Review

Of all of the Walt Disney World theme parks, in my opinion the Magic Kingdom boasts the most "must see attractions" and Pirates of the Caribbean is most definitely on that list.

Today's generation of Disney World-goers and Disney fans may only know of the film versions of "Pirates of the Caribbean", thanks to Johnny Depp and his "Captain Jack Sparrow" character......but to set things straight, the ride has been around far longer than the movies. It was the film series based upon the ride, not the ride based upon the films. Although today that may be harder to tell since updates to the attraction have included the mysterious Davy Jones (played by Bill Nighy - also from the films), the evil Captain Barbossa (voiced by actor Geoffrey Rush), and even Captain Jack himself (voiced again by Depp) popping up in several spots throughout the attraction.

The attraction is housed in a building designed (impressively) like an old Spanish fort, and the basic plot to the ride (updated in recent years) has Barbossa and his scurvy crew of miscreant pirates attacking a coastal town in search of Jack Sparrow. The animatronics employed here may be old, but they're still very impressive, from the facial features of the pirates all the way to the meticulous details of their hairy legs dangling off the side of a bridge. In one of the first scenes, after a small drop in the dark (don't worry, you may only get literally 1 drop of water on your arm at most), you come upon Barbossa firing his cannons on the town. You can really feel the air-cannons at work, in time with the firing of the pirate cannons so that it seems like you're feeling the rush of a cannon ball soaring past your head.

Little ones may be briefly scared during the darker moments, which primarily are at the beginning of the ride (and include a skeleton steering a ship in stormy seas) but that can quickly be overcome because the rest of the ride is light. Part of the fun you can have as a rider is to see how many moments in the ride you can recall as showing up in the films (and there are quite a few, too).

One of the things I miss about the ride (having ridden it before and after the inclusion of elements from the movies) is that in the beginning there was a talking skull & crossbones, and even though you still hear its voice, they took it dow for some reason. It would be the one saying "dead....men....tell....no....tales".

Pirates of the Caribbean is by no means a thrill ride, but it is always fun. It's well air-conditioned in there (maybe too much for some) and that can make it a welcome break from strolling around the Magic Kingdom in the hot Florida sun. Disney has also seen fit (yeah, as if they wouldn't) for you to conveniently exit the ride into a gift shop where you can buy your little ones (or maybe even yourself) a variety of piratey knickknacks.

Oh, and it's almost assured that you'll find yourself whistling, humming, or singing softly under your breath "yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me" afterwards, maybe when you least expect it.

Reviewer Rating

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