Jack Sparrow Replaced by Beetlejuice in Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction

in Disney Parks, Entertainment

Beetlejuice and Jack Sparrow animatronic

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

Rarely do we ever see Disney attractions pull in characters from other IPs.

This is because most attractions tell one singular story about a character, many of which we know and love from iconic Disney movies. Peter Pan’s Flight, at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, for example, tells the story of Peter Pan (1955), as Pan, Wendy, Tinkerbell, and the gang head to Neverland as Peter battles the infamous Captain Hook.

The exterior of Peter Pan's Flight lights up at night
Credit: Disney

It would be pretty odd to see Snow White, for example, placed in the ride, as she would not fit in with the story. Funny enough, one of the mermaids in Neverland does look shockingly like Ariel from The Little Mermaid, however, that is likely more of a fun Disney easter egg for fans riding the attraction, as the small sculpture does not advance the story in any way.

There are exceptions to this rule, however.

Mickey’s PhilharMagic, also located at Magic Kingdom shares the story of Donald Duck taking Mickey’s sorcerer hat and accidentally traveling though many Disney film storylines, interacting with many characters. We see him join the story of Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Aladdin, Coco, and more. That being said, the characters in their respective stories tend to keep to themselves.

mickey's philharmagic
Credit: Disney

Classic attractions that were created without an original movie IP, such as Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean, still also only have characters that fit into their stories.

The ride tells the story of a band of pirates in the West Indies islands around the Caribbean Sea in the 17th and 18th centuries with the saga of their voyages, troubles, and exploits. The original version of the ride opened at the Disneyland in Anaheim, California, near Los Angeles, in 1967, and was the last ride whose construction was envisioned and personally overseen by Walt Disney, who died three months before it opened.

Pirate animatronics reach for a key held by a dog animatronic on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
Credit: Disney

After immense popularity, the ride was replicated seven years later at the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World, near Orlando, Florida in 1973.

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride gave rise to the song “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” written by George Bruns and Xavier Atencio, and performed on the ride’s recording by The Mellomen.

Then, in 2003, Disney did something that they hadn’t ever done before. They created a film based on their ride, and not the other way around.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl shattered box office records, and introduced the world to Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp.

The film would grow to such large success that five more would be created, and the character of Jack Sparrow would become so iconic that Disney had no choice but to take the opportunity to appease fans of the franchise and add a Johnny Depp look-a-like into Pirates of the Caribbean. Now, the plot line remains semi-simular, however, the titular character is Jack Sparrow as he is on a quest to find treasure.

Pirates of the Caribbean Jack Sparrow on ride
Credit: Disney

The future of the character, at this point, seems unknown.

Disney is now seemingly attempting to scrub the iconic Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. Johnny Depp has been the face of the franchise for years, but after his abuse allegations arose from ex-wife Amber Heard, Disney decided to give their iconic actor the boot. They did this before a verdict was reached, which was a major mistake, as Depp was not found guilty.

Pirates of the Caribbean 6 is being written by Last of Us creator Craig Mazin, but will seemingly not have Depp in the picture, which has sent fans ablaze. However, with Depp’s likeness no longer being used on merchandise, it seems that this film will be very different in terms of casting than fans are used to. 

Now, during a time when things feel so uncertain for the story of the ride, a new, non-Disney character has been introduced!

Mouse Info (@MouseInfo) shared a video of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in Disneyland!

I’m not saying it’s a Mini Funko Pop, but I’m not not saying it’s a Mini Funko Pop

After closer inspection, the Disney page was able to zoom and and point out the character — Beetlejuice! Below, you can see the original mini Funko Pop key chain of the Halloween icon and the zoomed-in footage of the doll.

Although Beetlejuice was directed by the iconic Tim Burton, who has not only created masterpieces for Disney such as The Nightmare Before Christmas, and who has worked with Johnny Depp countless times, the character is not at all Disney, but is actually Warner Bros.

The interesting thing about this character placement is that is it so perfect. If a guest threw Beetlejuice, the odds of him landing upright, forward, and perfectly centered in the vase ahead of the weapons are incredibly slim and near impossible. Because of this, it may lead some to believe that Disney themselves, or perhaps a cast member looking to play a joke, placed it there intentionally.

Michael Keaton as Beetljuice
Credit: Warner Bros.

The way that the character is surrounded by gold, and in a way, sits upon his throne, almost mimics the finale scene with Jack Sparrow finding his treasure.

The timing of the placement is also peculiar, as Burton is currently working on Beetlejuice 2, in a revival of the franchise.

Beetlejuice is a 1988 American fantasy horror comedy film directed by Tim Burton, written by Michael McDowell, Warren Skaaren, and Larry Wilson, produced by The Geffen Company, distributed by Warner Bros., and starring Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O’Hara, Winona Ryder, and Michael Keaton as the title character.

The plot revolves around a recently deceased couple who, as ghosts haunting their former home, contact Beetlejuice, an obnoxious and devious “bio-exorcist” from the Netherworld, to scare away the home’s new inhabitants.

Catherine O'Hara in Beetlejuice
Credit: Warner Bros

Beetlejuice was a critical and commercial success, grossing $74.7 million from a budget of $15 million.

Beetlejuice 2, the decades-later sequel to the beloved Tim Burton horror comedy film, has been widely promoted as starring Jenna Ortega (Wednesday) as the thematic heart of the movie. While Michael Keaton’s ghost with the most may be the title character, Burton has made it pretty clear that his new favorite star is the actual main character.

Beetlejuice 2 will not only star Jenna Ortega as the daughter of Lydia Deetz (a returning Winona Ryder), who finds herself the target of the bio-exorcist ghost Betelgeuse, but will also bring back Michael Keaton in some form of generational transference. In addition to Ryder and Keaton, the movie will also bring back Catherine O’Hara as Delia Deetz.

Credit: Warner Bros.

New characters played by Willem Dafoe, Justin Theroux, and Monica Bellucci will be introduced, while it has been heavily rumored that longtime Tim Burton collaborator Johnny Depp may appear in a small role.

It is unclear as to how long the mini Beetlejuice will remain at the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction; however, if you say his name three times, perhaps he will grow large enough to stay forever!

Have you ever noticed an odd trinket left behind or placed on a Disney attraction?

Are you looking to visit Disneyland? Considering Disneyland, located in Anaheim, California, is the first ever theme park, and the only one that Walt Disney himself was able to walk through, it holds a magical spot in all of our Disney-loving hearts. Seeing Sleeping Beauty Castle is a picture-perfect moment; there is so much to do! When it comes to attractions, Guests can enjoy the spooky adventures in The Haunted Mansion during the year and Haunted Mansion Holiday (featuring the characters from Nightmare Before Christmas) during the holiday season. Pirates of the Caribbean will take you on a swashbuckling journey, and Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain provide thrills like no other. Classic rides like Matterhorn Bobsleds, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Snow White’s Enchanted Wish are a must, and dining is excellent with stand-out locations like Blue Bayou and Carnation Cafe. Want to start booking so you can see Mickey Mouse in his home in Toontown? The Disneyland website has everything you need to know about the Disneyland app, hotels, tickets, and the Disney Genie+ service. Click here to check it out. 

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