Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Attractions - The Art of Plussing (Pirates of the Caribbean)

As mentioned in previous posts, Disney has a rich tradition of what they term "plussing"; or the act improving on ideas or attractions.

Originally opening in Disneyland, the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction was added to Walt Disney World in 1973; though there are differences in the two. In the 1990s some audio tracks were re-recorded, though only the most die-hard Disney enthusiasts would notice. In 2004, a few additional changes were made, including having the ladies chase the pirates instead of the pirates chasing the ladies.

The most significant changes took place in 2006 when Jack Sparrow was added to the attraction, as was Barbosa. As a result, the storyline changed also. In addition, a projected image of Davy Jones was added to the falls at the beginning of the ride.

Jones was temporarily replaced by Blackbeard in May 2011 to coincide with the release of the current installment of the Pirate movie franchise; Pirates of the Caribbean - On Stranger Tides. Though only temporary, this was a fresh addition that further entwined the ride with the movie in order to create or at least continue the illusion that the Pirate world exists in a time all its own.

One might think that such significant changes would dramatically alter the attraction; however, it is the opinion of this author that these changes did not contribute to altering the ride beyond its original spirit.

Let us know what you think. Are the attraction changes always positive? Add your comments below.


  1. Pirates of the Carribean is a classic and will always be part of Disney. I saw the changes myself in Oct 2011 and agree that the spirit did not change. Adding Jack Sparrow just bought it all together....sorry 'Captain' Jack Sparrow ;)

  2. Thanks for the feedback! We're glad you enjoyed the attraction. It is one of our favorites.