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Pirates of the Caribbean returns from long closure with “minor” technical updates

Thursday, 21st March 2013 at 11:56

Previous Pirates of the Caribbean loading/despatch system

If Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Paris was ever going to welcome Jack Sparrow, like all its three cousins around the world, the three-month closure this winter could have been the ample opportunity. But, just as when the rumour surfaced for the 15th Anniversary in 2007, again in 2008, again in 2009, again in 2011 and again for the 20th Anniversary in 2012, fans can lament (or rather celebrate) accordingly as the ride re-opened without any major changes or additions to its story.

Instead, as reported around 7th January when the Adventureland dark ride closed, the refurbishment amounted to little more than a technical upgrade, with seemingly minor changes visible to guests on board — backstage, the works may well have been more complex.

This included, first and foremost, a new process for loading and despatching the boats themselves. As reported by Mouetto, admin of Disney Central Plaza forum, Cast Members no longer give a hand signal to the elevated control box but have their own control panel at ground level to despatch the boats themselves. The Cast Member up above is now hidden behind a screen, with only the closed-circuit screens monitoring the inside of the ride for company.

Within the scenes themselves, improved lighting has been the most remarked-upon aspect since the ride reopened on 16th March so far, with scenes apparently appearing more colourful and better-lit. Animatronics, such as the duelling pirates, were reported to appear perhaps slightly more fluid and sound effects tightened, all as you would expect after any standard refurbishment. Nothing major, then — and in fact, there’s disappointment that minor effects remain untouched or unreliable (such as the chain which is meant to “pull” you up the lift hill not moving).

While most of us probably agree that Disneyland Paris can do without the now increasingly passé Jack Sparrow tie-in (unless that 5th film renews interest), it would be wonderful to see genuine special effects upgrades and gentle “plussing” of classic attractions — include Phantom Manor in that, too. Just a single new special effect or a fun new trick to make us go “oh, that’s new!”

Don’t go rocking the boat but do, please, keep moving forward…

Watch a glimpse of the newly-refurbished ride in the video by Mouetto below…

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  • wat een gemiste kans voor dl parijs, ga dit jaar voor de 15e keer (of zoiets)en een verandering was welkom geweest.
    nou maar uit gaan kijken naar de ratatouille attractie in studios, hopelijk is deze inderdaad volgend jaar klaar, ben benieuwd.

  • maybe someone will find this funny, but I will miss the hand signalling :( I really loved that as I my excitement grew rapidly, when we were given all clear signal by the crew and the boats started to move…
    don’t really care about the missing Jack Sparrow character…

  • In some ways im glad that they havent changed this attraction, the film was based on the ride, not the other way round so why should Jack and the others be featured it in, its nice to go round and try to stop the bits that inspired the movies but I did like the characters and parts from the film featured in the rides at California and Florida.

  • Im glad the attraction maintains its reputation as the last POTC that hasn’t given into to the relatively cheap marketing venture and stayed true to how Walt Disney so plans of himself before passing away.

    • You’re completely wrong, Mr. X. And everything you’ve said is completely stupid! That whole “cheap marketing venture” thing is nothing more than made-up tripe created by change-hating grumps such as yourself! People like you have also yet to learn never to fall back on the always convenient but rarely with merit “Walt theoreticals”. Walt would’ve wanted to make changes and I think he would’ve enjoyed the film references inserted seamlessly (yes, seamlessly) into the attraction.

      Plus, there is NOTHING “passe” about the Jack Sparrow tie-ins either!

  • the voice of truth  10th April 2013, 13:39

    now to fix the original Disneyland and WDW ones.

  • To Anonymous  24th June 2013, 09:51

    Hey, relax “Anonymous”. It’s just a ride! How about beating people up for defending POTC?

  • Just back from the park. I got the distinct feeling that the park has gone through a major health and safety inspection. Noticed it first in pirates. The swinging pirate that use to swing above your head now no longer swings and the canon balls no longer splash. On the plus side though it does mean the queues are slightly better controlled. Especially in the studio tram tour. Its no longer the free range blood bath it use to be.

  • Wow someone’s got his\her knickers in a twist. The addition of Jack is a marketing venture. Disney is all squeaky clean you know, it is a business and they will do anything for money, Pirates looks and feels better, the new launch system is a dream as it’s less jolting, and the addition of a swinging pirate is awesome. Glad there isn’t a Jack Sparrow because at the end of the day this ride isn’t about him and it would look and feel rather cheap with his inclusion

  • I’m glad they didn’t add Jack Sparrow. I feel that while other versions of this ride are good, the Paris version is by far the best. In California, the ride was changed after Walt’s death, which I see as an insult to his memory. I’m so glad that Paris is far more true to the original. If they do ever change Pirates to include characters from the movie, i’m okay with it, as long as they don’t make any significant changes to the story or ride experience. I went in July, and along with Phantom Manor, Pirates was one of my favourite rides. So I say, ‘if it aint broke, don’t fix it.’

  • The ride may have come first, but there is still a tie up. Do the anti Jack Sparrows go in the gift shop and try on his hat? Most men do because they think they are then Johnny Depp! It seems I am in the minority, but I would welcome Jack Sparrow and other characters, as he is now always thought of in ‘The pirates of the Caribbean’ so why not in the ride?

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