Theme Park Insider

First full video of Shanghai Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean

May 10, 2016, 6:37 PM · Pirates of the Caribbean might be Disney's most famous theme park franchise, thanks not just to iconic rides in parks around the world, but also to the billion-dollar-plus movie series, starring Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Ditching the cliche, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," Disney chose to develop an almost entirely new Pirates of the Caribbean ride for Shanghai Disneyland, creating an experience that does more to evoke the Pirates film series than the original 1967 Disneyland ride.

Here is the first decent-quality fan-recorded full ride video that we've seen for Shanghai's Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle of the Sunken Treasure.

The makes strong use of projection mapping and screens in addition to animatronics most associated with Disney's Pirates rides. To me, that skeleton-to-Captain-Jack effect promises to become one of the most talked-about moments in any theme park ride, anywhere

Replies (40)

May 10, 2016 at 6:48 PM · This is far and away the best version of Pirates of the Carribean.. Everything here just works perfectly.

The Davy Jones animatronic particularly impresses me.

May 10, 2016 at 7:03 PM · That was impressive. The ride was completely immersive. I just wish I knew the script! Perfect blend of graphics, audio animatronics and effects.
May 10, 2016 at 7:12 PM · People need to cut it out with the flash photography.
May 10, 2016 at 7:25 PM · Wait- is this a water ride that's also a simulator?
May 10, 2016 at 7:48 PM · Is it really the norm to take not only photos but flash photos in a dark ride?
May 10, 2016 at 8:02 PM · It looks like Disney is finally standing up to, and even beating, Universal at itsown game (screen-based dark rides)... Fingers crossed for them following immersiveness such as Diagon Alley now.
May 10, 2016 at 8:12 PM · Looks fantastic. That Skeleton to Sparrow effect is the best effect I've ever seen in a ride. I can only imagine how amazing it must be to see in person. Though I like the projection, I feel like it may be a bit overkill. Some more physical sets would have been nice to see. I'm guessing that the end has a backwards drop? can anyone shed light on this?
May 10, 2016 at 8:15 PM · It's a loose simulator. The ride vehicle is timed to move along the water track, but not on a gimbal.
May 10, 2016 at 9:25 PM ·
May 10, 2016 at 10:15 PM · Please, please, please rework the FL version to resemble that and leave the CA version untouched. That way, the States can have 2 awesome Pirates rides.

BTW, if this is any indication, the upcoming boat ride for Avatar may be nothing less than spectacular.

May 10, 2016 at 10:45 PM · I was the most excited to watch a video of this ride at Shanghai and I was quite pleased. Amazing how different it is from our Pirates of the Caribbean, though with some classic elements. This is a truly remarkable ride and that skeleton morphing into Jack Sparrow animatronic is incredible. I love that Davy Jones animatronic too. I wonder if Johnny Depp will be at the opening of Shanghai Disneyland, he would be so pleased to see this ride! They've done such a good job at Shanghai from what I can tell :)
May 10, 2016 at 10:58 PM · Amazing. Takes a calm and mild ride and turns it up x10. I don't mind the screens. Definitely beats Universal's best effort. Only dislike is the nasal voice actors in Beijing Chinese. It got better in the second half.
May 10, 2016 at 10:59 PM · I've never been one to be envious of other Disney parks, since I'm a Disney World baby, but dang, Shanghai.
May 10, 2016 at 11:03 PM · While the Tron Lightcycle coaster was really cool, this is undoubtedly the most impressive ride at Shanghai Disneyland. In fact, this is the most impressive ride Disney has built in at least 15 years (in other words, since Journey to the Center of the Earth). The Jack Sparrow animatronic alone would be worth an hour wait, and this ride by itself is worth the admission price to the park. While China has never really been under consideration as a vacation destination, Shanghai Disneyland just earned a place on my theme park bucket list. Obviously it won't happen anytime soon, but I sense a Shanghai/Beijing/Hong Kong trip in 5-10 years. In the meantime, I hear the First Order Battle ride is going to essentially be an interactive waterless version of this attraction, so I'll have that to look forward to in a few years.

For those wondering about the ride system, my understanding is that this is not a traditional flume ride but rather drives along an underwater track. The vehicle is attached to two separate rails which allow it to rotate at points. And yes, that is a (small) backwards drop at the end.

May 10, 2016 at 11:22 PM · Tron Lightcycle was cool but not impressive enough to me but this Pirates ride is amazing and awesome.

Want to see how roaring mountain and other exclusive attractions to Shanghai Disneyland look before deciding to visit Shanghai again.

Disney has definitely raised the bar on terms of dark rides.

