Pirates of the Caribbean

Fun Facts

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  1. Coming this July, a change will be occuring at both Disneyland Anaheim and Walt Disney World. Pirates of the Caribbean is closed for a makeover. They will now be featuring essence from the movies. Jack Sparrow, Barbossa, and Davy Jones will be featured throughout the ride. Pretty sure it will be a none-changing thing, unlike Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion. Just hope it turns out for the best.
    REPORTED: Tara 10 APR 06
    The Pirates of the Carribbean is currently under a drastic refurb to add some tie-ins to the popular Pirates movies and is expected to reopen in late June.
    CONFIRMED: Iframedroger r 16 APR 06
  2. There are other hidden characters here
  3. Pirates was the first ride in the world to end with an exit directly into a gift shop. Many rides now end this way.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw 28 DEC 97
  4. The name of the pirate ship is the "Wicked Wench."
    REPORTED: Phillip Robertson 28 AUG 99
  5. The storyline of Pirates is a backward dream sequence, with the opening Bayou scene being the modern day. The portrait of the red-headed woman in the drunken skeleton room is actually a portrait of the red head being sold at the auction after she had been acclimated to the pirate lifestyle some years after her sale.
    REPORTED: Phillip Robertson 28 AUG 99
  6. The left line is shorter. What I mean is if you walked through both side and timed it, you would get there faster going through the left. That also means you get on the ride quicker if you go on the left.
    REPORTED: Disneyfan700 09 SEP 98 pict from pict from
  7. The chess pieces being played by the skeletons in the beginning of the ride are arranged in a stalemate.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw 28 DEC 97
    Just confirming that the chess game in Pirates of the Carribean is in fact a stalemate. It's supposed to represent one of the morals to the storyboard for the ride and was pointed out to us by our tour guide.
    CONFIRMED: Marla Jenkins 07 JUN 98
    I've got the location of the pieces, and here they are in algebraic notations: a4=white bishop, a8=black bishop, b2=white knight, b5=black knight, b7=white rook, c1=black rook, c5=white bishop, d1=white king, d4=white pawn, d5=black pawn, e3=black pawn, e6=black king, f1=black pawn, f2=white pawn, f3=black pawn, f6=white pawn, f7=black pawn, g6=white pawn, g7=black pawn, h1=black pawn, h3=black queen, h5=black rook, and finally h7=black pawn.
    CONFIRMED: Anthony Samhain 27 SEP 98
    In regards to Anthony Samhain's listing of the positions of the chess pieces: The positions listed are 1) not a stalemate and 2) not even possible to achieve using standard chess playing. A friend and I worked out the positions on a chess board. Clearly the king is in check by the rook. Therefore the king has to get out of check or it's checkmate. However both the pawns that are advanced to the last row would have been promoted. If the pawn at f1 is promoted to a queen, the king is checkmated. Of course, this argument really isn't even relevant because the situation the king is in is forbidden by the rules of chess. If there is a queen AND rook in the same row as the king, that means at one time either the king did not move out of check or moved into check. One of those pieces had to have been there first and would have forced the king out of the row.
    UPDATE: Grant Anderson 15 OCT 98
    If the algebraic notation of the chess pieces is as stated above, then there is NOT a stalemate. The White King is clearly in checkmate. This positioning is totally impossible. I've also been told that the board is arranged in a stalemate, and I believe it is, so I'm assuming the positions given in the notation above are false.
    UPDATE: Kurt & Gary 08 NOV 98
    I copied down the info and double-checked my notes. The pieces should be in the right places. I've analyzed the pieces and the layout over the past couple of weeks and I've come to realized that the layout of the pawns makes it an impossible game. Here's why: There are a few pawns in the same file -- and since pawns can only move either forward or diagonally forward, then two of the black pawns are in their original places. And in addition, if there is more than one black pawn in a file, then at least one of them had to be moved diagonally over to that rank. I counted the minimum number of moves that the pawns would've had to make in order to get where they are. The number comes up to nine. Since a pawn can only move diagonally by capturing another piece, that means that nine pieces (white) would have to have been captured, but since there are only seven white pieces off the board, this contradicts the pawn movement. Also, I figured out that the white king would have had to have been in check on his previous move, but since the king is not allowed to legally move into check, this also means that the game was imaginary. BUT there's a pattern on the board that I'm trying to crack (you know those "Hidden Mickeys"!!! There's gotta be something there). I think that it's a word-code, because some of the pieces are arranged according to the name "Walt Disney" -- that's my theory so far. It's all in the numbers. 9 pieces off the board (7 white, 2 black), 23 on the board (9 white, 14 black). 7+2=9, 7 times 2=14, 14+9=23, 23 is 32 reversed (23+9=32), etc. Coincidence? Maybe ...
    UPDATE: Anthony Samhain 27 SEP 98
  8. The waterfalls on Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland and Disney World are different. There are waterfalls on both rides. However the waterfall at Disneyland is longer and therefore broken into two consecutive drops. Also, Disneyland guests remain in the boats as they travel up a lift chain at the end of the ride that returns the boats to their original level. As a result, Disneyland guests enter and exit the Pirates boats from the same location. At Disney World, guests exit the boats before they return to their original level. After this unload point, the boats enter a staging area where they go up a lift belt, make a right turn, pass under the queue area and then reenter the loading zone. Back in the days when there were two channels at the load area, the boats went through an automatic switch gate in staging as well. (That was the source of many downtimes!) The reasons for the waterfalls (at both Disneyland and Disney World) is to permit the boats to pass under the Railroad tracks that surround the park.
    REPORTED: Gary Greco 17 DEC 95
    CONFIRMED: Robert Niles 23 JAN 96
    CONFIRMED: Charles Durst 27 APR 96
    Orig Art
    Original Art
  9. The Narrator in the Haunted Mansion is the late voice actor Paul Frees. His voice is used in a number of other attractions, including the multimedia segment of the Hall of Presidents, and most if not all of the Pirates, including the auctioneer.
    REPORTED: Rick Pastore 09 MAR 97
    Some people know this and others don't. But as well as the Ghost Host, Pirate Auctioneer, Captain of the Jolly Roger and a score of others, Paul Frees was also the one and only Boris Badinov. As well as the Bass singer in many disney attractions, most noticable in the Haunted Manion (Grim Grinning Ghosts), Thurl Ravencroft of the disney singing group of yesteryear. Is also the infamous Tony The Tiger. Not to mention the one who sang the Wholiday classic, "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch.
    UPDATE: Paul Welling 27 JAN 02
  10. The Mellomen were not only used to sing Yo Ho in Pirates. They have done many other performances for Disney. The only one I can think of right now would be the Cards in Alice in Wonderland who are "Painting the Roses Red".
    REPORTED: Jed 29 JUL 96
    Regarding the Mellomen barbershop quartet from Disneyland. My older brother actually had an old LP record by the Mellomen. At that time, barbershop was often accompanied by guitar, banjo, or even ukelele. It was not quite the type of barbershop practiced today, which has evolved into a quite distinct musical form of its own. Growing up familiar with the more "current" style of barbershop, I found the album somewhat disappointing, I have to admit! It sounded so different! The kind of barbershop sung back then is similar to that of the music of the vultures from Disney's animated film The Jungle Book. They were a singing group, yes, with some of harmonies we associate with barbershop today, but also with jazz-like arranging as well, and insturmental accompaniment. Mostly I remember the incredible bass voice of Thurl Ravenscroft. He could shake the foundation.
    UPDATE: anon 02 OCT 97
    The Mello-Men from Pirates were also the voices of the three cards who were "painting the roses red" in Alice In Wonderland. Thurl Ravenscroft, the voice of Tony the Tiger, is easily recognized as the Ace of Clubs who says "in fact they'll soon be dead". To take a look for yourself, they are last in the line of credits at the end of Alice in Wonderland.
    CONFIRMED: Chris Berndt 12 JUL 98
    The Mellomen (singer at Pirates of the Caribbean) were also the singing voices of the dogpound dogs in Lady and the Tramp. A special they show on Vault Disney has Walt introducing them, followed by their performance.
