The Redhead Controversy

The old and new versions of The Redhead

Orlando, FL is the top family destination in the United States, and both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort are known as being for kids of all ages. That does not mean that everything is actually family friendly. You’ll see explosions, weapons, evil witches, and more bones than you can count while on your vacation. While most of these elements go over the heads of kids, last year a change was made to a classic ride. I’m talking about Pirates of the Caribbean.

If you aren’t familiar with the ride, it’s a slow moving boat that takes you through the lives of pirates. At the beginning an eerie voice proclaims, “Dead men tell no tales”. You then float through several scenes which include many skeletons, a possible drowning, plenty of drunk pirates, and an attempted jailbreak. You’ll also encounter Captain Jack Sparrow along the way, modeled after Johnny Depp. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ride, I just try not to think about what’s actually going on.

There was one scene that Disney eventually decided went too far. On the left there were several women loosely tied together, and a sign in the back proclaimed “Auction. Take a Wench for a Bride”. The current bid was for a rather plump woman, but the pirates all called out “We wants the Redhead!” They were referring to the next woman who was to be up for bid. In June of 2017 Disney announced that they were going to change the scene. It would no longer feature an auction of women, instead the auction would be for various goods that are presumed stolen. The Redhead would still be a focal point, but she would become one of the pirates.

The idea did not go over well with many Pirates of the Caribbean fans. Petitions were started, Facebook groups in favor of keeping the scene the way it was were made, and there were even T-shirts with “We wants the Redhead” printed on them. None of it did any good. The Walt Disney World version of the ride closed for refurbishment in February, 2018, and reopened the following month. In some ways the change has been good for the ride, as more guests are putting it on their must-do lists.

The new scene still has the Redhead front and center. She is now one of the pirates, and she’s not letting the others bully her around. She’s also been given the name Redd. If you’re headed to California, you might be able to meet her in person. She’s an actual character there, at least for the summer.

There are still strong opinions on both sides on whether or not the scene should have been changed, but it looks like the new version is here to stay. Check out the video of the updated scene below, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel as well.