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February 3, 2006   Articles No Comments

Johnny Depp is coming to Walt Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean — or at least his likeness is coming – by Scott Powers of the Orlando Sentinel

Disney will make changes this spring in the mainstay Pirates ride at both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland — adding characters from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and updating some of the special effects.

To do so, Disney will close both rides in early March for four months. The attractions will reopen just in time for the release of the sequel movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, in late June in California and July 7 at Walt Disney World.

The movie character Capt. Jack Sparrow, portrayed by Depp, will be mixed in with the 120 robotic performers in the ride. Barbossa, Sparrow’s nemesis in the first movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, also will appear. So will a ghostly figure from the new movie, Davy Jones.

“We’re adding some new characters and some exciting new special effects to really make it more familiar to today’s generation of kids who grew up seeing the movie or the DVD before they came to the theme parks,” said Eric Jacobson, senior vice president of creative development for Walt Disney Imagineering.

But cautious that many Disney fans react negatively anytime old standards are changed, Jacobson added, “It’s still the classic ride it always was. We’re just adding more.”

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