ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Disneyland management has fired four actors who portrayed swashbuckling pirate Jack Sparrow, but Disney officials deny charges that the pirates were replaced by Tinker Bell fairies, it was reported Saturday.
One former cast member says Disney officials were worried that the swashbuckling actors were causing young female parkgoers to flash more than their riggings and yardarms late at night.
The San Diego Union-Tribune is quoting the former pirates as saying that they were told they were no longer needed at the iconic "Pirates of the Caribbean'' ride at about the same time that additional fairies were added to promote the studio's new movie, "Tinker Bell.''
The park brought in these new pixies. They were promoting the film, 'Tinker Bell,' '' complained former pirate Brandon Pinto, who left the role in a dispute with management a year ago.
"No,'' says park spokeswoman Suzi Brown. "Jack was not replaced by Tinker Bell and the other fairies.''
But the former actors note that the pirates were fired at the same time that an ultra-cute "Pixie Hollow'' was opened to capitalize on the new movie.
Pinto told the paper that Disney officials were unhappy that some young women reacted to his bare-chested persona by exhibiting some very unprincess-like behavior, particularly late at night.
They lost control when they saw Jack Sparrow,'' said the Sparrow lookalike. "This is a sexy, rock-star pirate.''
The Union-Tribune reported that on-screen tensions between Disney characters Tinker Bell and the company's pirates are long-simmering, dating back to the release of the original version of "Peter Pan'' in 1953.