August 12, 2013

Pirates of the Caribbean's Alternate Almost Reality

While many of us Disney park fans were able to be at D23, some of us just couldn't. As I knew hundreds of folks were walking around looking at the Audio-Animatronic Hat Box Ghost prepared for the Haunted Mansion, drooling over props that gave hits of what's to come for Star Wars, Avatar, and my personal favorite, Journey into Imagination, I sat home looking at my concept art.

As the image of that somewhat sad Figment stuck in my head, I finally moved on. The parrot from Pirates of the Caribbean reminded me I had this interesting piece of concept art for the attraction.  That is, for the original version of the attraction which was never built: a walk through, museum type exhibit.

Disney historians know Walt Disney himself abandoned the idea of a walk through once Audio-Animatronics became workable, moving ahead with the cutting edge attraction that opened in 1967. This move single-handedly changed the future of theme park attractions, as well as theme park dining, and remains a timeless  masterpiece.  New Orleans Square was now not only beautiful in its own right, but now it was also home to the most magical of all Disney attractions. 

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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