This news item originally appeared on Episode 16 of the Disney news SATIRE podcast, “Guest Room” on the Ears News Network with Parker Byrd and Erin Dole.

Pirates of the Caribbean sign

Pirates of the Caribbean ©Disney

ERIN:  E! News has reported that on Wednesday evening, April 26, riders of Pirates of the Caribbean ride in the Magic Kingdom in the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California were the first to see a newly upgraded Captain Jack Sparrow being tested out. They noticed it where Sparrow makes his appearance while the mayor is being dunked.

PARKER: (In bad spanish accent) Don’t tell him Carlos! Don’t be cheekin!

ERIN: Seriously Parker! We don’t need your “poultry” comments.

PARKER: Sorry.

ERIN: Anyway,This version was so natural and lifelike that many people swore it was Johnny Depp…because it was.  The popular and versatile actor had taken the place of his animatronic counterpart and was even mimicking the motions and lines that normally appear there.  Fans were going crazy!

While many suspect the stunt was to help generate buzz for the upcoming release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” it turns out it was actually part of an exchange program.  While Depp was standing on golden sands and watching the ships that go sailin’. Somewhere beyond the sea the animatronic, nicknamed Johnny….. 5, was preparing to replace Depp in the filming of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2.

PARKER:  Wow! Sounds like Depp may have “stiff” competition there.