November 9th, 2005

Grim Grinning Ghost

no no no no no no yo ho ho

Ok. I need to save up now, take a personal day off if necessary, and make an emergency Disneyland visit before March 6th. According to Al Lutz, that's when they close down Pirates of the Caribbean for a 15-week rehab. When the ride reopens, it'll be updated and enhanced to include Captain Jack Sparrow and other characters from the big bang blockbuster movie. In fact, all of the town scenes will be devoted to Barbarossa and his crew searching for Jack.

You read right: The venerable attraction will finally be The Ride Based On The Movie Based On The Ride. Or, more precisely, The Ride Based On The Movie Based On The Ride Which Doesn't Exist In That Form Anymore. The multi-layered attraction meta-design here is making my head spin.

On the one hand, hooray for Jack Sparrow, everybody loves the swaggering rogue, I'm sure this'll boost attendance to be sure and anything is better than that horrid PC "oh the pirates aren't chasing the women, they're chasing the food!" update in the 90s, but...

But I want to ride the original one last time before it goes the way of Yesterdayland. I love Pirates of the Caribbean. I visited Disney World at the tender age of 6 and two rides immediately jumped out and captivated me: Pirates, and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. When I returned home I built recreations of the rides out of my blocks an' everything.. And when I finally visited Disneyland in the late 80s and saw how the original version of the ride completely trumped the Florida version (thrown in hastily after the park's opening because too many guests were saying "Hey, where are the pirates?") I was in total love. I have the full ride audio at home, purchased back when Disneyland had this wonderful store where you could burn your own CDs of classic park audio. There've been times where I've sat down in a dark room, put the CD on, and imagined the entire ride all the way through.

And pretty soon that's all that'll be left for me. I know, selfish, isn't it? Grousing about a ride rehab that will only prove to be way popular (look at the seasonal Haunted Mansion/Nightmare Before Christmas makeover) and captivate new legions of six-year-olds, simply because I won't have the chance to say goodbye to the old one.

So, like I said. Time to save them pennies and dimes and find a winter weekend to run away. Then come back and get out my blocks.