PR Pirates Are Looting Disney’s Treasure Ship

Can there be anyone who doesn’t yet know that the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie is coming out soon?

It should be a lot of fun. But almost as much fun is watching the ways in which clever marketers are piggybacking on the Disney PR juggernaut. You see, while Disney can copyright Mickey and gang and come down hard on anyone who tries to muscle in on their intellectual property, the Mouse House can’t claim exclusive ownership of the word “pirate.”

The result? Well among other things, the clever folks at the humongous Gaylord Palms Resort hotel have announced the Pirates Treasure Hunt Challenge and they make no bones about the tie-in, though they don’t mention Disney by name. From their press release:

Gaylord Palms Resort is giving Memorial Day weekend visitors a opportunity to compete for a treasure of $10,000 in cold cash. This interactive family experience, called the Pirates Treasure Hunt Challenge, will be offered May 25-28, 2007. This unique holiday package is timed to coincide with an anticipated swell in “pirate mania” throughout the nation.

Pirates Treasure Hunt Challenge is a contest of skill that will give package guests an opportunity to act and think like pirates as they traverse the resort and decipher clever clues, solve intricate puzzles, and perform other “piratey” tasks for a panel of judges. At the end of the holiday weekend, the family who accumulates the greatest number of points during their treasure hunt challenge will claim the $10,000 pirate’s prize.

The Pirates Treasure Hunt Challenge room package is $199 per night plus tax and parking. The package, which must be purchased for a minimum of two nights, includes deluxe accommodations, resort fee, a treasure hunt kit, and access to special activities and skill contests related to the Pirates Treasure Hunt Challenge.

Borrowing another page from Disney’s “keep ‘em as long as you can and milk ‘em for all they’ve got” playbook, Gaylord has built in some fun add-ons:

Pirates Treasure Hunt Challenge package guests also have the opportunity to purchase additional themed experiences, like:
• Buccaneer’s Barbecue: a swashbuckling pirate-filled outdoor banquet featuring barbecue and brouhaha.
• Camp Pirate: pirate-themed arts and crafts sessions held at the on-site La Petite Academy Kids Station, reserved for our guests ages 5-13.

Brilliant! My tri-cornered, beplumed hat’s off to these guys. Hope they do well with it.

To book call 407-586-HUNT, or visit

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