Disney Urban Legends

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Legend: Women lift their shirts for the Pirates of the Caribbean.

Behind the Legend: Unknown. There are not a lot of cameras on the attraction, and when asked about being "flashed" by young women, the pirates just smile and sing.

The Legend: Walt Disney released live fireflies in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Behind the Legend: On several occasions, Walt Disney tried to liven up attractions with living creatures. For example, he released fireflies into the Pirates of the Caribbean bayou scene, he put a live owl in the Snow White's Scary Adventures haunted forest, mountain goats lived on the Matterhorn for a short time, and after a particularly intense story session for Alice in Wonderland, he briefly toyed with the idea of filling the Monorail with butterflies. The descendants of the cats that Disney brought in to promote The Aristocats can still be seen throughout the park.

Legend: Walt Disney's face was the model for one of the pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Behind the Legend: Walt Disney conceived of Pirates of the Caribbean as a natural offshoot of his love of turning the horrific into humorous family fare (e.g. the Haunted Mansion, "it's a small world"). It was one of the last projects he worked on before his tragic assassination in downtown Dallas, Texas. To honor the man who made the attraction possible, Imagineers used Disney's likeness as a model for one of the pirates.

The pirate in question was originally seen in a scene in which women were chased by rowdy buccaneers. The scene was later changed (for reasons of "political correctness") to one of pirates politely asking the ladies for their phone numbers, but the animatronic Disney remains to this day.

It is important to note that the inclusion of Disney as a woman-chasing pirate was in no way meant as an insult. In fact, the animatronic woman the animatronic Disney was chasing was modeled after his wife.

The Legend: The pirate captain in Pirates of the Caribbean was modeled after Charles Manson

Behind the Legend: Yep.

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