But universal will try to set it even higher with Nintendo/DreamWorks dark ride.

If they can raise the bar with Dragon Alley, Universal Creative will find a way to beat this

Let the dark ride wars begin.

I'm Chinese from Canada with passable Mandarin and even I think they could have done a better job with the voice acting in this ride. I have heard better Mandarin in Chinese cartoons!

May 10, 2016 at 11:44 PM · The constant flash photography and phones held aloft would ruin this for me.
May 11, 2016 at 1:09 AM · Thank you Theme Park Insider for using my video!!! It's very much appreciated!!!
May 11, 2016 at 6:56 AM · Fantastic! As impressive as the experience seems to be in a POV movie I can only imagine how wonderful it would be in person. Just amazing. Without actually experiencing the ride I can only speculate, but it sure looks like Disney has indeed set a new dark ride standard.

I totally agree with Mr. Trexen, this version of the Disney classic needs to replace the lackluster effort at the Magic Kingdom. Immediately.

May 11, 2016 at 8:09 AM · Impressive...most impressive.
May 11, 2016 at 8:34 AM · No 3D. Beautiful.
May 11, 2016 at 8:39 AM · Holy $@&&!@ @#!$**!!!

And I "NEVER" use language like that....This has reaffirmed my faith that Disney is NOT dead!

May 11, 2016 at 8:57 AM · What a great looking attraction! I agree with 80.193 that the constant holding up of phones, and flash photography is a little distracting/annoying. I guess I'll make it a point to wait an extra minute or two and get a front-row seat to minimize that.

As for the skeleton to Jack Sparrow effect, I had to rewatch that small part a few times because it's extremely impressive.

I always hear how great the Paris version is, and I know this one is in a league of its own, but I'd love to ride all of the Pirates versions to compare.

I also agree that this is the ONE ride that is a MUST DO. I probably won't even do Soarin, since it'll be the same version in the US parks. I'm looking for exclusive stuff first. If I have time, I'll do anything that's a copy.

May 11, 2016 at 9:39 AM · I am not a fan of the Jack Sparrow films, and I will always love, love, love my "Yo Ho, Yo Ho" version in Orlando (corny and pale in comparison to DL's original though it may be....), but I gotta say.....WOW!!!!

I would never argue for WDW to REPLACE their version with this.... But to ADD it.... yeah, that would be cool!

May 11, 2016 at 9:47 AM · I haven't ridden Spiderman or the two Harry Potter rides, but it sounds like from the comments that this Pirate ride is the best ride ever, is that the consensus? I don't see Disney replacing any of the existing Pirate rides, why should they when the crowds still come?

I know that Little Mermaid is a different type of ride, but it just makes me think about what they could have done to make the underwater scenes more believable.

Shanghai is starting to make the domestic parks look cheap by comparison, Disney needs to do something to improve the stateside parks. And not just add new lands like Star Wars and Avatar, they need an overhaul in general.

May 11, 2016 at 10:58 AM · After watching this and the Lightcycle video yesterday, I feel like we here in the states are getting gypped.
May 11, 2016 at 10:59 AM · OM Freakin' G! Does anyone ever watch anything with their own eyes anymore? Though I appreciate the Insider who provided this POV video, I couldn't help but laugh at the fact that every other person in the boat was watching this immersive attraction through the screens on their cellphones. It was hilarious.

The ride though...looks pretty amazing. I wonder if this is the one that will really get people talking again about the age old animatronics vs. screens debate. Looks like this ride has found a way to very effectively blend the two for the most realistic ride experience possible. Nice work. Now bring it home, Disney!!! Your faithful American fans await.

May 11, 2016 at 11:15 AM · Shanghai gets a restaurant too. That's a nice bonus. No more "Yo Ho Ho" and no slave women and chasing women. It's women free.
May 11, 2016 at 11:22 AM · And now we get to see all the Disney fans who have been lamenting the use of screens at Universal start to clamor for more screen based rides at Disney Parks...

This is what Universal fans have been talking about. This is Forbidden Journey turned in a boat ride. Totally awesome video and the ride looks fantastic, just going to be interesting to see reactions going forward.

May 11, 2016 at 11:59 AM · Hmmm....wonder if Disney will update that cool book about the history of "Pirates" with a focus on this.

Been hearing the Shanghai backers wanted some cool stuff for "bragging rights" on the U.S. parks, looks like they're getting it.

