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Thread: Please post Pirates Lair photos & opinions!

  1. #1
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    Please post Pirates Lair photos & opinions!

    I know some of you Mouseplaneteers took some photos today--opening day. Please post some along with your opinions.
    Thanks in advance!


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  3. #2
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    Moderator's note: Photo updates can be posted in the "Post your photo updates" thread.


  4. #3

    Here are some of my thoughts... And I will try and be spoiler free

    Got to the park around 10 AM, and the wait to board the rafts was about 30 minutes, not bad, and it got shorter later in the day (though the wait to return was around 30 minutes).

    They hand you a "Explorer's Map of Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island" while waiting in line. Interesting to note that the Fort is not shown on the map....

    The ONLY part of the Island that is related to Tom and Huck now is the treehouse, which has some references if you walk up to the actual treehouse, including a map under glass.

    The Bootstrappers are basically the same act as last season, when they performed in front of Cafe' Orleans, but the sound system is better.

    The "Stunt Show" is entertaining, though has very little viewing area, and is hard to grab a prime space in the way they allow folks to enter (The Bootstrappers are the warm-up act and work with the Stunt Show folks in transition). I don't think it has much repeatability, but definitely worth the trip to see it once.

    Dead Man's Grotto (the former Injun Joe's Cave) is the star, and is very good, lots of good effects. Make sure and touch and grab things

    The former Waterwheel cabin is now Will Turner's Blacksmith shop, nothing fancy, but still an improvement.

    Kids will love the Smugglers Cove area, as it has a lot of old (Suspension and Pontoon Bridges) and new interactive items that will let the kids burn some steam off.

    Castle Rock remains the same. The north end has the addition of the Pirate's Den (Shipwreck), that is a nice scene that can be entered from the east side of the island, and is easily accessible to all, just enter the main room, and then head back out. The ladder just takes you to the Castle Rock caverns.

    The fort is basically behind refurb walls (the "Fort Wilderness" sign has been removed), as is the former Graveyard (tombstones have been removed). Two single person restrooms (one for each gender) are accessible from the east side.

    A nice surprise is found in the north-east corner of the pathways open to the public.

    If you have a wheelchair, here is what I recommend you do.

    Once the raft arrives at TSI, make a left and go PAST Dead Man's Grotto, but make a turn just before Castle Rock (clearly marked path), check out Smugglers cove, you can't do either bridge, but you do have access to the new interactive parts. (As you can see later, if you go to Dead Man's Grotto first, you are stuck with just one choice when you exit).

    Then head north on the path that goes up the east (right) side of the island.

    Stop in at the new Pirate's Den and check out the main room.

    Then head back on the same path to the Captain's Treasure area.

    Then go back the way you came, if needed, use the restrooms by the fort. There is a wheelchair lift and these restrooms are wheelchair friendly.

    Head back to Dead Man's Grotto, where you have a choice, if you have an ECV or would have problems with tight spaces, go straight back to the rafts and use the wheelchair lift next to the stage to watch the show and the Bootstrappers. (You could take the ramp from the stage to the Will Turner Blacksmith shop before or after the show).

    If you think you can handle the cave (it is supposedly wide enough for a standard wheelchair, but would be not the easiest trip), follow the crowds. Once you get out on the east end (exit), the only choice is to make a right. Follow that to Will Turner's Blacksmith Shop and then take a path to the Main Stage (be careful, the path is closed during the stunt show). Watch the performances then use the wheelchair lift to gain access to the rafts to return (you will have to wait a few minutes after the Stunt Show to allow for safety checks before they let you access the lift).

    Alas, Disney made a few mistakes in the Wheelchair signage, so ask CM's for help if needed.

    And yes, I took photos, and they will be uploaded to the smugmug site shortly.

    Check out my photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  5. #4
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    Thanks, darkbeer!

    Do you think the island has enough restrooms? Is there just one single-person restroom for each gender on the whole island? If so I foresee some upset, uncomfortable three and four-year-olds waiting in lines. If the entrances are close to each other, maybe they could magically (or by pirate revolt) become unisex bathrooms if only one gender has a line.

    Also, do the pirates and other CMs have a break area on the island?


  6. #5

    There are actually two sets of restrooms, the main ones are next to the exit of Dead Man's Grotto (across from the Mark Twain/Columbia loading dock). They are small, the mens has one urinal and one stall, and I think the ladies is two stalls. These are by no means handicapped accessable.

    The new restrooms (well, there were restrooms here when the fort was open to guests) are the ones that are wheelchair friendly, but are of the single toliet per room. I did see a parent take a child in together, that works very nicely with these new restrooms.

    As for a break area, currently they have closed off the west side path north of the fort, and that is where all the performers enter and exit, so the break area is back behind the fort, I presume in a tented area.

