One of my favorite rides at Magic Kingdom is the Pirates of the Caribbean. Just like Haunted Mansion is Logan’s go to ride, I insist on this one. Logan is not a fan of the drop in the beginning. When we first started going to the parks with our annual passes, we certainly had to coax Logan on the ride. One day, I had an epiphany. Everyone picks one ride that we are guaranteed to ride while we are there if they are physically able.
Since we learn the real life facts about each ride, we took some time to learn all about real life pirates that ran a muck in the Caribbean during colonial times. We have the fantastic Gasparilla festivities in Tampa Bay as an additional augmentation to our Disney studies. There is no shortage of pirate learning opportunities in Central Florida.
Treasure Island is a great read aloud for any pirate unit. Talk about what you would find on a ship in the port as you walk through the queue. One thing Disney is known for is their attention to detail. You can bet your bottom dollar that the walk up to the ride is historically accurate.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black PearlPirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s ChestPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Theatrical Version)Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
We watched the Pirates of the Caribbean movie collection comparing it to the ride as well as what we knew about real life pirates. Some things are a little out there like Davy Jones locker. It’s a great lesson in how people can take a myth and turn it into a good story.The Smithsonian Channel has a phenomenal documentary about the truths and myths behind the movies. There are a few other documentaries available on Amazon Instant Video that would be useful for comparison.
Another aspect that we talk about is how the iconic ride was the basis for the movies. The ride did not always have Blackbeard in the fog and Captain Jack in various locations. Have a discussion about how the parks need to evolve to keep people coming back. If nothing ever changed then after a few visits, no one would want to come back. It’s a great lesson on how as a business Walt Disney World has to always be looking toward the future. Sometimes the changes they make are popular while sometimes they are not. What they have to look for is what’s in the best interests of the ride and the company.