According to current rumor, the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World will be modified again in 2007. Apparently, animatronic figures of the Dali Lama will be placed in both attractions. At Disneyland, the figure will appear in the bayou section, replacing the old man who sits in a rocking chair (a character that generates many complaints, in that some people think that the creaking of his aging joints sounds something like banjo music).
At Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, "Dali" will appear at the very beginning of the cave section, "so as not to interfere with anything further into the attraction." Of course, this completely avoids the question of whether having this figure in the attraction makes sense at all.
So far as we were concerned, adding the Dali Lama to a Caribbean-themed pirate attraction made little sense, and we wondered what the heck Imagineering was thinking. After investigating this further, we discovered that, during a late-night telephone conversation, John Lasseter misunderstood a poorly pronounced "Tia Dalma," and when his orders came down the next day for the addition of the Dali Lama figure, nobody had the guts to stand up and say he was completely insane.