Disneyland’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Ride to Replace Bride Auction Scene

'Pirates of the Caribbean' Ride to
Courtesy of Walt Disney Co.

One of the more controversial parts of Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride is the “Bride Auction,” a scene depicting women lined up for auction that will no longer be a part of the ride after next year, Disney Parks announced on its blog this week.

When the ride closes for routine maintenance in 2018, the scene will be altered to depict villagers lined up to give up their valuables, and the “Auction, Take a wench for a bride” sign will be redone to read “Auction, surrender yer loot.” Walt Disney World’s version of the ride will also be subject to the same modifications.

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A tall, red-haired woman currently present in the ride as a prize will remain but be recast as a pirate herself, holding a rifle and wearing a feathered hat as she oversees the surrendering of booty. Presumably, the “We wants the redhead” voiceover will also be removed.

“Our team thought long and hard about how best to update this scene,” said Kathy Mangum, SVP, Atlantic Region Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering in a statement to the OC Register. “Given the redhead has long been a fan favorite, we wanted to keep her as a pivotal part of the story, so we made her a plundering pirate! We think this keeps to the original vision of the attraction as envisioned by Marc Davis, X Atencio, and the other Disney Legends who first brought this classic to life.”

The much beloved ride has been subject to alterations before to give new contexts: years ago, a scene depicting pirates chasing women was altered to show the women carrying food trays so the men would appear to be chasing after the food rather than the women. Another scene showing a pirate chasing a woman was reversed to show the woman shooing the pirate out of her home.

Imagineering Ambassador and Disney Legend Marty Sklar, who retired as Head of Imagineering in 2009 and worked closely with Walt Disney, said changes like this are a part of Walt’s vision for the park. “The Imagineers are simply reflecting what Walt started the day Disneyland opened – making changes that create exciting new experiences for our guests. I can’t think of a single attraction that has not been enhanced and improved, some over and over again. Change is a ‘tradition’ at Disneyland that today’s Imagineers practice,” Sklar said in a statement.

About the “Pirates” changes, he said, “Pirates of the Caribbean has always represented great Disney Park storytelling; it has set the standard for the theme park industry for half a century! But it’s a story you can continue to add fun to, with great characters in new ‘performances.’ That’s what the Imagineers have done with this new auction scene — it’s like a theatre show with a new act.”

The announcement was made in conjunction with several additions to the Disneyland Paris attraction, which reopens July 24 and will also include the “Bride Auction” changes. Not only will Captain Barbossa be making an appearance along with Davy Jones and Blackbeard, but the Blue Lagoon restaurant will also be re-themed as an all-ages restaurant called Captain Jack’s. Apparently, Captain Sparrow won it in a wager.

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  1. Liberal lunacy at it’s finest..

  2. Bren Ke says:

    When I first went on this ride as a 7 year old, the whole “Buy a Bride” thing went over my head. When I took my daughter several decades later, I was, to be honest, kind of surprised to see it. It was part of that Hugh Hefner, 1960s,wink and nudge sexism attitude that I thought was long gone.

    My daughter though had a very different take on the scene, and it was life changing for her. She was only three at the time, and she has naturally red hair. When she got to this part of the ride, when they start chanting “We want the redhead!” my daughter decided that the Pirates were literally crying out for the strong leadership that only she could provide.

    At that point she decided that she WAS Jack Sparrow. She wasn’t like Jack Sparrow. She didn’t dress up like Jack Sparrow. She wasn’t going to grow up to be Jack Sparrow. She wasn’t going to marry Jack Sparrow. No, her people needed her, they calling for her, and she was going to lead them, NOW. She WAS Jack Sparrow.

    For the next year of so she WAS the unquestioned leader of the world’s pirate clans. I would play pirates with her, she would wear her pirate hat. People would ask “Pirates were nasty, sadistic thieves, you really want to encourage your daughter to be a pirate?”. I would reply “How makes a better role model for a young girl, Sir Henry Morgan or Paris Hilton?”. Nobody ever argued with that. Finally Pirates 2 came out, and we were afraid to let her see the scene where Jack Sparrow gets eaten, so we backed off encouraging her pirate identity. In time she grew out of it.

