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Pirates Alive and Well in California

Published on: May 12, 2018

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Pirate invasions aren’t what they used to be. Modern pirates are known to use GPS navigation, hijacking ships with mortar-mounted speedboats carrying AK-47s and rocket launchers. To combat piracy, high-tech sound guns and non-lethal laser cannons that can daze potential pirates more than a mile away are employed. You’ll not see modern day pirates flying a Jolly Roger (skull & bones flag) and say “Matey,” but not to worry! All’s well in California where pirate life and lore continues to thrive.

Pirate Attractions

  • One of Disneyland‘s all-time favorite attractions, Pirates of the Caribbean, never ceases to entertain with its theme song, A Pirate’s Life for Me. Walt Disney died three months before the ride opened in 1967. More than 50 years later its popularity, which has amassed billions of dollars in merchandising and movie revenues, would amaze the Old Salt.
  • Legoland California‘s Pirate Reef is an interactive play zone where guests can fire water cannons and join a buccaneer-filled boat as it races down a flume between the battling ships.
  • Pirates Dinner Adventure near Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park sets sail with a show of aerial artistry, swashbuckling swordplay and audience participation (I was tasked with raising the sail on my team’s ship.) Kids can’t get enough of this adventure, while adults find it an entertaining ‘ride’.

Pirate Festivals

  • FRESNO: Pirate Festival May 19-20, 2018
  • SAN DIEGO: Maritime Museum Pirate Days May 19-20
  • VENTURA: Pirate Days Festival June 10
  • VALLEJO: Northern California Pirate Festival June 16-17
  • LONG BEACH: Pirate Invasion June 30-July 1
  • PLEASANTON: Pirates of Emerson October 5-31
  • TWO HARBORS (Catalina Island): Buccaneer Days October 4-7
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