Avast Me Hearties! Thars no place like Walt Disney World to channel your swashbuckling energy and embrace your Pirate-y personality. Whether ye be a landlubber, scallywag, or Old Salt, ‘tis something about the imagination of the parks that makes us all shout “Yo Ho Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me!” Here are my top 8 Ways to Live that Pirate Life at Walt Disney World. Aaargh!
8. Peter Pan’s Flight
Captain Hook and his pirate crew were some of Disney earliest pirates featured in Walt Disney Animation’s feature film Peter Pan. The crew of Jolly Roger were the ones who first taught us that “A Pirate’s Life is a Wonderful Life, A-rovin’ over the sea, Give me a career As a buccaneer, It’s the life of a pirate for me.” Peter Pan’s Flight lets you board a magical pirate ship, and after soaring over London you find yourself in Neverland, complete with a pirate battle with Capt. Hook, Mr. Smee and the crew, and Hook’s nemesis Tic Toc Croc. Grab a FastPass before your trip as the lines for the classic attraction are classically long . . . and will challenge your pirate patience.
7. A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas
My kids love the interactive games that are offered in the Walt Disney World theme parks, and this pirate themed game in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland is a winner. This free game starts when you pick up your treasure map and talisman (card) at the Crow’s Nest in Adventureland. Your missions will take you all over Adventureland hunting for treasure and fighting enemies. When you finish a mission you get a card, and after you complete all five you get a special 6th card.
6. Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew
Unfortunately, you must be a lad or lassie to enjoy this experience offered at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. My son participated in this kid’s club type activity this past summer and he had an amazing time. You need to make reservations for Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew ahead of time, and there is a cost. Your young seadogs will be served a dinner and go on an epic treasure hunt—including cruising the Seven Seas (aka Crescent Lake at the Beach Club). Children are dropped off at the Pirate Hideaway which is a great themed room in the Beach Club Resort, you’ll help them select their dinner from entrees like Cannon Meatballs with Marinara and Macaroni and Gold Sauce, and then you will be marooned without the kids for up to 4 hours (you can drop off as early as 4:30 and the experience ends at 8:30). The experience is available to children ages 4-12 who are fully potty trained. You definitely want to make this reservation in advance as availability is limited—and you don’t want your disappointed kids make you walk the plank.
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5. Pirate Adventure Cruises
Again, the kids get to have all the fun! Walt Disney World offers multiple Pirate Cruises for children ages 4-12. These adventures take place on select days from 9:30am-11:30am. Kids can choose from the Albatross Treasure Cruise which sets sail from the marina at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. The crew searches for booty in the World Showcase Lagoon and the Crescent Lake area. The Islands of the Caribbean Cruise begins at the Caribbean Beach Resort Marina where they hear the legend of Old Port Royale while searching for treasure. You don’t have to be a guest at these resorts to take part in the cruise. Like Captain Hook’s Crew you want to make reservations in advance, and there is a cost involved. At the end of the cruise the crew splits the treasure and has a snack before being picked up by their scurvy parents. My boys have loved doing these cruises, I highly recommend them.
4. Enjoy a Dole Whip (with Rum)
It’s all about the grog for the pirates! And I can’t think of a more tropical treat for a pirate than a delicious Pineapple Dole Whip. Now a days you don’t need a treasure map to find a Dole Whip, they are all over Walt Disney World. The traditional place to find a Dole Whip is Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. And periodically they offer special versions like the piratical Redd’s Revenge (note this is not currently on the menu). At Disney’s Polynesian resort you can get various types of Dole Whip at the Pineapple Lanai. And there are locations at other resorts, Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom, and various places at Epcot depending on the current festival. Even better for carousing pirates is that everywhere but Magic Kingdom usually has an option that includes rum. “It’s the rum they want!”
3. Pirate & Pals Fireworks Voyage
My youngest son & I went on the Pirate & Pals Fireworks Cruise together last year. It was so much fun! You start off the evening in the Contemporary Resort where you enter a pirate themed room to enjoy lots of sweet and savory snacks before you set sail. There were cookies, chips, veggies, chocolates, Mickey bars!, and a variety of beverages to enjoy. Don’t get too involved in the food because Captain Hook & Mr. Smee arrive for a little fun and some photo ops. Then your scallywag pirate leader Patch takes you down to the marina to board your pirate ship for the night. Patch entertains you with stories, jokes, and plays a little trivia. You’ll drop anchor in front of the Magic Kingdom’s train station to watch the nightly fireworks from the Lagoon (they pipe in the music). And when you arrive back at the marina there is a big surprise for everyone! The Pirate & Pals Fireworks Voyage is a great way for everyone in the family to enjoy being a buccaneer together. You will want to book this in advance to make sure you get to participate, and there is a fee involved.
2. Stay in a Pirate Room
Walt Disney World has some fun and fantastic theming at their resorts. And if you it is pirate you want to be, then the best place for you to call home for your vacation is Caribbean Beach Resort. Not only will you find an amazing pool here that looks like a Caribbean fort, a splash pad pirate ship, and brightly colored buildings that take you to the islands, you can stay in an actual pirate room. Caribbean Beach Resort has several buildings that are themed to pirates, and when you enter the room you’ll exclaim Shiver Me Timbers! The beds are pirate ships. The refrigerator is in a barrel. The dresser is a stack of plundered shipping crates. Everything in the room screams pirate! I stayed in one of these rooms a couple of months ago and we had so much fun pretending we were on the high seas. With the Skyliner Gondolas now at Caribbean Beach resort, these rooms are conveniently located near the main station, and there is a quiet pool, a beach, along with a quick service restaurant “Spyglass Grill” in that area. Check out this option for your next stay.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction
I may be a bit biased since I love Disney history and classic attractions, but Pirates of the Caribbean in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland is my favorite Disney attraction. It is full of storytelling, beautifully detailed scenes, elaborate audio-animatronics, everything I love about Disney Imagineering. If you are channeling your inner pirate this attraction must be your first stop. And Disney hasn’t let it stagnate, over the years it has been updated to be relevant to modern audiences with the addition of Captain Jack Sparrow and Redd the Pirate, all while keeping the classic charm and history. You are entered into the world of pirates from the time you enter the queue for Pirates of the Caribbean walking through the fort, boarding your boat, and floating through the story of pillaging and plundering—drink up me hearties Yo Ho!! Even when you exit you are still in pirate paradise with all of the pirate merch you could want. If I had a doubloon for every time my son picked up a sword and asked for it while exiting, I could go to Disney a lot more often.
Do you have an inner Pirate? What are your favorite ways to feel like a Pirate on your Walt Disney World vacation?