Tokyo Disneyland: A look at the “offensive” Pirates of the Caribbean


Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World has just gone under the knife, yet again, to change another aspect of the original ride. The famous auction scene, featuring the sultry “redhead” will be removed. In turn, the ride will get a tamed down version of the townsfolk being robbed. It’s not the first such change on the ride.

The ride originally was a little more crass, and had things such as pirate offering to share a young naked girl with guests, while she cowered in a barrel behind him. Then there was the case of the pirates chasing women through the town. And several other smaller little updates.

But what if I told you that there’s still a version of the ride that remains (largely) untouched?

At Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, there’s a version of Pirates that still sticks to the Pirates code.

Pirates of the Caribbean at Tokyo Disneyland remains largely unchanged. Of course there’s nods to Captain Jack Sparrow, but for the most part, the ride is still full of the rascals, scoundrels, villains and naves, devils black sheep and really bad eggs that you know and love.

Our friend YukenDoIt has a full video of the Japanese version, and it’s really a great trip down memory lane.

The version is pretty close to the original Disneyland version of the ride. It starts off in Japanese, but once you clear the caves, it’s all in English. That part of it doesn’t make a lot of sense, as there were pirates in Asia, and the movie was hugely successful in Japan.

The Japanese version keeps the original auction scene, where pirates chant “WE WANTS THE REDHEAD!”. Another change that many of the other parks have made on pirates is the “chasing pirates”. This scene had the pirates chasing women through a house. In other parks, this was replaced in favor of pirates taking loot.

So what is the big deal? Are these changes really necessary? Even more to the point, are the scenes really that offensive? Do parents really complain?

Yes, I get it, we live in a different time than when the rides were developed and built. The social norms in our country are different today than they were in 1960. But bottom line is, it’s a theme park ride. It’s not meant as a reflection on who we are and it’s definitely not a history lesson of the way things were. Women in pirate life were treated with respect, and raping was pretty much forbidden. Call it honor among the dishonorable. Anyone who argues that the ride is historically accurate seriously needs to pick up a book.

While the Japan version of the ride does feature Jack Sparrow, it’s fairly close to the original version of the attraction. There doesn’t seem to be any change in the future for the Japanese version, and it’s just one more reason to visit a beautiful park.

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