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No More ‘Wenches’ at Disneyland

When you think of pirates, what is your first thought? Fairness, right? No? It’s probably safe to say that the new changes Disneyland is making to its Pirates of the Caribbean ride will not come as a huge surprise to you.

The iconic and dark ride, created in 1967, will receive a facelift of its bride auction scene, which features a redheaded woman being auctioned off in a “Wench Sale.” Pirates are also heard calling out, “We want the redhead!”

While most of the scenes throughout the ride were supposed to show traditional pirate tropes, the ride will now feature a non-misogynistic version of pirates.  The banner that once read “Auction, Take a Wench for a Bride” will now be replaced by a sign saying “Auction, Surrender Yer Loot.”

A Walt Disney Imagineering Executive gave a statement to the Orange County Register saying, “Our team thought long and hard about how best to update this scene. Given the redhead has long been a fan-favorite, we wanted to keep her as a pivotal part of the story, so we made her a plundering pirate! We think this keeps to the original vision of the attraction as envisioned by Marc Davis, X Atencio, and the other Disney Legends who first brought this classic to life.”

A park spokesperson added, “We believe the time is right to turn the page to a new story in this scene, consistent with the humorous, adventurous spirit of the attraction.”

The park has been redesigning other parts of the ride that have been characterized as sexist, like the scene where pirates are chasing women. The scene will now depict women carrying food trays, while being chased by the pirates, in order to show that the pirates are lusting over the food in the women’s hands. Another scene in the ride was also changed so that the women are now chasing the pirates.

Many have reported that the changes that Disneyland attractions have been receiving are a way to “address modern sensibilities.”

Marty Sklar, a man who was once the head of Walt Disney Imagineering and helped design and develop the original rides at the park, said, “Walt Disney himself had long supported updating the rides.”

Sklar continued saying,Pirates of the Caribbean has always represented great Disney Park storytelling; it has set the standard for the theme park industry for half a century. But it’s a story you can continue to add fun to, with great characters in new ‘performances.’ That’s what the Imagineers have done with this new auction scene – it’s like a theater show with a new act.”

Disney officials have announced that the changes will take place over the next month, and will be implemented in Disneyland Paris and in the Magic Kingdom Park.

Featured Image by Natalie Warren on Wikimedia
Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

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