Arrr you ready for Walt Disney’s newest entry into the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, Dead Men Tell No Tales, in theaters May 26th? These pirates have been at sea a long time, and as hard as it is to believe, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Disneyland® Resort, and the 44th anniversary of the attraction at Walt Disney World® Resort. As fans of the series start lining up to catch the new film, they may think back to the summer of 2003, when they wondered what the first Pirates film, The Curse of the Black Pearl, would contain. What does a movie based on these iconic attractions at the Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts look like?
As it turned out, Disney’s filmmakers buried a treasure trove of fun pirate references to the original Park attraction throughout their movies, a tradition they have continued on with to this day! Some references are Easter eggs, and some are large story elements, but guests young and old will recognize them as they set sail past the skeletons of the Seven Seas.
Test your knowledge of all things Pirates, by seeing if you caught all the fun references throughout the films.
Good Boy! (Bad Pirates)
Early on in the first film, The Curse of the Black Pearl, captured pirates try to coax a dog holding the keys to their prison cell — one of the most memorable visual gags from the attraction at both the Disneyland® Resort and Walt Disney World® Resort.
Dead Men Tell No Tales… Except in the First Four Movies
The title of the upcoming fifth film, Dead Men Tell No Tales, comes from a line uttered by the ghostly narrator in the attraction’s opening voiceover.
The mysterious voice that echoes throughout the attraction’s opening warns of sailors being sent to “Davey Jones’ Locker.” That old term for the bottom of the sea became personified in the second and third films (Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End) with the baddie, octopus-faced Davey Jones, played by Bill Nighy.
Skeletons scattered throughout the caves of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts foreshadow the high price of pillaging and plundering. These skeletons came to menacing life in The Curse of the Black Pearl as the villainous ghost crew of Captain Barbossa, whose true form was revealed only in moonlight. These walking, talking skeletons were just one example of the cutting-edge special effects and imaginative spectacle that have thrilled audiences throughout the franchise.
Money Isn’t Everything…
Gold is a pirate’s best friend, so it’s no surprise that mountains of coins appear throughout the attraction and the film. Most significantly, the curse of the Cortés treasure in the first film, The Curse of the Black Pearl, allows a stolen doubloon to doom Captain Barbossa and his crew to their immortal haunt.
“Drink up, me hearties!” The merry pirate shanty that reoccurs throughout the attraction, written 50 years ago in 1967, also appears throughout the films, including the opening and closing of the original movie, The Curse of the Black Pearl.
If It’s Okay Bayou
The Disneyland® Resort’s original attraction begins its journey in a dark cypress tree-filled swamp, connected to the Blue Bayou Restaurant and lit by sparkling fireflies. That setting inspired the location in the second film, Dead Man’s Chest, where the soothsayer Tia Dalma resides.
Fittingly, after the blockbuster success the films received across the globe, the Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts updated the original Pirates attraction with appearances from Captain Jack Sparrow and Davey Jones, bringing the story full-circle.
Come take the innovative ride that started it all, in the flesh (and bones!) on a Disney vacation with your whole crew, and use your Disney® Visa® Card for perks all throughout the Parks, including 10% off dining at select locations most days (including the French Market, just around the corner from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at the Disneyland® Resort)!2,3 Learn more about vacation perks here!
And be sure to see the next chapter of Captain Jack’s tales in theaters May 26th, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Cardmembers, use your Disney Rewards Dollars for vouchers redeemable at participating theaters for movie tickets for the new film and you’ll feel like you just discovered a little treasure of your own!4,5 See the trailer for the film here!