The Theme Park Kid and I have now joined The Pirates League at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
We recently had the chance to experience the new “pirate makeovers” in Adventureland.
The Pirates League is right next to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Walt Disney World. This band of pirates has taken over what used to be the East India Trading Company.
The first pirate we encountered on our adventure was Brenna, who told us that Capt. Jack Sparrow himself had chosen this location as a new pirate recruiting center. She led us inside, where someone had been a little careless with a cannon.
The first step in our recruitment was to be assigned a new pirate name. I can’t let you in on all the secrets, but it involves spinning a ship’s wheel, dice and the month of your birth.
You may now call me Kate Darkgrin, and my little one is Beth Crestpeddler.
After receiving our names, we were led further inside The Pirates League, where the real makeover began.
Being lasses, we chose the “Empress Package” for this pirate experience.
There are several different looks for boys, too.
Our pirate masters twisted our hair and pinned it back to frame our faces. Then our nails were painted. We had a choice of hot pink or black polish.
Then came the makeup.
I nearly fell out of my chair when I was presented with the choice of eye shadow colors, as this was the darkest, brightest makeup pallette I’ve ever seen. I went with the purple, and my kindergartner choose blue. It went on a little lighter than it looked, but not much.
We also got lots of eyeliner, bright blush on our cheeks, and plenty of glitter.
There was also a choice of lip gloss – pink or red – and we chose one face gem design from a little sheet we were given.
Makeup complete, we donned bandannas, which came in either pink and black or red and black, and eye patches, where we chose between black or pink.
Our pirate masters gave us little satin “loot bags” with our nail polish, lip gloss and face gems.
Then they asked us to raise our right hands and swear the pirate oath.
But we weren’t quite done yet.
We were led over to a corner of the room near what looked like a packing crate, given our pirate swords and shown a secret passage.
Inside was the Sacred Sanctorium.
Now I can’t tell you much about this special room without breaking my pirate oath, but I will say that inside are some of Capt. Jack’s most valuable treasures.
Inside the Sacred Sanctorium, we had our official pirate portraits “painted,” and we were presented our own pieces of the pirate treasure – medallions that contained a secret message.
When we left the secret room, we were given our pirate portraits, along with a special pirate cypher to decode our medallions. We were also shown a map with some “Xs” where we would find other pirates in Adventureland.
We were told to give these pirates the secret message on our medallions and they would have a special message for us. Then the pirates sent us on our merry way.
Outside we decoded the message and set off on the rest of our pirate adventure.
We encountered a pirate who taught us the secret pirate handshake, and a second pirate who gave us special Pirates League celebration buttons.
My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed our experience at The Pirates League. Our time inside for the makeover and other festivities was about 45 minutes, so it didn’t feel rushed.
As I have noted before, the Walt Disney World cast members at this attraction are excellent. They are very creative in their responses to questions and they never break character.
During our makeovers, we were given lots of advice about living the pirate life, which my daughter loved. She is 5 years old, and the experience was completely age appropriate for her. There was nothing too scary or too overstimulating, and nothing that felt too “baby,” either. I think the cast here has really been trained to tailor the experience to the age of the guests inside.
I especially liked the secret code on our necklaces and the way Disney designed this adventure to continue in Adventureland. That part allows you to really play the pirate role once you step outside of The Pirates League.
The only thing I would change is that I would ask your pirate master to use bobby pins to secure your banadana on your head. Our bandanas kept slipping off and we chose to stop wearing them a couple of hours later because of it.
It’s fun to walk around the Magic Kingdom after your pirate makeover, too. You get lots of smiles and looks, and a few strange stares. But where else can a grown woman walk around in bold garish makeup and glitter? (Don’t answer that…)
If you’re thinking the price ($49.95 for the package we got) is steep, well, I agree. But we did get more than we bargained for – the makeover and all of these things to keep:
- Eye Patch
- Face gems
- Drawstring bag for the above items
- Belt with a sword sheath
- Pirate medallion on a chain
- 5×7 photo
- Certificate with pirate name and the pirate oath
A package that includes a complete pirate costume is $124.95.
The whole experience – from checking in at The Pirates League to finding the pirates inside Adventureland – took more than 90 minutes. If you have a child (or a spouse or significant other) who is into pirates, I think The Pirates League is well worth the money. Especially if you use it as part of a birthday celebration.
And the certificate with your pirate name and the pirate oath could be framed, along with your portrait, as a keepsake.
On the day of our pirate makeovers, The Pirates League was taking some walk-up reservations, but I would not count on that. Your best bet is to call (407) WDW-CREW to make reservations up to 90 days out.