    CONFIRMED: Chernabog 21 APR 99
    The Mellomen did the theme for Pirates of the Caribbean.
    CONFIRMED: Darrell Houghton 20 AUG 99
    The Mell-o Men did do the singing in Pirates, as well as "painting the Roses Red" in Alice in Wonderland, and "Grim Grinning Ghosts" for the Haunted Mansion. They are even portrayed as the singing busts in the mansion!
    CONFIRMED: Jennifer Dubin- Future CM 31 MAR 02
  11. The maidens may chase the pirates at Disney World, but at Disneyland they don't with the exception of the last chase, where a pirate is being chased by a maiden.
    CONFIRMED: Moparbird 02 JAN 96
    The pirates used to chase the maidens at WDW (except the last pair where the maiden chases the pirate), but the ride was updated to be more "politically correct."
    COMMENT: Melanie Emmons
    The men did chase the maidens in the chase scene in Pirates of the Caribbean at WDW. I heard that a female guest complained about the secret sexism and then it was changed.
    CONFIRMED: Molly Ann Murdock 21 DEC 96
    Unlike in American Disney Parks, the pirates chase the women in Disneyland Paris
    UPDATE: Peter Stepniewicz 04 SEP 99
    Actually, in Disneyland Paris, it's also the maidens chasing the pirates. They even use brooms to 'hit' the pirates
    UPDATE: Lilian Severins 30 SEP 99
    CONFIRMED: Pirate_T_Square 15 JUN 01
  12. In "Pirates", a couple of people noted the changes made regarding men chassing women. Another notable change along this line is the pirate sitting in front of a barrel in which a woman is hiding. The pirate used to be holding what appeared to be her under-garments. Now he loudly comments that she took his treasure chest and she pops out of the barrel holding a tiny chest.
    REPORTED: PatrickRG 09 FEB 99
    Yes, a pirate did once sit in front of the barrel where the girl was hiding with a veil like undergarment talking about how he would like to hoist his colors over that shy maiden and so on O__o; but the girl looke shocked and her eyes are big and I found it funny!!
    CONFIRMED: Pirate_T_Square 15 JUN 01
    Regarding the pirate sitting in front of the barrel. Not only did they change the under gaments and the line about "hoist me colors over that winsome wench", but they also removed the line he says a little later when he asks the guests to help find her and promises "I be willin' to share, I be". This is even present on a video I have of the old DisneyLand TV episode where they introduce Pirates and the new TomorrowLand. I think the line is still there now, but he refers to finding the treasure now, not her. P.C. or not, I miss the old Pirates!!
    CONFIRMED: Ibey Willin' 03 MAY 02
  13. Did you guys know the fancy looking pirate at the auction used to be the freedom speaking Abe Lincoln. Now our former president is selling wenches!
    REPORTED: Gabe C. 23 FEB 02 See videos
  14. For the longest time I believed that WDI did all the Audio Animatronics for the parks. While some of this is true, I recently found out that Disney often hires outside companies to do things for the parks. A good example is some of the Audio Animatronics's on Pirates. Sarcos, an outside company, does many of them for the attraction. If you go to their site, you will find a very similar Auctioner animatronic on one of the videos.
    REPORTED: Ryan 19 AUG 00
  15. Near the end of the ride, the white haired prisoner is actually a replica of a janitor who worked there.
    REPORTED: Brett Hicks 31 DEC 96
    Was a janitor at Walt Disney Productions
  16. There is a screen where three men are in a jail and a dog is holding a set of keys. Well the anamatronic with the white hair is based on a janator that worked at the Walt Disney Stuidos for many years. I let you all know any other secrets I uncover this trip.
    CONFIRMED: Andrea Goldstein 29 JUL 98
  17. Has anyone ever noticed that in Pirates of the Carribean in Walt Disney World by the trio of singing pirates there is a little cocker spaniel dog. I first noticed in when my little brother shouted out that our dog had followed us. (That figure does look nearly exactly like our late dog Teddy...but anyway). From then on, I have noticed that cocker spaniel not only in Pirates but also in nearly every other ride in the park. Most notable are the Haunted Mansion (the caretaker's dog, Bony), It's a Small World (he's somewhere in there...It's been too long and I forget so easily...) and even in the mural in the Castle's tunnel.
    REPORTED: Fish 29 MAR 99
    Backyard Imagineering

