Pirates of the Caribbean

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride that started a craze. Just watch the movies. You’ll find little snippets from the ride in each one. “Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a pirates life for me.” Yep, it time to throw off the shackles of polite civilization and let your inner pirate rule.


Which came first, Pirates (the ride) or Pirates (the movie). That’s an easy one. Pirates of the Caribbean, the ride, opened in the Magic Kingdom in 1973. The first movie (based on the ride) was released in 2000.

The Disney movie and all it sequels were based off this ride. In 2009 the ride was updated to include Captain Jack Sparrow and crew. Blackbeard was added in 2012 to coincide with the opening of the newest Pirate movie – “On Stranger Tides“.

Pirates of the Caribbean

After waiting through the line, which does tend to move pretty fast, you board a 30 passenger boat and sail off in searching for what ever it is that pirates search for. Unfortunately the boat is not the Black Pearl with giant sails, but instead is a utility boat, much like those in It’s a Small World. The boat is powered by the current that runs through the ride.

Their action progresses from a battle at sea to pirates plundering the town. During the plunder, there is a scene with an auction of the ladies of the town. The scene then progresses to ladies chasing pirates and lots more.

The boat drifts on through several scenes that have become popular through the movies. There’s even a big (and mildly confusing) scene with Davey Jones. Finally you arrive save, back at the docks.

The Gift Shop

Every good Disney ride has a gift shop at the end and Pirates is no exception. You can get anything a good pirate will need for a little plundering from a sword to an eye patch. Yo Ho, Yo Ho …

Fun Facts

The ten minute ride is full of pirates and some, thanks to the movies, are almost recognizable (namely Captain Jack Sparrow). The ride underwent a makeover a couple of years ago to help make things look more like the movies.

  • Each boat holds about 30 people and boats load quickly. This means that lines disappear quickly.
  • You will hear the popular song, “Yo ho, Yo ho, a pirates’ life for me” throughout the entire ride, and while waiting in line, and you’ll be singing it the whole time your in Adventureland.
  • The Disneyland version of this ride is the last attraction the Walt Disney has a hand in designing before he passed on.
  • A special event: Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial, takes place daily right in front of the ride. Pirates teach youngsters how to become pirates (imagine that). Scheduled times can be found on the Magic Kingdom’s daily schedule.
  • Many times guest can find Captain Hook and Mr. Smee from Peter Pan outside this ride signing autographs in the autograph area.
  • There are 65 pirates and villagers along with 60 animals throughout this adventure.

Crowd Factor

Lines form for the ride in the morning and last until the park closes. However, the line moves pretty quickly.  

Dad’s Ride Table

Pirates of the Caribbean

Description: A boat ride through scenes of pirates and plunder
Height Requirement – None Fastpass:No Length of Ride: 8min 30sec
Type of ride: Boat Ride

Dad’s Ratings

3 4 5 5 4
Other Information: Some of the scenes can be disturbing to tender souls. I guess that’s the point. Yo Ho, Yo Ho …

The Fine Print

Every ride has some fine print. Here it is.

  • For guest safety, you must be in good health and free from heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or any other conditions that could be aggravated by this ride.
  • Guest must be able to transfer from motorized scoot or ECV to a wheelchair and then from a wheelchair to the ride vehicle.
  • Handheld captioning is available at Guest Relations.
  • Flash photography is prohibited.

Dad’s Bottom Line

Pirates of the Caribbean has been one of the Adventureland’s signature rides for years. It was so popular they made 4 movies based on the ride, with another in production. Every movie makes the ride even more popular.

Pirates is a lot of fun, it’s been toned down some through the years, but it’s still one of the best rides in the Magic Kingdom. Who doesn’t want to be Captain Jack Sparrow?

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