Disneyland Plans a PC Makeover for its Pirates of the Caribbean AttractionPosted: July 3, 2017
Disneyland has decided to remove the bride-auction scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
But the swashbuckling tradition of abducting and exploiting women is being sent to Davy Jones’ Locker.
Call it a sign of the times.
The park plans to revamp a section of the popular Pirates of the Caribbean attraction that depicts a parade of women being put on the auction block — under a decidedly un-PC banner that reads “Auction, Take a wench for a bride.”
The auction will be replaced next year by a less offensive scene of pirates forcing the local townsfolk to give up their valuables. After all, who can be offended by a little pirate pilfering?
In the 62 years since Walt Disney welcomed his first visitors to Anaheim, Disneyland has sometimes struggled to adapt the founder’s version of fantasy with public sensibilities that differ from those of park visitors of the ‘50s and ‘60s.
On Tom Sawyer Island, the mock frontier rifles were removed along with the victim of an Indian arrow, who lay sprawled for years in front of a burning settler’s cabin.
For several years, the skippers in the Jungle Cruise were not allowed to blast a fake revolver at the animatronic hippos in the river until visitor complaints forced Disney to re-arm the cruise ship captains and give them the green light to fire at will.
But the Pirates attraction, the last ride that Walt Disney himself helped design before he died in 1966, may have been reined in the most to conform to a more politically correct world — a tricky task given the ride’s original rowdy spirit.
Remember those scene of pirates chasing women throughout a pillaged town? In 1997, Disney put trays of food in the women’s hands so that it looked like the pirates are lusting after the food instead of the fleeing women in their flowing gowns.
Another scene that got pitched overboard showed a pirate holding up women’s lingerie while a frightened woman, apparently naked, hides in a nearby barrel.
“At Disney, their specialty is scrubbing everything to be squeaky clean and palatable,” said Rick Rothschild, a ride designer for Disney from 1978 until 2009. “That’s the Disney way.”
But Disney is not the only company that has had to change an attraction to avoid offending today’s guests.
At Six Flags Over Georgia, a ride that was originally based on the Uncle Remus stories of the old South was renamed “Monster Mansion” in 2008. The previous name, “Monster Plantation,” it seems, recalled for visitors scenes from slave life on a Southern plantation.
Gary Goddard, an attraction designer who worked for Disney in the 1970s and early ’80s, said that changes to rides are expected but if the modifications don’t make the attraction more thrilling and fun the ride suffers.
“I’m not against change,” he said. “I’m against change if it makes it bland. If it keeps the spirit of the ride and makes it more fun, I’m for it.”
Indeed, the Pirates ride has also been injected with some Hollywood pizzazz.
Characters from the multi-billion-dollar movie franchise starring Johnny Depp were added to the ride in 2006. An animatronic Depp, in full pirate regalia, later replaced the frightened woman in the barrel … (read more)
Source: LA Times