Did you get the hint I gave at the end of my Haunted Mansion review about "really bad eggs"? Well, here it is, my #2 all time favorite ride in all of Disney World (and, if I'm honest, probably closer to #1.5). There is a lot more Marc Davis influences in this ride versus Haunted Mansion, so I think that's what draws me to it so much. Granted, I don't have nearly as much Pirate collectibles versus Haunted Mansion ones, but I love it almost as much. I must have been a pirate in a past life or something!
Located in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom
here's a throwback for ya...the bigger kid is me and yeah, happiness doesn't run in our family
(you can see how much the sign has changed since 1981...and that poor bridge has been replaced at least three times that I can remember, none of the other bridges have been replaced that many times)
Pirates is where I go AFTER I finish at HM. I love to take the shortcut through Pecos Bills (and get a whiff of the taco salad goodness that I will be eating in just a few hours!), but there is also a separate entrance to Frontierland from Adventureland (and Frontierland connects to Liberty Square) so it just makes sense to go that way.
Here's another throwback, the ride entrance in 1981 when it used to be at the side (and try not to notice the very INAPPROPRIATELY dressed girl in the way):
Like HM, it looks amazing during the Halloween Party (and also a great place to find Hook, Capt'n Jack, or other Disney pirates roaming around):
The ride queue can be long (or sometimes surprisingly short, even at peak times):
But it moves faster than you would imagine. That picture was taken after standing in a massive line so far back I couldn't even see the sign, only to arrive at it two minutes later. Once you're that far, the entrance is just ahead. I do often ride it a lot more during a trip than HM, simply because the line moves so fast, it really doesn't matter how long it is and you can get multiple rides for it versus like Soarin, which has a HORRIBLE line even in the FastPass lane. It's probably because Pirates doesn't stop, it's a constant moving boat ride. Splash Mtn, Living with the Land, and any other non-stop rides are the same.
It is a rarity to have the queue completely empty and it's a real shame because there are really great props just laying around:
but I'm glad to see the turnstiles gone...even though I'm not fat now, I have been my whole life and I HATE those things! Luckily, I'm tall, so I just stand on my tippy toes so my thighs go through instead of my butt.
and I really miss the audio animatronic parrot that used to live here (never got a picture of him though because the bloody line moves too fast)
A lot of times throughout my day, you'll catch me whistling or singing Yo, Ho to myself. I'm not sure why.
With some Disney rides (especially the older ones), they have queue lines that go either right or left and there is something different to see on each side. Don't think because you've ridden something once you've seen it because, even if there is only one queue lane, you can also see something different just from where you sit! I always try to sit in a different location each time. I do typically stop in the line to take pictures and let others go around me as well. I used to be too scared to do this (I'm afraid I'm going to do something to draw attention to myself), but my new camera has given me a new obsession...taking good pictures (or the best I can with a P&S)!
The on ride photos are a lot tougher. It doesn't suffer the same speedy motion that Haunted Mansion does, but you are on a wobbly boat and areas of Pirates are surprisingly darker than those in HM (and there are some mini, Splash Mountain-type drops as well), so bare with the low quality.
Although the water screen still eludes me (and I still prefer Davy Jones to Blackbeard's screen), at least I finally got a halfway decent shot of the mermaid!
Barbossa's audio animatronic is one of the worst in all of Disney World (well, not as bad as Sigourney Weaver's in the Great Movie Ride, but close). I don't know if they thought since people are farther away they won't see it, or what, but there was obviously no effort put forth on him (which is a shame because he's my favorite).
we wants the redhead!
shift your cargo deary, show 'em your larboard side:
that hairy leg CREEPS me out!
And, as with most Disney rides, you exit directly into a gift shop, a practice which some hate, but I actually like, especially when they are often as themed as the ride itself (and I'm practically peeing in my pants for the Haunted Mansion shop to finish!):
Across the way from Pirates is where they perform the pirate tutorial with Captain Jack (and the place where a CM died accidently a year or so ago):
Although there are no "ghost vibes" around that area, there is actually inside, which leads me to tell you a little story. Pirates is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a construction worker called George who supposedly died during the building of the ride. The CM's that work there reportedly say hello and goodbye to him everyday or they suffer constant ride breakdowns. And also reportedly, if you call to him, he'll show himself to you (which I used to think was bollocks, but I did agree there was enough of a vibe around the place that it could be haunted). A few years ago, Amber and I were riding with a lady (who was sitting behind me), and both the boat in front of us and the one behind us was empty. For some reason, we had been discussing George before we got on the ride, so he was on my mind. We're going along, I'm on the far right side, my leg was actually touching the side of the boat, and I suddenly feel a strong hand grab my right leg like someone wanting to tell me something (it was not a weak brush, it was a full-on grab). I turn around quickly, because I thought the lady needed something, only to realize exactly how far away she was actually sitting and there was NO WAY she could have reached that far to touch me that way (plus, she was looking at me like "what the hell do YOU want?"). I turn to Amber and immediately say, "someone just grabbed my leg!". Of course, she just brushed me off (and it couldn't have been her because she was too far away and on my opposite side), but my heart continued to race through the entire ride! Yes, I know I'm "spirit sensitive" but I don't encounter them, I just "know" the energy level in the room is different (a lot of Aspers are this way actually, it has to do with us having increased senses...what I call my spidey sense). I'm not saying George touched me, but SOMEONE did (I only question whether they were living or dead). If it wasn't living, it had to come up from the water because we weren't near a scene. Even to this day, when I go through that area, my legs involuntarily squeeze together away from the edge of the boat, even when I'm on the left!
After that, where else can I go, so let's end this on a different note. I find it amazing how many of the show props they actually used in the Pirates movies (and despite what the current generation thinks, the rides have been around a heck of a lot longer than the movies!). I just recently watched them all again (I was bored one day) and I caught all kinds of little nods to the ride all the way through all four of those movies. It became almost like a game to find them! That's the beauty of the Disney-verse! There is even a wiki page that shows you all the nods (it's HERE if you're interested).
Not really sure where we're going next, but it's probably going to be to a completely different park, so stay tuned!