Pros:A Disney classic, one of the longest rides in the park, whole family can ride
The Bottom Line: This Disney classic is a great ride for the whole family.
Pirates of the Caribbean is a Disney classic for a reason. It is really is a great ride that you can go on several times and really enjoy. Since my five year old plans to be a pirate when he grows up (every mother's dream), we have been on this ride many, many times.
THE WAITING AREA
Most of the waiting area is outside. The outside of the ride area is themed in the New Orleans style similar to other nearby attractions. The entrance faces Tom Sawyer island. You approach the ride under an arch way into a courtyard. From there the line snakes around the courtyard and then, eventually, up a ramp toward the inside of a building housing the ride. You pass water bubblers on the way which the kids had to test each time. The waiting area outside is boring and there is no where to sit but the line moves quickly so you won't have much time to dwell on it.
The waiting area inside the building is fairly short with no hidden twists or further lines. There is a bit of theming inside. Immediately as you enter the building, you see a treasure chest and a parrot moving about. The boats from the ride float by along the line so you can see the riders as they prepare to exit the ride. There are also some pictures of famous pirates painted on the walls.
The line for this ride moves very fast since the boats can carry about twenty people each and the boats are continuously loading. We were constantly moving in the line and the wait was never more than 20 minutes, even on crowded days. There are no fast passes available for the ride.
AGE AND HEIGHT RESTRICTIONS
This is a great family ride. There are no age or height restrictions. We took our five month old baby on the ride. We also saw a number of handicapped people riding since the ride is pretty tame (I believe those in wheelchairs board through the exit).
This is one of the longest rides in Disney which makes it extra enjoyable. The ride takes place in a large boat that seats four across. This is a water ride so the seats might be slightly wet. You can get slightly splashed but no one gets soaked. The riders in the front seem to get the wettest - to stay dry, try the back in the middle of the seat. There are no seatbelts on the ride but there is a bar in front of the riders to hold on to.
When you leave the loading area, you float through a Louisianna bayou. It is quite dark and the scenery includes a swamp complete with fireflies, banjo picking music and an older man sitting on the porch of his small house. You also drift past the Blue Bayou restaurant where diners can eat New Orleans cuisine.
After just a minute or so, you enter a dark cavern. A pirate skeleton head is the only thing you can see and it issues a warning. After that, there is a brief plunge and some more darkness. Then you drift through the pirate's caves which are populated by skeletons. There are some very detailed scenes of pirate booty and a pretty neat waterfall. There is also another quick and not too scary drop.
Next, you emerge from the pirate's caves into the middle of a battle between a pirate ship and a fortress. Cannon balls splash around you and you can see the shadows of sword play behind the fortress. This area is impressive with a high ceiling covered in clouds. From this area, you float through a town being plundered by pirates. There are wenches for sale, a lot of rum drinking and, of course, catch Disney pirate songs. At the conclusion of the ride, you are taken up a level and float past the line of people waiting for the ride.
If I had one complaint about this ride, it would be that sometimes there are too many boats in the loop and you are either bumping the boat ahead of you or being bumped by the boat behind you or both. This is not an intimate ride. You can clearly see, and sometimes feel, the riders ahead and behind you, not to mention all the other people in your boat. Still, the ride works for me and I don't mind the crowds.
The nice thing about this ride is that you don't have to exit through a gift shop. However, you do pass in front of one called Pieces of Eight that sells lots of pirate gear.
This is one of my all time favorite Disney rides. The relatively short wait is rewarded by a long, rich ride with great songs and scenery. There are a couple of small drops to thrill the kids but nothing too scary.
MY REVIEWS OF THE DISNEY THEME PARKS IN CALIFORNIA
Disney's California Adventure
MY REVIEW OF THEME PARK HOTELS IN CALIFORNIA
Disneys Grand Californian
Marriott Suites Anaheim
Residence Inn Anaheim
MY REVIEW OF THEME PARK RESTAURANTS
Wine Country Trattoria
MY REVIEWS OF INDIVIDUAL RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS IN DISNEYS CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
Soarin Over California
Grizzly River Run
The Sun Wheel
Playhouse Disney Live on Stage
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Monsters Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue
Jim Hensons Muppet Vision 3D
Its Tough to be a Bug 3D
Princess Dot Puddle Park
Heimlichs Chew Chew Train
Tuck and Rolls Drive Em Buggies
Francis Ladybug Boogie
Misson Tortilla Factory Tour
Boudin Bakery Factory Tour
MY REVIEWS OF INDIVIDUAL RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS IN DISNEYLAND
Pirates of the Caribbean
Indiana Jones Adventure
Storybook Land Canal Boats
Snow Whites Scary Adventures
Pinocchios Daring Journey
Peter Pans Flight
Mr. Toads Wild Ride
Alice in Wonderland
Its a Small World
Tarzans Tree House
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience 3D
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
MY REVIEWS OF OTHER THINGS TO SEE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
SeaWorld San Diego
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
The San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Wild Animal Park
Cabrillo National Monument
San Diegos Old Town
The Museum of Making Music
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
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Best Suited For: Families
Best Time to Travel Here: Anytime