How do you top two massive pirate ship displays for Halloween? You build an entire pirate town that rivals anything you'd see at Disney.

Tony DeMatteo started by building a half ship on his front lawn in Rochester, New York for Halloween. The next year it was a 60-foot ship. Then it was 2 ships in 2021. With no idea how to top that, DeMatteo found himself with a full pirate town called Port Royal this year.

Credit - Tony DeMatteo
Credit - Tony DeMatteo

One Man Job

In between his full-time job, the father of three has spent countless hours building the epic display that includes a pirate ship, trading store, gold reserve, and Fort Charles to protect the town from pirates who steal the gold.

The time and effort required is insane. I spend every free second getting this ready. It's a struggle at times. Every day for the past month I find myself incredibly tired, sore, unable to move, but that's when I press on. This type of set up requires a team of people that I dont have. I have 1 close friend and my family who help out as they can. I'm fairly positive I'm taking years off my life.

Disney Quality

If you think the display is cool, wait until you see the special effects. DeMatteo says the details and lighting this year are off the charts and better than ever before.

It's like being at Disney World. And once I get the music, effects, and synced light show going, it brings it to a whole new level once again.

You can watch the Disney quality display with all the special effects in the video at the top of the page. If you want to see it in person, it's free but donations to the Dream Factory are encouraged. You should also visit before heading out for important information, neighborhood rules, and safety considerations.

Location: 15 Ambush Lane Churchville, NY 14428

Credit - Tony DeMatteo
Credit - Tony DeMatteo

Community Support

Port Royal will be open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through Halloween, and thousands are expected to stop by and see the massive display.

The excitement and support from the community and the kids are what drive me to continue. Plus we can give back to such great causes and help children from our community who need it most.

What the Future Holds

How does DeMatteo plan to top 2022? He'll worry about that in 2023.

Going forward, I really don't know what I'm going to do. I would love to change themes but that can be really expensive. I'm not sure yet. I don't make a dime off of this. All I do is spend money.

Ideally, DeMatteo would love to set up the pirate ship indoors. Something that can stay up and get better and better without worrying about Mother Nature.

But for now, the pirate town has taken over DeMatteo's lawn until Halloween.

Port Royal Schedule

Thursday, Oct 20: Dark - 9 pm
Friday, Oct 21: Dark - 10 pm
Saturday, Oct 22: Dark - 10 pm
Thursday, Oct 27: Dark - 9 pm
Friday, Oct 28: 5 pm - 10 pm (Meet the Captains)
Saturday, Oct 29: 5 pm - 10 pm (Meet the Captains)
Sunday, Oct 30: Dark - 8:30 pm
Halloween: 5 pm - 8:30 pm

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