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  1. #1

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    WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    Disneyland Resort/Walt Disney World Resort Press Release


    CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW TO JOIN THE AUDIO-ANIMATRONICS CREW OF DISNEY’S PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ATTRACTION


    Classic Attraction in California and Florida Adding New Characters Inspired by Hit Film Franchise Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean







    ANAHEIM, Calif. / ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2006) - - First the theme park attraction inspired the movie – now the movie is inspiring the attraction.

    Pirates of the Caribbean, the classic Disney theme park adventure brought to the big screen in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, is adding new characters and features from the blockbuster entertainment franchise and debuting when the next adventure begins in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

    Both the Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will close the attraction in March to complete the updates in time for the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest on July 7. The attraction will re-open at Disneyland on June 24 and in Florida’s Magic Kingdom on July 7.

    The attraction will feature the addition of two of Hollywood’s most infamous buccaneers, Captain Jack Sparrow and his nemesis Barbossa. Joining the wildest crew that ever sacked the Spanish Main, Captain Jack and Barbossa add an exciting new twist to the attraction’s original storyline as they race to be the first to claim a cache of plundered treasure.

    “Successfully adding the popular characters from the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ films with the mythology of our classic attraction is an example of Disney synergy and Walt Disney Imagineering at its finest,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “These additions will result in an exciting new chapter for the attraction and an unforgettable experience for our guests, giving them another reason to come and be a part of our continuing 50th anniversary celebration.”

    Woven into some of the attraction’s most memorable scenes, the rival swashbucklers will be seen interacting with some of the more familiar Audio-Animatronics buccaneers found inside the ride-thru adventure. Also making a guest appearance is the ghostly Davy Jones from the second movie in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. But new characters are only the beginning. New special effects will also be added to enhance the “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme park experience.

    "The creative legacy of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ has come full circle with the attraction initially inspiring our highly successful film franchise and now the films inspiring exciting additions to the attraction itself,” said Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios. “The attraction enhancements capture the same spirit, swashbuckling humor and action that moviegoers loved in the first `Pirates of the Caribbean' which will continue with the highly anticipated new tales this summer and beyond.”

    Created under the direct creative supervision of Walt Disney himself, Pirates of the Caribbean is the quintessential Disney theme park adventure, a swashbuckling voyage that transports guests back to the days when pirates and privateers roamed the Spanish Main. Starring a comical cast of rascals, scoundrels, villains and knaves, the world-famous attraction sends guests of all ages on a boat ride through mysterious caverns where “Dead men tell no tales” and then into a colonial era Caribbean seaport under siege by a band of fun-loving pirates. The attraction’s jaunty theme song, “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” sets the show’s light tone with its tongue-in-cheek depiction of high-seas lawlessness.

    The original incarnation of Pirates of the Caribbean premiered on March 18, 1967, in New Orleans Square at Disneyland in California. Featuring more than 120 Audio-Animatronics performers, lavishly decorated sets and special effects, it’s considered to be one of the most spectacular and enduring attractions ever created for a theme park. With its setting revised slightly to fit a Caribbean Plaza location in Adventureland, the attraction opened to guests at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on December 15, 1973. More than 500 million people have experienced the rollicking fun of Pirates of the Caribbean in California and Florida over the past 39 years.

    “Enhancing the classic Pirates attractions with new characters and new technology will ensure their relevance and place in Disney theme parks as timeless adventures,” said Tom Fitzgerald, senior creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering. “We’re adding a layer of storytelling from the films to the attraction while retaining all the familiar elements that make it vibrant and exciting for every age group.”

    The Pirates of the Caribbean additions are one part of the “Happiest Celebration on Earth,” an 18-month salute (continuing through 2006) to 50 years of Disney park magic around the globe that started with the opening of Walt Disney’s original park, Disneyland, in 1955.
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  2. #2

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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    >>First the theme park attraction inspired the movie – now the movie is inspiring the attraction.<<

    Exactly my gripe. Let the classic attractions we all love stand on their own. Does everything in the parks must have a movie pitch overlay??
    I am all for them upgrading AA's, light and sound and EFX but change a classic to suit a movie that hasn't hit theaters yet and could become a bomb? No, It's not right. Let this new POTC movie proof itself a success first before screwing with the ride.

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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    But that would ruin the synergy, and synergy is the Disney Company's middle name these days. The promotional kick they'll get from opening the new ride right along with the new movie is pure marketing genius. Overall, I'm with you, TDLFAN - I'd rather they left well enough alone, or at least see if the 2nd movie is going to work. But I don't really blame them for taking this opportunity to leverage 2 different products together. I'm betting both will be huge successes (well, I'm hoping, anyway).

  4. #4

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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    So is Disney, they already filmed the third film in the series at the same time as Pirates 2. (Disney also loves to save money
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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    I will reserve judgment until I see the final products. But I have no problem with them updating and changing Pirates for a modern audience. And the characters are already classics based upon the huge amount that the Black Pearl made. The second movie isn't gonna bomb. Folks love Jack Sparrow. So long as the attraction doesn't lose its soul, I think this will be a great plussing of an all-time classic.

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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    Granted. I will offer my opinion once the refurbishements are done and in place. However, I do hope that both attrcations in DL and the MK turn out similar in quality. Seems to me the MK always gets these half baked refurbishments that seem inferior to the other parks' improvements.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLFAN
    Granted. I will offer my opinion once the refurbishements are done and in place. However, I do hope that both attrcations in DL and the MK turn out similar in quality. Seems to me the MK always gets these half baked refurbishments that seem inferior to the other parks' improvements.
    You are quite optimistic TDLFAN. But I must agree with your hope also.


    I really wish they would just put the AA of Jack in the front of the queue area or somewhere simple to add to the classic attraction if they must. I've heard GREAT things of the Jack AA.. but I'm doubting its overall impact and change to the classic attraction as well. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

    The change for FL will be nice but I'm quite scared about Disneyland's "upgrade". This is the last attraction that Walt Disney worked on. The origianal open date was changed when he requested changes made. Overall it's an amazing expereince and I only hope it will stay that way.

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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    if they take out the PC stuff that would be a start. I for one am looking forward to the change. while I love the old attractions, what I have heard doesn't sound too bad. and I am definitely looking forward to the new pirates. I have to admit I adore Captain Jack Sparrow.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by danyoung
    But that would ruin the synergy, and synergy is the Disney Company's middle name these days.
    "synergy" is a word I looked at painted creatively on the wall of one of my College Program classroom's walls. It was there right along with painted park icons and older photos around property. It's there, plain and simple. AND they are showing it to us kids.

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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    Have you heard the Synergy story of Lion King?

    That's one scary montage embodied in acrylic and plexi.. Check it out at DU sometime.

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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    Maybe they will try to make Capt Jack ride herbie instead of a boat in the new one and make another sequal? grrr I agree that it would be ok to add to the attraction to update it w/ better audio etc but you know they could go overboard and just trash the whole feeling of the ride....wonder if they'll add fastpass?

  12. #12

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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    This is great news. I for one am not a huge fan of the ride (as is). I ride it every vacation, but if I happen to forget to, I wouldn't lose sleep. On the other hand, I absolutely loved the movie (and I love the trailer for the next one). I would love to see as many changes as possible.

    Also, the last day of my vacation is July 7th & I'll be at MK that last day. So if everything goes as planned, I'll be there for the official reopening. So I'm really hoping they have it open on time (maybe even some soft-openings in the 12 days before).
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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    Quote Originally Posted by BigPigletFan
    The change for FL will be nice but I'm quite scared about Disneyland's "upgrade". This is the last attraction that Walt Disney worked on. The origianal open date was changed when he requested changes made. Overall it's an amazing expereince and I only hope it will stay that way.
    I quite agree... I really don't care about them updating WDW's ride since it's well known as the most inferior of the versions (and WDW is my home park so I still love it dearly). There's something weird about meddling with Dianeyland's version. A sprucing up is always in order, but I'm not sure about changing key show elements...

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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    Quote Originally Posted by askmike1
    This is great news. I for one am not a huge fan of the ride (as is).
    Not surprising Mikey since you only have seen the MK version of it which is the value version of the other rides in DL and DLP. Even TDL's version has an edge over the MK's with the addition of the Bajou and the skelleton scenes... MK's POTC needs the most refurbishing and upgrading at this point in time.

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    Re: WDW Pirates to be closed for refurb from early March thru July 6th

    Even better than all that... my fellow CP and co-worker was just cast in the role of Capt Jack himself as a face character. So not only are we gonna have Capt Jack invading Pirates but youll prob be seeing him around other parks as well.

    side note - CPs usually have to wait until their program is finished until they can transfer into a different dept (i.e. operations to entertainment). but in the case of my friend, they are taking him now! which means they mean business and needed a capt jack really bad!
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