The gist of this attraction is that a talking skull is planning on training you to become a pirate, which he does by conjuring up literally everything that probably should be reserved for fighting after training has been completed, such as Davy Jones, the Kraken, and a very attractive horde of mermaids. The technology in this is some of the best from Disney in quite a while, but it strays into a rather childish game of Follow the Leader, thus splitting the attraction down the middle in regards to audience appeal.
What Worked: A horde of skeletons climbs into the cave and surrounds you, and when a child holds up (what else?) a skeleton key, bands of energy, light, (or amped up pixie dust if you prefer) drive them back. There's also two animatronic skeletons that move when the animated ones appear, which I thought made that sequence a little more realistic than the others. Davy Jones' ship periodically appears and fires at us, causing "dents" to appear in whatever he hits, and the same goes for when Jack Sparrow's gun goes off. When the water rises, and the mermaids start swimming around you, it is very realistic and a little bit creepy, even at my age. The floating skull looks really nice in both rooms as well. Jack Sparrow looks as though he's actually in the room, and his dialogue is quite funny. Lightning effects crisscrossing the room and the ship are extremely well done.
What Didn't: The experience is divided. The first half is geared explicitly towards small children. We're told to shout "Send those bones to Davy Jones!" and to stomp our feet to drown out the mermaid song. That's great for anyone under the age of seven, but nearly everyone in the room did as they were told quietly and with an embarrassed look on their face. When the mermaids arrive, it gets creepy, which is great for anyone over the age of seven, but the audience the attraction was specifically geared towards twelve seconds ago is now cowering on the floor in a pool of tears. Yet another ten seconds pass and we're back to shouting rhymes and roaring at the Kraken. Yep, roaring. This is where the technology begins to fail us. The Kraken is bigger than the screen, and so we're forced to look at a closeup of an orifice that really looks like it belongs in the movie Teeth. Note: Do not watch that movie. Also, Davy Jones sounds terrible. I'm not sure what happened to Bill Nighy, but this guy sounds like a Scot who's trying to read his lines while simultaneously swallowing a lobster whole. When the main mermaid appears, she appears on the deck of Jack's ship. Um, what? Mermaids can't be out of water, and she's just floating in the darkness of the hull before the water rises. The final sequence is awkward; Jack and the Skull don't seem to know what to do, so they throw you out.
Overall, I enjoyed myself, which is the point, I guess, but the attraction has some issues that, if fixed, would make this a great minor attraction. Really, though, the attraction suffers from jumping from overly-childish to strikingly adult; it would be very beneficial to reign in the extremes, especially on the childish side, if this is to be considered a family attraction.
I rated low because my wife and I & my 2 kids 9 and 11 were in the front row in the far left corner and could not see anything. Could not see the screen behind the boat and the boat itself blocks the screen that Capt Jack is talking virtually from. The eployees need to keep people back to experience the show better. We loved Disney alltogether.