New Orleans Square
★ ★ ★ ★
Pirates of the Caribbean debuted in the then-new New Orleans Square section of Disneyland in March 1967 and since then has spawned a multi-billion-dollar entertainment empire. The simply story of a pirate raid on a Spanish port has grown into three (soon to be four) movies, video games and theme park rides around the world.
Pirates takes riders on a 15-minute trip from New Orleans Square's Blue Bayou down two waterfalls into a misty realm where Davy Jones challenges you with a pirate's curse and "dead men tell no tales." Disney's Imagineers have tweaked the ride several times since its 1967 debut, most recently in 2007, with the addition of characters from the Pirates of the Caribbean films, including Davy Jones and Johnny Depp's Capt. Jack Sparrow.
The show's burning city finale features the rousing theme "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me" by X. Atencio and George Bruns, followed by a coda in the city's crumbling prison, where the pirates face their comeuppance. (Except for Jack Sparrow, of course.)
Pirates offers the highest capacity of any ride in the park, meaning its line moves swiftly even during the busiest times of the day.
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Classic attraction that is a landmark of Imagineering. The improved affects and animatronics are well done while still maintaining the original charm. While smaller than WDW's version, I still like the layout and pacing of this original version.