Fans demand further ‘woke’ alterations for Pirates of the Caribbean

Redd takes over the pirates' auction

The previously controversial alteration made to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at both the Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort has gradually gained favor among park-goers and Disney enthusiasts alike.

Pirates of the Caribbean, undoubtedly one of the most iconic and cherished attractions across various Disney Parks worldwide, has been captivating visitors for decades with its immersive experience. The ride, situated in locations such as the Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Park, Tokyo Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris, has been a cornerstone of the theme park experience, serving as the inspiration for the beloved film franchise starring Johnny Depp. Notably, an animatronic representation of his iconic character, Captain Jack Sparrow, was later incorporated into the ride, adding an extra layer of connection between the attraction and its cinematic counterpart.

The allure of the ride lies in its ability to transport guests to a bygone era of piracy and exploration, allowing them to board a timeworn barge and venture into the treacherous waters of the 17th century. As they navigate through the dark and captivating waters, they encounter rowdy pirates and ruthless marauders who once plundered Caribbean seaport towns. The ride is accompanied by the timeless pirate anthem, “Yo Ho, Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” which guests are encouraged to sing along with as they embark on this swashbuckling journey.

Over the years, Pirates of the Caribbean has undergone various modifications to keep up with changing times and sensibilities. Among these changes, the removal of a noose from the Disneyland Resort version and the transformation of a scene depicting a male pirate holding women’s clothing into one featuring a map stand out. However, perhaps the most significant update occurred in 2018, when both United States Disney Parks made a substantial alteration to the ride’s iconic auction scene. Previously, the scene depicted pirates auctioning off women, with one particularly charismatic animatronic shouting, “We wants the Redhead!”

Exterior of Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disney World

In response to the #MeToo movement and a broader cultural shift toward promoting positive representations of women, Disney made the decision to reimagine this scene. The character of the once-passive Redhead, who had previously been a silent presence, was empowered to manage the auction herself, trading in the sale of women for the sale of chickens and eggs to a motley crew of pirates. Although this change generated controversy and debate initially, it aligns with Disney’s commitment to reflecting more inclusive and progressive values within their attractions.

While some critics argued that these alterations might misrepresent the historical reality of pirates, it’s worth noting that history itself contains examples of women who participated in piracy. The Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise itself features a prominent female pirate character, Elizabeth Swann/Elizabeth Turner, portrayed by Keira Knightley. As time has passed, a growing number of fans have expressed their appreciation for the update, recognizing its alignment with contemporary values.

One such demonstration of approval came from a TikToker with the handle, who shared a tribute to the revamped scene. The post received numerous likes and comments, with the TikToker expressing gratitude toward Disney for the positive change. They acknowledged the controversial nature of Disney’s decisions but expressed personal gratitude for the alteration.

Guests riding a Pirates of the Caribbean boat at Tokyo Disneyland.

As with any changes to beloved attractions, opinions on the matter remain diverse and sometimes contentious. This narrative is based on individual guest experiences and viewpoints and does not necessarily represent the official stance of Inside the Magic with regard to Disney Park operations. However, it underscores the evolving nature of theme park experiences as they navigate the delicate balance between nostalgia, cultural relevance, and progressive values.

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