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Every ride at Disneyland is probably somebody's favorite, but there are a few clear front runners in that never ending debate. If you love roller coasters than it may be all about Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. If you prefer dark rides then your favorite might be the Haunted Mansion or possibly Peter Pan's Flight.
One ride that is absolutely a lot of people's favorite is Pirates of the Caribbean. It's an absolute classic that most everybody loves, and many love more than anything else in the park. Fans of Pirates can count Disney CEO Bob Iger among their number, but Iger's reasons for why he loves it have as much to do with what the ride represents as the experience it brings.
Bob Iger revealed his favorite Disneyland attraction in an interview with producer Brian Grazer, as part of the Live Talks Los Angeles interview series (via Deadline). According to Iger...
It was the last attraction Walt (Disney) created; it opened after he died. It still has an essence about it, a simplicity to it. Also sometimes it’s just dark and quiet.
Pirates of the Caribbean doesn't offer the thrills of a roller coaster, though there is a nice drop in pitch black darkness that opens the experience. For that reason it might not be the favorite for some people, but for Bob Iger, the peacefulness is part of its charm. Sometimes you just want to cruise through the various scenes, experience them, and listen to the music.
However, for the man who runs the Walt Disney Company, part of the reason that Iger loves Pirates of the Caribbean is it's connection to the man whose name is still on the company.
New Orleans square was the first new land added to Disneyland after it's 1955 opening. Almost from the beginning the new area was designed to have a pair of major attractions. One was going to be some form of Haunted House, an idea that had been around since the early days of planning Disneyland, and the other was going to be based around pirates.
Originally the pirate attraction was designed to be a walk around attraction, a sort of pirate museum, showing the history of piracy and some of the famous pirates that had lived, but over time the attraction evolved into the boat ride we know today.
Pirates of the Caribbean opened in March of 1967, three months after the death of Walt Disney. The Haunted Mansion would follow two years after that, but while Walt had been part of the early design process on that attraction as well, most of the key decisions about just what sort of an attraction it would be would not be made until after he passed.
Pirates of the Caribbean was already well into construction and Walt Disney had been very closely involved in it right up until the point where he fell ill. It very much is Walt's last attraction.
The popularity of Pirates of the Caribbean can't be understated. When Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom was designed, it was done without that attraction. The feeling was that because Florida was on the actual Caribbean Sea and many of locations where actual pirates once sailed, there would be little interest in the ride from local tourists.
However, as it turned out there was an outcry from guests who visted Magic Kingdom only to discover no Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The ride was hastily shoehorned into Adventureland. And while, it has much of the same charm, if we're being blunt, it doesn't hold a candle to the Disneyland version.
While Pirates of the Caribbean has undergone many changes over the years, it still retains the basic simplicity that Bob Iger appreciates. sequences in the ride have been changed. Most recently the Wench Auction scene was changed and a new female pirate, Redd, was introduced to the ride.
Before that, Captain Jack Sparrow was added to the ride, bringing the attraction full circle. Originally, the ride had influenced the development of the film franchise, and now the movies live on inside the ride.
Do you agree with Bob Iger? Is Pirates of the Caribbean the best Disneyland attraction? Let us know in the poll below.