Legacy Content

Report: Pirates of the Caribbean Special Event
Page 1 of 20

by Rebekah Moseley
June 26, 2000
A 20 page report on the May 20th Pirates of the Caribbean special event held at Disneyland.

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On Saturday, May 20th, Disneyland held a special event to celebrate the Pirates of the Caribbean - perhaps the greatest theme park attraction ever created. Unfortunately, many people are sure to remember this event for one thing - the problems. The merchandising end of the event had problems so severe Disneyland chose to refund the admission price for all attendees.

However, despite the problems, the event did go on. In the following pages we bring you Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean special event including the problems, the merchandise, the panel discussion and the special ride.

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The Problems
As has been well chronicled by now, the May 20th's Pirates of the Caribbean event had its share of problems. Below is a quick overview of what went wrong. See the links at the end of the section for much more information on the problems and the remedies Disneyland has offered.

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The registration line

Guests arrived for registration on Saturday morning as early as 2:00 a.m. Eventually the line stretched towards Harbor Blvd. Upon check-in guests were handed a package of information and a number. The number indicated when you would be allowed to enter the Opera House to view and purchase merchandise. Guests were given primary and secondary shopping lists. Each contained a list of all the items that were available, the cost, the edition size and the specific quantity each guest would be able to purchase on that list. When they entered the Opera House the lists were stamped with a number and the time. Guests could shop without being concerned the people in line behind them would buy up the merchandise. Guests had from 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to hand in their primary and secondary shopping lists. All guests primary lists turned in before 7:00 p.m.would be fulfilled first followed by the secondary in chronological order.  Package pick-up was scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. and guests who submitted their lists between 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. were expected to be able to pick up their merchandise two hours after their list was submitted.

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Guests wait in line on Main Street to enter the Opera House

Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. Packages were delivered very, very late. Some guests stayed until 4:30 a.m. waiting for their merchandise. Many guests reported skipping the panel discussion and special ride to wait for their merchandise. Others chose skip the wait with the knowledge they could pick up their merchandise by Wednesday. However, when many guests came back on Sunday to pick up their merchandise they were told no pick-ups were allowed and everything would be mailed. However, other guests were allowed to pick up their merchandise that day.

Disneyland did offer free shipping for anyone who chose to have their merchandise shipped. However, it was clear this would not be enough to make guests happy so on Tuesday evening Disneyland announced a refund of the admission fee would be given to all guests. On Wednesday guests received a FedExed letter from Disneyland Resort President Cynthia Harriss apologizing for the mistakes at the event and informing them of the refund.

For much more on the problems and remedies with the event see the following links: