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Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure at Shanghai Disneyland Receives Industry Award for Outstanding Visual Effects

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Yesterday the Visual Effects Society (VES) announced the winners of their annual VES Awards, honoring outstanding visual effects in motion pictures, television and other media. Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure won the award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure at Shanghai Disneyland Receives Industry Award for Outstanding Visual Effects

Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure is an all-new, innovative ride experience developed specifically for Shanghai Disneyland. The spectacle experienced on the ride is on a grand scale and involves technology that has never been used before in a theme park attraction. It includes a highly advanced propulsion system that provides unprecedented control over the position and rotation of boats carrying guests through large, dimensional set pieces combined with large-scale media screens. Integrating media produced in collaboration between Walt Disney Imagineering and Industrial Light & Magic with advanced animated figures and newly developed special effects creates a highly immersive experience.

This marks the second major industry award following the announcement last fall by the Themed Entertainment Association that the attraction won the Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement – Attraction.

This year the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland park is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Guests can also enjoy the classic attraction at Magic Kingdom park, Tokyo Disneyland and re-opening later this year at Disneyland Paris.

Congratulations to everyone involved for this exciting achievement!


  • I am SO happy Pirates won this award. I have watched the ride experience online MANY times and am blown away every time. The attraction deserves this award SO much. My #1 goal is to get to Shanghai Disney one of these days… 🙂

  • My wife and I made a last minute decision during our China trip last summer to go to the park on its 6th day open. We mainly went to ride on Tron. Imagine our disappointment when Tron was shut down for the day due to overheating issues. Trying to make the best of it we went to the other attractions, Pirates among them. We were completely blown away by how good Pirates was! It made the impromptu day at the park totally worth it. Better yet, the ride had no lines to speak of so we rode it multiple times.

  • I don’t think changes should be made to DL and MK versions of Pirates of the Caribbean. Instead this new technology should be (and probably will be) applied to Star Wars and Avatar attractions in DHS and DAK. Classic attractions often receive improvements (sound, lighting, ride vehicle, and safety) that don’t change the essence of the experience. Most Disney attractions still hold up, even after 40 plus years. People love them.

  • Perhaps some of this new technology will make an appearance in DL and DHS versions of Star War lands?

  • If there were digital projection effects like this on Maliboomer, it would have been a great ride!

  • WELL deserved! I had the privilege of riding this multiple times in November and have been to every Disney theme park in the world. Hands down, this is the best ride anywhere!

  • This is fantastic news. Would it be crazy, to suggest an update to the current Pirates’ rides at Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World? These rides in their current form are brilliant but bringing an update to them like with Shanghai would take these rides to an on par level.

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