Tag Archives: singing pirates

Pirates of the Caribbean

Yo ho, yo ho, it’s time to ride a classic!

Over in New Orleans Square, get ready to enter the Bayou and see a lively band of pirates! Except for the dead pirates, who are not lively but who you will also see.

Pirates was the last ride that Walt helped design, and it opened shortly after his death in 1967. I mean the ride opened in 1967. Walt actually died in 1966. Just to clarify for the purists in the crowd.

You enter the queue under a bridge.

Here there be pirates! Arrrrr!!!


When it’s crowded, both sides are open. I personally think the right-hand side is shorter, although I have no substantial evidence to back that up.

Pirates is housed in a lovely antebellum manor that I didn’t take pictures of on this particular visit because it was under construction, so I’ll post those later.

You go through a couple of switchbacks in the courtyard of the manor here:

Not crowded. It was a good day.


And the Pirates queue has another one of my favorite things–in line drinking fountains!

They're even all fancy and stuff


I think my attraction to water fountains came from when I worked at a summer camp way up high in the mountains where you could get dehydrated in like 3 seconds, and we always told the kids to stop and take 2 drinks from the water fountain whenever we passed one. I no longer am in this habit (can you imagine how long it would take to get through an airport???) but I do feel compelled to do it at Disneyland. Go figure.

When you enter the building, you see an appealing little island with an opinionated bird, the Jolly Roger, and a map.

Also some treasure


Decorating the walls are portraits of various pirates and lords.

Like Sir Henry, for example


You board your boat and are strongly admonished to not take flash pictures. And really people, when they say “no flash photography,” please don’t use your flash! It drives me bonkers! And ruins the effect for everyone else!

Also, since I wasn’t using my flash, the picture quality in this post from here on out is going to get sketchy.

But such is the price you pay for not using your flash. Don’t worry about crappy pictures–live in the moment!

First you gently glide through a bayou with the Blue Bayou restaurant on your right-hand side.

This is the only restaurant at Disneyland that I have ever been turned away from for not having a reservation, so make a reservation


The Blue Bayou is a very cool place to eat, especially if you request a waterside table. You may have to wait for it, but it’s really charming.

Anyway, you also pass various items one might find in a bayou

Like this boat


Now I’m sure you’ve noticed that this is all quite dark. That’s because it’s simulated nighttime. Well, here’s where Shelby goes all dorky on you and admits something embarrassing–for years I thought this was just open to the night sky. In my defense, for many years growing up, my family only went to Disneyland at night, when my dad’s company sponsored a corporate night. Pirates was one of the rides we always made sure to go on.

I figured out it was inside NOT because I rode it during the daytime, but because I rode it in the rain. Specifically, it was POURING, and we got on the ride and I thought “Oh, it stopped raining!” and then when it was over I looked outside and it was still pouring and then (and only then) did it occur to me to look up and see that I was still inside the building.


Anyway, once you leave the bayou, you hear the rushing of water and get a very stern warning from this dude:

Dead men tell no tales. Women too.


And then there’s a drop.

It’s not a big drop, but it’s a surprising drop if you don’t know it’s coming. Also you can get a little splashed on landing so cover your camera lens and glasses.

Also there’s another drop. This one comes as quite the surprise to people who are used to the Disney World version of Pirates, which only has one. So consider yourself warned.

First you enter the scenes with the dead pirates, like these guys who didn’t make it very far off the beach.

Also, judging by the size of the skeletons, pirates back then were very short


You move along through scenes of pirate recreation, except they’re dead pirates and dead men tell no tales.



There’s the pirate treasure, but what good is it if you’re dead?

Yes, at one point in my life I DID believe this treasure was real


And having been warned of your future should you continue on your pirate-y path of plundering and pillage, you move through the magic mist. In the past it was just Davy Jones who talked to you on the mist, but now it’s both Davy and Blackbeard. Its actually really awesome because the moving and talking image is projected directly on the mist, which you then go under. The effect looks like this:




Both Davy Jones and Blackbeard are like “Dude, there’s a pirate’s curse, but go for it if you want to” and of course you want to because you’re on a boat and what else are you going to do?

So you get thrust into the middle of a battle between a pirate ship and a fortress. At this point they’re playing the theme from the first Pirates movie, which is totally awesome because it’s a great song. Up to that point you’ve been yo-ho-ing.

Ya lily-livered something something!


The drunken pirates have taken over! They’re trying to drown this guy:

I know it's hard to tell, but there's a guy being raised and lowered into the well


Captain Jack Sparrow is hiding around here. Can you spot him?

You can also buy a bride, if you’re in the market for a bride

This is seriously not PC


Oh! I think I see Captain Jack!

The dog does, at least


You go past a couple more slovenly drunks before you realize that the town is on fire.