    For a year though she was the unquestioned leader of all the world’s pirates. This made her more self-confident, and she became comfortable with the idea of being a leader, making decisions, and being in charge. She is 13 now and starting an “Early College High School” in the fall where she will get both her High School Diploma and an Associates Degree. She wants to go on to become an Oncologist.

    I can understand why Disney is changing the ride; but I’m still sorry to see it go.

  3. Fred says:

    Disneyland is not a historical landmark, they can change anything that they want. Keeping things in attractions the same (even if some people consider them to be iconic) is not what the park is supposed to be about. Attractions are not supposed to be persevered, they are supposed to be dynamic.

  4. peter scranton says:

    Way to dumb it down Disney

  5. Robin Nogiewich says:

    Has anyone at Disney EVER opened the book titled “Marc Davis: Walt Disney’s Renaissance Man”? It is a book filled with his concept art and it DOES depict a RED HEAD BEING SOLD AT AUCTION! Hey Disney Executives… buy a copy and actually READ THE BOOK!

  6. Dawn Shannon says:

    This is probably one of the stupidist things I’ve heard in a long time. You might as well get rid of the pirates, too, because they were not nice people.

    I like the ride the way it is, and I’m female. I find the pirates chasing the “wenches” very funny.

    People just need to get a grip and not take things so seriously.

  7. James says:

    It’s their ride and they can do what they like with it. If you have a problem with that then don’t ride it. Makes the line shorter for me.

  8. Pippin says:

    Take Jack Sparrow out of the ride while you’re at it!! I couldn’t believe they added it to the ride.

  9. tommariner says:

    The first “animatronic” actor, Abe Lincoln, at the 1964 World’s Fair, was unspeakably crude in today’s terms. Mechanically, electronically, and mostly software-wise it was baby steps.

    But some of the peculiarities that come from simple operations have beome legend — they have their own fans. I have redesigned whole electronic product interfaces where management insisted I leave obvious errors in because the customer expects it to be broken.

    A lot easier to modify now and yes, needed for contemporary audiences.

  10. Get over it says:

    Build your own ride if you don’t like it

  11. Dan says:

    This is ridiculous

  12. dmac says:

    Yeah, they are bowing to PC pressure. There should be dead slaves festooning the entrance of the ride, women being raped at every bend of the river, and close-up depictions of scurvy on the animatronic robots!! Fun times for the whole family!

  13. Mike says:

    Altering the original ride in Anaheim is like altering an important work of art. Disney is now no different than the old woman who botched the Ecce Homo fresco in Borja, Spain.

  14. Shirley says:

    I’d love to know what Walt would have thought about the PC Police running his parks now. Such non-sense, like pirates aren’t horny. LOL.

    • Exactly! Being stuck on a ship months at a time, getting drunk on rum, and no women..it would be prison! A pirate gets all this stolen booty..what are they gonna do with it…spend it for more booty!..no really? Those girls the pirates were chasing were giggling!–before they changed it few years back. It was all in good fun. PC police have been/are taking this too far. The fact Disney changes this means younger generations truly are bubbled-in and unable to grasp within the context of what this ride, which Walt Disney personally oversaw right before be passed away, was supposed to be: a fun, family oriented dining and adventure experience (back then the food was actually decent), letting you be a pirate for a few hours–like Treasure Island–like a kid playing cowboys and Indians. But, now that’s unacceptable/holds no value, so younger folks cannot connect with that–they cannot separate history (of course pirates were brutal),to what the original pirates ride, or books like treasure island were: romanticized caricatures of past events. These PC people cannot wrap their heads around it.

