Are you savvy enough to join the swashbuckling adventures of pirates as they invade a Caribbean seaport? Then jump aboard Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom!
This boat ride will take you through rowdy pirate-sacked towns and dark, mysterious caverns where “dead men tell no tales.”
Don’t forget to join in for a rousing rendition of “Yo Ho! (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” and then be prepared to come face to face with the dashing rogue himself, Captain Jack Sparrow.
Keep reading for our complete guide to Pirates of the Caribbean.
Pirates of the Caribbean Quick Facts
Description: Pirates of the Caribbean is a dark boat ride that transports you back to the 17th century when devilish rogues called pirates sailed the seven seas. Keep a sharp eye out for the notorious Captain Jack Sparrow and his mutinous first mate, Hector Barbossa, as you navigate cannon fire and rowdy Caribbean towns. But be careful! After all, dead men tell no tales!
Pirates of the Caribbean is located in Adventureland across from Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and to the right of Jungle Cruise.
Here is the location on the map:
How to Ride Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean has a Standby Line and a Lightning Lane. There is no Single Rider Line.
If you are looking for the opportune moment to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, standby lines typically are the lowest for the first two hours after the park opens and at the end of the day. The middle of the day will see the longest lines.
Keep in mind that Pirates of the Caribbean is known to be “temporarily unavailable” first thing in the morning, so you’ll want to have a backup plan just in case.
Eligible guests can also ride the attraction during Extended Evening Theme Park Hours. It is not open for Early Theme Park Entry.
Do I need to use Genie+ at Pirates of the Caribbean?
Genie+ is available at Pirates of the Caribbean and with waits stretching up to 90 minutes, utilizing this service may help you to save some time.
However, Genie+ availability for this attraction usually lasts late into the evening so you may be able to snag a Genie+ reservation later in the day.
Be sure to check out our touring strategies for Magic Kingdom for more Genie+ advice.
Rider Switch/Child Swap
As there is no height requirement for Pirates of the Caribbean, this attraction does not offer Rider Switch.
Rider Switch is Disney’s system that allows guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little one.
Learn more about Rider Switch.
What to Expect When You Ride
As you make your way through Caribbean Plaza, the queue turns into a darkened, cool underground cavern that leads you past a life-size broken ship’s mast and crow’s nest, jail cells, and plenty of pirate memorabilia to the boat ride.
This is the perfect queue to stand in on a hot day thanks to the coverage and air conditioning. Plus, it’s great spot to escape rain.
Play Disney Parks is available at Pirates of the Caribbean. This free mobile app is only available for select attractions and allows guests to pass the time as they play games, trivia, and earn achievements along the way.
The boats at Pirates of the Caribbean resemble dinghies from an old pirate ship and feature 6 rows that can hold 3 to 5 people.
For those in ECVs, you must transfer to a wheelchair to navigate the queue and then again to the ride vehicle.
All guests must transfer from a wheelchair to the boat in order to ride.
Your boat will return you to a different location from where you boarded; however a Cast Member will make sure your wheelchair is transferred for you while you ride.
Handheld captioning is also available for those who need it.
PhotoPass is available and your picture will be taken just before the very first plunge on Pirates of the Caribbean.
For those with MagicBands or MagicBand+ with a linked Memory Maker account or if you are an Annual Passholder, the photo is uploaded automatically to your My Disney Experience account.
The photo will be available in the app for 45 days unless you choose to purchase them.
Guests purchasing Genie+ will receive digital downloads of their on-ride photos taken in the park on the day of their purchase, at no additional charge.
Be sure to read more on PhotoPass and how Memory Maker works.
There is a drop at the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean, but this is otherwise a gentle boat ride making it unlikely to experience motion sickness.
If you’d like to read it, we have a guide on motion sickness that’s filled with information and tips.
On the Ride
If you prefer to experience the adventure of Pirates of the Caribbean without any spoilers, you may want to skip this part.
Once you board your barge, you’ll float through a cave leading to a quick, dark plunge that lands you right in the middle of the 17th century.
This is a time when Pirates ruled the seas and ransacked Caribbean port towns.
Sail past haunted Dead Man’s Cove. Navigate cannon fire between a Caribbean fort and a striking 12-gun galleon, captained by Hector Barbossa, himself.
Warning: depending where you’re sitting, the cannon fire may get you wet!
Behold boisterous buccaneers, including the infamous Redd the pirate, as they plunder and set flames to a seaside town.
Sing along as pirates serenade you with their anthem, “Yo Ho! (A Pirate’s Life for Me).”
Be on the lookout for Captain Jack Sparrow as this rascal appears several times throughout the ride, including atop a mountain of booty.
Is Pirates of the Caribbean Kid-Friendly?
The first scene of the attraction takes place in the dark and features a skeleton pirate captain, followed by a short drop.
But, as long as you warn your little ones and make it playful, they should be fine to experience this ride.
Strollers are not allowed in most queues at Walt Disney World, including for Pirates of the Caribbean. They can be left at the designated stroller parking area near the entrance to the queue.
While Walt Disney proposed a pirate adventure to his Imagineers in the late 1950s, his idea was far ahead of the development of the technology needed to achieve it.
But he continued to mull over the concept and throughout the 1960s his team worked to make it a reality. Pirates of the Caribbean opened at Disneyland in New Orleans Square in February 1967.
Due to its popularity, Pirates of the Caribbean debuted at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on December 15, 1973.
The music for its famous sea shanty, “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me),” was written by George Bruns with lyrics by X. (Xavier) Atencio.
Over the years, the ride has undergone some refurbishments. In 2006, the character of Jack Sparrow, made famous by Johnny Depp in the wildly successful Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise, was added.
The fearsome Captain Barbossa also replaced the original pirate captain on The Wench.
In 2018, Disney Imagineers also updated the famous “auction scene” in Pirates of the Caribbean. The well-known “Redhead,” who was previously up for bids, has now switched sides to become a pirate named Redd, who has just pillaged the town’s rum supply.
Other Fun Details
- In the Treasure Room at the end of the ride, the ironwork on the bottom of four lamps on the left side features Hidden Mickeys.
- Actor Paul Frees voiced many of the pirates in the attraction. Guests can also hear him as the Ghost Host in The Haunted Mansion.
- There used to be both a Davy Jones and Blackbeard misting effect at the beginning of the ride (before the drop), but both are no longer part of the ride.
- Pirates of the Caribbean inspired the 2003 film Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, starring Johnny Depp as the rogue Captain Jack Sparrow. The film was a box office hit and spawned four more sequels: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017). A sixth film is rumored to be in the works, but has yet to be confirmed by Disney.
- In 2006, the character of Captain Jack Sparrow was added to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Johnny Depp has actually been known to randomly show up at the Disneyland version of the attraction, appearing in character throughout the ride!
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