Yesterday, we asked you what this Fort inspired at Walt Disney World -
This is Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, or Morro Castle, in beautiful San Juan Puerto Rico.
In 1539, King Charles V of Spain commissioned the construction of the Castle to defend, and control entry, to San Juan. The ‘proto-fort’ was completed in 1589. Over the following 400 years, there have been numerous additions to the structure – from a lighthouse, the stone walls that sit in the sea, and living quarters for visiting European royalty.
In 1898, the Spanish ceded ownership of the Castle, and it was taken over by America. Finally, in 1961, the American Military retired El Morrow and the site was marked a National Park. In addition, the United Nations declared the walls of the fortress to be a World Heritage Site.
If it looks familiar, it should. The fort was used in filming scenes for Steven Spielberg’s film Amistad. Or, perhaps you’ve been strolling Adventureland in Walt Disney World, looked up, and seen this sign -
Yo Ho, Yo Ho, That should give it away.
Aye matey. It be the entrance to ride with me fellow scurvy dogs aboard Pirates of the Caribbean.
Opened in December of 1973, Pirates of the Caribbean has remained the star attraction in Adventureland.
Imagineers thoroughly examined San Juan’s famous fort when designing the attraction. They used both interior and exterior elements, including the fort’s iconic Clock Tower.
No better inspiration than a fort built on a Caribbean island that was consistently under threat of real pirates. While I doubt Jack Sparrow ever set foot upon the soil at Morrow Castle, he does makes a few cameo appearances in the streets of Tortuga at Disney World.
POTC is among the most detailed attractions at the park. Imagineer Marc Davis even staged a chess match in the queue line. The pieces are arranged so that any move will cause a stale-mate.
During a refreshment in the mid ’90s some chess pieces were moved. They remained misplaced until Marc Davis’ original design art was located, and the pieces were put back into their correct positions, forever trapping the games’ players in their battle.