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The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow: Disney's Hollywood Studios Attraction Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 04-25-2013
The tail end of 2012 saw the official opening of the Fantasyland expansion, but alongside that another attraction arrived at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
According to the Walt Disney World website, the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow offers you the chance to "live the pirate life."
When we went to experience it for ourselves, I didn't know much more than that, so I had no idea what awaited us. All I did know was that people had been enduring lengthy waits for this, of up to 60 minutes, so we made a beeline for it first thing in the morning, and were lucky enough to walk straight in. Of course, while its new, it will no doubt continue to attract more interest, so there may be longer waits for it.
As soon as you go in, there's a pre-show, with a familiar looking speaking skull explaining to you about what's about to happen. Essentially, you're there to try out for a slot on Captain Jack's crew, and you'll be facing various challenges to see if you're up for the job.
Then you enter into the show area. For those in the know, head for the left hand side if you want a good view of Captain Jack himself, but sadly we weren't aware of that, so we ended up on the other side. While we could still see the good captain, if you';re a Johnny Depp fan, it's not the best place to be.
I will admit that, when the show started, I wasn't 100% sure whether we'd be in here for the main show, or whether we'd move into another room, and part of that uncertainty was down to the fact that you don't get to see Captain Jack to start with.
Instead the show is hosted by that friendly talking skull (and trust me, Jack has some wonderfully witty lines about this thing!), with Jack making an appearance about halfway through. The first challenge you have is to find the key to the treasure chest, because Davy Jones' crew were coming to get us, and that's the only thing that would stop them. Cue some very cool graphics of skeletons marching towards us, which was a lot of fun to see, and I didn't think particularly scary, although we don't have young children, so it's hard to judge. If you can, look all around the room during this section, because the skeletons were everywhere, which really added to the atmosphere.
The next challenge came from the Kraken, and once again, the effects were excellent, as you saw its tentacles coming towards you. Once we'd defeated the Kraken, we then had to deal with an attack from a mermaid. I really liked the way that they combined the elements from the various different films in the series into this attraction, rather than just focusing on one.
With each challenge, we were told what to do by the skull, and once we’d passed those challenges, we were deemed fit to be part of Captain Jack's crew, and this was when he finally made his appearance to swear the pirate oath with him.
As I’ve already mentioned, we weren't in the greatest place to see Jack, but even from where we were standing, it was amazing to watch. Johnny Depp is always a lot of fun to watch in the movies, and it's just the same here. He had some truly great lines during this, and it was almost as if Captain Jack was in the room with you. I had high hopes for this, having read a lot about how they filmed this, and I wasn't disappointed. The only negative I can say is that I was expecting to see him earlier in the show, but I guess it gives you something to look forward to.
All too soon (or at least that's what it felt like to me!) the show was over, and we were heading back outside. While it was a lot of fun, and a nice addition to Disney's Hollywood Studios, and certainly much better than what went before there, I wouldn't wait longer than probably 20 minutes to see it. I know that if I'd had an hour's wait, and then saw it, I think I'd be feeling a bit short changed.
I read an interview with one of the Imagineers, and he described it as an "immersive experience," something I'd go along with. It really does put you in the middle of the action, and is a lot of fun. Anyone who's a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean (and let's face it, who isn't?!) will enjoy it. All in all, I think it's a good addition to the park, and I look forward to seeing it again and again on return trips.
About the Author: Cheryl is the author of the e-book, PassPorter's Walt Disney World for British Holidaymakers, and is the co-author of PassPorter's Disney Vacation Club Guide: For Members and Members-To-Be. Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have travelled around the world, taking in a number of Disney cruises, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani in Hawai'i, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disney and Hong Kong Disneyland on the way. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!
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