The original Pirates of the Caribbean is located in New Orleans Square and has the exterior of a 19th century New Orleans estate known as the Royal Street Gallery. When guests enter the attraction they find a sand-bar with a talking parrot by a treasure chest and several murals of historic and fictional pirates. They will then continue to Laffite's Landing in the Blue Bayou of Louisiana where they'll board a boat.
Following this, guests ride the boats through the serene blue bayou until they are confronted by an animate Jolly Roger who gives them an ominous warning before they drop down a waterfall. The guests find themselves in the ominous grotto of Dead Man's Cove on the island of Isla Tesoro where they navigate caverns filled with ship-wrecks, skeletons, and the ominous warning that, "Dead men tell no tales".
After passing through the haunted remains of a pirate's lair, still inhabited by the skeletal remains of its crew with the cursed treasure they died for, the boats travel through time back to the golden age of piracy to see the crew in action. The boats proceed to take guests passed the ship The Wicked Wench as it it opens fire on a Spanish fortress. The boats then enter the island's town of Puerto Dorado to find the pirates interrogating the politicians of the treasure's whereabouts and looting everything in sight, all while Captain Jack Sparrow makes his own effort to get the treasure first.
After seeing the pirates light the town aflame in a drunken stupor, guests pass through the prison where they find prisoners in a futile attempt to escape; followed by drunken pirates shooting at one another for fun in a room stuffed with gunpowder. The boats proceed to travel back through time to when they started and along the way see Jack Sparrow in the treasure-room, drinking in celebration of his gold.
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World's version of the attraction is found in Adventureland with the exterior being the remains of the same Castillo del Morro fortress that is seen being ransacked in the ride. Guests travel to a secret ravine connecting the fortress to the Cove where they pass through to a subterranean waterfall marked by an animate Jolly Roger who sends them back in time.
Following this the attraction is the same as Disneyland's albeit with minute changes and the removal of certain scenes.
Disneyland Paris' attraction is reversed so that the first act of the ride is set during the Golden Age of piracy and guests time-travel to modern day in the final act. Here, guests enter from a large fortress in the tropics, through a graveyard of ships to the island which they find under attack from the pirates of the Wicked Wench.
By the end, the guests travel to the grotto where Captain Barbossa is now cursed to be undead and Jack Sparrow basks in glory of the Wicked Wench's treasure that with the crew dead, he now claims for his own.
Haunted Mansion Connections
Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion were developed at the same time by the same groups of people for the same land, New Orleans Square. Because of this, there are many connections between the two attractions which are considered to be sister-attractions.
Main Article: Captain Gore
When developing the Wax Museum that evolved into Pirates, one of the figures was going to be the real-life pirate Captain Bartholomew Roberts. They intended on giving him a large role in the attraction, placing him in the captain’s seat. When Ken Anderson was developing the ghost house project, he took inspiration from a sketch that Marc Davis did of the character. The owner of his mansion would be a bloodthirsty pirate, as well. However, the name didn’t have the gravitaze that he was looking for. So, the pirate was dubbed Captain Bartholomew Gore. Anderson’s sketch of Gore echoed elements from Davis’ sketch of Roberts. They both have bright red hair, a pointed beard, and long eyebrows. Eventually, Gore took on a life of his own and became his own character, not connected with the real life Roberts.
Captain Roberts from the wax museum, and by extension Captain Gore, could have inspired the Auctioneer. They have similar face shapes, bears, hair, costumes, and earrings. This design was recycled in the Haunted Mansion for one of the Duelists.
In the late 90s, there were concepts to further unite Pirates and the Mansion into one story - thought up by former Imagineer Eddie Sotto. It would have centered on the real-life pirate Jean Lafitte, who was already referenced throughout New Orleans Square and Pirates of the Caribbean. Supposedly, Laffite would have been the owner of the Haunted Mansion, and his crypt would have been located at Tom Sawyer Island. The underground tomb would have been filled with the remains of Laffitte’s victims, a shipwreck, a pirate’s court, the gundeck, and a treasure room.
The plan to transform Tom Sawyer Island into Lafitte Island never happened, but remnants remain in Disneyland, today. A bricked up archway with the date 1764 remains in New Orleans Square, and Pirate’s Lair is a walk through attraction at Tom Sawyer Island.
Walt Disney World's Haunted Mansion holds a crypt dedicated to the villainous Bluebeard and his wives. In 1954 concept development for Pirate's of the Caribbean, Bluebeard would have had a Pirates of the Caribbean themed area known as Bluebeard's Den.
Anne Bonny is a historic pirate once proposed to have appeared as one of the Haunted Mansion's famous ghosts. Bonny appeared in early drafts for Pirates of the Caribbean with a design which would be recycled for the character of the Redhead who became much heavily inspired by Bonny in 2017 when she was refurbished as the pirate, "Redd". A mural of her and her lover Mary Read can be found in Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean in the queue and was proposed to appear in the third PotC film.
