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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Celebrating Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom: Pirates of the Caribbean

Walt Disney would often get asked what his favorite DISNEYLAND attraction was. In 1965 it was Pirates of the Caribbean. Pretty much anyone who visited either the park or WED Imagineering during that time would get a tour of the Pirate animatronics, sets and/or the models. It was his pride and joy and he mentioned it constantly. So that must have been his all-time favorite attraction ever, right?

Well, that's a tough question. Many of the people who worked with Walt said that his favorite attraction was always whatever he was working on at the time. He was always looking ahead at the next big project. Had Mr. Disney not passed away in 1966, his favorite attraction would have most likely become The Haunted Mansion, the next big project on the horizon.

Sadly, Mr. Disney never saw the finished Pirates of the Caribbean. During his last visit to his beloved DISNEYLAND, the flume had not been filled with water yet and the animatronics were still being programmed. In order to give their boss a look at how his beloved guests would experience the attraction in their boats, a special dolly was rigged up and Walt was pushed past the now classic show scenes at the same speed the fleet of boats would glide past. He was proud of his newest toy and exhorted his staff to not feel pressured to open the ride until it was ready. It would be the last time Mr. Disney would see his beloved Magic Kingdom.