Of All the Pirates of the Caribbean Rides, Disney World’s is the Worst

Of All the Pirates of the Caribbean Rides, Disney World's is the Worst
Credit: Disney/ Canva

Walt Disney World is home to magical parks full of joy and happiness that let guests immerse themselves in the famous stories of Walt Disney. It’s a place where adventure, fantasy, and tomorrow come to life right before your eyes as guests enjoy various rides and attractions designed to help them escape to a simpler time when things weren’t so complicated. Magic Kingdom at Disney World is the culmination of magic where we can sail with pirates, see fairies fly, or race to the future. Despite their age, the park is full of attractions that hold up to this day, creating nostalgic experiences that keep guests coming back for more. One of the most popular rides guests can enjoy is Pirates of the Caribbean.

Pirates of the Caribbean: A Splash Hit

Pirates of the Caribbean is exactly what it sounds like. The dark boat ride plunges guests into the life and shenanigans of the sea’s most feared group of ruffians. The ride, originating at Disneyland, uses elaborate sets complete with large-scale models of ships and Caribbean towns, all set to the tune of a catchy pirate song by Xavier Atencio. Guests on Pirates of the Caribbean are treated to unique sights, sounds, and smells as ageless animatronic pirates ransack the town you’re passing through.

Pirates of the Caribbean Disneyland Paris

Credit: Disney

Guests quickly fell in love with the original version of Pirates of the Caribbean upon its opening at Disneyland in 1967. A few years later, the wait was over for anxious Disney World guests as the ride opened in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom, to much praise. However, guests who had ridden both quickly noticed some differences, and as people will do, comparisons between the two versions of Pirates began.

Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland incorporates many of the same features as Disney World. However, the ride is longer, has more sets, and even has an additional drop compared to Disney World’s. In addition, Disneyland’s version of the ride begins in a swampy bayou, while Disney World’s starts in a cave system. Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland also has several other sets within the ride that aren’t included in Disney World’s version, including a pirate bedroom complete with a once-real human skull. If you ask anyone who’s ridden both versions of the famous dark ride which is better, the majority (if not all) will say Disneyland’s version. Not only is it longer, it’s the version that Walt Disney himself played a huge role in developing. Although many of his ideas were incorporated into Disney World’s ride, something about the original just feels like Disney.


Credit: Disney

Disney Takes Pirates of the Caribbean Global

Pirates of the Caribbean is a classic Disney ride. It sums up everything that was great about early Imagineering. The ride’s popularity also lent itself to the highly successful Pirates of the Caribbean movie series featuring Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow in 2003. Although the ride was on everyone’s “to-do” list when visiting Disney World or Disneyland, demand for pirates began to stretch outside the United States’ borders. The want for more pirates eventually ended up with Disney building three additional Pirates of the Caribbean rides in Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney, and Shanghai Disney. Of these ride systems at Disney foreign parks, Shanghai’s version would eventually turn heads as it not only incorporates Jack Sparrow and Davy Jones, but it is a technological marvel, leading guests under the whitecaps as they set sail alongside Jack Sparrow.

pirates of the caribbean

Credit: Disney Dining

Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean Got the Shaft

Although Disney World’s version of the ride is a beloved attraction by many, it doesn’t hold a candle to some of the newer rides and their technology. Because the ride is much shorter and leaves out original scenes, it also doesn’t hold up to Disneyland’s version. Sadly, Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean, although fun and entertaining, is ultimately the worst version of the ride. In some spots, it just feels lazy, and honestly, as the ride ages, the operation could be more sketchy. Pirates of the Caribbean is my all-time favorite Disney attraction. However, I’d love to have a smidgen of the tech seen on Tokyo’s version of the ride. Quite honestly, it hasn’t been the same since they got rid of the red head.

About Michael Arnold

Michael is a father, husband, and an Army Veteran. Michael spends his weekends at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando checking out new merchandise and food. Michael is a graduate of the University of Alabama and has an education background in Public Health. You can find Michael riding Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again or binge watching new Marvel and Star Wars content. Han shot first. Thor is the strongest Avenger. Roll Tide and Wash Your Hands!