Yesterday we got the opportunity to attend a very early preview of the soon to be opened The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This walk through replaces the former Journey into Narnia attraction just outside of Pixar Place and shares many of the same aspects. Keep in mind, this was just a dress rehearsal and may not exactly portray the final product.
Much like in the Narnia attraction, we start in a blank, dark room where the only focal point is a large stone structure. Atop the grand archway sits the infamous skull tacked to the wall from the Pirates of the Caribbean rides. He is helping Captain Jack seek pirates worthy enough to join his crew, using much of the same spiel from the ride, from the beginning – “Ah, ye come seeking adventure and salty ol’ pirates, aye?” – all the way down to “DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES!”
From there the skull leads us into “Jack’s Cave” where we are put through a series of tests from classic scenes in the Pirates franchise. This is what I like to call the Dora the Explorer portion of the show, because you’re encouraged to act and shout things as part of your test just like on several popular preschool television shows. Some of these actions and phrases include:
“Tell the skeletons to go away! Say ‘Go, bones, to Davy Jones!'”
“Roar back at the Kraken! RAWRRRR!”
“Oh no, singing mermaids! Cover your ears and stomp your feet to drown them out!”
And of course, a lot of “Raise your hand and say, ‘Arrr!'”
The odd thing is that it would seem, based on all the above interaction, the attraction is geared towards little kids (keep in mind all the Pirates films were rated PG-13), yet with the skeletons, monsters, darkness, and gunfire, I can see how this show might frighten young children. Plus anyone over the age of 12 may think the interactivity of the show is too juvenile, leaving a very small age range that this attraction seems suited for.
Once you have been deemed worthy to join a pirate crew, the skull summons Jack Sparrow. This is where the attraction shines. Captain Jack appears to have you recite the Pirate Oath. He is not a face character there in person but is actually a projection of Johnny Depp similar to the characters that appear in the queue of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey over at Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Depp brings a lot of witty banter to the finale of the show, including my favorite line acknowledging the fact that it IS in fact a theme park attraction.
Overall, the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow doesn’t bring much more to the table than Narnia did, but it is a step up. It’s kind of a cross between Enchanted Tales with Belle, the Pirate Tutorial, and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at DisneyQuest. It’s not a major attraction, but I still recommend you see it once to judge for yourself.
The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow officially sets sail December 6, but we predict it will soft open before Thanksgiving.