A swaggering, glamorous redhead female pirate is the newest star of the famed Pirates of the Carribean ride — and her appearance comes as a replacement to a scene in the popular boat ride where women were auctioned off as brides. Many considered the original scene to be offensive — even Walt Disney felt uncomfortable about it.
In the book “Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies,“ Disney Imagineer Claude Coats said that Walt Disney was concerned about whether the scene fit with the image he had created for the Disney brand.
“Was that quite ‘Disney’ or not?” Claude said.
In the new scene, rather than being auctioned off, the women have been turned into pirates and local citizens — with the red-haired star, dubbed ‘Redd,’ leading an auction of their stolen treasures.
The ride was closed on April 23 to make the changes but is now open for fans of the classic ride to take another trip down the underground canals. Similar changes have been made to the ride at Walt Disney World in Orlando and at Disneyland Paris.
The ride’s fame and popularity come not only from it sparking the wildly successful “Pirates of the Carribean” movie franchise, but also because it served as the formative ride of the New Orleans Square when it opened in 1967, and continues to provide a 15-minute boat trip underground with comedic animatronic scenes, allowing park visitors to enjoy a calming break from the hustle and bustle of a busy park and the incessant heat from the California sun.
When the ride first reopened, FastPass for the ride was not working, but the system has been installed to allow for both FastPass and MaxPass to be used for future rides.
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This isn’t the first time the ride has seen changes — after the movie franchise was released, a Johnny Depp animatronic figure was added, and a scene that depicted a lustful man chasing a woman was changed in 1997 so it would reflect more current values.
And the updated auction scene isn’t the only change you’ll see when you get to the ride next — a new scene shows a pirate who has been trapped in a booby trap set by another pirate, rendering him unable to claim his loot, which dangles from the arms of a nearby octopus. Furthermore, some of the other figures — 120 total — throughout the ride have received new costumes and better lighting.
But the changes don’t stop in the ride. In New Orleans Square, fans are now being greeted by Redd herself — the cheeky pirate character puts on a full pirate dress to welcome park visitors to the ride and New Orleans Square.
Furthermore, the Blue Bayou restaurant overlooking the Pirates ride is featuring a special menu for the ride’s reopening — treat yourself to creative pirate-inspired dishes like Cursed Pirate Fried Octopus & Calamari with andouille sausage, rum-soaked pineapple, haricot vert, and remoulade and Redd’s Strawberry Cake.
Come to Disneyland soon and don’t miss out on the new treats — or the newly revamped ride!
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