Disneyland Paris Update – Pirates of the Caribbean – August 2017

Aarrrgh! We’re back from a very brief visit to Disneyland Paris! We were very excited to see the newly improved Pirates of the Caribbean with Jack Sparrow and friends. And how does that new “Redhead” scene look? Check out our short report!

by Sven

As it was a last minute decision, we arrived pretty late at the park. Our main goal was to see the new Captain Jack but first things first! As decent coaster fans, we went to Hyperspace Mountain! The ride had just had (another) break down so fortunately, the queue was only 30 minutes. But as we were limited in time, we took the new single riders queue and only waited 15 minutes! Great addition!

After a quick dinner at Colonel Hathi’s, we continued our walk in Adventureland to Pirates. We were there on a pretty busy day but as many little ones got tired from the long day, the queue times dropped. Still 45 minutes for a ride that’s usually below 30’s is quite interesting. I’m sure it’s the Sparrow effect!

The first change we noticed was the music. In the queue, you hear the recognizable movie soundtrack instead of the classic attraction tune. Luckily, once inside it changes back but it takes a very long time. As we entered, it was strangely quiet… (except for all the different European languages). A second change was the lighting as the former pretty dark queue is much more lit up now. Here and there you can spot some new theming additions as well.

Once we were ready in the back seat of the boat, it was time to get really excited! I’m simply going to list up the changes with our opinion on them:

Projections: The former moon projection at the beginning of the ride is now a lot more visible. Throughout the whole ride, they chose modern mapping but subtle enough to not make it seem too modern. Before the second drop for example, the fire curtains have been replaced by the projections which really immerses you a lot more in the atmosphere. Job well done here!

Davy Jones and Blackbeard: As in the other Pirates rides around the world, there is a water screen with the villains warning you about your adventure. In the Paris version, this is on top of the lift hill where the two characters switch (and so do the languages). As we were in the back seat, it was not so easy to see. Also the voices are very hard to understand. So I would have preferred to see this on the bottom of the lift hill with perhaps continued speech while going up.

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The Captain’s crew: After going down the first drop, you now enter a more immersive battle between the pirate ship and the town. The captain now has a crew who fires the cannons. Definitely an improvement!

The Mercado auction: So this scene caused a lot of discussion as it replaces the old classic. Personally, I was not against it at all because I loved both concepts. But boy, this scene definitely shines! The redhead is an even more beautiful animatronic now and it feels as if the scene was always like this in the first place. The audio has been adapted of course and once again you feel as if you are part of the story. I think that once the guests and fans in the States will see the adapted scene in their parks, they won’t be as bothered by the change.

The first Jack Sparrow and the dueling Pirates: The first Jack is accompanied by the former character who now speaks clearer as well. It’s nice to see this subtle way of Jack Sparrow integration. Then, our famous dueling scene has got an update as well! The Will Turner look-a-like now duels with a girl pirate! Awesome!

Going down to Captain Barbossa: After some smaller updates, you go down a much more explosive drop than before! Wow! And here of course is the surprise we all hoped for: Captain Barbossa. Most likely the best animatronic at the resort (for now)! The project mapping is stunning, but I do have one smaller criticism. Back seat, you just pass him by and he is rather motionless when you do so. The best way to meet this pirate is in front for sure!

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Captain Jack Sparrow: The finale of the ride is now much more kinetic as the star character of the movies is enjoying the treasure. I already like the ending before, but Jack Sparrow does fit in perfectly here. The faces on the guests when they see him talking says enough. The switching between French and English does sound a bit odd from time to time as you clearly hear the difference between the voices. Time for Johnny Depp to brush up his French!

Conclusion: a new ride sparkles at the resort. I am a fan of classic dark rides and here you clearly see that they take care of it in a way it should be. Some small details could still be adapted, but nevertheless, this dark ride is the best one in Europe for me personally. It’s the most immersive one I’ve done so far. Being open to change, they did a splendid job. I can’t wait to see how Phantom Manor will look like after its refurbishment next year!

Want to see more? See our full Pirates of the Caribbean update video below!


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