It’s come and gone but the party still lingers in all of the true Pirates of the Caribbean fans. On March 18th, 2017 the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction celebrated its 50th anniversary with a great big pirate party. People came dressed up from all over the United States and some even from other countries. It was a site to behold!
We were surprised at how low-key Disney made this celebration, only mentioning it on a blog post once or twice before the actual celebration. However, that did not stop big crowds from coming and celebrating with them.
During the celebration New Orleans Square has some special food and merchandize available for purchase to those who were willing to wait in the lines. A soft opening on Friday March 17th proved to be more then what Disney was expecting for one item in particular. The Mint Julep Bar and Royal Street Veranda quick service bars offered a limited-edition Pirates of the Caribbean stein with a tropical drink called the Jolly Roger. On the soft-opening day the steins disappeared within an hour or less.
When word got out about how quickly these steins went it caused a frenzy the next day. Big crowds gathered around the entrances to Adventureland and Frontierland waiting for the rest of the park to open so they could get to these two food places and get a stein. When the lands did open masses ran to get in line. It was crazy! We’ve never seen anything like this before at the parks. The saddest part was that there were probably 300-400 people lined up to get a stein but Disney only had about 200 left. People waited hours in line only to be turned away.
Because of the craziness for the steins (which are now selling on eBay for well over $150 each) we got in line for the limited-edition tee-shirts that also sold out very quickly. We weren’t disappointed either. They are awesome shirts! They had two color offerings of the same shirt. The dark red was for anyone who wanted to purchase a shirt and the light blue was for AP holders only.
The last big merchandise item they sold were limited edition pins. The ones available to the public didn’t sell out very quickly. However, the AP limited edition ones did, within hours of opening.
Despite the chaos in the early morning the place was a lot of fun. All day long they had pirate bands playing live music and characters including Jack Sparrow made several appearances. The line for the actual ride was longer then we’ve ever seen it. Still, it was worth the wait (it always is).
One of the things we enjoyed the most that weekend was the limited-time food offerings. We had the Jolly Roger punch which we though was great. We also had the Lost Treasure Beignets sprinkled with gold dust at the Mint Julep Bar. They were amazing. They were also messy!
We were also able to try the Calypso Caribbean Chicken Stew served at Royal Street Veranda which was hearty and very tasteful! Stock full of meats and veggies in a sourdough bread bowl. It was also surprisingly spicy which was a nice touch!
Over at the French Market they served a Buccaneer Pulled Pork Sandwich with jerk-spiced pork, tangy BBQ sauce, and some pineapple Caribbean slaw. It was a fantastic sandwich and had a nice bite to it.
Both food places offered a breakfast burrito which we never did get to try but sounded yummy. The churro stand in New Orleans Square also offered a special gold-dusted churro as well but we couldn’t wait 15 minutes in line for it..so many regrets!
Overall it was a fantastic celebration with some amazing food and merchandize offerings!
We’re not sure when the next big celebration will be for this attraction but if Disneyland’s 60th anniversary is any indication on how Disney treats 60th anniversaries then you and I are both in luck!
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.