If you haven’t heard, Pirates of the Caribbean, the last ride Walt Disney himself personally supervised, is going to be changed for 2018.
The ride has previously been altered. Pirates no longer chase women (it’s food they really crave), and Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow appears a few times to help take us out of the original ride’s storyline.
Now, it’s about to be butchered, further desecrating the legacy of Walt Disney.
The famous “take a wench for a bride” auction scene will be replaced with “surrender yer loot” where wealthy people stand in line to give up their possessions. The famous redhead will transform into a pirate.
For those who feel that too much emotion is placed on preserving a ride, not a national monument by far, remember this.
Pirates of the Caribbean was “the final attraction which Walt saw basically to its completion . . . the pinnacle of his theme park career . . . perfect on every level,” according to what Disneyland expert David Koenig said in a documentary on the ride, often referred to as the “greatest theme park attraction ever made.”
That is why preserving it exactly as it was originally intended is so critical. If Disneyland were a museum, this would be its Mona Lisa.
The auction scene in particular tickled Disney’s fancy. In a 1965 episode of “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color,” he narrates a scale model of the ride, referencing this scene: “here their shipmates are auctioning off the town’s beauties.”
The auctioneer pirate, which was the most sophisticated audio-animatronic built by Disney Imagineers at that point, was the only fully-dressed and operating pirate that Walt saw in a mock-up at the WED warehouse in Glendale shortly before he died.
Disney was pushed through on a dolly as if it were one of the boats to see the progress of the ride. As mentioned in David Oneal’s documentary, “this test run-through of the auction scene would be Walt Disney’s last time working on any Disney theme park attraction.”
It would be curious to find out if Disney has had endless guest complaints about this scene or if just a few company officials were bothered by it.
Let’s face it, there is more scandalous female objectification in a Carl’s, Jr. commercial.
If you are going to ruin the ride, you might as well go all the way and drain all of the offensive material; in other words, the best parts.
Too many drunk pirates are seen in the ride. Replace all bottles with baguettes.
The pirate who tries to have a cat drink rum can instead offer some Meow Mix.
The jailed pirates trying to get a dog to give them the keys so they can escape say “grab his ears” and “hit him with a soup bone.” Delete these lines before the SPCA claims animal cruelty.
Change the signage on all the rum barrels to read “root beer,” then sell Pirate Root Beer in the gift shops and restaurants.
Do away with the burning of the town. Turn it into a 4th of July firework spectacular (another thing that can be used by the marketing department).
And the dunking of the town magistrate is an act of water torture. Replace him with the executive who approved this idea.
Of all the amusement parks, Disneyland is the only one supervised by Walt Disney. That is why it needs to be protected more than any other park.
What I don’t get is how come a made-up fantasy of pirates’ lives holding an auction of women in an amusement park ride (emphasis on “amuse”) is viewed so inappropriately, yet no one seems to complain of billboards advertising cartoon excrement in “The Emoji Movie,” an upcoming PG-13 movie geared towards children?
It’s a small (minded) world, after all.