Sunday, April 03, 2011

Pirate Ship, January 1974

It was a sad day when Chicken of the Sea gave up its sponsorship of the Pirate Ship in Fantasyland. For one thing, the wonderful mermaid figurehead was removed - one of my favorite things. And that cheesy lettering for "Captain Hook's" - well, it looks very 1970's, anyway. The color scheme changed a bit too, with that aquamarine hue down near the waterline. Strange, says I.

Still, it was better to have the Pirate Ship than to not have it, if you know what I mean.

Here's an odd angle taken from the ship looking towards Skull Rock's profile, while a fearsome pterodactyl soars towards us from up in the sky.


Nancy said...

IMO can never have too many pics of stuff that's gone, and these are great!

lots of nice details, esp loving the bonus sky bucket that matches that aquamarine band you mention down near the water. we can also see Casey Jr and Monstro oh yeah!!

thanks for an awesome start to my week back to work after some vacation days, which is not so awesome lol!!

Connie Moreno said...

These have to be some of the best pirate ship pics I've seen. I even love the Skull Rock profile! If only I could go back to 1974...I'd take a million pictures!!!

The Viewliner Limited said...

What a beauty Major. I'll say it again... how can you destroy... Oh never mind. Its done!

Orange Co Native said...

I have a question and a comment.


Did they remove the mermaid because it part of the sponsorship?

I don't see how a mermaid can be tied to a specific sponsor such as "Chicken of the Sea." I seem to remember the TV commercials from the 60's and 70's, it was some kind of a cartoon shark.

My comment is that I seem to remember hearing from Tony Baxter (Imagineer) that the plan when Fantasy Land was redone in 1982-1983 that the ship was going to be kept. They were going to move it somewhere behind Storybook, but when they went to lift it or move it, the hull of the ship collapsed or crushed and it was loss. Too much $$$$ to rebuild. So they used the salvaged pieces in the Peter Pan attraction.

Major Pepperidge said...

Glad you guys liked these! Like all of you, I miss the Pirate Ship and Skull Rock a lot.

O.C. Native, yes, the mermaid has (as far as I know) been the mascot/logo for "Chicken of the Sea" for as long as I am aware. If you look at good pictures of the old figurehead, it is very specifically the "CoS" mermaid, with that hairdo and the colored diamonds on her fish body. I wish that they had just altered her to be a more generic mermaid, but I guess it was easier to just pry her off and be done with it.

As for the cartoon shark, are you sure you're not thinking of Starkist's "Charlie" the tuna?

I wonder if they really did use pieces of the old ship in the Peter Pan ride; I'll have to check my old issues of "The E Ticket" and see if they say anything.

Rich T. said...

Pirate Ship = Meatball Sandwiches. My favorite DL food...gone!

And now I'm hungry...

TokyoMagic! said...

I remember reading a similar story (I think it was in the "E" Ticket magazine) that they were going to rebuild the ship near Storybookland and that it was Skull Rock that supposedly was going to be moved, but it was dropped or fell and broke into pieces. I don't believe either story because I took pics of the ship being demolished and Vintage DL Tickets has posted pics of Skull Rock still in place, but halfway demolished.

Major Pepperidge said...

The tuna boat served meatball sandwiches? Guess they had to have something for those who don't like tuna!

TM, I am with you, I've always been skeptical of the story that they tried to move either of those structures.

I was just thinkin'... not that it would ever happen, but the Skyway Chalet could be replaced with a new pirate ship and skull rock. Do you guys think there is enough real estate to do it? I don't really want the chalet torn down, but it's not doing much good as it is....

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. Oh, and I agree with what Viewliner said or what he was about to say, anyway. And I've said this before, but I'll say it again....they should move Dumbo somewhere else and put the ship and Skull Rock back where they belong!

Katella Gate said...

A couple of thoughts at the end of the thread...

All legal/copyright reasons aside, as a matter of good business Disney had to remove anything from the Pirate Ship that even vaguely resembled "Chicken of the Sea". That company paid for advertising space, then they stopped paying.

It was imperative for any connection or reminder to "Chicken.." to be removed, otherwise "Chicken.." would still get the lingering sales benefit of association with Disneyland.

It's the same reason Walt stopped Ward Kimball from doing free advertising sketches in a hand-out magazine. Walt was SELLING the artistic abilities of his staff, so you can't give away the goods for FREE. Your business will be damaged.

Katella Gate said...

Thought two...

Was there ever a plan or attempt to move the ship/skull rock? I don't know, I don't read minds and I wasn't there.

..however.. Publicity is everything to DisneyCorp, truth... not so important. I don't think there was every any serious intent to move either structure. I think once Disney got a feel of how much these structures would be missed, they simply invented this story to keep everybody "happy."

And happiness is a good thing, isn't it?

Katella Gate said...

Thought Three...

Should the Pirate Ship be rebuilt?


The question pre-supposes that the 50's Peter Pan Pirate Ship would be replaced. It won't be, and I don't think anybody will be happy with the substitute put in its place.

First, the original ship was built as an authentic, if caricatured, Spanish galleon, which today would make it the world's largest trip-and-fall trap. The decks aren't level, the railing doesn't come up high enough. Ropes, bits, hatches, stairs all over the place. Any new ship will have the quaint and interesting features lawyer-ed out of it. (And I haven't even mentioned Handicapped Access)

Second, this ship does nothing. The Mark Twain, the Pirate Ship, and the Rocket Ship were all Walt's wieners (visually compelling marquees that drew crows into their respective lands. Notice they are all ships). Disney doesn't use this technique anymore, and any hamburger stand can be built for a fraction of the Pirate Ship and generate just as much money per hour.

Third, a new ship can't be marketed. The closest we came to having a good chance of rebuilding the pirate ship was during the "Pirates" movie craze. That ship's sailed, and there's no angle to work to market the expenditure.

As for the Swiss chateau, it's a really charming structure. I'd love to see it re-purposed. The problem is it's at the top of a hill, and that location creates all kinds of traffic and supply problems. The saving grace is that it's against back stage, so supply and support is at least possible.

Chuck said...

Looks like somebody left the back door to Primeval World open again. At least the stegasaurus didn't get out this time.

Rich T. said...

Okay, here's what I'd do:

Rebuild the Pirate ship and Skull Rock in the old Motor Boat area...which is now just a smoking zone.

I agree, the lawyers would not allow it to be built the way it was. So...It would mainly serve two purposes:

1. Meatball Sandwiches served in the hull--the only accessible part of the ship (Y'know, I never did try the tuna).

2. It would serve as the entry point to the new Peter Pan's Flight E Ticket re-do! Same concept, but higher capacity and much longer ride. If part of Autopia has to go to make it be it. :) The old Pan ride becomes a Sword in the Stone interactive zapping-gallery ride.

Rich T. said...

...called "Merlin's Medieval Mess."

Major Pepperidge said...

Katella, you make a lot of good points! However, they did leave the fancy carved ornaments on the stern of the pirate ship, albeit altered. But I know what you mean about distancing themselves from their old sponsor.

As for "Thought Two", I totally agree. Remember all the buzz about how each ride through Indy could potentially be a wildly different experience?
"Thought Three" - I am not fooling myself for a moment thinking that a Pirate Ship would ever come back, for all the reasons you listed (although you actually listed more than I thought of!). As I said, I don't really want the chalet to be torn down, but I hate seeing it sit there unused. I'd much rather see some sort of modified Skyway attraction to be honest!

Rich T., I will forward your suggestions to the Walt Disney Company! ;-)

JG said...

@KG, thought 3. On the Nose!

Love my old pirate ship, don't want anymore johnny depp, so no new one.