Disneyland art director Kim Irvine was one of the first to ride "Pirates" when it opened in 1967. Her mother was one of the original imagineers.
"It's such a masterpiece and a classic and still as relevant to guests and as popular as it was when it first opened," Irvine said. "The layers of detail and storytelling is so important so that every time that you come through, you see something new."
Eager fans lined up to get back on their favorite ride after it was under refurbishment. Disney said nearly 400 million people have hopped on since "Pirates" first opened.
Irvine said the refurbishment added subtle details to the elaborate scenes and more than 120 animated characters.
The success of the ride launched a movie franchise and other "Pirates of the Caribbean" attractions all over the world. Irvine said Walt Disney would have been thrilled.
"His excitement for what he wanted to do was so strong, he would act out what the pirates were going to do," Irvine said.
To celebrate, Disneyland is offering special merchandise and food, such as the golden churro.
The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of 6abc.