Featured Attractions

Friday, April 8, 2016

Freaky Fridays: No Pirates in Florida

Pirates of the Caribbean at DISNEYLAND is often considered to be Walt Disney's Masterpiece. It was the last attraction at his Magic Kingdom that he personally supervised. Sadly, he never saw it fully completed, but it stands today as one of his major accomplishments.

Mr. Disney was proud of this attraction that would fully realize the immersive atmosphere he wanted for DISNEYLAND. He showed off the plans to any and all visitors to Walt Disney Imagineering and proclaimed it to be his favorite attraction.

The attraction would boast many firsts, including the highly themed Blue Bayou Restaurant and the elaborate sets and show pieces. This dazzling attraction was a must see for Anaheim tourists.

When Roy Disney began the planning process for Florida's Magic Kingdom park, however, he felt that with the Caribbean so close to Central Florida a Pirates attraction would not be very popular. He asked the Imagineers to not include a Pirates of the Caribbean and they complied. 

However once Florida's Magic Kingdom started pulling in the crowds, guests were disappointed that there was no Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. Something had to be done- and fast! The Imagineers, however, were in a bit of a fix. The soggy swamplands of Central Florida were not well suited for construction, so the company had to be careful about where they built. The high water table meant that the company could not just build underground like it could in Anaheim. These limitations severely limited what could be built quickly. Rather than wait, the company rushed a cut down version of the ride into construction.

As a result, Florida's version has no elaborate restaurant nor any of the lazy bayous or wild drops. In fact, everything before the ship fight doesn't exist in Florida and nothing after the infamous jail scene. The ride opened to some acclaim, but it is very likely that Walt Disney wouldn't have liked the results. Even current Disney CEO Bob Iger admits that the DISNEYLAND version is superior to all that came after it.