Despite the rumors, it is confirmed that there was once a collection of real human skeletons used in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. These skeletons were reportedly donated by UCLA and were used in the attraction because the fake skeletons of the time were not convincing enough. However, over time, the ability of Disney Imagineers to create more realistic fake skeletons coupled with the need for maintenance and possible decay led to the removal of the real skeletons. It is said that proper burials were given to each skeleton that was removed from the ride.
One skull remains
One skeleton, however, remains. Located in the Captain’s Quarters treasure room, a dead man rests in his bed, examining a map with a magnifying glass. If you look behind him to his bed headboard, you will see a slightly larger, darker skull with a set of crossbones below the chin. In 2014, a Disney Cast Member confirmed that this was the last remaining real skull from the UCLA collection.
There are many rumors about whom this skull belongs to, but none of them have been verified. Some sources say it belongs to a criminal, while others claim it was donated to science by an individual. There is even a rumor that it belongs to an Imagineer who worked on the ride. Regardless of the true identity of the skull, it remains a mysterious and fascinating aspect of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
Is it ethical?
The use of real human remains in theme park attractions is not uncommon. In fact, it was once a common practice. The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland and Walt Disney World also once featured real human remains, including a mummified hand and a real human skull. These remains were eventually removed and replaced with fake replicas, however, due to concerns about the ethical implications of using real human remains in entertainment.
The use of real human remains in theme park attractions raises ethical questions about the line between entertainment and exploitation. While it is understandable that the use of real human remains may add an element of realism to an attraction, it is important to consider the possible disrespect and exploitation of the deceased. It is ultimately up to the park and its management to decide whether the use of real human remains is appropriate and respectful, or if it crosses a line into exploitation.
In the case of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, the use of real human remains was ultimately discontinued in favor of fake replicas. However, the last remaining skull serves as a reminder of the strange and bizarre history of this classic Disney attraction. While it may be a small and subtle detail, it adds an element of mystery and intrigue to the ride, making it all the more memorable for those who are able to spot it. So, the next time you ride Pirates of the Caribbean, take a closer look at the Captain’s Quarters treasure room and see if you can spot the real human skull hidden amongst the treasures.