Pirates of the Caribbean is a dark ride in the New Orleans Square Themed Land.
The ride begins amid glimmering fireflies during an evening abuzz with the croaking of a bullfrog in a quaint Louisiana Bayou. Daring adventurers board their boats at Laffite's Landing, and are at once afloat in the heart of bayou country. On one side is an actual working restaurant, The Blue Bayou, made to look like the backyard dinner party of a southern plantation. It takes three days to empty and refill the "bayou" for renovations. There are 630,000 gallons of water on the attraction.
Once past several rickety houseboats, the soft strumming of banjo melodies (including "Oh! Susanna" and "Camptown Races") can be heard over the peaceful symphony of nature as guests pass by one houseboat, on the porch of which an old man calmly rocks back and forth in his rocking chair. But then a talking skull and crossbones, voiced by Xavier Atencio, songwriter, above an archway provides this taunting warning:
- Psst! Avast there! It be too late to alter course, mateys. And there be plundering pirates lurkin' in ev'ry cove, waitin' to board. Sit closer together and keep your ruddy hands in board. That be the best way to repel boarders. And mark well me words, mateys: Dead men tell no tales! Ye come seekin' adventure with salty old pirates, eh? Sure you've come to the proper place. But keep a weather eye open mates, and hold on tight. With both hands, if you please. Thar be squalls ahead, and Davy Jones waiting for them what don't obey.
Then a more chilling sound becomes audible: the thundering of a waterfall, down which guests plunge. When they reach the bottom of the waterfall guests then get to enjoy the theme for the ride briefly. Then they hear the frightening echo of: "Dead men tell no tales!" After a second hair-raising plunge (absent at Tokyo) further into the depths of an underground grotto, guests behold the skeleton remains of an unfortunate band of pirates, guarding their loot and treasure with macabre delight.
The boats glide gently past a thunderstorm tossing an old pirate ship about, though the ship's pilot is nothing more than a skeleton. The boats pass through the Crews Quarters, complete with skeletal pirates playing chess, the captain looking up treasure on his map, an old Harpsichord playing the theme, and a huge amount of treasure being guarded by another skeleton pirate. The Aztec chest from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl sits in the corner of the Treasure Room and is the last thing guests see before entering a dark tunnel. There are 40,000 gold coins in this scene.
A waterfall with a projection of Davy Jones then appears, and the riders seem to float through without getting wet. He invites guests to proceed if "they be brave or fool enough to face a pirate's curse".
Next, Cannonballs whistle overhead and explosions throw water into the air — a fierce battle between a marauding pirate galleon and a Caribbean fortress is in full swing. Captain Barbossa leads the assault from the deck of a pirate vessel named the Wicked Wench, while The Medallion Calls also used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies plays. From the deck of the Wicked Wench Barbossa yells: "Strike yer colors ye bloomin cockroachers. By thunder we'll see you to Davy Jones. They need persuasion mates. Fire at will! Pound 'em lads! Pound em'!" When a cannon is shot, guests may feel a powerful blast coming from the cannon, accompanied by a large splash and underwater lighting effect to simulate cannon fire.
The village on the Isla Tesoro beyond is overrun with pirates in search of the Town Treasure. The first sight is the town square where some pirates have kidnapped the mayor and threaten to drown him in the well if he doesn't tell where Captain Jack Sparrow and his Town Treasure is. Carlos' wife tells him to be brave and not talk, but the attempts are useless; she is shot at as the mayor continues to repeatedly get dunked in the water, while several other city officials tied up look on. Captain Jack Sparrow is seen hiding behind some dresses looking to see if anyone sees him. Followed by that is the famous auction scene where a pirate Auctioneer auctions off the town women while the drunk bidders hoot and holler for a redhead who is next up for bids.
But unfortunately for them, the only person the Auctioneer wants to sell at the moment is an overweight forty-year-old that seems not to care what the others think of her. There is a pirate by the name of "Old Bill", who wants to share rum with terrified cats. The next scene is the chase where pirates run around holding treasure, chasing girls, and two foolish buccaneers have stolen some snacks and are chased by an angry woman holding a rolling pin. Just beyond is the infamous "pooped pirate" drunkenly waving a map and key to a treasure vault, boasting that Captain Jack Sparrow will never see it. Little does he know, Jack is hiding in a barrel just behind him, popping out and getting a good look at the map over the pirate's shoulder.
Carefree, tipsy pirates succeed in ravaging the town and setting it aflame, filling the night air with an orange glow. Riders next float past a jail where imprisoned pirates are doing their best to escape as flames draw near. A small dog just out of the prisoners' reach holds the key to their escape in his teeth; he seems all but immune to the pleas of the pirates trying to coax him closer. One of the pirates holds a noose, hoping to trap the dog.
Timbers are smoldering and cracking overhead as riders sail through a storage room filled with gunpowder, cannon balls, and rum-filled, gun-shooting pirates singing "Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me". A shootout between the inebriated crew and captain of the pirate ship in a flaming ammunition warehouse threatens to demolish the entire village.
Finally, Jack Sparrow is seen in a room full of the hidden treasure. Slightly drunk (as usual), he is draped over a large throne-like chair and waves his new treasures around happily while chattering to himself (and passing guests). Every once in a while he will sing "Drink up me hearties yo ho!". At Tokyo and Florida a small parrot talks with him. Riders then return to the sleepy bayou where the journey began, passing by the parrot, Beauregard, viewed from the queue.
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