Monday, October 03, 2011

1967 Journey Through POTC, Pt. 1

One of Disneyland's most beloved attractions opened on March 18, 1967 and continues to be a guest favorite. To publicize its opening, the Disney publicity machine ran this piece in Vacationland Magazine, 1967:

Picture, if you will, the eerie and cavernous headquarters of the infamous Blackbeard, or the swampy bayous on the treasure-laden island of John Laffite. Take a page out of history when pirates sacked the Spanish Main, looted cities, set them ablaze, auctioned off the fair ladies and conquered fortress after fortress. Combine all of this with the most hilarious blackhearted buccaneers the world has ever seen, and you have a small idea of the excitement you’ll experience during a visit to Disneyland’s New Orleans Square this summer for the Park’s newest adventure, the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Using the most advanced techniques of the space age, Disney designers and “Imagineers” (the company’s word for imaginative engineering) have assembled an adventure not only unlike any other in the world, but unequaled entertainment-wise too.

In the best Disney tradition, not a moment is wasted. As the adventure begins, the action begins, and boat-borne guests literally “plunge” into the adventure with a thrilling splash down a 52-foot waterfall.

From there on it’s action and hilarity every league of the way —right up to the exciting climax and grand finale, when an entire port city is set ablaze, right down to the town arsenal full of powder kegs.

How do you escape the raging holocaust —only at Disneyland could you “fall up” a waterfall.

This 1967 promo shot shows the Wicked Wench, complete with its original Blackbeard animatronic:

After the release of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie, Blackbeard was replaced by Barbossa. I feel so old when I hear young guests actually believe that the movie came first before the attraction.

Over at the Wench Auction, the Auctioneer has seen very few changes over the years:

See more Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean attraction photos on my POTC web page.

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orbitalpunk said...

Oh I like this series!

JG said...

POTC, best thing ever. I really don't like the movie overlay, but have to admit that the politically correct changes are worse than the Johnny Depp changes. My hope is that someday, maybe they will take them out again when the films get old.

This thing really is an inspired work of art, even when defaced with these "crayon mustaches" added over the years by lesser designers.


A Snow White Sanctum said...

Like the comparison pics old and newer. I'm more a fan of the original version, but even with the updates, it's an attraction that's hard to beat.

David Whitford said...

I'm a purist with respect to the Pirates of the Caribbean,
so I am usually disappointed by any changes. What the
heck is wrong with the pirate auctioneer's legs & boots
in the more recent photo? Great post as always Dave.

Anonymous said...

I am proud to say that I worked POTC and still enjoy the ride all these years later. Wish I could jump out of the boat today with my flashlight and patrol behind the scenes like I did back then. Half the fun was seeing how all the mechanicals worked, the other half of the time observing the wonderment of guests as they rode through the ride. The "patrol" position was occasionally in the rotation. It depended upon crowd dynamics and was mostly in place for certain private parties and definitely on Grad nights.

Davelandweb said...

David - The boots thing may be because of the angle I shot; however, they do look extremely large, don't they?!?

David Whitford said...

Dave- I think it's more than just the angle of
the shot, look at his legs as compared to the
vintage photo- they appear to be misshapen
& at strange angles (?)...