Yesterland Chicken of the Sea
Pirate Ship and Restaurant
Pirate Ship at Disneyland
The Pirate Ship provides a colorful backdrop for Fantasyland.

Pirate Ship
“Here’s an attraction that doesn’t require a ticket!”


 

Join Captain Hook for lunch.

Are you hungry for a tuna sandwich, a tuna burger, or a hot tuna pie? Then plan to eat at the Pirate Ship. Get your food at the counter below the deck. Then head for a table in Skull Rock Cove, right behind the ship.


The Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and Restaurant was a Disneyland landmark from 1955 until 1982, although the name changed to Captain Hook’s Galley when Chicken of the Sea dropped their sponsorship in 1969.

Pirate Ship Restaurant entrance through hull
Enter the Pirate Ship entrance through the hull. (1969 photo)

You may remember that in Walt Disney’s 1953 animated classic, Peter Pan, our hero Peter flies the pirate ship back to London, thanks to pixie dust from Tinker Bell. The Pirate Ship at Disneyland flew once too. Here’s how the book Disneyland: The Nickel Tour (Bruce Gordon and David Mumford, 1995) explains the flight:

As construction of Fantasyland reached a frantic pace prior to opening in 1955, it became apparent that there wasn’t enough room left in Fantasyland to build the Pirate Ship. So space was cleared behind the Main Street Opera House (which was being used as the lumber mill) and the entire ship was constructed backstage. Shortly before opening, the fantasy of the flying ship came true, when the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship actually flew into Fantasyland... courtesy of a nearby construction crane.
Pirate Shup at Disneyland, 1956
Admire the Pirate Ship, or pose for a picture? (1956 photo)

Originally, Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship sat in a simple pond. In 1960, the pond became an exotic, tropic setting from Peter Pan with the addition of Skull Rock.

The Pirate Ship was supposed to move a second time. In 1981, work began on Disneyland’s New Fantasyland. As part of the plan to improve pedestrian flow in the crowded land, plans called for the Pirate Ship to be relocated to the Small World Promenade.

Pirate Ship at Disneyland
“Ask any mermaid you happen to see... What’s the best tuna? Chicken of the Sea.”

It wasn’t a simple matter of digging a canal and floating the ship to the new location. In fact, the ship wasn’t really a ship. It was an aging wooden building, in which wood at the base had been replaced with concrete over the years to better withstand sitting in the water of a tropical lagoon. By summer 1982, the ship was sitting in a dry construction site, but the ship could not be moved. Bulldozers unceremoniously demolished the longtime landmark. Trucks hauled away the mangled timbers and chunks of concrete.

Pirate Ship before Skull Rock
Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship and Restaurant in 1956, before Skull Rock

There was neither the time nor the budget to build a replacement. So when the New Fantasyland opened in 1983, the ship had “flown away” forever. A new version of the popular Dumbo attraction occupies the ship’s former space.


Pirate Ship at Disneyland in 1974
Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship in 1974

Although Disneyland’s Pirate Ship has been gone since 1982, the Imagineers didn’t forget about it.

Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim
Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim

The Disneyland Hotel’s old Olympic size pool was demolished to make way for Downtown Disney. So a new feature pool opened in 1999 between the hotel’s three towers, where there had previously been a marina and lake. The Never Land Pool, with its Peter Pan theme, had its own little version of Captain Hook’s ship (but it’s now gone).

Captain Hook’s Galley at Disneyland Paris
Captain Hook’s Galley at Disneyland Paris

If you want a full-size Pirate Ship, you’ll have to head to Adventureland at Disneyland Paris. Captain Hook’s Galley is a counter service restaurant. It sits adjacent to ominous Skull Rock—just like the long-lost original.

Sorry. There are no tuna sandwiches, tuna burgers, or hot tuna pies at the Paris version. You’ll have to settle for hot dogs, potato crisps, doughnuts, and ice cream.

The stern of Captain Hook’s Galley at Disneyland Paris
The stern of Captain Hook’s Galley at Disneyland Paris

Now, please take another look at Skull Rock.


Click here to discuss this page on the Yesterland Discussion Forum at MiceChat!


Skull Rock
Motor Boat Cruise
Home


© 1995-2009 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks

Updated September 7, 2012.

Photo of Pirate Ship behind Mad Tea Party: by Charles R. Lympany, courtesy of Chris Taylor.
Photo of man with ticket book at Pirate Ship: 1969 by Fred M. Nelson, Sr.
Photo of Pirate Ship entrance through hull: 1969 by Fred M. Nelson, Sr.
Photo of three people and oval bench near Pirate Ship: 1956 courtesy of Ron Yungul.
Photo of Pirate Ship bow with Skyway at left: 1959 by Fred M. Nelson, Sr.
Photo of Pirate Ship from Skyway: 1956 courtesy of Ron Yungul.
Photo (wide) of Pirate Ship bow with Skyway at left: 1974 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of Captain Hook’s Pirate Ship at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim: 2007 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of Captain Hook’s Galley at Disneyland Paris: 2005 by Werner Weiss.
Photo of stern of Captain Hook’s Galley at Disneyland Paris: 2005 by Werner Weiss.