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Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

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  • [Question] Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

    I was wondering if anyone here ever rode the Buccaneer ride at the Freedomland theme park in the Bronx, NY, and how it compares with Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean, which actually came later.

    I find it interesting that this ride we (including myself) often hold up as an example of an "original" Disney attraction may have borrowed some ideas from a pre-existing competitor...I'm just wondering how much they had in common. Was it just the general pirate theme and the fact that it was in that park's New Orleans-themed section, or were there more similarities?
    "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

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    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

    Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
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    Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


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  • #2
    Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

    Well that park closed long before I was born, but I do know that a man called C.V Wood built/designed Freedomland and he had previously worked for Disney. He worked in the planning, construction, and management of Disneyland (stolen from wikipedia ) . He was fired before PotC was built but he might have had something to do with it.

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    • #3
      Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

      The Buccaneer ride from Freedomland ended up at Cedar Point, where it was renamed the Pirate Ride. I rode it at Cedar Point int he 80's a couple times and it was a cheesy dark ride where the scenes were lit with spotlights as you went by. Things popping out at you and stuff like that. Pirate Ride closed awhile back. I can't remember what took its place but I think part of a restaurant is there now.

      Cedar Point also got the Earthquake ride from Freedomland, which is also no longer there. Where Earthquake used to be was turned into Bearinstein Bear Country in the 80's. Now it's a Snoopy play area (or was int he 90's).

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      • #4
        Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

        I have never ridden that ride, nor have I ever heard of it. Although to be honest I think POTC borrows many ideas from the Calico Mine Ride at Knotts! I think Walt would have been more influenced by this ride which he helped build by the way, as compared to a ride thousands of miles away that the local clientelle may have never heard of.

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        • #5
          Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

          Originally posted by aimster View Post
          The Buccaneer ride from Freedomland ended up at Cedar Point, where it was renamed the Pirate Ride. I rode it at Cedar Point int he 80's a couple times and it was a cheesy dark ride where the scenes were lit with spotlights as you went by. Things popping out at you and stuff like that. Pirate Ride closed awhile back.
          They couldn't get any more creative with the name? Pirate Ride?! Judging by it's title and description, no wonder it closed.

          Oh wait, we're talking about Cedar Point - nevermind


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          • #6
            Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

            Oh jeez, I remember the long discussion about Buccaneer and how Disney "ripped" them off when they built PotC (you can find it in the PotC effect thread I started...should be floating around here somewhere.)

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            • #7
              Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

              Originally posted by explodingboy View Post
              They couldn't get any more creative with the name? Pirate Ride?! Judging by it's title and description, no wonder it closed.

              Oh wait, we're talking about Cedar Point - nevermind

              Can you imagine if they took over Disneyland.

              "Okay, so we're renaming The Haunted Mansion to The Ghost Ride, Splash Mountain to The Log Ride, Fantasmic to The Fountain Show, and Cinderella Castle to The Castle."

              "Actually sir, it's Sleeping Beauty Castle. Cinderella Castle is the one in Disney World."

              "Jenkins, you're fired."


              That's interesting that it was moved to Cedar Point. Thanks for the description, Aimster. Sounds very different than Pirates. I wonder if anything was changed after they acquired it. I do think it's kind of funny that it was in Freedomland's New Orleans section, especially considering the "Pirates doesn't belong in New Orleans Square" argument that pops up here now and then. (Which I disagree with. Pirates works just fine in NOS ).
              "Happy Working Song" parody for DCA remodel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-TYESfNTP8&feature=plcp

              Retro Rant Review of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame II" (comedy review of direct-to-video
              Disney sequel):
              Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../1/q1j7FU8QXu0
              Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/user/animagus.../0/sasNTMDRBLU

              Retro Rant Review of "Home on the Range" (comedy review of Disney movie):
              Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7mC-...feature=relmfu
              Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUie...feature=relmfu
              Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3Vea...feature=relmfu


              Visit my site: http://www.vividgroovy.com



              Pratfall the albatross superheroine visits the Carthay Circle Theatre.

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              • #8
                Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

                Originally posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
                I have never ridden that ride, nor have I ever heard of it. Although to be honest I think POTC borrows many ideas from the Calico Mine Ride at Knotts!
                I think the Calico Mine Train inspired Nature's Wonderland more than POTC.

                I think Walt would have been more influenced by this ride which he helped build by the way, as compared to a ride thousands of miles away that the local clientele may have never heard of.
                But remember, C.V. Wood (the mind behind Freedomland) used to be Walt's right hand man at DL. Then they had a falling out, which was very quickly and efficiently hushed up. C.V. was pretty well expunged from the corporate history and anybody who knew details took it to their graves. Walt even sued C.V. for billing himself as the "Master Builder of Disneyland" in Freedomland promotional materials! Honestly, I could easily see Walt concieving all of NOS as a revenge move, including a bigger and better pirate ride.
                Disneyland Historic Preservation Society
                Charter Member

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                • #9
                  Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

                  Lets get an Orange Drink and go get on Pirate Ride, then we can buy Souvenirs. LOL

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                  • #10
                    Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

                    Originally posted by animagusurreal View Post
                    Can you imagine if they took over Disneyland.

                    "Okay, so we're renaming The Haunted Mansion to The Ghost Ride, Splash Mountain to The Log Ride, Fantasmic to The Fountain Show, and Cinderella Castle to The Castle."

                    "Actually sir, it's Sleeping Beauty Castle. Cinderella Castle is the one in Disney World."

                    "Jenkins, you're fired."


                    That's interesting that it was moved to Cedar Point. Thanks for the description, Aimster. Sounds very different than Pirates. I wonder if anything was changed after they acquired it. I do think it's kind of funny that it was in Freedomland's New Orleans section, especially considering the "Pirates doesn't belong in New Orleans Square" argument that pops up here now and then. (Which I disagree with. Pirates works just fine in NOS ).
                    Seriously. Jeez.


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                    • #11
                      Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

                      Originally posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
                      I have never ridden that ride, nor have I ever heard of it. Although to be honest I think POTC borrows many ideas from the Calico Mine Ride at Knotts! I think Walt would have been more influenced by this ride which he helped build by the way, as compared to a ride thousands of miles away that the local clientelle may have never heard of.
                      Freedomland U.S.A. operated from 1960 - 1964. While New Orleans Square was a long time in the making, plenty of people involved with Disney would have been sent to Queens for the World's Fair while Freedomland U.S.A. was still operating.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

                        You have to bear in mind that there was a different mindset at Cedar Point in the 1960's -70's. George Roose and Emil LeGross rescued a failing summer resort, set out to "build the Disneyland of the Midwest". The Cedar Point of that era was a true family park, with something for everyone to enjoy. George and Emil were the majority stockholders in the company back then, and were seen daily walking the park. George, like Walt Disney, was a steam railroad enthusiast. He built the two mile long CP&LE RR and outfitted with restored steam locomotives (six operable ones by the mid 1970's) With his own money (sound familiar?). These gentlemen sweated the details on everything. There were four antique carousels, all restored to their former glory, each having a restored band organ. There the dark rides mentioned, the Prior and Church Racing Derby from Euclid Beach Park. Spectacular rides that were the latest attractions at Oktoberfest in Munich wound up on the "Million Dollar Midway". There were thrill rides, tranquill rides kiddie rides, and rides for the entire family. Then, during the winter of 1974-75, Emil LeGross passed away and the bankers were put into a position on the board of directors, and it forever changed the direction of the park,(and the company that would eventually would own it and other parks that they would obtain). I could go on for a long long time about this, but essentially if the rph didn't justify the upkeep a ride was gone. The old school dark rides fell by the wayside, victums of this menatality and vandelism. The family friendly flat rides were next, replaced by a forest of steel.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

                          Originally posted by MrHatboxGhost View Post
                          Oh jeez, I remember the long discussion about Buccaneer and how Disney "ripped" them off when they built PotC (you can find it in the PotC effect thread I started...should be floating around here somewhere.)

                          Yep, that was me, though I certainly never said Disney ripped them off, but that I believe the earlier ride was an influence that they've never acknowledged. Given the two parks' intertwined history and having ridden both attractions and seen the similarities, it's hard to believe otherwise.

                          For a dark ride of its age, Bucaneers/The Pirate Ride was really well done and lots of fun. It was a dinosaur next to Pirates of the Caribbean, but an enjoyable relic all the same.

                          Here's my original post on the topic. There's a little more on other posts after it.

                          Note one this I actually said was:

                          "I'm not accusing anyone of ripping anyone off. Pirates of the Caribbean is a far superior attraction to Buccaneers/The Pirate Ride and full of innovations both technical and artistic. I am suggesting, though, that they knew it existed and probably drew inspiration from it. Knowing the facts and the timeline, it's really hard for me to think otherwise."
                          Last edited by clockworkmonkey; 03-25-2011, 07:50 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

                            If anyone is still interested, I gathered my thoughts and research into <a href="http://thedisneyrevue.blogspot.com/2011/05/secret-influence-on-pirates-of.html">this article about Bucanners/The Pirate Ride and why I believe it was an influence on Pirates of the Caribbean</a>.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Did anyone here ride Freedomland's Buccaneer? How did it compare to PotC?

                              I've had the pleasure of riding this attraction at cedar point in ohio. I had ridden it about 4 times before cedar point closed the attraction down. The show building is still there and they use the now empty dark ride for one of their "Halloweekends" haunted mazes. Two years ago they still had the painted mural up that was on the opposite side of the loading track.

                              The attraction was nowhere near POTC, you can't even put them on the same playing field. This attraction was a simple dark ride, think of Peter Pan's flight and Snow White's scary adventures. It was air conditioned, basic UV painted flats with some minor motor moving figures. I remember one show scene in particular was a giant octopus and he had boats in his tentacles. It was fun if you're into the nostalgic classic dark rides and it was one of the only attractions on grounds that was air conditioned and trust me after braving some of the coaster lines it was a well received attraction to ride.

                              If you google it you can see some images of the facade! Kitschy and fun sums it up!
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