One of the most memorable scenes on one of Disney’s most iconic rides is getting a major makeover.
The company announced on Thursday that Pirates of the Caribbean will replace the auction scene in which women are sold off as brides with an auction for plundered goods.
Artwork released by Disney showed that the sign which read “AUCTION” and “Take a wench for a bride” will soon feature the words: “AUCTION” and “SURRENDER YER LOOT.”
That’s not the only change.
The character known as “the redhead” ― the object of affection as the pirates shout “we wants the redhead” ― will enjoy a role reversal. Instead of being auctioned off, she will become one of the plunderers.
“Our team thought long and hard about how best to update this scene,” Kathy Mangum, a senior vice president with Disney Imagineering, said in a news release. “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!”
Here’s a closer look at her new role:
In a blog post, the company said the changes would be put into place next year at both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Orlando. A version of the ride at Disneyland Paris will reopen later this summer after a larger makeover.
Disney has altered Pirates before to remove some of its more politically incorrect elements. In 1997, a scene in which pirates were chasing women was changed to the women holding pies (thus to indicate the buccaneers were pursuing food rather than the ladies).
“There is very little that is politically correct about Pirates of the Caribbean,” Paul Pressler, then president of the Disneyland resort, told the Los Angeles Times in an interview at the time. “In fact, in order to be politically correct, we would probably have to close down the whole ride.”
One of the ride’s original designers later admitted he wasn’t crazy about some of those changes.
“Nobody asked me but my reaction was this is Pirates of the Caribbean not Boy Scouts of the Caribbean!” Disney Legend X Atencio, who also wrote the ride’s iconic “Yo Ho” song, said last year in an interview with D23, the company’s official fan club.
The latest changes received mixed reviews from the Disney fan community. Many weren’t thrilled to see alterations to a scene that had been part of the ride since the first version opened at Disneyland 50 years ago:
Others were more supportive of the change: