Thanks to the feature films that were based on it, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is arguably one of, if not the most famous of all the attractions found at Disney's theme parks. The ride has undergone many evolutions over the years, and now it is going through another one. The auction scene where a pirate previously auctioned off wench brides to a demanding group of buccaneers has been changed. The auction will now be for the townsfolk's most prized possessions and the redheaded wench bride will become a pirate herself by the name of Redd. You can get a glimpse of the new scene below.
So, overall the layout of the scene is the same, it's just the context of what is happening that has changed. Instead of women being auctioned off as "brides" to drunk pirates, a rum-swilling pirate-tess will be auctioning off the goods of the townsfolk, thus fulfilling the role of plunderer in her job description. Redd looks pretty cool too in this image from Disney Parks Twitter, with the pirate hat and several guns on her person. Obviously the dialogue has been changed now too to accommodate the change in story, with Redd pitching spirits and the pirates responding, "We wants the rum!" instead of "We wants the redhead!" Needless to say, for fans who have been riding Pirates of the Caribbean since they were kids, this new scene will take some adjusting to.
I must admit that when I first heard about the ride being changed, I was skeptical. I tend not to love when Disney changes long-running attractions, and for every awesome Haunted Mansion upgrade, there is a Stitch's Great Escape calamity. But the thing about the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is that it has already been changed a bunch of times. Years ago, external pressure saw a scene change from pirates chasing women to women chasing pirates. More recently, the Pirates of the Caribbean films have heavily influenced the ride, with Jack Sparrow becoming a major presence. Thus, this is hardly the first change and the ride is already very different than when Walt Disney first opened it. This is not to mention the fact that Walt envisioned his parks constantly growing and evolving as time went on.
Making one of the wench brides into a female pirate is actually a cool way to go, too. (And it seems the lady pirate may be a leftover Jane from The Great Movie Ride.) Far from Disney pushing a feminist agenda as some might decry, this change actually has a basis in fact. There were female pirates during piracy's reign in the 1800's. Historical figures like Anne Bonny and Mary Read were every bit as badass and fearsome as their male counterparts, just watch Black Sails. As for the Pirates of the Caribbean films, the franchise still brings in audiences but not quite in the way it used to, and critical reception continues to decline. Hopefully Disney can find a way to capitalize on the interest that is clearly still out there because we don't really get any pirate movies anymore and the subject is ripe for fun stories.