Pirates of the Caribbean 50th Anniversary

“Dead men tell no tales”

What comes to mind when you first here this? Yes, Pirates of the Caribbean! There’s nothing like making your way into New Orleans and entering Pirates of the Caribbean hearing the parrot speak, feeling that cool air breeze, watching the boats sail on by and smelling that smell in the air.. you know what smell I’m talking about.

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Entrance to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction

(Photo: YouTube)

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction! It debuted on March 18, 1967 and since then has had over 400 million guests from all over the world! Pirates of the Caribbean was the last attraction at Disneyland that Walt Disney was personally involved with. It was worked on by Walt Disney Imagineers (originally called WED Enterprises). The attraction also inspired the highly popular Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise.

Besides its original home at Disneyland in Anaheim, this beloved attraction can be experienced at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Shanghai Disneyland.

Now let’s get started on some fun facts:

On an episode of “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” called “Disneyland 10th Anniversary”, Walt Disney shows models, drawings, and plans of the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean attraction with Disneyland ambassador Julie Reihm.

Walt Disney working on Pirates of the Caribbean.

(Photos: The Disneyland Resort)

As you board the boat and set sail, you’ll see on the right the Blue Bayou Restaurant which is a popular restaurant in New Orleans Square. The diners are able to see the passing boats go by. This is the only restaurant connected to a dark ride attraction at Disneyland.

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(Photo: The Disneyland Resort)

There are approximately 120 animated audio-animatronics (humans plus 9 animals) that appear in Pirates of the Caribbean.

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(Photo: OC Register)

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(Photo: The Disneyland Resort)

The ride is nearly 15 minutes long, one of the longest rides at the Disneyland resort. Guests ride through the attraction in a 1,838ft canal. The ride can take about 2,300-2,400 guests in an hour.

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(Photo: The Disneyland Resort)

Ye come seekin’ adventure and salty old pirates, eh?

Disney Imagineer, X. Atencio, wrote the memorable tune, “Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me,” which is the theme to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. He also provides the voice of the Jolly Roger skull and crossbones, which is the talking skull you see just before you head down the waterfall. Check out what other projects he worked on another one of my posts here.

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(Photo: Pirates.Wikia.com)

On June 28, 2003, Disneyland held a premiere for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. On June 24, 2006 Disneyland held a premiere for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. It re-opened after being under refurbishment for some time. The characters from the films were added to the attraction. Disney 365 aired an episode of the premiere in 2006, with stars including tons of Disney Channel stars, walking down “the world’s longest red carpet”. The episode featured footage of Johnny Depp on the attraction and checking out his own animatronic. On May 25, 2007 “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” opens in theaters. Disneyland’s Tom Sawyer Island re-opened as Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island the same year. On May 11, 2011 Disneyland held a premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”.

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(Photo: OC Register)

Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain Barobossa can be seen in the attraction. Davy Jones can be seen on a waterfall mist. Captain Jack Sparrow can be seen three times.

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(Photo: Pirates.Wikia.com)

I hope you enjoyed this quick little blog post about the Pirates of the Caribbean at the Disneyland Resort as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary! Be sure to check out all of the special merch Disneyland will have in honor of the 50th Anniversary such as shirts, pins and more. Also, you’ll be able to try some “special pirate-themed grub” at restaurants across the park such as French Market Restaurant, Mint Julep Bar, Harbour Galley, Royal Street Verandah, Cafe Orleans and Blue Bayou Restaurant. Let me know what you love about the Pirates of the Caribbean!

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The Little Man of Disneyland

Did any of you used to read or own those Disney Little Golden Books? I need to dig mine up somewhere. I had quite a few.. they are classic treasures! One I’d like to share with you is the story “Little Man of Disneyland” which was published in 1955. The story tells of a little leprechaun named Patrick Begorra who lived in a small house at the bottom of a tree. The tree was located in an orange grove in Anaheim. He becomes disturbed as he meets Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Mickey Mouse coming barging onto his property. They plan on building Disneyland on the property he lives on. They take him back to the studio in Burbank to show him all of the drawings, concept art and plans for Disneyland. After careful consideration, Patrick agrees that they can have the land as long as he can have a little house of his own at Disneyland.

