Disney drives Pirates theme to the hilt

With Walt Disney Pictures Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mens Chest booming at the box office, Disneys theme parks division is hoping the enthusiasm for the film spills over into its parks.

Its a long overdue payback, in a sense, because it was the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which opened in Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., in 1967, that inspired the film, not the other way around.

And after a three-month update to add a few new faces to the ride, including that of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Disneyland reopened the ride on June 26, coinciding with the movies weekend premiere. Meanwhile, Walt Disney World in Orlando opened its own upgraded version of the ride on July 7, in time for the movies nationwide opening day.

Disney is now taking the theme into its hotel operation with a new Pirate Suite (formerly one of the presidential suites) at the top of the Sierra Tower at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

The room is all-pirates-all-the-time, with the themes and characters of the movie splashed onto its decor and furnishings. Furnishings are Spanish-colonial style with dark-stained hardwood floors and wooden beams overhead. The master bedroom features a vintage canopied four-poster bed with cast iron lighting fixtures. A second bedroom is decorated with a nautical theme, designed for younger children.

In keeping with the pirates theme, he doorbell plays the theme song from the attraction, Yo Ho Yo Ho, A Pirates Life for Me; and features replicas of Jack Sparrows revolver and Davy Jones Dead Mans Chest; pirate figurines; and a lithograph signed by X Atencio, the lyricist who wrote the theme song for the Pirates attractions.

For Pirate Suite reservations, call (800) MICKEY-1. The Disney travel agent site is www.disneytravelagents.com.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to David Cogswell at [email protected].

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