Pirates have always had a place in Disney World, from Captain Hook on Peter Pan’s Flight to The Pirates of the Caribbean, one of our 5 favourite rides for the family. You can even sleep like a pirate in Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort’s Pirate-themed rooms and a family pool designed to mimic a port of call with turrets, stone walls, waterslides and water cannons.
If you’re visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios, head over to the back of the park (near the always popular Toy Story ride) to be recruited by Jack Sparrow as part of the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow experience. When you are invited in (this is a group experience) you can view props and costumes from the movies and then you enter a second room, a dark room outlined with rocks, and the Black Pearl awaits you on the beach.
Through the use of projection you’ll find gold coins on the sandy ground (my kids tried to pick these up many times to no avail) as well as dead pirates and Black Beard crawling out of the rocks, everywhere. Even Jack Sparrow joins us on the ship.
The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow is more of a show than a ride but a show that puts you right in the middle as you stand in the center of the set. Oh yes, and you do stand, for the whole 20-minute-ish show. The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow reminds me a lot of the Narnia exhibit Disney had when the film was in theatres though I found this one much more enjoyable.
We were all impressed with the detailed projection technology and how we were in the middle of it all. It probably won’t be a show you see a second or third time (unlike Voyage of the Little Mermaid , a show we always have to visit every time we’re in Disney’s Hollywood Studios) but if you have fans of The Pirates of the Caribbean or just pirate fans then you’ll probably want to check it out at least once.
The dark scenery and projected pirate skeletons might fighter younger viewers but no more than The Pirates of the Caribbean ride so I would use that as a guide.
Another more interactive pirate experience can be found in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. You may already be familiar with The Pirates League, where for a fee your kids can transform into a pirate, but a new free attraction enables guests to follow in the tracks of a pirate on the hunt for lost treasure. A Pirate’s Adventure – Treasures of the Seven Seas is an interactive treasure hunt located in Adventureland not far from The Pirates of the Caribbean ride. I must admit I was surprised that there was no crowd around this experience but I’m sure as more people become aware its popularity will grown.
From the outpost you are asked to answer a few questions about your treasure hunting party on a computer console in order to be given your mission (there are five in total). You grab your mission map and you’re off on adventure.
The map provides clues to your first stop. Each station you discover will require some interaction from you in order to reveal the next clue on the map. The kids got right into deciphering clues and following the map. The interactive experiences were great fun too, with talking parrots, stranded pirates, and cannon fire. It reminded me of the Kim Possible Missions in Epcot (now replaced by Agent P World Showcase Adventure). Each mission was no longer than twenty-minutes and it only took place within Adventureland (so no need to worry about traipsing all over the very large Magic Kingdom).
It was a nice break from the rides and the kids loved it. We only had time to complete one adventure but the kids were eager to try them all. The map also makes a great souvenir of your trip (another on to add to our list of free and inexpensive Disney Souvenirs).
When we first started visiting Disney seven years ago, we came for the charaters and the rides. I love how Disney is growing with its visitors, offering these more immersive experiences, yet still keeping true to its original magic.
Although Walt Disney Parks Canada provided us access to the themeparks for this review, all other expenses were our own.