When you visit Disneyland, be sure to stop by Adventureland and head near the entrance of the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction and you may spot a little house tucked away at the bottom of a tree. I wonder who may live there..

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Comment below if you’ve seen Patrick’s little house! Let me know what other Disney trivia I can write on!

The Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration!

Be sure to tune in to The Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration on Christmas morning Sunday, December 25 at 10:00am – 12:00pm EST on ABC! Hosting this special event is Julianne Hough and Derek Hough. Performances include Kelly Clarkson “Underneath the Tree” , Jordan Fisher “The Christmas Song”, Alessia Cara “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and more. You don’t want to miss this wonderful celebration! Check out this video below:

“Remember… Dreams Come True” returning to Disneyland!

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(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

This is probably the best news this week! Disneyland’s “Remember… Dreams Come True” Fireworks will be returning to Disneyland on February 3, 2017! This firework spectacular originally began during Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary in 2005 and continued on for more years. The show takes you on a journey through Disneyland since it’s opening day, celebrating that special dream that Walt Disney once had. Narrated by Julie Andrews, the show focuses on attractions such as the Haunted Mansion, Pirates Of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, Star Tours, and more. You’ll even hear some familiar sounds around the park such as the Disneyland Railroad announcement, the Main Street Electrical Parade and the Enchanted Tiki Room. The effects, castle projections are phenomenal.. especially when you see Tinker Bell soar above Sleeping Beauty’s castle. The music will give you chills and leave you speechless. It truly is a beautiful show.

Fun fact: Parts of “Remember… Dreams Come True” comes from the “Wishes” Nighttime Spectacular from the Magic Kingdom is Florida. However, the show is narrated by Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio. “Wishes” debuted at the Magic Kingdom in 2003.

Here’s a clip from the show from my personal collection in 2008. The video does not do the show justice! If you’ve seen it, what’s your favorite part?

Main Street USA: Windows

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(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

There is nothing like walking under the tunnel when you first enter Disneyland and finding yourself right in Main Street USA. Before entering either one of the tunnels, you’ll see a plaque above that reads, “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.” And that’s what exactly happens when you enter Main Street. Main Street is the entrance to all of Disneyland and welcomes guests to another place and time. When I take in all of the sights, sounds, smells, and hear that classic Main Street music, it makes me feel like I’m home.

Have you ever paid attention to the details on Main Street? There’s so much history that lies within Main Street. The focus on this post is the windows. If you’ve ever looked up at some of the windows on Main Street, you may have recognized a few names. This was a way that Walt Disney could honor his Imagineers, as well as his friends and family. I’ll list a few.

If you’re standing at the Fire Department and Walt’s apartment, you’ll see Carriage Place Clothing Company to the right. Looking up, you’ll see a window with the name of an important lady in Disney history, Harriet Burns. Harriet Burns was the first female WED Imagineer. Disney Imagineering was first known as WED Enterprises in 1952. WED stood for Walt Elias Disney. On February 20, 1986, the name changed to Disney Imagineering. Imagineer is imagination and engineering combined. Harriet Burns designed and feathered the birds of the Enchanted Tiki Room and sculpted models for Storybook Land. She also contributed to many of the classic Disney attractions we all know and adore, such as the Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and the Haunted Mansion.

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Walt Disney, Julie Reems (Disneyland Ambassador) and Harriet Burns)

(Photo: Disney Enterprises, Inc.)

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(Photo: Loren Javier)

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(Photo: disney-pal.com)

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(Photo: mousewait.com)

Renie Bardeau‘s window is located right above the Main Street Photo Supply. He was a Disneyland photographer from 1958 to 1998. He has taken many photos for Disneyland and of Walt Disney. At first, Bardeau was just looking for a summer time job. Bardeau was sent to see Charlie Nichols, who was then Disneyland’s Chief photographer. He was hired shortly after a quick interview, not realizing this summer job would become a life long career. Nichols retired in 1968 and Bardeau took his place as the Chief photographer of Disneyland.

