To Tell the Truth … The Pirates of the Caribbean and its Plunge: An Interactive Game

Wow.  Last week it seems like most of the comments were split between Story 3 (the red carpet theory) and Story 4 (the Kodak theory) being correct.  Fifteen of you said that Story 3 was correct, and eight of you said Story 4 was correct.  This one was tricky because you had to pay CLOSE attention to the question.  Disney’s twist is that walking into the Magic Kingdom is just like walking into a movie.  The posters at the train station can be compared to movie posters you see when walking into a cinema. The red walkway is the red carpet leading you to the “show”.  And the names on the windows are like the show credits.  As stated in story number three and very eloquently relayed by Lou Mongello in the Main Street USA Audio Guide, the red pavement represents a red carpet.  HOWEVER, I asked for the PURPOSE of the red pavement, not the tale that Disney tells.  According to my question, the answer would be Story number 4.  The purpose was to make guests’ photos better.  In fact, it is even revealed in Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom Tour (after you are told the red carpet story) that Kodak was consulted and determined that red, being opposite of green on the color wheel, would enhance the green of the grass thus making guests’ photos better.  This is reinforced in The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom (written by Imagineers and published by Disney) and other books written by Imagineers.  If you are keeping track, the Score is now 1 for everybody who responded to the first weeks’ game along with these people who answered the question correctly last week:  Moonliner Jim, kb, Jenn, Caitlin Corsello, Kendall F, John, Ray, and Linda Raymond.  Since nobody got both weeks’ answers correct, we have a 20-way tie!

This week’s topic is the plunge during the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  After the scene with the pirates on the beach and a skeleton at the helm of a ship, there is a slight 14 foot high drop that takes you to the world of Captain Jack Sparrow and other pirates.  What is the actual reason that the drop is located in this specific spot?

Story 1

The Walt Disney World Railroad is a fun way to get around Magic Kingdom.  Whether it’s for scenic purposes or to get from one area to another, everybody should ride the railroad at least once.  Since the Walt Disney World Railroad was an opening day attraction, its tracks were already in place when the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction was added to the park.  At one point during the train ride, the tracks go over the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.  This point is where the Pirates of the Caribbean drop is located.  Imagineers had to add the drop to move the guests and boats below the train tracks.  In fact, the main part of the ride takes place in a large building beyond the train tracks.

Story 2

The drop was placed as a way to transport you to the land of pirates.  You start off in a dark creepy place before you “drop” into reality.  The beginning of the ride was supposed to take place in your imagination, and this is Disney’s way of crashing you down into the scary reality of the Caribbean and immersing you into the action (literally).

Story 3

Photos set memories in stone for years to come and allow us to relive the memories of happy moments all over again.  Many thrill attractions have cameras at the moments that catch you off guard and capture your facial expression.  Some of these are placed during drops, sudden launches, or anywhere with a surprise.  Pirates of the Caribbean was intended to be Disney’s first non-thrill attraction with a camera which would allow people who don’t like thrill rides to get that on-ride photo.  The 14 foot high drop was placed inside Pirates to catch the surprised look on people’s faces.  When they finished building the attraction, it was decided at the last minute to not install the camera because the flash would interrupt the flow of the attraction.

Story 4

Originally there was no plan to include Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World due to its proximity to the Caribbean.  That soon changed when the attraction in Disneyland was advertised heavily and opened to rave reviews. Guests came to Walt Disney World looking for the Pirate adventure.  It was decided that Disney would add the ride in Florida to closely replicate its sister in California.  The Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland contains two plunges; however, due to a very high water table, the attraction in Walt Disney World was only able to accommodate one 14 foot drop.


Okay, Disney fans, which one of these stories is the real reason that there is a sudden drop in Pirates of the Caribbean?  Let me know which you think is correct (or if you prefer, which ones are not) below.  Remember, I’m keeping score if you’re the competitive type!

See ya REAL soon!

Quote of the week:  “Hmm!  Teenagers.  They think they know everything.  You give them an inch and they swim all over you!”  – Sebastian the Crab, The Little Mermaid


Makena is a 14 year old high school student who spends much of her free time researching Disney. She enjoys sharing Disney facts and even plans Walt Disney World vacations (including searches for secrets and Hidden Mickeys) for friends and family. Makena began blogging for WDW Radio in December 2011.


About Lou Mongello

Lou Mongello is a former attorney who left the practice to pursue his passion, and is now a recognized Disney expert, author, speaker, and host of WDW Radio. Learn more…

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