Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom has gotten its new Auction scene, allowing American audiences their first look at Disney's changes to this iconic moment from one of the company's most beloved and enduring attractions.
Disney announced the changes last year, and first installed the new scene in Disneyland Paris' version of the ride, which does not follow the same narrative as the Disneyland original and shorter Walt Disney World version. (Disneyland will get the new Auction scene later this year.)
The new scene subtlety changes the decoration of its animatronic women, but in doing some profoundly changes its message. In the old scene, the women were being auctioned off, with the bidding pirates dismissing the portly "bride" up for sale and lusting after the Redhead next in line.
The new version eliminates the depiction of human trafficking and fat shaming by putting objects in the women's hands and switching a couple of them into men, making the auction about the stuff instead of women. And the Redhead has changed teams, now brandishing a gun and a pirate tricorner hat.
It's evocative of the change that Disney made many years ago to the chase scene, putting platters of food in the women's hands, switching the theme from impending rape to gluttony.
FWIW, I defended Disney's changes when they were announced last year. The TL;DR was that since Disney undercut the Pirates' punishment at the end of the ride by adding Captain Jack Sparrow and letting him get away with it, the company needed to tone down what had become an unpunished glorification of some nasty behavior. But, ultimately, I doubt that most Disney World visitors will even notice that anything has changed.Tweet
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.