In a recent press release, Disney Parks announced that the famed Auction Scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction will soon be overhauled after more than 50 years of continuous operation. The section being reworked has featured a historically realistic seventeenth-century pirate town since Walt Disney personally oversaw its creation in 1966. Next year, it will be drastically altered to spotlight a gun-wielding female pirate who oversees the sale of stolen male treasures and other goods.
This isn’t the first time that the Pirates experience has paid the price for the pressures of appearing politically correct. In 1997, Anaheim’s classic Chase Scene was rebranded to avoid the idea of male pirates pursuing female villagers, instead inserting food and drinks as the primary targets of the pirates’ desires.
No one is endorsing the behaviors of the pirates within the audio-animatronics exhibit, nor claiming that they would ever be condoned. Nonetheless, history is not up for arbitrary debate, and altering it to please modern-day sensitivity achieves naught but to warp and misinform guests of the attraction.
At the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Pirates of the Caribbean hosts an average of 2,610 riders per hour every day of the year, making it the most popular experience in the world’s most visited theme park. As a former Disney Cast Member in the area, I interacted daily with thousands of guests before, during, and after their trip through Castillo del Morro. In all of my time there, I never once received or overheard a single complaint in regards to any gender-related roles portrayed on the shores of the gentle flume.
As first reported by the L.A. Times, Disney’s Imagineering team made this decision after consulting with the in-house Women’s Inclusion Network, affirming that the call was not based on any public outcry, but rather a small group assuming that they knew best from within their disconnected bubble. When announcing the plans, Imagineer Kathy Mangum even cited Hillary Clinton as an inspiration for the changes. Said Mangum, “Last November, for the first time, we had a woman who was a viable candidate for president of this country. I hate to say times are changing, but there’s an advancement in pop culture and society, and the timing felt right.”
Unfortunately, Disney leadership has fallen victim to the same preemptive liberal pressures which plague college campuses across the country to re-brand our way of life in a manner that appeases them and their fragile sensitivities. Responsibility lies with the Conservative Movement to continue taking a stand lest even more tradition and history be lost in the name of progressivism.