Marc Davis once made a design for the pirate Blackbeard to be one of the ghosts in the Haunted Mansion. Davis also made similar artwork for Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean with said designs being adapted into the original captain of the Wicked Wench, a character often proposed to be a representation of Blackbeard. This character was removed from the original attraction in 2006 in-favour of his successor Barbossa (who the Wench's captain inspired) but did inspire the character of Captain Edward Teague in the film-series and Blackbeard himself serving as the main-antagonist of the fourth film. For a few years, Blackbeard appeared in a waterfall sequence in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride as-well, based off of his Ian McShane appearance from the films. In the Haunted Mansion, Leota's spell book contains a spell taken from the film Blackbeard's Ghost, a film that partly inspired elements of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride while revolving around the ghost of the titular pirate captain.
A piece of concept art by Ken Anderson depicts a pirate being stabbed with a sword. This could have inspired the skewered pirate skeleton seen in the attraction. Additionally, Marc Davis' April December portrait seems to have inspired a visual-gag featured in the attraction as of 2018. The original portrait showed a wealthy young woman turning into an old crone and in the auction scene of the ride, an elderly dame of Puerto Dorado is seen holding a portrait resembling April's which shows her in her youth.
In the treasure room sequence of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, Captain Jack Sparrow is seen rocking back and forth on a grand-eloquent arm-chair which can also be found in the attic of the Haunted Mansion. Both of these chairs were part of a set that was created for the 2003 film adaptation of the Haunted Mansion where they were used in the dining room of Gracey Manor.
Phantom Manor's portrait corridor features a changing portrait of the Flying Dutchman as seen from the films. It is shown burning which is something identified from the backstory of the Black Pearl vessel from the films.
In 2006, the "June" portrait of April-December was apart of the set decorations of the live show Pirates DO Tell Tales.
In Other Media
The film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) has a possible reference to the Haunted Mansion in it. In the fight scene on the island of Isla Cruces, there is an abandoned church where the corpse of a priest can be seen hanging from the rafters. Some have taken this as an easter-egg to the Ghost Host hanging corpse in the cupola from the Haunted Mansion.
In the film Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), it was originally planned to reveal that the protagonist Milo Thatch was a descendant of Blackbeard AKA Edward Thatch and give the pirate a place in the film's lore. Atlantis: The Lost Empire has since been integrated into the expanded Disney Parks lore of the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (most notably including Mystic Manor) with it having connections to the society and its affiliated characters such as Captain Mary Oceaneer and Captain Nemo.
The unofficial but influential cast-member created Ghost Gallery features a few Pirates of the Caribbean creations:
- Gracey Manor once apparently served as a hub for pirates, implied to be some from the attraction.
- Little Leota is revealed to have sneaked out the manor at some point in her life (1919-1942) to drink with pirates in a nearby tavern. When she returned home she would sing the song Yo Ho from the attraction.
- The caretaker's dog, hellhound and the ghost dog are all stated to be descendants of the prison dog from the attraction and film-series.
In the SLG Haunted Mansion comics, the story The Big Nap reveals the prisoner to have been an inhabitant of the island attacked by the pirates in the original Pirates of the Caribbean ride and locked up in the prison seen in the attraction. The second part of Mystery of the Manse, which tells of William Gracey's exploits as Captain Blood, features a number of references to the ride and films ranging from lyrics to the Yo Ho song being used in the Ghost Host's narration, to characters resembling Mr. Gibbs and the Black Pearl's Bo'sun being members of Gracey's crew, the appearance of the treasure cave, and the chapter ending on Blood killing his men before leaving pirating behind because as the Ghost Host puts it, "Dead Men Tell No Tales". Upon arriving in New Orleans the next chapter, Gracey docks at Lafitte's Landing.
The 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean book, The Price of Freedom features references to the character of Captain Hook from Peter Pan. Incidentally, Hook was once considered as a ghost to be featured in the Haunted Mansion by Ken Anderson.
The Tales from the Haunted Mansion book Volume IV: Memento Mori has a short story called, "A Pirate's Death for Me", referencing the classic song from the ride. Captain Gore appears in this story with a description that seems to be referencing the film version of Davy Jones.
In Disney Kingdoms' Haunted Mansion comics, Constance Hatchaway has a line about, "Pirates singing too much". In this story the Captain (Captain Gore) pursues a treasure hidden in the mansion with potential connections to Pirates of the Caribbean. A room which he believed held the treasure was marked with a skull resembling that of the head-board in Pirates of the Caribbean and the talking-skull Captain X.
In Kinect Disneyland Adventures, the pirate fortune-teller of Fortune Red is relocated from the Pirate's of the Caribbean themed gift-shop Pieces of Eight to the Haunted Mansion gift-shop of Port Royal. The character of Black Barty in this video-game also brings up being acquainted with Jean Lafitte.
- "Captain Gore Lives" from Long Forgotten Haunted Mansion
- "Jean Lafitte and the 'Mega-Theme' Temptation" from Long Forgotten Haunted Mansion
- "The Oldest Haunted Mansion" from Long Forgotten Haunted Mansion
- "Lafitte's Island (and Catacombs)- 1998 Disneyland" from SottoStudios