7 Secrets Disney Doesn’t Want You to Know About Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean entrance at MK and Minnie Mouse
Credit: Disney / Clip Art

Pirates of the Caribbean is your quintessential Disney attraction. It’s in both Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park; it has touches of Walt Disney himself, it’s full of intricate details and cutting-edge audio-animatronics, and it has an original song that earworms itself into the minds of everyone who rides it.

Related:TRIVIA: How Well Do You Know the Haunted Mansion?

But just as with many other elements of Walt Disney World Resort and the Walt Disney Company, there are some secrets they’d rather keep hidden. Fortunately (or unfortunately), in today’s world, the internet and social media have pulled back the veil regarding Disney, theme parks, and the tourism industry.

So great a glass of rum, drink up me hearties, and let’s explore these seven secrets Disney would like to keep buried.

Related: Top 13 Secrets About the Tower of Terror

1. Magic Kingdom Park Guests Are Cheated

Pirates of the Caribbean

Credit: Disney

This detail may not be noticed by the casual parkgoer. But anyone who rides both the Disneyland version and the Magic Kingdom version of the ride will see some considerable changes. For starters, the Disneyland version has at least three additional scenes. In addition, the ride itself is six minutes longer in Disneyland.

2. The Politically Correct Pirates of the Caribbean

pirates of the caribbean attraction, retired wench auction scene

Credit: Disney

The original attraction, which debuted decades ago, has undergone many renovations throughout the years as Disney tries to make more of their attractions family-friendly. In the original ride, there were scenes of the pirates auctioning off women, chasing women in a “romantic pursuit,” and even a scene of a pirate holding a woman’s undergarments while he hides undressed in a barrel.

Disney would probably like to forget that some of these dated scenes ever existed. The changes were also spoofed in a Simpson’s episode – often aired while visiting the Simpson’s Ride at Universal Studios.

3. Guests Urinating in the Water

Pirates of the Caribbean

Credit: Disney TIps

In May of 2022, it was reported by multiple outlets that a Guest had allegedly pulled his pants down and urinated into the water of the ride. This is why touching or drinking the water at public attractions is never a good idea.

4. Wax On Me, Hearties!

The original concept of the ride was to be a walk-through wax museum displaying the various pirates and scenes. However, due to the success of the boats in “it’s a small world,” the decision was made to convert the concept to a boat ride.

Related:VIDEO: Guest Jumps Out of Pirates of the Caribbean

5. The Disney Family Apartment

Interior Shot of Cinderella Castle Suite

Credit: Disney

In Disneyland, the attraction has a second floor originally intended to be used by Walt Disney and his family when at the theme park. It was later converted into a museum and art space before transforming into the Disneyland Dream Suite in 2007.

Like the suite at Cinderella Castle (pictured above), it was a luxurious accommodation awarded to randomly selected Guests during the company’s “Year of a Million Dreams.”

6. $74 Million

The original Pirates of the Caribbean ride cost about $8 million to build in 1967. Adjusted for inflation, that would be $74 million today.

Related: Could $1 Billion Build a 5th Disney World Park?

7. Real Dead Men (Tell No Tales)

Real Skull in Pirates Attraction Next to Ride Signage

Credit: Disney

When the original attraction was created, real skeletons were used. Although this claim has sometimes been dismissed as a rumor, former Cast Members have confirmed it to be true. Cadaver labs at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) donated multiple bones for Disney to use in the attraction.

Over time, though, these have been removed and given a proper burial. However, where the stories diverge into rumors again is the claim that a single skull on the Disneyland ride still exists, with some speculating about who it belongs to.

Related: The Jungle Cruise: A History

Next time you venture onto Pirates of the Caribbean and pay your respects to Captain Jack Sparrow (at either Disneyland or Magic Kingdom Park), remember these little oddities and enjoy!

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean

Credit: Disney

What is your favorite part of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction? Let us know in the comments. 

About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)