Captain Jack is back!
The ride, which debuted in 1967, was closed for refurbishment on March 14 and was originally scheduled to reopen in “summer 2022,” and then July 1. Accordingly, Disneyland dropped the rope today and fans were there en masse to experience the revamp.
First impressions are that little has changed beyond maybe some sound improvements and a bit of cleanup. That’s notable since the attraction’s main attraction, Johnny Depp in the form of Captain Jack Sparrow, has been through a few things during the closure. Questions have swirled about Depp’s future as a franchise star and, while the jury is still out on another Pirates film — or whether he’d even want to do one — Disney could have easily taken this opportunity to excise the star from the classic ride, but it didn’t. And fans seem pleased.
Five years ago ahead of the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Depp himself popped up in full Captain Jack costume and makeup at several points along the ride’s path to surprise fans. No such luck today.
The ride reportedly reopened an hour late today with a 45-minute wait. One reason the ride seemingly closed was for park officials to rework the area around it for better crowd flow around the attraction, which frequently creates bottlenecks outside the gates.
By midday today, the line snaked back through new Orleans Square toward the Haunted Mansion and then back across to the other side of Pirates in front of the Riverboat Terrace dining area, cutting part of the square in half. It’s unclear whether that was a function of reopening-day crowds or continuing issues with the area outside the ride.
The reopening was plagued, however, by temporary closures. Beyond the morning delay, Pirates was closed and reopened at least twice before 2 p.m., according our monitoring of the park’s official app. Fans reported four temporary closures during that time.