      For those still having problems comprehending:

      Think Bonnie and Clyde. Sure they were criminals. Yeah they got shot dead. But within the context of them loving each other, going cross country, a big FU to the man–that’s love baby. If you cannot even remotely connect with any of that–shoot yourself now you are not human.

      • peter scranton says:

        Phil, do you have man-bun? You probably do or dream of having one.

      • phil says:

        Yes, Disney romanticizes the past–that’s why the sex slaves are being removed–it’s not funny, or charming, to anyone with any sense.

  15. GMI Man says:

    Ridiculous and stupid. People are so insecure and stupid. It’s the caricature of past events. It’s not real. Please.

    • I bet you think black-face comedy is racist. I would double-down and bet that you would think Eddie Murphy’s portrayal as the White Jewish barber customer in “Coming to America” [they were arguing about Ali/Clays name and him vs Joe Luis,who was better boxer, etc], as not racist. Both are black/white face comedy. But one is tolerable, and one isn’t. But of course it is racist, but of course you won’t call it that–although that scene and movie was awesome and brilliant. You PC people, if you are gonna complain, then at least don’t be one sided about it, otherwise enjoy the ride, and don’t pick and choose something that’s been around for years and enjoyed by millions of people. Otherwise your kids will end up as angry little lawyers.

  16. Matt Spiegel says:

    Isn’t history about things that happened in the past? Must we pretend things didn’t happen in the past just to make sure some idiot in the present doesn’t get offended?

    • cwolfe says:

      Anyone who thinks a Disney attraction is going to focus on historical accuracy rather than family entertainment seems to be missing the entire point. Would you want a ride that graphically depicts slaughter, rape, genocide, slavery, disease, child abuse etc.? I doubt it…but you are ok with a light-hearted depiction of sex trafficking? I didn’t notice any Black people in chains on the ride–but women in chains–what jolly fun for Mr. Spiegel and his ilk!

      • serena. says:

        lol according to you Disney might as well remove the entire pirates ride away then!!! oh boo hoo im so offended by this bride auction take it away.. then what about the entire ride after where the pirates are obnoxiously drunk and burning down the peoples village for fun? that isn’t offensive? dude its a ride. I cant believe people actually made this an issue for them to seriously take this part of the ride away. it actually happened. the end. who cares, if youre offended by it don’t go on the ride!! and instead of sheltering your kids and putting your hands over their eyes why don’t you teach them what has happened in our history and live honestly CAUSE IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED LOL SO who cares dude! just wow!

  17. First they change it to include the Pirates Films. Now they change it to reflect P.C. Which is ironic since this new change reflects the Jews giving up their valuables during the holocaust. Good job Disney for rewriting history and trying to frame minds, This used to be a fun ride reminiscent of the romantic aspects of being a pirate, drinking rum, and the occasional rape. Where has our society gone?

    • Mikaela says:

      Are you saying you enjoy rape? Why do you hate women so much that you only wish to see us portrayed as objects for the taking. Misogynistic ideals have no place in a theme park attraction for families.

      • I guess I would enjoy it as much as the giggling women that were in original design of the ride. And the occasional rape comment I made earlier was sarcasm–or wait, let me guess rape should never be used in any off-putting, sarcastic way right?–I mean heaven forbid, someone might actually take what I said literally and out of context much like what the ride was originally supposed to be…

        Oh, but using term “heaven forbid” hopefully I didn’t offend anyone religious. Jesus Christ! Opps, there I go again.

        I bet the next idea will be to get rid of any forms of romantic unions in Disney cartoons for fear of alienating straight, or gay, or bi-sexual people. Lets just cover them all gray and not ever approach that subject, since racy things like “the Hero, or Heroine” finding “True Love”–nope we can’t have that. Let’s do just good vs evil…thats a nice idea the question is from who’s point of view is good, good, and evil, evil? Pretty soon, the color blue will be considered offensive and Disney will have to CGI that out–yeah that’s a little overboard, but not too far off with the same line of thinking.

        Hell, you probably think Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” are racist and have no place in our schools or libraries.

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