- In the Parks
I think the only quibble I have with DLP's Pirates is that the lift hill being towards the beginning feels weird and is sort of a spoiler that you're gonna go down a drop at some point. In every other version of the ride the drop is a relative surprise in the darkness, which is a lot of fun.Paris is the same (and the DLP version was seen as the as-perfect-as-possible version, correcting mistake of the previous two)
Though, in execution, DLP's lift is still probably better than Disneyland's "going up the waterfall" lift, which is a totally fun idea that doesn't really read in person if you haven't heard Walt talk about taking guests back up the waterfall. I recall that on my first ride of Disneyland's Pirates as a 10 year old who'd only ever ridden WDW's Pirates, going up the waterfall felt like the setup to a big final thrill . . . which slightly let down when the ride simply ended. I felt a little faked out because the entire ride prior had already blown WDW's out of the water - even at age 10 this was clear - and I thought they were about to really clinch it. The lift was spooky and mysterious and didn't register to me as simply the way to get back to ground level, it felt like a lot of suspense was building. Even now when I ride I sort of feel that way, knowing there's no payoff coming. Sort of the opposite of the DLP lift quibble - at least that one delivers on the suspense it builds. I just wish it wasn't there to build any.
In an absolutely perfect world I think there'd be a version of Pirates somewhere that does that - eliminates that lift, keeping the first drop a surprise, but then keeps everything else laid out the way DLP does. It would probably need a separate unload and load station, like WDW, so the boats could get back up to level between them. And maybe leave Jack Sparrow out of it. Maybe.
What any of this has to do with Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, I'll never know.