The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been all over entertainment news in recent years. From Disney Parks re-theming of “offensive” parts of the Pirates theme park ride to constant speculation about Johnny Depp’s questionable return to the film series that turned its back on him, the brand has taken a hit. With all of this attention, more and more previously unknown news comes out about Pirates of the Caribbean, and this one is pretty spooky.
Dead men may tell no tales, but dead movie sets do. As of today, a HUGE Pirates of the Caribbean movie set is totally abandoned, and no one is even trying to cover it up. So what is the tale behind this movie set, and what happened when all the actors, production staff, and other crew hightailed it out of there? How did people even find out about it?
First of all, finding out about the abandoned movie set was the simplest part…because people passing by can literally see it, and it’s pretty big! Not only is the set structurally large, but it plays a vital part in the world-building of the Pirates movies. Twenty years are the debut of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, Port Royal still stands in the actual Caribbean. While much of the film was shot in California, Wallilabou Anchorage, St. Vincent, was the main location where filming took place in the Caribbean itself.
Wallilabou Anchorage is a hotel and restaurant which the Pirates set was built around. You may recognize it from Captain Jack Sparrow’s epic escape scene in the first movie of the franchise. The building is still clear as day and accessible to fans who make frequent trips to visit the abandoned movie set. You probably won’t find Johnny Depp there, but there are a handful of props like cannons. The dock bridge, however, has deteriorated in the two decades since filming.
Wallilabou Anchirage “decided to keep the set and try to preserve it and are constantly in the process of restoration. [They] have a museum and recently finished [their] pirate /picture museum which is made inside the main Pirates of the Caribbean Disney set building. It is full photos of the building of the set and the stars and much much more.”
Disney and Pirates of the Caribbean filmmakers abandoned this set after the first movie! Instead, they opted for building another Port Royal set in Palos Verdes, California, for the sequels, presumably for convenience, time, and to save money.