He took this photo below in 1964, one of the most iconic photos of Walt Disney at his Magic Kingdom. It’s a candid shot of Walt walking through Sleeping Beauty’s castle one early Saturday morning before the park opened. It’s known as the “Footsteps” photo.

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This picture is one of my favorite pictures taken of Walt Disney, in 1966, by Bardeau. But at the same time, it’s a sad one because it was the last picture taken of Walt Disney at Disneyland.

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(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

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Elias and Flora Disney

(Photo: The Walt Disney Family Museum)

If you look above the Emporium shop, you’ll see a window dedicated to Elias Disney. Elias was the father of Walt Disney. He and his wife, Flora Call, had 5 children: Herbert Arthur Disney, Raymond Arnold Disney, Roy Oliver Disney, Walter Elias Disney & Ruth Flora Disney. Elias’ name was featured on the window on the opening day of the park, July 17, 1955. His window reads: “Elias Disney, Contractor, Est. 1895.” 1895 represents the year he began working as a contractor.

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(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

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(Photo: d23.com)

Ken Anderson‘s window can be spotted above the Market House. Anderson was a part of the WED Enterprises and was one of the first to work on Disneyland. He was the primary designer for Fantasyland and worked on the attractions such as Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, and Peter Pan’s Flight. Prior to Disneyland, he worked on the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He built little models of the Dwarfs’ cottages and even created the idea of Dopey wiggling his ears (because he was able to do it himself). He also worked on the Sleeping Beauty film then in 1957 worked on the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-through. He also created the characters Shere Khan from The Jungle Book and Elliot from Pete’s Dragon.

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(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

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(Photo: d23.com)

Blaine Gibson was a sculptor and animator. His window is located above the Mad Hatter. He is the creator of the “Partners” statue that is located at the hub at Disneyland. It was revealed on November 18, 1993. Here’s a photo I took of the statue below in 2009.

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(Photo: disunplugged.com)

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(Photo: d23.com)

X. Atencio was another Disney Imagineer. The X in his name stands for Xavier. Some of his work include the dialogue and music for Adventures Thru Inner Space and he helped animate Fantasia. He co-wrote “Grim Grinning Ghosts” from the Haunted Mansion and wrote “Yo Ho Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me” from the Pirates of the Caribbean.

I really hope you enjoyed this post! Next time you’re at Disneyland visiting Main Street, please take the time to check out these names on the windows. I only wrote on just a handful of them. There are many more people involved in Disney history that have windows dedicated to them. I may do another post on more of them and most likely in the future, I’ll be doing a post on more of the history on beautiful Main Street USA!

Halloween season at Disneyland!

As you may have known already, the Halloween season officially started on September 9th! Get ready for frightful fun all over the Disneyland Resort!

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(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Haunted Mansion Holiday returns! Be sure to check out the new Sally figure added in the graveyard scene!

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(Photo: pics-about-space.com)

Launch into a haunted universe on Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy! How brave enough are you to ride this?!

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Don’t forget to check into The Hollywood Tower of Terror Hotel Disney California Adventure! During the Halloween celebration, you’ll be able to experience the “Late Check-Out” where you’ll ride the Tower of Terror in complete darkness. Remember, the Hollywood Tower of Terror will be officially closing it’s elevator doors on January 2nd, 2017. It will change to the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout attraction.

There’s so much more to experience during the Halloween season! Be sure to catch the Halloween Screams fireworks and the Frightfully Fun Parade during Mickey’s Halloween Party. Also check out all of the delicious Halloween treats and merchandise all around the parks. For more info visit the Disney Parks website by clicking here! All the Halloween fun continues until October 31st!

