The brand-new ‘The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow’ Pirates of the Caribbean experience began operating in soft opening mode this morning, allowing the first guests to visit the high-tech show and enter the world of the popular film franchise. The attraction, which will officially open on December 6, 2012, is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in Soundstage 4 (between Toy Story Mania! and the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream exhibit.
Like its predecessor, the Chronicles of Narnia experiences, the show begins in a pre-show area, in which a talking skull a la the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, introduces the show and questions the integrity of those waiting to go inside and join Jack Sparrow’s crew.
For the main show, guests enter a large room which is decorated with various props along the sides and features a large scale model of the Black Pearl which serves as a portion of the show’s projection screen. Using Disney’s high-resolution, projection mapping system such as the one used in ‘The Magic, the Memories and You’ and ‘Celebrate the Magic,’ the now floating skull invites the pirate pledge holding the iron key (chosen prior to the show) to ‘insert it into the treasure chest’ (the child really just holds it up) and the show begins. From here, the audience journeys through each of the films in an immersive show that involves physical and lighting effects in addition to the projections: from a skeleton army to Davy Jones to the Kraken and more, the lifelike projections also appear to literally fly off the screen along the back of the wall to over the Black Pearl and other objects inside the room. Eventually Captain Jack Sparrow himself appears aboard the ship and, after defeating Davy Jones, leads guests through the pirate’s oath in a way that only Jack Sparrow can.
The show is billed as interactive, but it’s really only in the vein of television shows like ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ as guests are encouraged to engage in activities such as yelling out phrases and stomping their feet.
Below is our video of the full experience as well as a brief look at some of the props which include many from the films such as Elizabeth Swann’s corset, the ‘Pirates – Ye be warned’ sign and more, along with many sight gags such as my favorite, the pirate who died by cannonball.
As you can see from the video, the best view may actually be towards the right side of the room as you enter, with the starboard side of the ship still in complete view.
We also have some photos from around and inside the attraction, but bear in mind the show building is very dark and time inside is limited, so the quality isn’t as great as it could be.