Dead men tell no tales, but controversy speaks volumes — enough so that the Walt Disney World resort has reopened its classic Pirates of the Caribbean ride without a particularly memorable scene depicting a band of women being sold into marriage against their will.
After announcing last summer its plans to temporarily close the iconic attraction for refurbishment, the Orlando-based resort debuted Monday a slightly altered narrative along the ride’s course. As boat-bound guests traverse the ride’s story — which, in part, depicts a seaside hamlet overrun by sing-songy pirates — they will now encounter significant alterations to the auction scene, as a female pirate auctions off the townsfolk’s “most prized possessions and goods,” per the Disney Parks blog.
The female pirate, dubbed “Redd,” previously appeared as one of the brides-to-be. The character has now “switched sides” to do the auctioning. Disney says the change was made in the spirit of a notable Walt Disney quote, in which he championed his company’s dedication to “keep moving forward” with new ideas.
A revamped version of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride opened at Disneyland Paris in 2017, while the first Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland in Anaheim will undergo a similar refurbishment beginning April 23.
The original Disneyland park in California first debuted the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in 1967, and it has since become one of the most beloved attractions in the Disney chain of parks, even spanning a successful series of films starring Johnny Depp. Disney World’s interpretation opened in 1973, while Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris followed suit in 1983 and 1992, respectively.
Shanghai Disneyland, the newest park in the Disney family, premiered a boundary-pushing Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure ride when it opened in the summer of 2016, which incorporates boats that can move sideways, forward, and backward, elaborate digital projections, and advanced audio-animatronic figures.