From the Archives: Walt and the pirates

Feb. 3, 1966: Walt Disney with some of the plastic heads for the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride opening at Disneyland.
Feb. 3, 1966: Walt Disney with some of the plastic heads for the new “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride opening at Disneyland.
(Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA)

In 1966 and 1967, Disneyland added four new attractions: It’s a Small World, The Primeval World, New Orleans Square and The Pirates of the Caribbean. The four attractions cost $20 million, or $3 million more than the cost of the original park.

In a Los Angeles Times story on the new attractions, staff writer Dave Felton reported:

When Walt Disney opened his animated, bigger than real life amusement park in Anaheim 11 years ago, he remarked, “Disneyland will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."…

“New Orleans Square” will feature mainly shops, coffeehouses and sidewalk cafes of the famous French Quarter, all suitably historic and selling contemporary wares.


From the square, boats will leave for “Pirates of the Caribbean,” by far Disneyland’s longest and rowdiest ride. The cruise will begin and end with a waterfall ride.In between, scores of bloodthirsty electronic pirates will engage in gunfights with ammunition flying overhead. Stores will be looted and a jail burned.

“Not very attractive ladies of the town will be willingly auctioned off,” said one guide. The children should love it.

Walt Disney passed away on Dec. 15, 1966. The Pirates of the Caribbean ride opened on March 18, 1967. The ride recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Check out this recent Los Angeles Times story: That’s a lot of yo-hos: Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride is 50.

This post was originally published on May 20, 2011.


See more from the Los Angeles Times archives here