Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean Ride Once Had Real Human Bones — and Maybe Still Does



"Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s afterlife for me.” That’s probably not what the people who willed their remains to UCLA’s Medical Center imagined would be their final repose, but for some, it actually was……maybe even still is — the jury is still out on that. One thing is absolutely certain: When Pirates of the Caribbean opened at Disneyland in 1967, all of the skeletons on the attraction were actual human bones. When the new pirate attraction was being designed, there was just one problem: the engineers couldn’t recreate the skeletons. The technology of the time wasn’t sophisticated enough to make skeletons that the company felt met their standards of realism. So instead of faking it, the engineers went to find the real thing — straight to UCLA, where they procured real human skeletons for the ride. Of course, it didn’t last forever. A new generation of engineers later used advanced technology to replace the real skeletons with fake ones. Today, Disneyland says that there are no longer any human remains on the ride, but some remain unconvinced.