    Has anyone noticed that the dog in the Carousel of Progress looks exactly the same as the dog in the Pirates of the Caribbean? Someone please confirm this!
    UPDATE: Corey Housman 24 FEB 06
  18. As you're going under the bridge into the jail scene, there's a pirate sitting on the bridge with his leg hanging down. If you look closely you can see that the bottom of his foot is dirty and that his leg is hairy.
    REPORTED: Sky 05 JAN 01
    There is a dirty foot and hairy leg that hangs down over the bridge into the jail scene in pirate's.
    CONFIRMED: Christy Michelle 08 JAN 01
  19. The fire in the Pirates of the Caribbean was actually the celluloid material that animation cels are made of. The illusion of fire is created by placing the celluloid over a fan and a light.
    REPORTED: jojobean 15 APR 97
    The fire on Pirates is made by shining lights onto a special, moving cloth.
    CONFIRMED: DaWiZard 12 MAY 97
    As an ex-WDI employee I can confirm that the flames in the burning village are indeed created by shining lights up onto sheets of cloth (silk, I believe) which are being blown by fans.
    CONFIRMED: Brian Collins 24 AUG 98
  20. The dialogue at the end of the waterfall is not new. It is from the longer version in Disneyland which has more scences with pirtate skeletons and treasure. Walt Disney World's short version deletes these scenes and the dialogue is put at the end of the waterfall for some reason.
    REPORTED: big al 11 DEC 97
  21. The captain on the pirate ship in Pirates of the Caribbean bears a remakable resemblence to the famous pirate Edward Teach, aka, Blackbeard. Like the captain, Blackbeard had a thick black beard which went down to his waist. More importantly, though, it is known that Blackbeard tied red ribbons into the beard (along with fuses to give off smoke) while in battle to scare his opponents. Futhermore, the battle does parallal a couple of Blackbeard's exploits, most notably the siege on Charles Town (Charleston), S.C. Finally, as many have pointed out, the portrait at the end is of Blackbeard from "Blackbeard's Ghost." kj
    REPORTED: Keith Jones 06 SEP 98
  22. How about the fog that drifts out from behind the boat in the "Battle" area. It is the Mee Fog effect. Water is shot through a small hole at 1000PSI, in fact the hole is smaller than a hair from your head. Because it forced out so fast, the water condenses, just like real fog does. Hence the Mee Fog, slogan, "Real Fog"
    REPORTED: jojobean 15 APR 97
    Backyard Imagineering
  23. How about the effect of the cannon ball hitting the water. It is done with a air cannon. You can see this effect at the "Inside the magic" studio tour at Disney/MGM. Just compressed air under the water.
    REPORTED: jojobean 15 APR 97
  24. Each day when the cast members arrive at Pirates of the Carribean, they must say hello to George, the resident ghost. If a cast member fails to say hi, or if someone goes on the ride and repeats, "George isn't real," then the ride will break down.
    REPORTED: Lindsay 12 FEB 99
    The first ride I went on with one of my friends was the Pirates of the Carribean. The whole entire time we had chanted, "George isn't real." The ride never broke down, nor did the operators have any clue as to what we were talking about.
    UPDATE: S. Ryan 11 SEP 99
    There is a ghost who haunts the Pirates of the Carribbean building, however, nobody has to say hi to him, and he definately does not cause the ride to break down. If anything, he actually tries to help the cast members. "George" is the ghost of a maintenance man who was killed inside the building when a support beam fell and crushed him.
    CONFIRMED: anon 30 AUG 99
    George on Pirates of the Caribean is real. We asked the cast member about him when we were there last time and he said "Which George the cast member or the Ghost?" I was supprised to hear this. Then just to test it we kept saying/thinking George was not real. Sure enough the ride got jammed up in the jail area and all the other boats kept running into us and eachother. They even ran into us as we got into the unloading area. Scary. I know that next time I go I will definately say hi to George.
    CONFIRMED: Ry Ogron and Mike Crowell 06 OCT 99
    I don't mean to dissalusion you but I have been to Disney World every summer for the last six years and have ridden Pirates many times and there has only been once when the boat hasn't got jammed and shunted in the jail area, right up untill unloading. I think this has more to do with the amount of boats on the ride than you thinking of George.
    UPDATE: Axel 14 JUN 01
    I am a Disney World Attractions cast member that can confirm the story of the George the Ghost on Pirates as we call it. Long story short he was a Imagineer that built the tracks for the ride and died on the ride. I will not tell anymore of this very complicated and secret story. He did design a secret area on the ride to hide, when stressed. The ride does break down if we do not say goodnight George after closing everynight, if we do forget the next day if a guest says I dont believe in George, it will and has broke down. The rest I will take with me to a grave, or you need to be a pirate for the carribean to learn the true secret behind the myth that is George.
    UPDATE: anon 25 MAR 02
    George is indeed real, and was an engineer working on the POC building, when a beam collapsed and killed him. Thus, he haunts the building where he died, but is a friendly ghost and his intent is always to help the CM's, unless somebody purposely gets him mad.
    CONFIRMED: Jennifer Dubin- Future CM 31 MAR 02
    I work at Disney World right now, and I operate Pirates of the Caribbean. George was a worker on the ride when it was built. He was involved in construction mainly. He was also close friends with Walt and Roy and had a close history with them. Two of the pirates have his face. In the Burning City scene, on the right hand side, there is a tower with one window. This is the tallest onstage point throughout the ride. This is George's Tower. He was up there to survey the Burning City (which was his favorite scene), and in coming down the ladder, he lost his balance and fell. The fall is the equivalent of four and a half stories. That is how he died. For any cast member to climb the ladder is an automatic termination because of the danger. We do not say hello or goodmorning to George in the morning, we say goodnight to him after we close. On mornings which the night before was missing his goodnight salutations, no more than 3 full cycles of boats have been completed before an E-stop, or and Automatic Power Disconnect. He is real, he isn't mean or haunting, but he can be mischevious. When walkin backstage by yourself, the plastic boards you walk on, you can feel someone walking behind you. If you're running he runs. It's not all the time, but it does happen. Not all E-stops and APDs are George though. The ride is quite tempermental herself. She has been operating since Dec 15, 1973 so she's old, which is why now, the ride is going under renovation until July. Another thing about George. He has a door that can be seen from the Unload station. If it is open you can see flames from behind the jail scene, and having George's door open will stop the ride. No one is ever back there, not even Maint. or MGNT. and yet the door sometimes get's opened. The ride has never even survived one full cycle of boats when George's door is open. He really doesn't care about guest going through the ride saying/thinking "George isn't real" he only cares about the cast members, cause we're the ones he is trusting to run the ride. So think it all you want. George isn't going to APD for you.
    UPDATE: Kalyani 28 FEB 06
  25. The pirate sitting in front of the barrel is holding a treasure mapand looking for a treasure while the girl sitting in the barrel is holding the treasure that he is looking for that she didn't steal, but is hiding it from this pirate.
    REPORTED: Nick Baumgart 05 MAR 99
  26. If you look up as you are going into the jail scene, the pirate sitting on the wall - his feet are dirty.
    REPORTED: Ashley 18 MAR 00
  27. The water is only a few inches deep and the boats guided by track/guides on either side, I saw this when the lights came on when the ride broke down.
    REPORTED: Todd 23 FEB 00
  28. In January my marching band perfomred and went backstage at Pirates. Well, that building is huge. There are many doors that lead backstage and it smells like pirates as much backstage as it does inside.
    REPORTED: Duper00 17 FEB 01 pict from
  29. Disney deploys camo-panted heaters used when Walt Disney World gets too cold. These particular ones are used behind the Pirates of the Carribean attraction.
    REPORTED: _ee 12 FEB 02
  30. One of the nightshirt clad "prisoners" in the dunking scene is also the frightened caretaker in the Haunted Mansion graveyard scene.
    REPORTED: Jim 13 JUN 02