    Check out my photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  7. #6
    Registered User Jodi's Avatar
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    I like the new details. The new things inside the Dead Mans Grotto (Former Injun Joe's) are really cool! But DS6 was quite scared Without giving too much away, I'll just say, try to grab the treasure!

    When you see the "dead man's chest" put your hand on it.

    I liked the revamped island. I thought that enough original details remained to appease my sense of nostalgia for the island, while making it fresh and new. The details in the sunken ship below the suspension bridge were cool.

    I think that the only people who may be disapointed are the die hard fans of the original.


  8. #7
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    Thanks again, Darkbeer!
    And thank you, MommyofDisneyBoys!

    Maybe the fort could be replaced by a restrooms and an underground pirates/Mark Twain (they could alternate) multi-media storytelling show. Of course, this would involve abducting Hal Holbrook and making him perform different ten-minute versions of his "Mark Twain Tonight."


  9. #8

    will they always have the new maps for the island?


  10. #9
    5 Miles from the DLR
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Anaheim CA

    I took photos today, I am not all that impressed, basically the island has been cleaned up, and some new things added, but nothing too spectacular.
    Yes the park maps have changed, I have photos of the maps and island from today:
    http://chrisaustx.smugmug.com/gallery/2907490
    The show is pretty much the same as it was in front of the French Market, including the rip on It's a Small World, just a few new elements were added like the cannon, soundtrack music and the sliding rope pirate. I am disappointed that the Fort is still closed, I had hoped that something creative could been seen there today.


  11. #10
    California Dreamin
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    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fort Collins CO

    Smile Okay

    Based on the photos posted by Chrisaustx, it looks better than I expected it to be, its not completely overrun and changed, at least its somewhat recognizable and the caves are still there. I can't wait to be able to see it in person though, next time I'm at Disneyland.

    futurecm21

    "Oh, that's real creative! What do you call your foot, new hand?"

    -Groundskeeper Willie

  12. #11

    FANTASTIC PHOTOS!!! Thank you so much! It is almost like being there. You have captured what is special about the Island and given us a very good idea of the new stuff.

    A few comments and questions:
    1. That piece of wood nailed over the Tom Sawyer's Island on the designation sign looks very cheesy!
    2. Is the pirate in picture #29 really raising his middle finger?!!!
    3. I am so happy that the old Gullywhumper is still there. Ditto the Native American campsite.
    4. Where on the Island is that big pile of gold? ... in your picture, Capt. Jack is standing in front of it.
    5. Was thrilled to see that the new Nemo ride will have a fleet of subs to handle the crowds.... btw, how long did you have to wait in line for Pirates Lair?
    6. What do estimate to be the crowd size on the Island? Were there lines for things like the caves? How long did you have to wait for the return trip.

    As you can tell, I am roarin' to get there!

    Thanks again for the GREAT photos, Chrisaustx! And Darkbeer, too!


  13. #12
    5 Miles from the DLR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rkkm View Post
    FANTASTIC PHOTOS!!! Thank you so much! It is almost like being there. You have captured what is special about the Island and given us a very good idea of the new stuff.

    A few comments and questions:
    1. That piece of wood nailed over the Tom Sawyer's Island on the designation sign looks very cheesy!
    2. Is the pirate in picture #29 really raising his middle finger?!!!
    3. I am so happy that the old Gullywhumper is still there. Ditto the Native American campsite.
    4. Where on the Island is that big pile of gold? ... in your picture, Capt. Jack is standing in front of it.
    5. Was thrilled to see that the new Nemo ride will have a fleet of subs to handle the crowds.... btw, how long did you have to wait in line for Pirates Lair?
    6. What do estimate to be the crowd size on the Island? Were there lines for things like the caves? How long did you have to wait for the return trip.

    As you can tell, I am roarin' to get there!

    Thanks again for the GREAT photos, Chrisaustx! And Darkbeer, too!
    Yes the sign looks tacky and makes it seem as if its temporary. The pirate in photo #29 is flipping off the pirate on the raft. The big pile of gold is near the Fort, which is sadly still closed. The rafts were being packed to capacity, I only waited 5 min. to get to the island. There wasn't a huge crowd on the island, mostly younger children who were ruining on the bridge and through the caves. The caves have had pirate audio added and some special effects, the same you would find in Fantasyland. I was hoping they would have spent more money on the caves.
    Well if you have a young child, they will like Pirate Island and being able to meet Capitan Jack at his pile of gold.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisaustx View Post
    Yes the sign looks tacky and makes it seem as if its temporary. .
    Is this possibly part of the effect - like pirates have come to take over the island - you know like pirates do...?
    WDW -1974, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006
    DL - 1988, 2004, 2005, 2007

  15. #14

    Wow, it looks great! I was definitely worried about the overlay when it was first announced. I can't wait to see it first hand.


