Behind-The-Scenes Of Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean Battle for the Sunken Treasure At Shanghai Disneyland

One of my favorite theme park industry events is the annual Themed Entertainment Association’s Summit (AKA TEA Summit). The TEA celebrates the themed entertainment industry’s greatest achievements from the past year by bestowing THEA awards to the most prestigious new projects and attractions from all over the world. The award recipients are invited to share the story of the development and construction of each project. This year, Shanghai Disneyland received numerous awards, including best attraction for the jaw-dropping new Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Sunken Treasure. The Disney Imagineering team that worked on the attraction shared behind-the-scenes information and fun facts about the project’s development and construction:

  • A gigantic traditional model of the ride was created to help pitch the attraction. The team credits the model with helping Disney executives visualize the concept and approve construction.
  • The decision to base the entire attraction about the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise was made because of the huge popularity of the movies in China.
  • The “big idea” of the pitch was the giant battle between the two boats that surrounds guests using mixed media.
Shanghai Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean Boat Battle
Shanghai Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean Boat Battle © Disney

Advice from Cedar Fair CEO and Former Disneyland President: Matt Ouimet

One of the best parts about working at Knott’s Berry Farm is the availability and openness of the leadership team. This extends from my boss, to Knott’s General Manager, Raffi Kaprelyan, and even all the way up to the CEO of Cedar Fair and former Disneyland President, Matt Ouimet. I am always impressed by how I consistently see him walking through the park and backstage. The depth and breadth of his knowledge about the company is staggering. He once spent thirty minutes in my office discussing our social media strategy. Continue reading

Lunch with Disney Legend Marty Sklar

On January 31st I had the opportunity to have a 2-hour lunch with Disney Legend Marty Sklar. Marty worked at Disney for 54 years in many roles including as a writer for the first Disneyland Newspaper, writer for Walt and Roy Disney, and as the leader of Walt Disney Imagineering as president and principal creative executive. The lunch was the first of the series “Lunch With a Legend” presented by the official Disney fan club D23. Continue reading