Opened: December 15, 1973.
Location: Across from Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland.
As you’re walking to Frontierland from Adventureland, you’ll see it on the left after passing Enchanted Tiki Room.
From Frontierland, it’s located on the right before you arrive at Aladdin’s Magical Carpets or Jungle Cruise.
Extra Magic Hours: Evening.
Ride Length: 10 minutes.
Type: Dark ride.
Similar To: Living with the Land, only with pirates.
Or an indoor Jungle Cruise with fewer animals and more pirates.
Scary Factor: Low for most. Pirates of the Caribbean shouldn’t scare most kids. As you might expect, there are about 60 animatronic pirates throughout the ride, so if your tyke has a particular fear of pirates then this ride may present a problem. There is a short 14 foot drop at the beginning of the ride, but it’s entirely benign and shouldn’t upset anyone. The rest of the ride is smooth sailing, so to speak.
Will I get Wet? Disney replaced the boats used in the ride, which has increased how wet people sometimes get after the drop, particularly when the weight is distributed so the front of the boat is heavier.
Previously, a small splash of water is as wet as you could possibly get, but some people sitting in the first two rows do disembark their boats relatively soaked. Mitigate this by requesting one of the back rows.
What to Expect: FastPass+ has significantly increased wait times at Pirates and those who visit in standby in the afternoon will have the “pleasure” of spending a lot of time outside in the covered queue.
Once you make it to the front of the line, you will board a boat that slowly meanders through the Pirate infested waters.
Be aware that some of the scenes are violent and do feature gun fire and cannon blasts.
It’s also dark throughout, but the scenes are well-lit and it’s always easy to see where you’re traveling. In 2006, Disney updated Pirates of the Caribbean with characters from the movie of the same name.
You’ll now see Jack Sparrow throughout the ride as well as a special appearance by Davy Jones.
Where to Sit: Rows seat two to four people.
If you don’t want to risk getting wet, request one of the back two rows. The view is best from the front row, but most of what’s happening is located off to the sides of the boat, so views from other rows are typically just fine.
FastPass+: Yes, moderate priority. Peak waits are typically 35 to 50 minutes so using FastPass+ here will save a good chunk of time. Availability is also somewhat limited.
What You Miss Using FastPass+:
You’ll bypass parts of the indoor queue, where you’ll find a few pirate-related props. Most people won’t mind.
Total Average Experience Time with FastPass+: 20 minutes.
4th FastPass+ Availability:
Expect to Wait:
When To Go: Before 10:30am, in the last two hours of operation, or with FastPass+.
Madame Tussaud Anyone? Interestingly enough, Pirates of the Caribbean was originally planned as a wax museum at Disneyland in California. It was never intended to be part of Disney World at all because Disney thought Orlando was too close to the actual Caribbean to be of enough interest. Instead, Disney planned a similar attraction featuring cowboys and Indians for the Magic Kingdom. So many guests complained about the lack of a Pirates ride in Orlando that Disney ultimately chose to build a similar attraction to the original in Disneyland.
Commentary: Pirates of the Caribbean is an amazingly immersive experience and one of Disney’s best, most classic attractions. You will almost never see anyone leave Pirates without a smile on their face and it is many people’s favorite ride. It’s also easily accessible and guests of any age should thoroughly enjoy it. It may still upset the most prone to fear and anxiety because it does get dark and loud in certain parts. You may also not be able to convince them that there won’t be a large drop like in Splash Mountain, even though there isn’t one. All in all, Pirates is a must-visit.