New Orleans Square is where you can celebrate Mardi Gras all year long, hang out with some rowdy pirates, and visit an old fashioned Louisiana plantation house that is said to be haunted by 999 ghosts. Southern belles can have their parasol’s personalized and everyone can sit down for a meal and enjoy some delightful jazz music.
New Orleans Square was the first new land to be added since Disneyland first opened and New Orleans Square’s opening day, July 24, 1966, was Walt Disney’s last major public appearance before he passed away later that year. Two of the parks top attractions reside here in New Orleans Square: Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. These are timeless attractions that, for almost fifty years, can still transport us into a different place and time.
Pirates of the Caribbean has always been a much anticipated ride for all visitors to Disneyland. To be able to spend fifteen minutes with rowdy pirates, while singing “Yo Ho,Yo Ho (a Pirates Life for Me)”, is such a special experience that it resonates within us no matter how young or old.
The idea for a Pirates attraction was originally conceived as a walk-thru wax museum. But following the success of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress at the 1964 World’s Fair, the attraction was re-imagined to include Disney’s innovative technology Audio-Animatronics.
As you enter the grand southern manor, you are welcomed with a view of pirates booty, a map of Isla Tesora, and of course a pirates best friend, a parrot.
On the walls you will find painted portraits of some notorious pirates.
To begin your journey you will need to step inside a small barge.
The first thing that will catch your eye is the Blue Bayou Restaurant. If you really want to immerse yourself into the theme of this ride, then a stop for lunch or dinner is a must here. Just don’t forget to make reservations before you get to the park.
You slowly float by a shanty little grotto in the middle of the bayou.
Enjoy the sounds of a slow playing banjo.
Now prepare yourself for a drop down a waterfall and enter the gateway to the Golden Age of Piracy.
First stop: Pirates Grotto
A pirates life was not always easy and they had to endure danger on almost a daily basis.
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for some real human bones.
Of course a pirate is a pirate for one reason, the treasure!
Davy Jones welcomes you to the Caribbean.
Navigate your way through an old fort that is embroiled in a battle with a pirates 12-gun galleon. You may recognize the famous pirate manning that galleon.
If you make it through the battle unscathed, you will get a chance to see Carlos, the mayor of Isla Tesoro, getting dunked by pirates as his wife looks on from above.
The pirates are trying to get the whereabouts of Captain Jack Sparrow, but Carlos isn’t giving him up. If you keep a weathered eye out, you may spy Captain Sparrow hiding near by.
Continuing on you will sail past the crowded marketplace where some of the more rambunctious fellers are bidding at an auction for a bride.
Of course in order to be a good pirate you have to light a town of fire.
Sailing past the burning town you will encounter the dungeon where the prisoners have been trying to lure a clever dog into giving them the prison keys. They have been trying for a quite a while now, but that dog is just too smart for them.
Remember to duck down and try to avoid gun fire as you sail past a drunken pirates fight.
Listen to Captain Jack Sparrow sing “Yo Ho, Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” as you make your way back to Laffite’s Landing.
If you see the Laffite’s Landing sign, then you have survived your voyage and it is now time to leave your pirates behind (till next time).
The other timeless attraction in New Orleans Square is the Haunted Mansion.
The ride was first imagined as a haunted house walk-through but was an unpopular idea among the Imagineers. Thankfully, with the development of the Ominmover system for the attraction Adventures thru Inner Space, the Doom Buggies were born.
The stately antebellum manor may not look very scary from a distance, but once you get a little closer you will start to see that there might be more to this place than meets the eye.
This manor has a very extensive cemetery with some very interesting gravestones.
On your way to the Manor’s entrance make sure to take a good look at the “horseless” hearse.
As you enter the foyer you begin to think that there is something just not quite right about this estate.
This is where you will first “hear” your private ghoul guide who welcomes you to the manor as a cast member ushers you into the portrait gallery.
The portrait gallery all of a sudden seems to be stretching and you may notice that there are “no windows and no doors”.
Make sure to keep a close hold on your love ones as a lightening storm takes the power out. And if you aren’t afraid, look up as the lightening strike lights up the ceiling.
Finally, one of the walls opens up and you are lead into the Portrait Corridor.
Keep an eye on those portraits, they may seem normal at first, but watch them as they transform into corpses and monsters. Also, take notice of the man and woman busts at the end of the hallway. You may get the feeling that they are following you with their eyes.
It is now time to board your Doom Buggy. Don’t worry about lowering your safety bar, your ghost guide will take care of that for you.
On your journey through the many hallways of the manor you will encounter Madame Leota where you will be able to join her in a séance.
You are then invited to the grand ballroom for a ghostly birthday party. The guests seem to have materialized out of nowhere.
Of course a party isn’t a party without a little ballroom dancing.
As you continue your journey, you eventually come across the graveyard where the caretaker and his dog great you at the entrance.
The ghosts aren’t exactly resting in peace.
And they will entertain you with their haunting anthem of “Grim Grinning Ghosts”.
As you approach the end of your journey keep an eye out for hitchhiking ghosts, they have been dying to come home with you.
If you survived your visit you will encounter your Ghost Hostess who encourages you to “hurry back”.
If you would like any additional information on visiting the Disneyland Resort or visiting Southern California, please contact me at: [email protected]shanna.com
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