Pirates PiratesOne of my all-time favorite rides in Disney World is Pirates of the Caribbean.  This ride wasn’t inspired by the movies – it inspired the movies!  Later, specific characters from the  Pirates of the Caribbean movies were added, namely, Captain Jack Sparrow.

You enter the ride to a spooky but beautiful building.  The line weaves through a series of rooms decorated like those of  a pirate ship.  You can look down into pits filled with cannons and cannonballs and peek through grates into hidden or locked rooms.  You board boats in the main room and glide into darkness.  Among the scenes you will soon pass through are a deserted island populated by long dead pirates, and a cursed ship being steered by a skeleton.  All the while, ‘Dead men tell no tales’ is invoked in a spooky mantra in the backround.  Also, you will  pass through a scuffle between ships involving much cannonfire and through a town being pillaged by pirates.  Several more scenes pass, culminating with one of Jack Sparrow surrounded by treasure and singing that iconic song, “A Pirate’s Life For Me.”

Much of the ride is in total or semi-darkness.  Also, smaller children might be frightened by the multiple skeletons, fake fires, and cannonballs (Don’t worry, no one’s ever gotten hit with a cannonball- that we know of, that is.).  You might get a little wet on this ride, but not nearly as much as on Splash Mountain.  Though you will not get soaked on this ride, there is a very short drop, a screen of mist the boat goes through, and the splashes from those cannonballs.  I would recommend this ride for ages four and up, but it really depends on the child.  My cousin was 2 when she went on this ride and she just smiled and waved at the pirates and skeletons (But she wailed when she saw the Tinkerbell and the fairies.  How did that happen?).  Guests in wheelchairs can ride, but those on scooters need to transfer to standard wheelchairs before boarding.

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