The actor was waving his cutlass and talking to riders with his patented British slur on Wednesday night, not far from the animatronic versions of his character that appear throughout the ride.
Identical twins Sarah and Rebecca Saryan sailed right up to him and he told everyone to jump into the water, so he could get into the boat (nobody did).
Sarah Saryan said they knew that Disney was filming, but they didn't know what was going on until they saw him.
The 29-year-olds have been annual passholders since they were four and Rebecca works at the park.
"We have had some great Disney experiences," Sarah Saryan said. "This is, by far, one of the best."
People squealed and laughed when they realized what was happening.
Angelica Ramos was in the park with friends when she saw the television lights and started hearing rumblings that Depp was there. They rushed to get in line and saw Depp near the area where riders get into their boats.
Lauren Cordelia wasn't even in the park when she heard Depp was there. She lives in Orange County and got a tip from a friend, who had seen him earlier in the day.
"I have an annual pass [so] once I heard Captain Jack was there, I raced over," she said.
She got close enough to see him stagger down the stairs and brandish his sword at a couple of men, who appeared to be acting as security.
If you weren't in the park on Wednesday, you'll stil get to see a lot of Capt. Jack Sparrow this summer. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" opens next month.