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The Sailing Ship Columbia, located at Disneyland at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, is a full-scale replica of the Columbia Rediviva, the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe. Its passengers embark on a scenic, 12-minute journey around the Rivers of America. The Columbia has entertained park visitors for nearly fifty years, including its continued role as a pirate ship in the nighttime show Fantasmic!

History

When Walt Disney decided that the Rivers of America needed more river traffic and wanted another large ship to join the Mark Twain Riverboat, he asked Joe Fowler, who was Disneyland's construction supervisor and a former naval admiral, to pick a historic sailing ship for inspiration. After examining every maritime museum in the country, Fowler recommended the first American sailing ship to circumnavigate the world: the Columbia Rediviva. However, there is only one known picture in existence of the original ship. WED researchers used it, along with research materials from the Liberty of Congress, to design the Columbia.

Architect Ray Wallace was commissioned in 1957 to work with Fowler in creating the construction plans. The ship was constructed at Todd Shipyards in San Pedro, California, where the Mark Twain's hull was built a few years earlier. After Fowler told Disney that it was customary to put a silver dollar under each mast before it was set, Disney personally put a silver dollar under each of the Columbias three masts.

For the ship's christening on June 4, 1958, Fowler was dressed as a sailing captain of the 18th century, while the Mouseketeers appeared as his crew. Since then, the Sailing Ship Columbia has had many extensive refurbishments, but the only major change has been the addition of the crew quarters exhibit in 1964.

In 1967, the Sailing Ship Columbia served a notable role in the ceremonial opening of Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean. As seen in the Wonderful World of Disney's documentation of the ride's opening, the Sailing Ship Columbia was part of a performance which showed a group of pirates attacking the vessel from rowboats, throwing its crew overboard and using it as their pirate ship. They would proceed to use the ship to enter New Orleans Square, fighting off guards protecting the port and then breaking into the ride-building for Pirates of the Caribbean.

Starting in 1992, the Sailing Ship Columbia served a role in the nighttime show Fantasmic! along the Rivers of America. The ship was used to portray the Jolly Roger from Peter Pan, being captained by Hook and Smee while engaged in a fight with Peter Pan as the ship was followed by the crocodile. In 2017, the show was changed so that rather than using the Columbia to hold a Peter Pan themed segment, it would portray a segment themed to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The Columbia would become used to portray the Black Pearl being captained by Hector Barbossa whose crew is engaged with Jack Sparrow, fighting them to save Elizabeth Swann.

On April 30, 2021, Disneyland Resort reopened after being temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, this attraction remained closed.

Soundtrack

The ship being docked

  • "Show Narration", 3:25
  • "Haul Boys Haul", 2:05
  • "Oh Johnny Come to Hilo", 2:30
  • "Song of the Fishes", 1:41
  • "Drunken Sailor", 1:51
  • "A Whale of a Tale", 1:44
  • "An American Frigate", 2:58
  • "Blow the Man Down", 2:12

Incidents

  • On December 24, 1998, a cleat used to secure the ship to the dock tore loose, striking park visitors Luan Phi Dawson, 33, of Duvall, Washington and his wife in the head, as their son and grandchild and other horrified park visitors looked on. Dawson was declared brain dead two days later and died when his life support system was disconnected. A cast member was also injured.

Trivia

References


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Main Street, U.S.A.
Disneyland RailroadThe Disney GalleryDapper DansMain Street VehiclesMain Street Cinema
Adventureland
Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki RoomIndiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden EyeTarzan's TreehouseJungle Cruise (Reopening in July 16, 2021)
Frontierland
Big Thunder Mountain RailroadMark Twain RiverboatGolden Horseshoe SaloonPirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Fantasyland
Sleeping Beauty CastleSleeping Beauty Castle WalkthroughAlice in WonderlandCasey Jr. Circus TrainDumbo the Flying ElephantIt's a Small WorldKing Arthur CarrouselMad Tea PartyMr. Toad's Wild RidePeter Pan's FlightPinocchio's Daring JourneySnow White's Enchanted WishPixie HollowSword in the StoneRoyal HallMatterhorn BobsledsStorybook Land Canal Boats

Seasonal: It's a Small World Holiday

Tomorrowland
Astro OrbitorAutopiaSpace MountainStar Tours: The Adventures ContinueDisneyland Monorail SystemPush the Talking Trash CanBuzz Lightyear Astro BlastersFinding Nemo Submarine Voyage (Reopening in Winter 2021)