Pirates of the Caribbean Facts and Figures




Water Propelled Boats




October 1971

Audio-Animatronic Figures

66 pirates and villages, 57 animals and birds

Amount of Water

750,000 gallons

Main Lift Pumps (2 operating)

20,000 gallons circulated per minute (maximum) 18,000 gallons circulated per minute (minimum)


Length - 15 feet Angle - ? degrees


Length - ? feet Angle - ? degrees


? feet

Ride Time

9 minutes (varies)




22 adult passengers per boat.
3 adult passengers in rows 1 and 6
4 adult passengers in rows 2, 3, 4, and 5. For example 3 adults = 2 adults and 2 small children or babies.


? per hour

Maximum Height of Ceiling

40 feet

Other Hidden Characters

  1. In the Pirates of the Carribean ride, between two of the treasure rooms, there is a huge rock outcropping, when you look up at it (it's pretty high off the water) it's Goofy's silhouette, the left side of his face. Then the boat goes under it and if you turn around to look at it from the other side, you can see his hat and a whole where his eye should be.
    REPORTED: Wendy Mora Angela Darling 06 AUG 98
    Pirates doesn't have a hidden Goofy, only little hidden Mickeys. In the last scene, the Treasure scene, under the lanterns there are upside-down mickey heads.
    UPDATE: Kalyani 28 FEB 06

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