Disneyland, Iger announced that Shanghai would be getting its own Pirates-themed land, Treasure Cove.

Treasure Cove
Artist's concept courtesy Disney

From a press release issued by Iger's office:

The attraction will feature a combination of new technology and innovation to bring guests along a pirate adventure with Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Davy Jones, providing our guests who visit the Shanghai Disneyland Park an experience unlike anything else in the world.

“We are extremely proud of all the work underway to bring the Shanghai Disney Resort to life,” said Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "And we’re excited to re-imagine the iconic world and characters of Pirates for the first time as an entire land that celebrates the creativity, imagination and adventure of both the fan favorite attraction and the popular film franchise.”

Disney last year filed a U.S. patent application for an Omnimover-style boat ride that insiders who spoke on the condition of anonymity said would provide the "new technology" behind Shanghai's version of Pirates, which would draw its narrative from the Jerry Bruckheimer film franchise rather than simply duplicating the Anaheim original. This wouldn't be the first time that Disney has deviated from the classic Pirates script in a theme park. The Disneyland Paris version of Pirates differs substantially from the versions found in Anaheim, Orlando, and Tokyo.

Iger's office today also announced that the completion of key structural work on the Pirates attraction's show building.

Shanghai Pirates construction photo
Photo courtesy Disney

Shanghai Disneyland is scheduled for completion by the end of 2015.

Readers' Opinions

From James Rao on March 18, 2014 at 2:26 PM
The concept art of this new land looks brilliant. There appears to be two show buildings, a restaurant, an explorable pirate ship (will it move as well?!), a mini-boat ride, a Tom Sawyer like play ground (maybe), and numerous pathways and little shops scattered throughout.

These changes should be part of a complete redo of Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom.

From Brett Blake on March 18, 2014 at 2:49 PM
Concept art looks great. It sounds like Shanghai is really going to be a tremendous park, and those who already live there - or who can afford to travel there - are going to be in for something special.

Meanwhile, all us Walt Disney World fans get the privilege of waiting another four years before any new attractions are added to any of the parks.

Not that I'm jealous or bitter...

From Anon Mouse on March 18, 2014 at 2:51 PM
One complaint about DCA's Carsland is one movie devoted to an entire land. This new Pirates Land will not go well with Disney traditionalists. I think it is a terrific idea to have a Pirates Land. I just hope the new technology makes it way to the other Pirates rides. And who knows if this technology is featured in the new Avatar boat ride.
From 166.147.104.173 on March 18, 2014 at 3:01 PM
I'll take 10
From Jay R. on March 18, 2014 at 3:15 PM
^^^^^
Anon, I think Disney traditionalists will have to get used to this. The tide has been turning when it comes to new attractions. With Marvel, Avavtar, Star Wars, etc. all being incorporated into the parks, this appears to be the new norm.

That said, I think this new land looks great & should be a cool addition to what is shaping up to be another state of the art park.

From José María Sandoval on March 18, 2014 at 4:11 PM
The art work is at the level of the fantasy gardens (the land near the castle), that is a good news.
From Rob Pastor on March 18, 2014 at 4:15 PM
It looks like a land from Disney Seas. That's a major compliment. China following in the footsteps of the Japanese. That's an unintentional political statement.
From TROY DAVIDSON on March 19, 2014 at 8:38 AM
I love the concept art! This seems like a stellar addition to what is already the best Disney Park. I know Team Disney does not really care about the Magic Kingdom since it already brings in a zillion guests with half of the attractions way dated past their prime.

I’m sure many people will not like my opinion, but I think it’s time for the Jungle Cruise to bite the dust. It sets on a huge plot of land and at this point in the game we have real, wonderful animals down the street at Animal Kingdom. I could see the Volcano from Journey to the center of the earth replacing Jungle Cruise and a pirate’s land expanding into Frontier land and pushing all the way to Tom Sawyer Island. They already have the water and island. A pirate ship could easily replace the steam boat. Frontier land feels so dated to me with western type buildings.

Of course Disney has bigger problems on their plate with the Orlando Parks. Disney Studios is desperate for new/updated attractions. E.P.C.O.T needs a lot of love. Animal Kingdom appears to be getting a shot in the arm with Avatar and a new night show. I doubt we will ever get anything of this caliber in the Magic Kingdom Park, but we can always wish upon a star; or maybe the boy who shall not be named will have enough impact that TDO has no choice but to respond!

From 84.56.125.196 on March 19, 2014 at 8:08 PM
Everything expect the flight should still be at leat a little cheaper in Shanghai. Not that much of a difference for anyone who does not live directly next to a park. In all likelyhood, there will be short term visa that do not cost 60€ for park visitors too.
From Joshua Bixler on March 20, 2014 at 10:08 AM
I agree with Anon about this possibly upsetting Disney traditionalists. The advent of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter though has been revolutionary in how theme park attractions and immersion is done. I am personally happy that Disney is modeling this approach. While I like seeing a lot of movies and themes represented, I really enjoy getting a thorough interactive immersion like I get at WWOHP or Cars Land.

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