May 11, 2016 at 12:04 PM · For those asking "why can't they update WDW/Anaheim like this," keep in mind, they were able to build this up from scratch with a totally new theater mixing boat ride with massive screens and such. In order to do this for Disney World/Land, you'd basically have to take the entire building apart and then rebuild it and rework the entire ride, which basically would be more expensive than building it from scratch. So, while awesome, not really feasible to expect this to be ported to the States. Besides, awesome as the screens are, I'm a sucker for the classic ride, hate to lose that.
May 11, 2016 at 2:51 PM · Makes the Orlando version look rubbish.
May 11, 2016 at 6:39 PM · Most impressive.
May 11, 2016 at 7:00 PM · Blimey ... i do wonder whether they will use the same style for the Avatar attraction.
May 12, 2016 at 10:24 AM · Wow! Now that's a Disney ride that Universal would be proud of.
May 12, 2016 at 10:38 AM · Now this is how you do screen-rides, Universal take notes. Did you see the implementation of water meeting with the projection?!! Amazing! Talking to somebody who has rode it, the projections are so good, you can't tell what's real and what's projection, it's that convincing! Definitely overtaken Forbidden Journey! Can't wait to see Avatar and Star Wars Land! As a side note, a think Disney's new ownership of ILM (the best visual effects studio in the world) will help them massively in terms of creating amazing screen rides.
May 12, 2016 at 11:44 PM · Wow this ride looks insane! Though I am disappointed with the low count of audio-animotronics.

AJ HUMMEL: Bro, anybody ever tell you that you look like Patton Oswald?

May 13, 2016 at 4:57 PM · While it looks visually impressive, two things stand out that worry me:
1) Disney is following universal into gradually phasing out physical props and sets for movies. How long will it be until a trip to a Disney park is nothing more than a $100 trip to an AMC theater?
2) I may be wrong, but from watching the video it looks like there needs to be significant spacing between boats so the scenes can reset. The big advantage of the classic Pirates attraction is that it can cycle an armada of boats through nearly nose to tail giving amazing ridership capacity. Aside from the Little Mermaid attraction, when was the last time Disney developed a truly high capacity ride? Even a lowly B/C ticket ride like the Luigi's tires replacement at DCA has abysmal ride capacity. This is an odd strategy considering overcrowding is a major issue at Disney parks.

Speaking of the little Mermaid ride, some of the undersea scenes in this Pirates ride looked like they came out of Ariel's attraction. Very bright, colorful, and whimsical. It did not seem like PotC, either the ride or the movies in tone and atmosphere.

May 13, 2016 at 8:00 PM · I still prefer DL Pirate's more...Why?

1. More animatronics (SHDL only has 4 audio-animatronics)
2. Less Screens (SHDL is mostly screens)
3. Longer ride
4. Voice acting is vastly better (Impressive Jack & Davy Jones AA's are poorly represented by the voice acting, regardless of the language. DL Pirate's has legendary voice actors, like Paul Frees)
5. Better theme song ("Yo-Ho A Pirate's Life for me" more memorable than movie theme song)
6. Music in general is better (DL has both sung and intsrumental, whereas SHDL is mostly instrumental)
7. Mix of old and new elements (DL has original Walt Disney elements with movie elements)
8. More drops (2 instead of 1)
9. Has a complete and richer experience (More scenes and fully detailed sets, as opposed to mostly screen with props)
10. It actually has women (Shanghai Pirate's is dude-only)
11. Last, but not least, Walt Disney himself oversaw the DL attraction!

May 16, 2016 at 10:59 AM · I'm all for a reworking of the WDW version of Pirates to be on par with the new Shanghai version. THIS would be a refurbishment worth waiting for. Unfortunately I think the Disney purists (mouse mafia) would take issue with it. Although the current updates Disney did with Pirates at WDW was good, I think a total re-imagining like the Shanghai one would help keep the ride fresh. ocassional updates to the animation sequences would allow for revised scenes and adventures and make those changes financially reasonable (ala the new Star Tours)

What the purists need to understand is that Walt Disney never wanted DL or WDW to be stuck in the past, if an attraction is in dire need of a revamp to make it relevant for modern audiences then he would have said "make it happen!"

The modern take on the Enchantd Tiki Room is an example, the "Under New Management" update that included Zazu and the parrot from Aladdin, plus the angry animatronic Tiki God that sprung from the center of the theatre was a HUGE improvement over the original which WDW re-installed after the purist backlash.

It's like going to your grandmother's house when you were kid and hoping to watch something cool on her TV but she insists on putting on the Lawrence Welk show.

May 17, 2016 at 9:20 AM · I see no problem with this version being put in Orlando. Disneyland has the far superior version and it's better if the two coasts offer different experiences. Let Disneyland keep the classics since that's where they were originally made. Disney world should always have the newest and best stuff. Since Walt didn't build the park they shouldn't be constrained by nostalgia and history.

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