  16. #15
    It was a good day!
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    Quote Originally Posted by julbright View Post
    Is this possibly part of the effect - like pirates have come to take over the island - you know like pirates do...?
    That sounds like what the intent of the sign is.
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Blue Genie View Post
    will they always have the new maps for the island?
    Does anyone know? I will be going in 2 weeks and want a map. Nobody has the map on ebay yet.
    Kungaloosh!

  18. #17
    Registered User Jodi's Avatar
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    Torrance, CA

    If they don't continue the maps permanently, I'm sure they will have them for several months at least. You should be able to get one (or a few if you like )

    The maps are pretty neat, if you hold them at the right angle or in the right loght, you can se a path and some "x marks the spot" locations. I would not have noticed them on my own if I hadn't overheard a CM talking about them.


  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by julbright View Post
    Is this possibly part of the effect - like pirates have come to take over the island - you know like pirates do...?
    OF COURSE! Duh me! Guess I am so used to things being "perfect". I love this interpretation! Thanks!

  20. #19

    Pirate/Sawyer Island

    I have been looking EVERYWHERE for pictures of the new island. Does anyone know where I can find some?

    Thank you!


  21. #20

    Check out the link below, May 25th in the Theme Park section.

    Check out my photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  22. #21
    Registered User kaybee2's Avatar
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    We were there on Friday afternoon (opening day). Wait to come over and go back wasn't long. I thought they did a good job - the island isn't commercialized (no shops, etc.), the new areas are done well and the show is good. Most importantly, the island is still a place for kids to go run around and explore.

    My kids and their friend absolutely loved it. My ds states that it is "absolutely awesome." The grotto was a bit scary for the kids, but my 7 yo dd went back in to show another friend. They played on the new items near the bridges for a good 1/2 hour.

    The only downside is that it's hard to see the show w/the pirates and Jack Sparrow. Plus, being the 1st day, there were a lot of folks with Disney tags taking up the space to watch it (and I'm wondering why *they* had a shade cover and we didn't?). I noticed a lot of folks watching it from the other side of the river. It just seemed too far to see some of the effects. Oh well, the kids still liked it.

    I took pictures, but am too technically challenged to put them up. Plus, having seen Darkbeer's past works, I'm sure his are much better!


  23. #22

    Please, anyone, are there any places to sit down on the island? Benches?

    Thanks.


  24. #23

    I went on Memorial Day. The line for the raft went briskly, surprising with only one raft being used. There was a pirate barker of sorts, near the tacky sign mentioned in posts above, who interacted with the guests in line. It was a nice touch and he did a good job. When I returned from the island a couple of hours later, there was a different pirate doing the same thing.

    Overall, I enjoyed the changes to the island. Generally speaking, there's more stuff to do (noisy stuff, which I'm sure the kids appreciate as they're cranking winches or pumping water) and the overlay fits. It doesn't feel forced. And the tone is "fun". I enjoyed it.

    I didn't notice any schedule for the entertainment on the island, but I happened to linger long enough to hear The Bootstrappers and see the show. It was worth watching, and I think there were some repeat viewers there. I noticed a family arrived while The Bootstrappers were performing and sitting on the cement in an awkward angle to the singers. Alas, they were perfectly angled for the show when it began!

    I enjoyed the map of the island they handed out. When I got home, I found this site that has images of the original 1957 TSI map. The current map is obviously honoring its roots.

    http://etext.virginia.edu/railton/to.../disneyhp.html

    "The show mustů"/"Go on!" - Shakespeare in Love
     

  25. #24
    Registered User kaybee2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoNoNanette View Post
    Please, anyone, are there any places to sit down on the island? Benches?

    Thanks.
    There are benches in different areas of the island. There are even two small picnic tables in one area.

  26. #25
    Perpetual Mouseketeer mkraemer's Avatar
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    We dreaded the idea of making changes to TSI. We expected that the island we loved would be ruined by senseless makeovers motivated by the popularity of pirates right now. We felt that the pirates should stay in POTC where they belong, thankyouverymuch.

    We were happy to be wrong.

    We were pleasantly surprised by the changes that were made, and the kids had a great time. The caves were more fun and interactive. Tom and Huck's contributions to the island are still there, and we're pleased by that. We liked the map quite a bit. The show is kind of cheesy and still feels like a work in progress (which might explain the enormous numbers of CMs who were in attendance, some of whom were taking notes). Good idea to move Capt. Jack Sparrow out of NOS and onto the island to help with the crowd issues in NOS. I wonder how long the bone cage will last, with kids climbing on it, but it was fun to see it anyway.

    MaryK@CruisingCo.com

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