Menu
pirates of the caribbean music rights

Disney Might Have Lost the Rights to Its Own Music, Here’s Why Fans Think So

On noting some changes in the soundtrack to the iconic Pirates of the Caribbean ride, some Disney fans think the company has lost the rights to the movies’ music.

The Disney Resorts in Central Florida and Southern California are known to be some of the best places for a Disney vacation. Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort have myriad rides and attractions, with Guests flocking to the Parks to get their taste of the Disney magic. However, Disney fans are devoted and alert and often catch changes that could reveal some unsavory realities or questions about the Mouse House.

sleeping beauty castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle at night, Disneyland Resort/Courtesy of Disney

The most recent observation from a Disney Park fan led them to question whether Disney had lost the musical rights to its own music. Reddit user and Disney Guest u/ExuberantRaptorZeta began the discussion,

We just rode Pirates for the first time since the semi-recent remodel last year. Why did they change the music in the Barbosa ship scene? For years it’s been the theme music from the POTC films, specifically “The Medallion Calls” from The Curse of the Black Pearl. It has now been replaced with some extremely generic action music, and it almost sounds like a public-domain “soundalike” version of the ‘Pirates’ movie-music in parts, instead of the real McCoy. 

pirates of the caribbean disneyland

Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Disneyland Resort ride

The OP continued their line of questioning, concluding with, “If I didn’t know any better, it feels like Disney lost the rights to use the music from their own movie in their own ride because I cannot think of any other possible explanation for this massive downgrade. Anyone have any insight?”

Many commenters shared they hadn’t realized this was the case until the OP had pointed it out themselves, while others took to also sharing their noted changes in the iconic ride.

pirates of the caribbean disneyland

U/EmoPlantLady shared, “Idk but they took away a lot of the fog there too and added the moon/night sky effects which I liked. Also seems like one less cannon blast too but I could be mistaken.”

U/JoeFamous also added, “I noticed this a while back as well and wondered if it was some sort of cost cutting move to keep from having to pay royalties to Hans Zimmer or something.”

The OP also added they could see the explanation that former Disney CEO Bob Chapek (often called Bob “Paycheck”) could have put in place the cost-cutting measure during his tenure and expressed a wish for the returned Disney CEO Bob Iger to rectify the situation. Disney has not addressed this change itself, and we do not yet know why this has happened, but it is most definitely a strange development.

Disney and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise have also been in the news for the controversy surrounding Johnny Depp and the constant teasing of a new Pirates film with Margot Robbie.

We at Disney Fanatic will continue to report on all Disney news.

About Priyanka

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago.