Pirates World

Attractions List
Poster Gallery

Pirates World Pirate statue

Pirates World sky ride
In April, 1967 Pirates World, an 87 acre buccaneer themed park, opened in Dania, Florida, on the north side of Sheridan Street, east of US 1. The park, developed by Recreation Corporation of America, had only skin deep theming but it offered some great rides.

Best of all was the steeplechase ride, said to be the original from Coney Island. Riders straddled molded horses and hung on to a metal "bit" as their horse traversed an undulating track designed to mimic a real jumping race.

Pirates World Crows Nest The Crows Nest observation tower had been the Belgian Aerial Tower at the 1964/65 New York World's Fair (it, along with the log flume, was bought second hand after the fair). From a central post four metal cages, designed to carry several standing passengers, were hung by cables. To balance the structure two would be in the air while two were being loaded on the ground, then they'd be raised/lowered simultaneously.

Also on hand was a Wild Mouse roller coaster, a log flume, various carnival flat rides including a paratrooper, a sky ride, some carny games, a ski-ball arcade, spiral slides, and some pretty bad (as I recall) food.

Pirates World wild mouse Pirates World also got into the rock concert business, bringing in name acts as well as rowdy patrons who caused more than one scuffle with the Police.

Pirates World had been successful enough in its early years -- but then, in 1971, Walt Disney World opened and Florida tourism changed forever. Compared to the Magic Kingdom, Pirates World began to look quaint and old fashioned -- and dangerous, with concert problems developing a not entirely accurate bad reputation. By 1973 it was in bankruptcy. It did not operate beyond 1975 (and may have closed as early as 1973).

Pirates World log flume In 1978 a biblical theme park was to have been developed on the site, but that shortly fell through. The land was sold, zoned residential, and the Watermark condominiums were built over the last traces of the park. Like the buccaneers before them, Pirates World was history.

Return To Florida's Lost Tourist Attractions, a site celebrating the now defunct tourist attractions of the Sunshine State. The attraction profiled on this page no longer exists.

Photos courtesy of the Florida State Archives Photographic Collection.

This site Copyright (c) 1997-2013 by Robert H. Brown