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Blackbeard Comes Aboard at Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom Park May 20

Tom Fitzgerald

by , Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

Rendering of Ian McShane as Captain Blackbeard in the Pirates of the Caribbean Attractions at Disney Parks

On February 11, actor Ian McShane appeared on a soundstage in Los Angeles for a very special “head shot” – one that will soon be featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions at Disneyland park and Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort.

Captain Blackbeard will make his appearance on the ghostly waterfall in the grotto scenes of the park attractions beginning May 20, coinciding with the release of the new film, “Pirates of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides,” in which McShane plays a starring role.

Walt Disney Imagineering writer Michael Sprout (who wrote the script for Bill Nighy as Davy Jones several years ago) was on hand to direct the special shoot with Ian McShane. Michael said, “He came in wearing his complete Blackbeard costume, including the sword, saying it helped him stay in character!”

Look for Blackbeard soon in this classic attraction, and the return of Davy Jones later this year.


  • does that mean no more Davy Jones? Or will they swap them out?

  • Pretty cool.

    Thanks for the heads up Tom.

    The Davey Jones effect is very cool and blends in well, as the talking skull always made references to Davey Jones, so I’m glad that Blackbeard’s presence will only be temporary.

  • Very much looking forward to his being added to the ride hopefully in some permanent fashion.

    Anything that takes out that line that is wrong dead men do tell tales is a welcome edition.

    Dead men do NOT tell tales, UNDEAD men tell tales 😉

  • I’m going to WDW in October, will he still be there then?

  • I honestly would like to see Both characters on the same ride, Blackbeard could be earlier in the DLR ride (after the drop but before the beach treasure)

  • This is confusing. Is this temporary? Does it only appear on May 20th, or just for the summer, or forever? Does Davy Jones then replace him again, or will Davy Jones show up in some new place in the ride?

  • What about the ending?

  • I agree with Jason! And I’m confused too. Is this only a temporary change?

  • Very exciting to see! Can’t wait to see the change!

    And yes, guys this is temporary it says, “Look for Blackbeard soon in this classic attraction, and the return of Davy Jones later this year.” which means he will be back!

  • In the Disneyland ride, there also audio of Davy Jones as the boats go up the lift. Will that remain?

    • You will hear Blackbeard’s voice on the up ramp at the end of the attraction.

  • Its my understanding from this post that the image of Blackbeard will be put into the ride starting on May 20th, and will remain there for quite some time (I would assume that it would remain through summer at least) and then Davy Jones will return later in the year.
    That is my understanding.

  • After all, the post says;

    “Look for Blackbeard soon in this classic attraction, and the return of Davy Jones later this year.” 😉 🙂

  • I also agree with Jason about those lines, but the visual effect itself is really cool.

    Looking forward to seeing Blackbeard next trip!

  • Jason and Chris-
    Don’t worry, in response to “Dead men tel no tales” Davy Jones also says “Aye, and tales there be a plenty in this cursed place.” 😉 🙂

  • It’s so neat that attractions are now able to switch content in such a fast way. Cheers to the future!

  • Yes, its true that Davy Jones says “Ah, but they DO tells” but its ok, cause an alternate line is “Aye, and tales there be a plenty!” 🙂

  • Its really cool that they are able to do this for the ride in honor of the new movie.

    I LOVE the Davy Jones effect and it will be cool to see Blackbeard in there for a while.

    Its always great when Disneyland gives some of its attractions a breath of fresh air every now and then.

  • It will be an interesting addition, and I’m looking forward to seeing something new. That said, I’m also glad that Davy Jones will be returning.

    Given his water-bound nature, it makes a bit more sense for Jones’ image to appear from the waterfall. Blackbeard seems to be a little out of place as far as story/continuity, but lets see how it goes!

  • From what I’ve seen of the new movie, there seems to be a bit of a supernatural element to Blackbeard, so hopefully its not too much of a stretch!

  • Blackbeard in Pirates of the Caribbean, how cool is this !?! So awesome!

    Yo Ho Yo Ho, hoist the colors!

    Have a great day,
    Steamboat Eddie

  • It’s awesome! Tom did a great job!

  • OMG. I can’t wait for the new POTC. Taking My daughter to WDW the week prior to the premiere. Gonna round off the trip with going to the premiere in costume once we return home. I can’t wait.

  • I’m looking forward to seeing Blackbeard on the waterfall, but I do like Davy Jones on the waterfall as well. I would prefer that they switch out Blackbeard and Davy Jones every other fade.

    What’s ironic about Blackbeard being put in the ride is that he was originally in the ride where Barbosa is now. 🙂

  • Very glad to hear Davy Jones will be leaving (even though it is only temporary)! Never cared much for the movie interpretation of the character. He looks more like an alien from Star Wars than a legend of pirates.

  • Black is Back! Jones has to Go!

  • Thanks for the reply Tom. 🙂

    It will be cool to see Blackbeard in the ride for a while, but again, I’m glad that Davy Jones will return later in the year.

  • I like Stephen in post #2 would like to know when the switch back will happen.

    Personally, I will be going to Walt Disney World in December of this year.

    I will be attending Mickey’s Christmas Party on Dec 6th for my Birthday and am hoping that I will be able to see this at the Magic Kingdom.

    Please also have Captain EO stay at Epcot so I can also experience that too for the first time.

    It always seems like Disney has something new and when I go in December it gets switched back.

    I went to Disneyland in Dec of 09 to see Dumbo fly out of the castle and it was switched back to Tink for example 🙁

  • I am super excited to see the new movie but really bummed to hear that your changing the mist. Seeing Davy Jones is my favorite part of the updated ride. I hope we get a switch up of them so its a little different every time we ride. I know I always go on this ride multiple times when Im at Disney!

  • Why not make quick switches like these available for special events?

    For example during the Mickey Christmas Party (Say Dec 6th) you could switch the pirate theme for the party.

    Not only that but if you get rid of Captain EO at Epcot by then it could make a special appearance at the Magic Kingdom for these special events.

  • I just found out that this will in fact be the first time that Blackbeard will be in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

    According to what Disney says, although the previous captain (before Barbossa was added) did have a black beard, he was never supposed to be Captain Blackbeard himself.

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