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Pirates of the Caribbean upgrade cancelled: no Jack Sparrow animatronic for Paris?

Thursday, 22nd September 2011 at 05:12

Never trust a pirate, eh. For months it has seemed a sure-fire certainty: Jack Sparrow audio animatronics to finally join Pirates of the Caribbean for 20th Anniversary! But now it looks like the big Pirates of the Caribbean refurbishment planned for early next year has been curtailed and the addition of Jack Sparrow animatronics cancelled — at least for 2012. According to several sources on the French Disney Central Plaza forum, including La Rouquine,  the originally planned closure of 3 months early next year to account for the changes has now been cut back to just 2 weeks. Moderator Dash adds that he learnt last week the new additions were cancelled again due to budgetary reasons.

The movie overlay, which was given to the US versions as long ago as 2006, was never publicly announced by Disneyland Paris, only confirmed internally, so we should note that for us the resort is not technically “cancelling” anything. It was first strongly rumoured for the Paris version of the attraction during the 15th Anniversary, before again appearing to be on the cards for the New Generation Festival in 2010, and then again for the current Magical Moments Festival to tie in with the fourth film, “On Stranger Tides”. This year’s 20th Anniversary plans were the closest the make-over — which could include up to three Jack Sparrow audio-animatronics, Barbossa as captain of the marauding ship, a Davy Jones mist-screen projection and other technical upgrades — ever got to reality.

While Pirates purists might raise a bottle of rum to the news that the Disneyland Paris version of the attraction will remain (for at least a little while longer) in its own world, untouched by the movies’ characters, consider what you’re drinking up to, me ‘hearties. Is the cancellation of a three-month spruce-up for this 20-year old masterpiece really a good thing? Couldn’t it stand to benefit from new technology, from improved lighting, effects and music? A robotic Johnny Depp might be a price to pay for that, but it’s probably the only (marketable) way such an upgrade would happen right now.

However, continuing the annual almost-but-not-quite game, DynastyGo reports the refurbishment is not cancelled but simply postponed, to the next financial year. But what do you think — has Disneyland Paris already missed its “opportune moment” to capitalise on the success of Captain Jack?

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  • hopefully it will never happen now unless further new films are released over the next few years and the money saved put towards other projects.

  • I hope it will never happen that Jack is added to the ride.

  • I don’t know , it would be something , Jack Sparrow in the ride , I wonder why the WDW version has no Will Turner , Elisabeth and other characters in it..
    But it’s true … there are already 4 piratesmovies released … Disneyland Paris is already to late to capitalise on the succes of the movies

  • I went on POTC first at Disneyland Paris and then when I went to WDW Florida just after they had added the Jack Sparrow character. I wouldn’t say that the addition of Jack necessarily added to the ride but it didn’t detract from it either, although I am biased as seeing his gorgeous animatronic is about as close to the real thing as i’ll ever get! I can only think that the addition of the character is for younger guests who only relate POTC ride to the movie rather than the original attraction. Would I be disappointed if Jack never came to Disneyland Paris? No, but I wouldn’t be against it if it did ever happen!

  • Not really a big loss. The money should be used towards Star Tours upgrade, as last time I rode it last year, I nearly had whiplash & the seats where in a shocking state, ripped and covered in Black tape.

    Bring on Star Tours 2

  • Is the money going to be used for anything else though,so far I don’t see any plans to wow me for the 20th anniversary, unlike the 15th… Disneyland Paris is the poor relation when all the other parks are getting something new…. (even if it is Avatar…. yuck)

  • Whilst it would have been nice, POTC at DRP is by far the best of the 3 POTC rides I’ve been on (Paris, WDW and Disneyland). The glimpses of the pirate ship down below and then the dramatic swoop down into the middle of the battle are really cool.

    The lack lustre film that was POTC4 On Stranger Tides I don’t think did much to raise our demand but perhaps a 20th anniversary upgrade has been missed. I know Disney has to cater for our mainland European brothers and sisters but a simple thing would be to change the soundtrack to English. It’s just not the same in French.

    In case you’re interested; in Disneyland California, the ride begins with the skeleton pirates and then goes on to the pirates, ship, Tortuga etc. The entry to the battle is a slow, flat approach from a tunnel made special by the big hidden Mickey in the wall of the fort.

    In WDW Florida, the ride is over before it starts. Really is a bit of a damp squib, (or should that be squid.)

    Yo ho.

  • Thank the lord! I finally made the trek to Disneyland Paris from America this year, and was very impressed by Pirates. Knowing that plans were in motion at the time to destroy the last non-film version of the ride, I spent at least 3 hours filming the attraction for documentation. Thank god it’s not happening; hopefully it never will. This version is too good on it’s own.

  • Nope. Thank God that DLP hass decided not to bring the “success of Captain Jack” to Paris. Pirats is great the way it is.

  • I think whatever comes of the Jack Sparrow upgrade my main problem with Pirates currently is so much of it doesnt work anymore .Several characters no longer move the sword fighting pirates have vanished.Like Star Tours as Paul pointed out the maintenance of this ride due to cost cutting I suspect is not up to the standards you would expect from Disney .Sadly I think all we can expect from the 20th Anniversary lack of celebrations is a reminder how tatty alot of the original park is now looking

  • It’s indeed so annoying that so many AAs don’t work anymore. Maybe they are using the money to fix them, but if you put Jack into POTC no one would care about the broken AAs, because they would just look out for Jack.

    Add a Disney character and people don’t care anymore in what bad condition an attraction is.

    I just hope that POTC will stay how it is.

  • POTC Heritage.  18th October 2011, 14:26

    And we hope it never will

  • I feel that Jack works better for the American market, and to add him to the DLP Pirates would cancel out the original theme and concept fot the attraction, being a pirates life, what they get up to and how they go about their bussines.

    Adding a Jack would just make people think of the film, as amazing as they are, but the DLP seems to be the most original now. I do feel though it need a ‘fix-up’. I was there for January and October this year and find that I love the memories and the que and anticipation of the ride of when i was a kid more than the actual boat ride, and noticed that quite a few missing and some tatty animatronics and scenes now.

    Abserloutley love the ride, but deffo needs some sort of refurb, along with star tours.
    (and i like the french soundtrack, it is in france)

  • David McDonald  13th February 2013, 15:45

    Once again DLP is behind with the times, Look at Star Tours being behind with the update. The Pirates is California is amazing and the robots look so lifelike its a experience worth the cash. But DLP is so behind with updating there rides its not the main priority now.

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