So I said I was going to finish the week’s description in one day and it took three. I blame the children. I’ll close the discussion here except for one final comment: feeding a baby is liking throwing handfuls of soup into the windows of a passing train.
Now then, onto the grand finale. Child Harbat and I, buffeted from the excitement and sugar influx of a full day at Disneyland, were selecting one final ride for the day. Really, there could only be one choice:
I knew nothing about the ride other than it was the improbably basis for a series of movies featuring Johnny Depp as…a version of himself with a plaited goatee. We wound our way inside a New Orleans mansion that looked far too small for a significant ride. Once inside I saw, in typical Disney fashion, that looks were deceiving. The line wound inside a very dim piratey building filled with fake parrots and ahoy-there-matey nautical décor. Uh oh, this was going to be disappointing. The line terminated at a dock, at which point people climbed into a wide boat with four rows of seats and a lap bar, very similar to the craft that ferried us through the It’s a Small World puppet-populated shriekfest earlier that day. Once we set out though, what seemed to be a narrow trough of water carrying the boats widened out into an indoor lagoon, complete with flickering fireflies, mangroves, and half-sunken rowboats. Across the water was a large wooden deck stretching out from what looked like gracious Lousiana mansion, and up above us the moon made appearances through tatters of cloud. With the hushed sounds of water lapping up on piers, the low chatter of people eating by candlelight, and the warmth and humidity, you could easily believe you were taking a river trip in the bayou past an outdoor restaurant. The only thing missing were the mosquitoes. Absolutely brilliant since just five minutes earlier we were outside in the bright California sunshine.
Then our boat turned a corner, a skull chattered at us from above through stained teeth, and we fell into darkness. And I mean fell. One minute it was dark then our boat was plunging down, ending in a giant splash. There were animatronic pirates and scenes and then we dropped down again. Now we were in a cold dank cave with piles of treasure spilling into the water and the pirate scenes getting ever more elaborate and staged until we were in the midst of a full-fledged battle with cannons, ships, and muskets. What a ride. When we came back out into the daylight Child Harbat and I were sold. Pirates of the Caribbean is the best ride at Disneyland, period.