Secrets Behind Shanghai Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean

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17 Responses

  1. Melanie B. says:

    HOLY WOW, that was so much fun to read about. The enthusiasm of the riders was infectious! Here’s hoping the new Avatar ride at Animal Kingdom is as exciting as this one!

  2. Jonathan E. says:

    Thanks!! This is my favorite article type you guys do! Next… Spider-Man!

  3. BTH says:

    The idea about a piece of glass for the peppers ghost effect looks accurate to me. The evidence is in the set pieces that mask the edges of the pane of glass. In the haunted mansion they use pillars but watch the POTC video again. You will see a rope ladder/net thing to the riders left and a pole (presumably a mast?) on the right. These perfectly frame the action while the transition is occurring. As the boat moves past them you can see that they are tilted 45 degrees and are parallel with each other. Unlike the haunted mansion where the illusion must be maintained, once the transition to “real” Jack occurs the riders are free to move beyond the pane of glass (the cargo net concealing the left edge of the glass).

  4. Steven Sokulski says:

    Very nice write-up!

    I have to disagree with your theory on the Skeleton to Sparrow transition, though.

    After looking at the transition frame by frame, I think this is an example of the projection technique used on the Hatbox Ghost at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.

    In short, the Sparrow AA serves as a projection surface for the skeleton. This could go as far as to use more muted colors in that figures costume that are then amped up by the projection to look more vibrant.

    More muted colors allow for the figure to basically be a projection screen onto which the skeleton or the Sparrow lighting is projected.

    When looking at the skeleton in still frame,s you can see a glow where Sparrow’s hat would be. Of course this could be bleed over from the Pepper’s Ghost effect, but getting a perfectly clean Pepper’s Ghost transition would be trivial, so I’m inclined to think this is the outline of the real future.

    The lighting also changes dramatically when the figure stops being a projection surface. Lighting the figure from behind before this point would tarnish the outline of the skeleton.

  5. Wim says:

    If both bogies are on the same track, and they split up at a certain moment to let the boat go sideways, this means that the single track has to “open” or “split” right in between the two bogies. and close again for the next boat This could cause a lot of problems with the timing. Isn’t it more logical to have two tracks and keep them separated for the whole ride, but put them close to each other on the straight paths?

  6. Nick says:

    Thanks Melanie, glad you liked it!

    Thanks for the suggestion Jonathan, we’ll do some research on Spider-man.

    Hopefully we’ll get some better videos soon that we can examine frame by frame to see if there are any new clues about Jack Sparrow. Either way, the first time you see it is a mind blowing effect.

    Wim, in the patent it describes both styles: two tracks for each bogie and one track that splits into two. One track seems like it would be more complicated. I can’t tell from the few pictures I could find exactly what style they chose to go with.

  7. KingRCT3 says:

    Very neat article, thanks. =)
    I wasn’t aware of the layout picture! I drew one myself using the satellite view and the first POV we had at the time:

    And also, I made this video, analyzing the ride (again only from this POV). Seems like we came to the same conclusions:

  8. Marcus says:

    I read this without a care for the spoilers as I knew I’d probably never get to visit Shanghai Disneyland. HOWEVER, having read how incredible this ride looks, I sort of want to book a flight now and wish I had never read the spoilers 😀

  9. John Hart says:

    Actually, I don’t believe there is a Peppers Ghost effect with Jack in the beginning. It looks more like the skeletal look is projection mapped onto the animatronic. A simpler approach less prone to problems such as condensation on the glass.

  10. KingRCT3 says:

    This isn’t a glass but (probably) a Musion Eyeliner. From the videos I saw, it’s definitely not video mapping, and there is definitely an angled reflective surface. 😉

  11. Nick says:

    The Season Pass Podcast guys actually went on the ride and they say Pepper’s Ghost. They also describe the ride as “Escape from Gringotts on water” kind of like what I was saying.

  12. Nick says:

    I do like how the Jack Sparrow effect is magical and not 100% obvious how it’s done – makes it more fun for us to try and figure it out!

  13. Jacob says:

    Hey I love this article! I found something in the video that might prove your theory about the Jack AA. If you look really closely at the video, at the skeletons right shoulder (from our view it is the left) even after the AA starts to be seen you can just barely see the shoulder of the skeleton poking out from Jack’s shoulder. This would suggest that they are using the pepper’s ghost effect that you talked about.

  14. Nick says:

    Thanks Jacob!

  15. Nate says:

    I agree with BTH, the peppers ghost effect is correct. They make the effect short and at a distance. The Skeleton is down below. Someone may get a video of it someday if they can get their camera up high enough at that moment or using IR or flash near the end of scene point. They probably blow filtered air over the top of the glass to keep dust from building up, you may feel that. You can make your own peppers ghost effect at home using a sliding glass door, put something outside about 3 feet away and something else inside about 3 feet back and then light each one up, you can see how it actually tracks you as you move too!

  16. Nate says:

    I have to say that it is an impressive visual and congrats to the Imagineering team! I found a video where someone points out the glass position, hopefully the link is posted below or search youtube for “Analysis of Pirates of the Caribbean Battle”. Once you know where it is you can look very closely in the dark that is lit up by some lights and flashes and see it in the “Finnemore” video, like when the boat is lined up with the rope ladder it’s pretty clear, look at the center rope. Also in that video you can see where they didn’t have the background of the Skeleton quite right yet and there is a sort of glow around it’s head when you first round the corner, might be the video screen, keep reading… In later videos it looks like the Imagineering team improved/tweaked the effect so it’s even better than it was in the first opening days! The sparkly part is possibly a projection or more likely a video screen and another angled glass in front of the Skeleton below. You can see some blue on the ship’s wheel, which by the way is duplicated below so you get the idea that the Skeleton is behind the wheel, very nice addition to the illusion. This video is obviously very, very, very SPOILER FILLED:

  17. Zachary says:

    The Jack Sparrow illusion looks more like the hatbox ghost illusion.Good thinking though.

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