The Haunted Mansion
The Portrait appears in every version of the ride except for Mystic Manor, where the portrait appears in Portrait Corridor alongside the other changing portraits where the painting, depicting a three-masted vessel on calm seas, transforms into a ship with tattered sails in the midst of a squall. The artwork is inspired by a piece of Marc Davis concept art depicting a ship that not only grew stormy, but also with ghosts coming out of it.
When Phantom Manor was refurbished in 2019, the Flying Dutchman painting was redone to resemble the Flying Dutchman from the Pirates of the Caribbean film-series and when it changes it shows the ship aflame.
The vessel has appeared in several other Disney attractions in its Pirates of the Caribbean film incarnation.The Dutchman appears in person in the Shanghai-Disney ride "Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure". Here guests travel through the ship at the bottom of the Ocean where they come upon Davy Jones playing his pipe-organ. The ship proceeds to rise from the depths where it engages in a cannon-fight with the Black Pearl.
Legend has it that the Flying Dutchman was the name of a ship that sailed over 300 years ago for the Dutch East-India Trading Company. According to the legend, in 1641 the ship was attempting to make its way around the Cape of Good Hope when it was beaten back by storms. The ship's captain - referred to as Captain Hendrick van der Decken in many of the stories - supposedly pushed the crew to keep sailing despite the treacherous seas, vowing that he would not stop until he made it 'round the Cape and cursing the powers-that-be for trying to halt him. The ship was eventually lost in the tempest, but Van der Decken held true to his promise; some say that the ghost of the Flying Dutchman still sails the seas, cursed to never again make port and whoever sees this apparition will be cursed with a streak of bad luck.
In an alternate telling of the story the captain was a Dutchman by the name of Bernard or Barend Fokke who sold his soul to the Devil in-exchange for his voyages to have unnatural speed. The ship was wrecked in an ethereal tempest and since then the ship and it's crew was damned to roam the seas forever.
In reality, The Flying Dutchman was a story made as an explanation for mirages that would be seen at sea where the reflections of ships would appear above the sea-line in the horizon, sometimes floating but almost always disappearing and reappearing, resulting in a spectral illusion.
Pirates of the Caribbean (Film-Franchise)
In the film franchise Pirates of the Caribbean which Phantom Manor's Dutchman is based upon, the Flying Dutchman is reimagined as the ship used by the death-god Davy Jones to ferry the souls of those who die at sea to the afterlife. Jones was given the ship by his lover, the sea-goddess Calypso with the gift also causing Jones to only be able to step on land once every ten years. After his first ten-years passed, Calypso was not there to meet Davy so he stopped performing his sacred duties out of rage and heartbreak and used the ship for evil.
- As with most of the other changing portraits, The Flying Dutchman was originally intended to have more than just two phases and would have originally also depicted ghosts flying out of the vessel
- The Flying Dutchman shares the same distinction as Medusa and Dracula in being a character featured in the attraction who originates from real life Supernatural Fiction.