- “Dead men tell no tales!”
- ―Ghostly voice heard constantly echoing throughout the scene
Dead Man's Cove is a location from the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. It is a mysterious cavern system located on the Caribbean island of Isla Tesoro and is often referred to a graveyard of pirates who have died while searching for the island's legendary treasure.
Dead Man's Cove is described as a dark, mysterious grotto filled with raging waterfalls. Following the Wicked Wench's ransacking of Puerto Dorado, they set up a base in the grotto where they stashed their gold. The crew would all however die and haunt the grotto for their crimes.
The cove, hence its name, is filled with skeletons of deceased pirates who died trying to seek for treasure in the Caribbean. Within the cavern is a beach where crabs crawl around the ground while seagulls use skeletons of dead pirates as nests.
Points of Interest
- Hurricane Harbor: This scene includes a dead helmsman steering his ship across a stormy sea. Within this scene is a large wreckage as the skeleton sails across the sea for eternity.
- Crew's Quarters: A bar where pirates died to enjoy drinking rum and wine. Near the quarters is a Jolly Roger flag nearby. Outside the quarters included signs reading "Stow yer weapons" and "Thar Be No Place Like Home!". One of the artwork displayed in the bar included a painting of a woman, identified as the pirate Redd.
- Captain's Quarters: A private area that included a dead pirate captain lying down in his holding a magnifying glass while reading a treasure map. Near the quarters is a harpsichord playing an instrumental version of "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)".
- Treasure Room: At the end of the grotto is a cursed treasure room with dozens of gold, jewelry, and types of rare artifacts. In the treasure room is a dead pirate to warn visitors that richness is no match for death.
- Ghostly Grotto: At the end of a grotto lies a tunnel where guests hear an eerie voice who warns them about curse when they exit the grotto. As soon as guests exit the grotto, they end up in Isla Tesoro
- The Crew of the Wicked Wench: The piratical crew of the Wicked Wench set up their lair in Dead man's cove before their untimely demise at the hands of a curse. Their skeletons remain in the lair, inferred to be haunted by their souls for their violent crimes of greed.
- The Talking Skull: The talking skull is shown to have a connection with the cove. In the original Disneyland attraction it sends guests to the grotto from New Orleans' Blue Bayou where he was situated. In Walt Disney World, the skull is seen within the grotto itself and uses his dark powers to send riders down a black waterfall and back in time to witness the raiding of Puerto Dorado.
- Davy Jones: From 2006-2018, Davy Jones was a staple character of Dead Man's Cove. Jones materialized on a misty waterfall which was passed through; in Disneyland the waterfall marked the secret entrance to the grotto from the sea while in the Magic Kingdom it marked the entrance for the ride itself. Jones here gave ominous warnings regarding the haunted nature of the cove and the cursed treasure.
- The Ghosts: Several disembodied ghosts haunt Dead Man's Cove. Most notably is a ghost who repeats the warning, "Dead men tell no tales..." as mortals pass through the caverns.
- Barbossa: Barbossa was captain of the Wench during their raiding of Puerto Dorado and likely shared his own part of the curse. It can be assumed that he was a resident of the grotto and was cursed like the others but isn't explicitly identified. In Disneyland Paris however, Barbossa makes an explicit appearance alongside the helmsman. Here Barbossa is seen cursed similarly to how he was in the film, transforming between appearing human and being a skeletal corpse.
- Pirate Captain: The captain of the Wicked Wench's crew from when they were killed by the treasure.
- Mermaids: From 2012-2018, murderous mermaids were inferred to inhabit Dead Man's Cove (a concept which was found in concept art for the attraction). They could be heard singing, "Jolly Sailor Bold" and swimming underneath of boats. One of their skeletons was visible on one of the grotto's beaches.
- Blackbeard's Ghost: From 2012-2013/2018, the ghost of Blackbeard made appearances alongside Davy Jones, serving a similar function to the sea-devil. It should be noted that in the original incarnation of the attraction, the captain of the Wicked Wench was assumed to be Blackbeard.
- “No fear have ye of evil curses, says you? Arrrgh... Properly warned ye be, says I. Who knows when that evil curse will strike the greedy beholders of this bewitched treasure?
Perhaps ye knows too much... ye've seen the cursed treasure, you know where it be hidden. Now proceed at your own risk. These be the last 'friendly' words ye'll hear. Ye may not survive to pass this way again...”
- ―Eerie voices heard when guests are leaving Dead Man's Cove
Guests first arrive in the scene after passing through a talking skull where their boats drop down to see the pirates. Along the way, they hear the theme song "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" in the background as the boat goes down another drop where they hear a voice saying, "Dead men tell no tales" repeatedly. There, they pass through a beach with a dead pirate with crabs and seagulls lurking around the beach. Across the beach, guests pass through a stormy harbor, a bar, a captain's quarters, and a treasure-filled room to look around what it is like when in the cavern. While exiting, they hear an eerie voice to be on the lookout for curse when exiting the cavern. Upon exiting, they end up in Isla Tesoro where they see the pirates attacking the Spanish town.
In the post-2006 revamp as part of Disney having planned to add characters from the film series to the ride, a misty waterfall scene was added where guests see a projection image of Davy Jones warning them about cursed treasure during the tunnel scene before guests leave Dead Man's Cove. However, in 2011 to promote the theatrical release of the fourth film, a projection of Blackbeard appears in the ride and after a heavy revamp, Davy Jones or Blackbeard appears randomly through the misty waterfall scene.
However at some date unknown in November 2013, Blackbeard was removed from the scene, making him only appear in the Magic Kingdom version. However, in 2018 in the California version, the scene was replaced and included a scene where an octopus holds medallions while passing through a skeleton transforming into a cursed pirate while the original 1967 audio was restored and placed into the attraction. This makes Davy Jones only appear in the Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland versions as of 2018.
A mermaid skeleton was added in the Magic Kingdom version since 2012 while an instrumental score of "My Jolly Sailor Bold" plays in the background. This lasted until 2018 where the scene was reverted to its original score.
In the Disneyland Paris version, guests arrive at Dead Man's Cove after passing through Isla Tesoro instead. Guests pass through the Talking Skull who tells guests to remain seated before their boats disembark instead of telling guests to hold on tight to drop down. Since 2017, an animatronic Barbossa was placed into the attraction laughing evilly, followed by an animatronic Jack Sparrow also being added. Sparrow sat atop the heap of gold in the treasure room, singing Yo Ho
- Most scenes from Dead Men's Cove were later used for inspiration of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. These scenes included treasure-filled caverns, dead skeletal pirates, and scenes with crabs.
- The Magic Kingdom version does not include the Crew's Quarters, Captain's Quarters, or Treasure Room scenes.