The beauty of New Orleans Square lies in the details; every railing, every garden, and every window is ornate and precisely decorated. Everything seems to fit together perfectly…except, perhaps, for one strange waterfront detail.
If you walk along the lowest-tiered path in New Orleans Square, toward Critter Country, you’ll notice a small archway built into the wall, with a plaque marking “1764”.
This mysterious hidden gem is the 1764 Crypt, the only remaining artifact of an early concept for New Orleans Square. In the early stages of development, Imagineers envisioned a crypt-style tunnel leading from the Haunted Mansion to Tom Sawyer Island, filled with pirate treasure and ancient skeletons. The tunnel would have been a walkthrough attraction, including an arcade, saloon, and a pirate hideout.
Though the Crypt concept was eventually abandoned, many of the attraction’s elements are now part of Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. On the other side of the river, the 1764 Crypt serves as a reminder of what might have been…and of the dark secrets that lie within New Orleans Square.