Disney announced today that they would be reopening Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Paris on July 24th, after a long rehab. That rehab will include some amazing new scenes, including Captain Barbosa, new lighting and upgraded sound systems. Disneyland Paris will even get a new Captain Jack’s Restaurant, replacing the old Blue Lagoon Restaurant. It’s going to aim to cater more to fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, something that Disney has done already at Walt Disney World, and Disneyland.
And one more, little change is coming as well. This one change will also debut at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in 2018. What change?
Disney is taking out the iconic “Bride Auction” scene, and replacing it with a new scene where the infamous “Redhead” is now packing a pistol, and getting the townspeople to surrender their loot. The current scene has pirates bidding on several “brides”, most of whom are tied up, with some even crying, as they are auctioned off. Most of the brides look “homely”, with the exception of one. A saucy redhead is dressed all in red, with a big ruffled dress, and a bit of a bustier look than the rest. Of course, the pirates all want the chance to bid on her.
In the new scene, the townspeople look to be brining their belongings to center of town. The Redhead will still be there, and this time she’ll be packing some heat, not tucked away in the dress. There still seems to be an auction going on, only this time it’s on loot and not women. Of course, if we know the unruly pirates, there’s still going to be a chance that they’ll shout “WE WANTS THE REDHEAD”. After all, not all booty is gold.
Of course, many Disney fans are already in an uproar, because it’s a classic Disney attraction that has been there for 50 years! WHY CHANGE IT NOW! LEAVE IT ALONE! YOU’RE GOING TO RUIN IT!
Well, it’s not the first time the ride has been changed over the 50 years it’s been around. The ride has been controversial ever since it was first introduced, most particularly dealing with scenes involving sex.
An original scene had lusty pirates chasing women, presumably for some good ole pirate rape. That scene was changed to women chasing pirates who were trying to steal their stuff. Then there was the “pooped pirate”, who would sit in front of a barrel, holding a nightgown, or dressing gown. The pirate would ask guests if they had seen the girl, as she peeped from behind him, presumably naked. He even offered to “share” her with the guests. Keep in mind that this attraction is seen by millions of children every year…and here we have a pirate essentially asking guests to help him find a girl so he can rape her. That scene changed as well. The only scene not changed drastically was the Auction, for the most part. The auction went from being an auction with horny pirates looking for lust, to a “Take a Wench for a bride”, because if they’re getting married against their will, it makes it better.
Frankly, we loved the old version. Not going to lie, I would love to see the original back in a heartbeat. But times change. Sure, it might seem that Disney is watering down the ride, but honestly you’re catering to vacationing families. While pirates really did that stuff, does that mean that we have to see it? More people are interested in pirates for what the movies have brought to the ride anyway, and see it more as an adventure than a history lesson. That’s perfectly fine. Besides, as a friend pointed out, it’s the rest of the ride that’s sugar coated. You don’t see them shooting actual people, it’s implied. You don’t see them physically stealing from someone, you see them being chased, so again it’s implied. But here they are actually showing women being forced to marry someone they don’t want to. And to the highest bidder, no less. It’s an amazing ride, and there’s nothing personally offensive to me about it…but objectively, you can’t look at it and think that the message is okay.
Walt Disney himself was never one to shy away from history, and definitely didn’t sugar coat things either. However, he also said that “Times and conditions change so rapidly, that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”
If there was even a remote chance of one of his beloved rides being shut down because it was too offensive, what do you think he’d do? Honestly. We bet he’d change it and find a way to make it profitable again.
On top of all that, the ride is not getting rid of an iconic character. Instead, they are empowering the Redhead, and making her more badass than ever. Empowering women, and giving them a stronger role is never a bad idea. Before, it was implied that the Redhead might have daggers tucked away in her dress, now it’s actually showing that she’s not someone you want to mess with, as she’s packing a rifle. Personally I’m intrigued. Is she now a pirate, is she protecting her stuff? What’s going on?
Yes, I know how unpopular this opinion will be, especially for hardcore Disney fans. Remember that the ride hasn’t changed yet, and you haven’t seen what the final product will be. I’m not saying it’s going to be amazing, just saying there’s still a chance that…ya know, it might actually be good.