Seasonal: Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy

New Orleans Square
The Haunted MansionPirates of the Caribbean

Seasonal: Haunted Mansion Holiday

Critter Country
Splash MountainNew Adventures with Princess Tiana (Coming Soon) • The Many Adventures of Winnie the PoohDavy Crockett's Explorer Canoes
Mickey's Toontown
Gadget's Go CoasterRoger Rabbit's Car Toon SpinMickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway (Opening in 2023)
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Millennium Falcon: Smuggler's RunStar Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Current Entertainment
Magic Happens (Reopening in 2022) • Fantasmic! (Reopening in 2022) • Mickey's Mix Magic

Seasonal: A Christmas Fantasy ParadeDisney's Celebrate AmericaHalloween ScreamsBelieve... In Holiday MagicFantasy in the Sky: New Year's Eve SpecialVillains Dance Party

Former Attractions and Entertainment
The Walt Disney StorySnow White and Her AdventuresAladdin's OasisSwiss Family TreehouseBig Thunder RanchMike Fink Keel BoatsNature's WonderlandMickey Mouse Club TheaterAutopiaSkywayAriel's GrottoDisney Afternoon Avenue20,000 Leagues Under the SeaRocket Rods Circle-Vision 360° (America the BeautifulWonders of ChinaAmerican Journeys) • Rocket to the MoonThe World Beneath UsHouse of the FutureSubmarine VoyageFlying SaucersAdventure Thru Inner SpaceCarousel of ProgressAmerica SingsInnoventionsSuper Hero HQStar ToursRocket JetsBeauty and the Beast Live on StageThe Magic, the Memories and YouPeopleMoverStarcadeMagic JourneysCaptain EOHoney, I Shrunk the AudienceStar Wars: Path of the JediThe Disney GalleryDisneyland Dream SuiteCountry Bear JamboreeToon ParkMain Street Electrical ParadeLight MagicPaint the NightAmerica on ParadeFlights of Fantasy ParadeAladdin's Royal CaravanThe Lion King CelebrationHercules Victory ParadeMulan ParadeMotor Boat CruiseMickey and the Magical MapViewliner Train of TomorrowSnow White's Scary AdventuresGreat Moments with Mr. LincolnStar Wars Launch BaySailing Ship ColumbiaChip 'n' Dale's TreehouseDonald's BoatGoofy's PlayhouseMickey's House and Meet MickeyMinnie's House

Seasonal: Rockin' Space MountainHyperspace MountainCountry Bear Vacation HoedownCountry Bear Christmas SpecialWalt Disney's Parade of DreamsPixar Play ParadeMickey's Soundsational ParadeFrightfully Fun ParadeThe Hunchback of Notre Dame Topsy Turvy CavalcadeParade of the StarsMickey's Costume Party CavalcadeBelieve... There's Magic in the StarsFantasy in the SkyImagine... A Fantasy in the SkyMagical: Disney's New Nighttime Spectacular of Magical CelebrationsRemember... Dreams Come TrueTogether Forever: A Pixar Nighttime SpectacularJingle CruiseDisneyland Forever

Resorts
Disneyland Hotel


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Media
Films: The Curse of the Black PearlDead Man's ChestAt World's EndOn Stranger TidesDead Men Tell No Tales

Short film: Tales of the Code: Wedlocked
Books: Jack Sparrow prequel novelsPirates of the Caribbean: Legends of the Brethren CourtPirates of the Caribbean: The Price of FreedomPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The Visual GuidePirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Ultimate Sticker Book)
Video games: Pirates of the CaribbeanThe Legend of Jack SparrowPirates of the Caribbean OnlineDisney UniverseKingdom Hearts IIPirates of the Caribbean Multiplayer MobileLEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video GamePirates of the Caribbean: At World's EndPirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the DamnedPirates of the Caribbean (pinball)Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black PearlPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's ChestPirates of the Caribbean: Master of the SeasDisney InfinityDisney Heroes: Battle ModeKingdom Hearts IIIDisney Sorcerer's Arena

Disney Parks
Treasure CovePiratelandPirate TakeoverA Pirate's Adventure: Treasures of the Seven SeasEl Teatro FandangoJungle River Cruise: Pirate Takeover!Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer IslandPirates of the CaribbeanPirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken TreasureShipwreck ShoreSiren's RevengeThe Legend of Captain Jack SparrowPirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold

Entertainment: Captain Jack Sparrow's Pirate TutorialEye of the Storm: Captain Jack's Stunt SpectacularFantasmic!Pirates Summer Battle "Get Wet!"
Restaurants: Blue Bayou RestaurantPintel & Ragetti's Grub to GrabThe Snackin’ KrakenTortuga TavernTortuga Treats
Shops: Doubloon MarketJolly GypsyPirates LeaguePirate Treasure
Fireworks: Celebrate the MagicDisney Movie MagicFantasy in the SkyHappily Ever AfterIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightMagic, Music and MayhemThe Magic, the Memories and YouRemember... Dreams Come TrueWorld of Color
Halloween: Mickey's Boo-to-You Halloween ParadePirates of the Caribbean Ghost TrailThe Nightmare Experiment

Characters
The Curse of the Black Pearl: Jack SparrowHector BarbossaJoshamee GibbsWill TurnerElizabeth SwannJames NorringtonGovernor Weatherby SwannPintel and RagettiJack the MonkeyCottonMartyMurtogg and MullroyTheodore GrovesAnamariaCotton's ParrotGilletteGiselleScarlettBo'sunJacobyKoehlerTwiggWeatherby
Dead Man's Chest: Davy JonesCutler BeckettIan MercerTia DalmaKrakenBootstrap Bill TurnerMaccusClankerPenrodAnglerRatlinKolenikoHadrasPalificoOgilveyCrashWyvernGreenbeardJimmy LegsLeechPelegostos Tribe
At World's End: Sao FengTai HuangLian and ParkEduardo VillanuevaSri Sumbhajee AngriaCapitaine ChevalleAmmand the CorsairMistress ChingCaptain TeagueMoreyGreitzer
On Stranger Tides: AngelicaBlackbeardPhilip SwiftSyrenaGarhengSalamanScrumDerrickGunnerQuartermasterMarinaMermaids of Whitecap BayTamaraSpaniardKing FerdinandKing George IIRedcoats
Dead Men Tell No Tales: Captain SalazarLesaroHenry TurnerCarina SmythUncle JackScarfieldShansaGhost SharksGhost Seagulls
Tales of the Code: MungardMarquis d'Avis
Attraction: ReddAuctioneerCaptain XPrison DogHook Hand PirateSkeleton HelmsmanBarker BirdBeacon JoeThe Pooped PirateOld BillCarlosFortune RedCaptain GoreJean LafitteTom SawyerSkeleton PillagerSkeleton Pirate CaptainPirate Robber
Video Games: Black BartyJolly Roger

Books: MontezumaJames the MysteriousArabella SmithSilver

Organizations
Crew of the Black PearlCursed CrewCrew of the Flying DutchmanEast India Trading CompanyBrethren CourtSpaniard's crewBlackbeard's Zombie OfficersCrew of the Silent MaryCrew of the Wicked Wench
Locations
Isla TesoroDead Man's CovePort Royal, JamaicaFort CharlesTortugaIsla de MuertaPelegostosIsla CrucesSingaporeDavy Jones' LockerShipwreck CoveLondon, EnglandSpainWhitecap BayFountain of Youth
Ships/Boats
Wicked WenchBlack PearlFlying DutchmanQueen Anne's RevengeHMS InterceptorHMS DauntlessHMS EndeavorJolly MonBarnacleDying GullSilent MaryThe Sailing Ship Columbia
Objects
Jack Sparrow's hatJack Sparrow's swordJack Sparrow's compassCursed TreasureTreasure of CortésElizabeth Swann's gold medallionRagetti's wooden eyeJar of DirtDavy Jones' pipe organKey to the Dead Man's ChestDead Man's ChestMao Kun MapPirata CodexJack Sparrow's Pirate BeadsSword of TritonJack Sparrow Voodoo DollChalices of CartagenaDark MagicVoodooDavy Jones and Calypso's LocketsTrident of Poseidon
Music
"Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" • Theme park soundtrackSoundtrack Treasures CollectionSwashbuckling Sea Songs1966 soundtrackThe Medallion CallsHe's a PiratePirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (soundtrack)Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (soundtrack)Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (soundtrack)Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (soundtrack)Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (soundtrack)Pirates RemixedHoist the ColoursMy Jolly Sailor Bold
See Also
Pirates of the Caribbean Trading Card GameLiar's Dice