Yo ho yo ho a pirate’s life for me… It’s been 50 years since that song debuted in 1967 on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland. Did you know that Pirates was actually the last attraction whose construction was overseen by Walt Disney himself? Sadly, Disney died before the ride officially opened. However it quickly became such a fan favorite, that similar rides later opened in the Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Shanghai Disneyland Park! And of course you already know that the ride became the basis for the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN film franchise. The latest installment DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES is in theaters now.
Walt Disney Archives
While out in LA, we had the opportunity to visit the Walt Disney Archives and learn about how this ride came to be. One fact that I didn’t know prior to the visit was that Pirates of the Caribbean was originally suppose to be a wax museum walk through!
But before I get deep into Pirates of the Caribbean and Disneyland, let me show you around the Archives a bit. Their current theme for their Reading Room is Tomorrowland. It was so cool to see their displays that showcased Disney history. One of the cool setups they had was of what an animators desk would look like back in the day. Their setup was reminiscent of famed Disney Animator, Ward Kimball’s desk, while he was directing space-themed television shows in the 1950s.
Other displays feature unique movie items such as THE ROCKETEER helmet, and Andrew mask worn by Robin Williams in BICENTENNIAL MAN. We also got to see the Weebo robotic figure used in FLUBBER, and miniatures and props from films such as THE BLACK HOLE, ISLAND AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD, and HORIZONS.
Another display included merchandise spanning over 60 years from the Disney film 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA.
Disney World was the first Disney park I ever visited as a young child. So I enjoyed seeing the merchandise associated with the opening of EPCOT. Now that I think about it… I think I may still have my plush Figment somewhere…
The Reading Room also contains an original GNK power droid! Commonly known as “Gonk” droids, are seen in the STAR WARS films recharging vehicles and machinery as they are programmed.
We also learned so much about Disneyland during our visit, and saw cool artifacts, such as one of the original Disneyland maps!
We also got to see the first ticket to Disneyland, and the first ticket to Shanghai Disneyland Park.
Disneyland & Disney California Adventure Park Fun!
Alright, now let’s chat about Disneyland and the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction!
Located in within New Orleans Square at Disneyland, this boat ride features over 630,000 gallons of water, and over 75 audio-animatronic pirates and villagers! I love the ride’s connection with the films. Characters from the ride were featured in the film, such as the prisoners and the Prison Dog who holds their key to freedom.
On the flip side, I love that characters and elements of the film series have been added to the ride throughout the years. One of my favorites is the Aztec chest from THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL that sits in the Treasure Room right before you enter the dark tunnel…
As you venture along in your boat… you’ll encounter Davy Jones in the mist, Captain Barbossa leading an assault from his ship, and a bunch of rowdy pirates who have taken over the village Puerto Dorado on Isla Tesoro! Make sure you keep your eyes peeled though for the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. He’s bound to pop up a few times during this attraction.
After the ride, I was starving! Luckily we headed to the Hungry Bear and I filled my belly with this oh so amazing Blueberry Lemon Funnel Cake. Delicious!
After the ride I was able to enjoy the park with friends… and yes, FUNKO Jack too.
I was able to ride classic attractions such as The Haunted Mansion, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, as well as newer ones such as Hyperspace Mountain! Okay, well may technically Hyperspace Mountain isn’t new sine it is Space Mount with a STAR WARS twist… But one of my new favorite rides, that I actually road for the first time was Radiator Springs Racers in CARS Land. So much fun!
Being that this was a PIRATES press trip, we stopped by the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES Exclusive 4D Sneak Peek in Hollywood Land. Before you enter the theater, have the costumes worn by Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario in the film, as well as the Poseidon’s Trident prop.
It didn’t matter if the Park was crowded or the lines were long (make sure you get your Fast Passes! Thankfully Disney always gives you the estimated wait time at the beginning of each line), no matter what, you cannot help but feel good at the Happiest Place on Earth!
We closed out the night by viewing the World of Color show in Disney California Adventure Park!
Summer of Heroes
As a Marvel fan, I could not have been more excited when Disney announced that guests of Disney California Adventure Park would have the opportunity to team up with The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy for adventures, encounters, including Super Hero training for kids!
On May 27, the new ride, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! made it’s debut! This beyond thrilling ride stars everyone’s favorite galaxy guarding crew on an adventure that is sure to leave you wanting more. First let me give you some background info:
Meet Taneleer Tivan—a.k.a. The Collector, keeper of the largest assemblage of fauna, relics and species from across the cosmos. His unique collection can normally be found on the mining planet known as Knowhere… but now, he’s bringing it all to Disney California Adventure Park for a special exhibition featuring his latest prize possessions: The Guardians of the Galaxy themselves!
As you make your way toward The Collector’s towering citadel, plants and trees from all over the known universe surround you, dubbed by Taneleer as the “Gardens of the Galaxy.” Before long, you’ll find yourself inside, in the presence of interstellar artifacts and creatures—including the Guardians of the Galaxy, held captive in glass cases high atop the fortress and dangling over an ominous abyss!
After commandeering a gantry lift, you’ll join Rocket—recently escaped from his case—on a harrowing mission to rescue his fellow Guardians… but not before unleashing intergalactic mayhem in the process, from the top of the fortress to the bottom, and all to the tune of one of Star-Lord’s awesome mixtape songs!
Seriously. How awesome does that sound?
And speaking of the Guardians, make sure you are on the lookout for Star Lord, Gamora, Groot and crew! All summer long they will invite guests to join them for the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! while rocking to tunes from Peter’s boombox. (Show times vary through the day).
As I mentioned above, Guardians aren’t the only heroes you’ll encounter in the Park. Both Spider Man and Captain America are available for “meet & greets” and photos in Hollywood Land.
If you find yourself on Hollywood Boulevard, you may just encounter Black Widow as she steers one of the heavily armored Avengers vehicle to the Hollywood Backlot.
Does your little one want to be a super hero themselves? They’ll want to join the Avengers Training Initiative, where Black Widow and Hawkeye test the young recruits to see if they have what it takes to join the ranks of the Avengers.
Summer of Heroes is definitely a DO NOT MISS for any Marvel fan out there!
Summer of Heroes is happening now through September 10, 2017.
Want to see more of my adventures in LA? We can connect on Twitter (@AshBG) and on Instagram (@ashb4211). I’ve posted some photos from my trip! Make sure you follow the hashtags #PiratesLifeEvent and #BambiBluray.
While I attended an expense paid trip by Disney to Los Angeles, all opinions are 100% my own.