Pirates of the Caribbean is arguably one of the best rides at Disneyland and Disney World. The Anaheim park opened the attraction in 1967 and it quickly became popular. However, Disney brought a whole new level of popularity to the ride with the first big screen adaptation, 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. As the big screen franchise got bigger, Disney parks started to integrate characters from the movies into the rides, which was met with mixed reactions from long-time parkgoers. Regardless, these new additions started a whole new myth surrounding the ride, with connections to the movie, which has just been solved.
A new Disney+ series Prop Culture has confirmed a long-running myth surrounding Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride and The Curse of the Black Pearl. Early on during the Anaheim park's ride, the passenger boat passes a skeleton, who is sitting on top of some treasure. Additionally, guests can see the chest of Aztec gold from The Curse of the Black Pearl. The treasure is the focus of the whole movie, so fans notice it every time. For years, rumors have swirled that the chest is an actual prop from the movie and not a replica.
In a recent interview, Prop Culture host Dan Lanigan spoke about the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean myth. "I wouldn't say it's common [knowledge], it's out there, but it's considered a myth," said Lanigan when discussing the chest of Aztec gold. According to Walt Disney Imagineer John Gritz, who speaks in an upcoming Pirates themed episode of Prop Culture, the chest is actually the same one from The Curse of the Black Pearl. Lanigan had this to say.
"From my moderately expert opinion, I'd say it's an original. The way it's built as a prop for a movie is different [than] the way it would be built as a prop for the park."
Prop Culture premieres Friday, May 1st on Disney+, so Pirates of the Caribbean fans will be able to get a better look at the mythical chest. According to the interviewer, Dan Lanigan is a bit more than just a "moderate" expert when it comes to Disney props. So there we have it, the Aztec chest in the ride at the California park is the real deal and not a prop manufactured for the park.
Sadly, Disneyland is currently closed for the foreseeable future, so park goers can't go check out the Aztec chest on their own. It is believed that both the California and Florida parks might not open up again until next year, though that has yet to be confirmed. However, when Disneyland opens again, viewers of Prop Culture will be able to share this piece of knowledge with their friends and family. The interview with Dan Lanigan was originally conducted by Cinemablend.