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Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean attraction celebrates 40th birthday
On Sunday, March 18, Disneyland marked the 40th anniversary of its Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, one of the most well-known and popular rides at the theme park.
The original Disneyland version of Pirates of the Caribbean has inspired version at every other Disney Magic Kingdom-style theme park except Hong Kong Disneyland.
The event was celebrated with a small event featuring several of the Disney Imagineers who created the attraction more than 40 years ago.
More than 300 million visitors to Disneyland have been on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride since it opened in 1967. This attraction was the last to be personally created by Walt Disney.
There are versions of Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris.
The pirates ride has also inspired three Pirates of the Caribbean movies: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest, and At World's End, which opens in May.
In 2006, the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland received a major renovation that included new Audio-Animatronics and special effects of characters Captain Jack Sparrow, Davy Jones, and Captain Barbossa.
This summer, Tom Sawyer's Island will receive a makeover that will bring pirate characters onto the classic children's area.
Pirates of the Caribbean was first conceived by Walt Disney in the late 1950s when he wanted to create an attraction based on pirate adventures. Initially, it was envisioned to be a wax museum and then as a walk-through adventure as part of a new land themed to New Orleans . But ultimately, it was actualized as a ride-through adventure that utilizes the type of boat system that the “it's a small world” attraction employs. Pirates of the Caribbean was the last theme park attraction that was personally supervised by Walt Disney before his passing a few months prior to its official opening.
The celebration of the Pirates of the Caribbean's 40th anniversary coincides with Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort's “Year of a Million Dreams,” which runs through 2007.
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