Continuing in the look at the newest Disney park we come to Treasure Cove. This Pirates of the Caribbean themed land demonstrates how popular the buccaneers are. The entire land is themed to the popular movies, not necessarily the attraction which first debuted at Disneyland in Anaheim. It’s the first time an attraction has inspired a movie that has now inspired an entire land.
As you first come into the land from Gardens of Imagination, a small sign says “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” It is quite the ominous sign, but sets the stage for the ups and downs of the pirate themed area. Several ships are seen docked, and they look ready to sail, or risky to be on the water. This land is about thrills on the high seas. There is little trust to be had among pirates, and that serves for great stories and great adventure. This is all about character and exploration. There are small references to the attraction, the movie, and even beyond these. The sign may say to abandon hope, but there is much more to it all than this.
Jack Sparrow Is A Wanted Man
If there is any running thread throughout Treasure Cove it is Captain Jack. His touch is in many places, and he is featured in the two main attractions. Still, little details show that the other characters have been present here. Mr. Cotton has a recipe in one of the queues. Gibbs has a little reference. There is fear of the Kraken everywhere. It’s about being in the movies, and this Cove has done its job well. It feels like stepping into the films, especially with looking at the scale of architecture. Sure it is to hide show buildings, but it feels like we are in between a war of the scalawags and the British navy.
Eye Of The Storm
One of the main attractions is a stunt show starring Jack Sparrow. It is entirely in Chinese, so understanding is a bit difficult. From what I can tell, some pirates have infiltrated a theater and want to star in the production. Everyone hates the Admiral, who is the commander of the police force for Treasure Cove. As the play goes on, Jack Sparrow, who is wanted by the British navy and not liked by others, hides in the theater during the production. The Admiral shows up and lays siege to the theater, blowing it up and revealing a storm brewing outside. As a battle unfolds, it’s up to Jack to save the day.
As the stunt show unfolded, I found it entertaining, but not spectacular. Until the finale. But, first why was it hard to have me in awe? It wasn’t the language barrier. I don’t mind the barrier. Disney does a great job at conveying the plot without having to understand what is being said. But, many of the stunts didn’t take place until halfway through the show. For a stunt spectacular, it was a bit slow going. However, the end had me bright eyed and jaw dropped.
I’ve seen many stunt shows, and many ways to do finales that have people leaving amazed, but they get to be somewhat the same. Eye of the Storm provided something different: a battle in a tornado. Yes. A tornado. A vertical wind tunnel made for a battleground for Captain Jack Sparrow and the Admiral. An up and down fist fight while twisting and turning made this truly spectacular. It was like nothing I had ever seen before and made me think that these guys really knew what they were doing through many rehearsals.
If you ever get the chance to see Eye of the Storm, it will not disappoint in the end.
What’s Old Is New Again
Of course the trademark attraction is the new iteration of a classic – Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle For the Sunken Treasure. Imagineers have created an amazing attraction that uses a lot of technology to tell the story. Jack Sparrow is searching for sunken treasure, but Davy Jones wants to keep it from him. We are all along for the journey as well.
This was the most surprising attraction for me. As much as I was expecting some great effects, this blew me out of the water – pun intended. First, the Audio-Animatronics are state of the art. Davy Jones’ tentacles move almost individually. Secondly, though it uses projections, these projections surround you and are a bit 3D without glasses. It makes for an immersive sight. There are parts of moving underwater and rising above, and both feel realistic without the splash. Thirdly, the practical sets are huge and detailed! Everything feels real as you travel around and through ships. There is one scene where you turn a corner and revealed are Davy Jones’ ship and Jack’s. These are life sized ships! Or at least sides of them. But, the sudden sight of them took my breath away. I have not had that with a Disney attraction since Soarin’. To be in the middle of a ship to ship battle was exciting and amazing. The finale was a great one and loaded with some fairly real effects to them. In all, this is an attraction for the books. A great story, superb effects, it was one of the finest things I’ve ever been on.
On Land And Sea
There was still much to do besides these attractions. Siren’s Song is a ship playground for all ages. It’s docked along the water and provided both a scenery prop and a place to explore.
Besides what there is to do, there is a great place to eat: Barbossa’s Bounty. This quick service restaurant is set up to be like eating in different parts of the village. So, not only does it have great food, but great decoration and atmosphere. One of the dining areas overlooks the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, in Blue Bayou style. It made for one of the better places to eat in the park in all. I had two of the possible meals, and even tried the specialty drink. It was all very appetizing.
The Cove Conclusion
Treasure Cove seems like an odd choice to make as a whole land, but it turned out to be one of the more fun ones. A great show, and great attraction are found here. The atmosphere has so much to look at, it’s just enjoyable to walk around. My thought of it being an odd choice is that there’s some pigeonholing in that only Pirates themed attractions can be here in the future. But, who cares? It’s a wonderful place to visit. Just abandon all hope, apparently.