Monday, January 30, 2012

A Pirate's Life For Me

One of my favorite Disney rides has always been The Pirates of the Caribbean. I love the pirates, the music and the visual effects. The fact that Walt Disney had a hand in the development of the ride is also part of the fascination that I have with the ride. The details in the audio-animatronics including the hair on the pirate’s leg that had to be placed there by hand is an indicator of the respect that Walt Disney had for his audience.

Although there are many similarities between the ride in Florida and California, the ride in California is definitely better in my mind. When in California, the ride begins in the Louisiana Bayou. The passengers of the ride are still in a boat that seats fifteen or twenty people. Once you pass the flickering fireflies and the sound of someone strumming a banjo, you move toward and archway that provides the occupants of the small boat a warning of what is to come.

Many of the images after the second plunge are reminiscent of the ride in Florida. The pirates are attacking a small seaside village and creating havoc for the townspeople. The ride continues through the village which is now on fire. The town’s jail where pirates are seen trying to negotiate with a dog who holds the keys to the cell and then the treasure room which now features Jack Sparrow. In California, the ride travels back up the hill which returns the boat to ground level and past the parrot that visitors can see from the line’s queue.

Although the fact that there is an additional drop in California adds to the ride, it is the fact that the ride features one of my favorite restaurants that makes it worth sharing. The Pirates ride in California is in the New Orleans Square section of Disneyland. The restaurant is called Blue Bayou and provides the diner with the feeling of being on a back porch in an old southern plantation. The fireflies can still be seen in the area of the ride that takes place in the bayou. Whether there for lunch or dinner, I have never had a bad meal at the Blue Bayou. My favorites in the past have included the Monte Christo sandwich or the prime rib and a mint julep. If you ever get the chance to visit, please be sure to make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) as it is popular among visitors and locals alike.

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