Mermaid waters, that be our path!
Walt Disney Imagineering recently inserted two new “features” into Walt Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction to “plus” this almost 40 year-old attraction a wee-bit more. This isn’t the first time WDI has “plussed” the attraction. With the popularity of the movie franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean and the sequels, Disney has played on this popularity by adding Captain Jack Sparrow (in multiple places), Captain Barbosa, and even the gruesome and creepy Davy Jones. Although, around the time of the fourth movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, came along, Jones was replaced by the fearsome Blackbeard in a mist-like fog image and voice projected at the beginning of the ride.
Avast! Thar’ be SPOILERS ahead!
Adding another movie tie-in to the fourth installment of this movie series featuring Jack Sparrow and friends, the latest addition includes the mermaids from the fourth film. If you saw the movie, you might remember, these aren’t exactly the same friendly kind of mermaids we’ve come to know and love from Disney’s, The Little Mermaid. No, these are soul-snatching, evil demon-fish, intent on dragging as many men to a watery grave as Davy Jones himself. Side-note: Any chance these mer-chants of death are under his employ, or curse?
The Disney parks blog hinted that this change was coming a few weeks ago, but didn’t go into any real detail and I’ve been watching and anticipating the changes ever since. The additions include a new projection of a mermaid swimming in the water, followed by a skeleton of a mermaid in a wrecked boat on the beach. Along with these new visual additions, they added the eerie music and song, My Jolly Sailor Bold also from the movie.
Update 11/01/12: Disney announced on their blog this new arrival.
I won’t spoil the magic here, by posting any pictures or video of the additions, as this is still pretty new. But, if you’re the curious type like me, you can Google it yourself and find what’s been added. I’ve seen some of the pictures and a low quality/low light video of the features and overall, I think they’re impressive and make for a good addition to the attraction.
I’m not criticizing this new addition, in fact I quite like it and think it adds to the creepy air of mystery in the caves. However, something struck me as out of place while reading about the changes, and the thought occurred to me that perhaps there’s room for further “plussing” and perhaps even a better tie-in with the most recent movie. In the beginning of the ride as you enter the caves, Blackbeard appears in the fog screen warning you of the journey you’re embarking upon. Since all of the other additions of Jack and Barbosa to the attraction, and now with the addition of the mermaids, I think it might be more fitting to replace Blackbeard (of the mist) with Jeffrey Rush’s, Captain Barbosa giving a shortened version of his speech from the fourth movie. In it he warns,
Aye. Mermaids. Sea ghouls, devilfish…dreadful in hunger for flesh of man. Mermaid waters, that be our path. Cling to your soul as mermaids be given to take the rest, to the bone. Gentlemen. I should not ask any more of a man than what that man can deliver, but I do ask this: are we not King’s men? On the King’s mission? I did not note any fear in the eyes of the Spanish as they passed us by. ARE WE NOT KING’S MEN? Hands aloft, and bear away! Stave on ahead to Whitecap Bay!
Obviously it would have to be shortened as the above is too lengthy in the time you have passing thru here. But, I think it would make for a better tie-in and help serve as a little pre-warning for guests. Nothing against Ian McShane and his foreboding warning as Blackbeard and Davy Jones’ creepy octopus tentacle face, but Barbosa with his scratchy voiced snarl and pirate lingo is near-perfect! Besides that, I think Barbosa is one of the more popular and memorable characters from the films. It just seems like it would make more sense.