Fantasyland: Then & Now

Hi everyone! I thought I’d write on one of my favorite lands at Disneyland. It’s usually my first destination when entering the park. That land is Fantasyland! In Fantasyland, you’ll find yourself right at the heart of some of the most beloved Disney stories such as Peter Pan, Snow White, and Alice in Wonderland. As you enter the land, you walk on the bridge right into Sleeping Beauty’s castle as if you’re being transported into another world. Once you’re inside, it feels as if you are. It’s no doubt one of the most popular lands inside Disneyland. Since the park’s opening in 1955, Fantasyland has gone through some major changes.

The original Fantasyland theme, shown in the photo below, had a Medieval feel to it.

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(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

Walt Disney’s original vision for Fantasyland was to build a fairy tale village-like land but as Disneyland’s budget began to increase, Walt had to stick with the Medieval theme. In 1983 was when “The New Fantasyland” was revealed. The new theme for Fantasyland was the village theme that Walt had dreamed of. “The New Fantasyland” opened to the public on May 25th, 1983. Here’s what it looks like today:

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(Photo: Disney Parks Blog)

The original set up of Fantasyland caused so much traffic because too many attractions were too close together. King Arthur’s Carrousel was placed not too far from the entrance of Fantasyland. With it being right in the middle of the entrances to the Snow White and Peter Pan attractions, it would get very crowded. While guests were entering and leaving the park, there were also long lines for Peter Pan and Snow White. In the photo below, you could see just how crowded it got.

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(Photo: matterhorn1959.com)

In the graphic below, provided by imagineeringdisney.com, shows the original locations of the attractions that took place before 1983.

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In today’s design of Fantasyland, Peter Pan’s flight, Snow White’s Scary Adventures (renamed this in 1983), Alice in Wonderland, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride still remain in the same location today. The Fantasyland Theatre is now where Pinocchio’s Daring Journey sits. The Pirate Ship and Skull Rock were removed and Dumbo the Flying Elephant took that spot. King Arthur’s Carrousel moved further back (pretty much where Mad Tea Party used to sit) and the Mad Tea Party moved across from Alice in Wonderland. This graphic shows Skyway but that closed in 1994.

Here’s some facts about the attractions in Fantasyland:

Peter Pan’s flight – During the 1983 changes, Imagineers created a London style theme to the building and added a tall clock tower that reminds guests of the film. Here’s what it used to look like below and the following picture is what it looks like today:

(Photo: gorillasdontblog.blogspot.com)

imagineering-disney_new-fantasyland_peter-pan-2(Photo: imagineeringdisney.com)

Snow White’s Scary Adventure – Originally named Snow White’s Adventure, the ride did not have Snow White appear before 1983. The point was to have riders experience the adventure through the eyes of Snow White. You were riding as if you were her. Guests probably did not understand why she was not in the attraction, so she was added years later, along with new scenes and effects. Now when you ride it, it’s as if you’re walking into the story instead of seeing it through Snow White’s point of view.

(Photo: dailynews.com)

Here’s what it looks like today, notice how you can see the Evil Queen pulling the curtains looking out into the park. That was one of the newest additions.

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(Photo: couponingtodisney.com)

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey – This attraction was not an original opening day attraction. In fact, what once stood there was the Fantasyland Theater. It opened in 1955 as the Mickey Mouse Club Theater. In 1964, it changed to the Fantasyland Theater. Inside the theater, you could watch animated Disney short films. During the expansion of the new Fantasyland, it closed in 1981 and in 1983, we got Pinocchio’s Daring Journey.

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(Photo: d23.com)

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(Photo: mouseinfo.com)

Alice in Wonderland – To my knowledge, nothing on the outside of this attraction has changed. I could be wrong. But the ride inside has definitely gone through changes. Similar to Snow White’s attraction, guests were to ride as if they were in Alice’s point of view prior 1983. Again, guests didn’t understand that so Alice was inserted into some scenes in 1983. Now when you ride it, it’s as if you’re following the story. Below is how you see Alice in Wonderland today. Some of the Alice in Wonderland attraction sits on top of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, that’s why the caterpillars (the vehicle you ride in) take you up outside when returning back to the loading area.

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 I hope you enjoyed this post! I didn’t cover all of the attractions in Fantasyland but I would love to hear what your favorite is in Fantasyland! 🙂