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SYFY WIRE disney parks

Family sets sail with homemade Pirates of the Caribbean ride amid Disney Parks closure

By Josh Weiss
Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for the Thornocks! The closure of Disney's theme parks amid the coronavirus pandemic didn't stop one intrepid family from enjoying the iconic Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride that inspired the feature films with Johnny Depp. One might even say they created their own (ahem) "pirated" version.

"My mom saw a homemade Splash Mountain video that Chip and Co. posted," Brin Thornock, the family's second-oldest daughter, tells SYFY WIRE. "She thought it was funny and shared it on Facebook. Her friends all commented, 'We totally see you guys making one.' So, we took it as a challenge. Pirates of the Caribbean is one of our favorite rides."

During their period of self-isolation, the Thornock household painstakingly recreated the beloved swashbuckling experience—complete with sword fights, fake skeletons, and a prison-guarding dog (dutifully played by the family canine Evie, named for the evil queen in Disney's Descendants).

"We already had some pirate stuff from Halloween and such," Brin explains. "We are very familiar with the ride, so we picked out some of the key parts and brought it to life using items laying around the house."

This improvisational and can-do attitude would certainly make a rum-swigging Captain Jack Sparrow proud. Speaking of which, why is the rum always gone?! 

Stab Davy Jones' heart and ride along from the comfort of your own home in the video below:

"The hardest thing was trying not to break character and laugh," Brin adds, totally surprised at how much the video's blown up since it was first posted on Twitter yesterday. The post currently has over 80,000 likes and more than 20,000 retweets.

"We figured we would just have our friends and family get a kick out of it," she admits. "It only took us about an hour-and-a-half to put everything together. We shot it on our phones and I edited in my phone as well!"

Video editor Jess Siswick got in on the fun by pretending to be dining at the Blue Bayou restaurant (a Cajun-themed eatery located near the Pirates ride at Disneyland) as the Thornocks rode by.

There you have it, folks. If you're looking for something similar to do with your own family, just take a cue from the Thornocks. It doesn't take much to while away the hours in a fun and imaginative way.

"Just enjoy your time together as a family," Brin concludes. "Get creative!"

pirates of the caribbean ride

Disneyland was the first to announce its shutdown on March 12 when California governor Gavin Newsom called for gatherings of 250 or more people to be delayed or canceled. Including the COVID-19 situation, the park has only closed its doors four times throughout its 65-year history.

The company's parks in Florida and France (as well as its cruise lines) followed suit soon thereafter. The move is only temporarily and meant to slow down the spread of the virus. Disney promised to re-open its locations at the end of the month, but that could very well change in the coming weeks.

For our list of all the events, films, TV shows, and more affected by the pandemic, click here. And for extensive information on how to keep you and your loved ones safe, check out the CDC’s coronavirus website.