This can't be good.


You then come to one of the most iconic scenes of the ride:

Seriously, the dog is my favorite character in this entire ride


And despite the danger, the pirates are still shooting at each other.

Can you find the hidden Mickey?


And just before you leave the building (much like Elvis), it appears that Captain Jack Sparrow has indeed found the pirate treasure himself!

Voiced by Johnny Depp himself


Here’s another view. Really, I think this part is the best audio-animatronic in the entire park.

Yo ho, yo ho


And then you come back to ground level and float on by the island you saw going in.

Hello, land lubbers!


I absolutely love Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s definitely a must-do at Disneyland.

Jambalaya Jazz Band

As I’ve said before, one of the biggest surprises for me during MYWTM is the amount of roving entertainment all around the park. Walt was a huge music lover and I knew about the Disneyland Band and the barbershop quartet known as the Dapper Dans, and some people in Victorian costumes who sing at Christmas, but other than that I had no idea about the little groups and bands that are all over Disneyland. I’m so glad MYWTM is making me slow down and enjoy the atmosphere because I really would have missed these fabulous gems just like I have every year before MYWTM.

The day I rode the Lilly Belle, I caught sight of these guys in New Orleans Square:

Natty outfits, swingin' tunes, New Orleans Square...

It’s the Jambalaya Jazz Band! Nope, it’s not the Dixieland Band, although they are often confused with each other.

Jambalaya. Jazz.

They even had Mardi Gras beads in their pockets that they tossed to a few of the little kids standing around. And said children didn’t even have to…*ahem*…do anything to get some beads ;).

I only listened to them for a song to ¬†two, but like the rest of the bands I’ve discovered, they were lively, very fun, and fabulous to listen to. It’s so exciting to make these discoveries. So far I’ve stumbled across:

The Pearly Band, a jolly performance in front of the castle with special guest stars Mary Poppins and Bert!


The Straw Hatters, a group of musicians clad in straw hats with special guest stars Pluto, Donald Duck, Mickey, and Minnie:

Over in the corner of Town Square

The Dapper Dans, which everyone seems to know about. No special guests that I saw but their singing is second to none, and their chime-playing (Kelli knows the proper term for that) is really fantastic.

About halfway down Main Street

The Hook and Ladder Company, a bonny group of firemen and their mascot Spot, who is nearly kidnapped by the evil Cruella DeVille, and we’re also entertained by Chip and Dale and Goofy.

Town Square right in front of the fire department (and below Walt's personal apartment)

Arrrrr, the grimy band of pirates, the Bootstrappers, singing traditional pirate tunes (sans ale) in New Orleans Square.

What's a pirate's favorite letter? Arrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

And of course, the Disneyland Band.

Middle of Town Square at the flagpole

Now that’s entertainment! And all of that entertainment–the kind you can basically trip over on your way to somewhere else–I think that’s a part of the Disneyland Magic, don’t you?


Bootstrappers: A Singing Pirate’s Life for Me

You know what I love? Bacon.

You know what else I love? Stumbling across something I’ve never seen before at Disneyland.

Like these guys:

Ahoy there! Pirates ahead!

It’s a singing band of pirates outside of Cafe Orleans!

Of course, the disadvantage of seeing something new is not knowing what their names are. So I posted on Micechat.com, and “RegionsBeyond” filled me in:

Those wandering musicians of a piratical nature would go by the moniker of the ‘Bootstrappers’, and are the absolute fiercest scallywags in the whole of the cursed kingdom of Diz-nay

I can’t even tell you how much I love that.

Yarrrrr, let's sing a song

We joined the small group of onlookers to watch the show. The Pirate Lady did most of the singing and some wonderful dances as well.

Pirate lady does Riverdance!

The group sang some traditional pirate songs, or what I assume are traditional pirate songs although having never been a pirate, I can’t say for sure. In true Disney fashion, there was an audience participation part at the end. It was a “clap clap.”

Put your hands together for pirates!

I only caught the last two songs, neither of which was “A Pirate’s Life For Me” or “What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor” which pretty much rounds out my repertoire. But that’s probably okay, since I only know the chorus of those two songs anyway. I do like to pretend to sing along on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, but it’s usually “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me- ba da da ba dada ba dada ba da drink UP, me hearties, yo ho! Ba da ba ba da ba ba da ba ba ba ba, drink up, me hearties yo HO! Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!”

Which is kinda close. If by kind of close you mean not at all.

Well, I try.

Also, I love it when people do this:

If I make myself really small and run quickly, I won't get in your picture

I don’t know why people do that, but I do it too. Even though chances are, you’re totally going to get in the picture anyway, and then you’re going to look all weird and someone is going to put you on their blog.

I hate it when that happens.

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