Pirates of the Caribbean Returns

So as part of my preparation for my trip to Amsterdam, I was up at 6am yesterday. Not knowing what else to do that early, I headed to Disneyland for the grand re-opening of Pirates of The Caribbean.

The Esplanade at 7:17 am.

There was a family scuttling from one letter to another doing that photo collage that EVERYBODY does.

Nicely done with the F.

The Esplanade at 7:54 am.

Nice line to get into the park.

Park opened at 8:00 dull, and people start running. Security guard says, no point, the line for pirates is already 2 hours.

The 2 hour line, stretching from the flag pole all the way down Main Street…

Through Frontierland…

and straight into the ride.

Apparently I missed the new mural in the lobby that features Jack Sparrow. Oops. The ride was lots of fun. A lot darker than I remember it…which of course makes digital photography on the fly rather difficult…if you’re an amateur like me and you’re willing to obey the rules that say no flash photography (curse the guy behind me!). But fortunately my digital camera films really well. What follows are the “best” captures from those videos.

The opening sequence got cleaned up.

The hat (kind of hard to see in this shot) looks fresher and redder.

New lightning effects behind the shipwrecked skeleton.

We’ve got some new patrons at the tavern

The drinking effect looks sharper than it has in years…new technology maybe?

The captain is now (or was he always?) a British admiral (or captain or whatever)…he’s got a red coat and a wig.

And a parrot…

Gee, that treasure chest doesn’t look familiar….

Another waterfall?

Nope…the coolest damn effect I’ve ever seen…

No longer are we warned of the cursed treasure.

“Ah ha ha ha. Tales there be a plenty in this cursed place…”

That’s all the audio I can distinguish…I hope Disney has released a new soundtrack. I forgot to check!

“Where be Captain Jack Sparrow?” cries the infamous Barbossa, captain of the…Wicked Wench? Wait, what?

Jack hides from the pirates torturing the mayor. Why? Because they’re looking for him, of course.

Jack sneaks a peek at the pooped pirate’s treasure map.

Jack enjoys his treasure trove as we escape back up the waterfall.

The only other thing to talk about is how fantastic the ride sounds. (To the best of my knowledge) they replaced all the speakers so that the digitally re-mastered music comes through so much clearer. I’m so happy I want to cry! This was definitely worth the wait.

Ever get a hankering for a Monte Cristo sandwich after the Blue Bayou has finished serving lunch? Now you can get it across the street at the Cafe Orleans for dinner. Only problem is, don’t expect to walk right in. Cafe Orleans is now a table service restaurant. Kind of a “down-scale Blue Bayou.” You can make reservations (priority seating) for later in the day, or you can try their walk-in line which they open every hour based on available seating.

On a side note I was remembering all the online chatter about what Disneyland was planning for it’s 50th anniversary. A lot of people speculated on an improvement of the “Big 5” rides, which I think were Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Tiki Room and Small World (the Big 5 obviously related to attractions directly influenced by/resulting from the ’64 World’s Fair). They have completed 3 out of 5 (Haunted Mansion’s story has evolved to focus more on the bride than on Master Gracey, Captain Jack Sparrow has arrived, and Jungle Cruise has that new finale)…interesting, no?

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