Celebrate 53 Years of Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean With These Awesome Fun Facts
Happy 53rd Birthday Pirates of the Caribbean! Though you have battened down your hatches until we’re on the other side of this COVID-19 scare, we still wanted to pay tribute to you on your birthday!
Yo ho! On this day 53 years ago, Disneyland guests traversed waterfalls and caves to happen upon a swashbuckling adventure—made real by the latest in Audio-Animatronics technology. Happy anniversary Pirates of the Caribbean, me hearties! pic.twitter.com/rEnd0wXwjM
— The Walt Disney Family Museum (@WDFMuseum) March 18, 2020
As one of favorite Disneyland attractions, join us in celebrating a magical 53 years of the Pirating life.
Pirates of the Caribbean Was Originally Meant To Be a Wax Museum
During the creation of his first theme park, Walt Disney put a simple idea forward for a “pirates of the Caribbean” attraction. It was up to Walt’s incredible team of Imagineers to bring those four words to life. One of Walt’s original ideas was for a walk through museum-type attraction. It was Disney Legend Marc Davis who evolved the idea into an interactive walk-through were guests would enjoy a series of seafaring vignettes. Both of these ideas would eventually be upgraded to the sea-faring adventure you’ve come to know and love today.
“Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me” Was Penned By Disney Imagineer X. Atencio
Another Disney legend, Xavier “X.” Atencio penned two of the most iconic Park songs in Disney history. The first is “Grim Grinning Ghosts” for Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction and the second is the undeniably catch “Yo Ho. A Pirates Life For Me.” Atencio had never penned a song or tune before approaching Walt with his ideas for lyrics to accompany the pirate-themed attraction.
Atencio also provided the voice of the ominous Jolly Roger skull and crossbones.
Atencio Was Inspired By Disney’s film Treasure Island
Early in the development of the ride, Atencio knew he had to fully immerse himself in the pirate culture. So he turned to a Disney film for inspiration. Disney’s 1950 live-action film Treasure Island was the source material for much of what you see in the ride today!
At 15 Minutes, It Is the Longest Attraction at Disneyland.
During this 15-minute boat ride, guests travel 1.838 feet through two giant structures. When it opened this New Orleans Square attraction dazzled with 119 life-size, three-dimensional figures. 64 of them were human and there were 55 animals.
Disney Sculptor Blaine Gibson Needed To Revise His Designs When They Were Too Recognizable as Disney Employees
Blaine Gibson would people-watch in search of inspiration for the physical appearances of his characters. While this provided a great start he actually had to change a nose on one of the pirates’ faces when a fellow employee mentioned that it looked a little too similar to an employee from another Disney department.
Paul Frees, Who Voiced the Ghost Host at the Haunted Mansion Can Also Be Heard on Pirates of the Caribbean
Paul Frees is an absolute Disney legend. He was the voice of Ludwig Von Drake, welcomed “Foolish Mortals” to the Haunted Mansion and also lent his voice to the famous Pirates of the Caribbean line “Dead men tell no tales.”
Though you may not be able to take a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean just now, be sure to pop by this iconic attraction later this year and wish it a happy belated birthday.
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