March 18, 1967:
The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction opens in New Orleans Square at Disneyland, California. The debut kicks off with great excitement, as a group of silly swashbucklers, led by Wally Boag, shanghai the sailing ship, Columbia, before bursting through the new attractions’ doors with a battering ram! All the figures in the attraction are designed by Imagineer Marc Davis and the realistically detailed sets are by artist & color stylist Claude Coats. (It is the largest audio-animatronic project to date and the last attraction Walt Disney himself worked on extensively before his death.)
Also opening at Disneyland is the Blue Bayou Restaurant in New Orleans Square. The restaurant is built within the same show building that houses part of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, with parts of the ride even taking place beneath the restaurant.
Today, the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction is still one of the most valued places to visit at both Disneyland and Disney World. Due to the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, the Pirates ride was updated by adding Captain Jack Sparrow to some of the scenes. I wonder what Walt would think of all the buzz and excitement that his last project would grow to have. Even with the updates, the Pirates ride still has that old fashioned Disney feel to it. We love Pirates here at The Main Street Mouse, and wish we could go take a “birthday” ride at Disney! “Drink up, me hearties, yo ho!”
**Info from This Day in Disney History**
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