Invasive Murder Hornet Attack Headed to Disney World

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huge crowds at magic kingdom in walt disney world

Credit: NOWY DZIENNIK / Flickr

When guests go to Walt Disney World, they certainly expect to be “attacked” in a few ways.

You will be attacked by hugs from Mickey Mouse; you will be attacked by the salty scent of popcorn each time you walk by a popcorn kart and contemplate if you need another popcorn bucket, you will be attacked by crowds because even when it’s not too busy, it’s still a lot busier than you may expect, you will be attacked by the temptation to try all of the new delicious and themed snacks, and, you will surely be attacked by the desire to buy all the merchandise your luggage can carry. Another pair of Mickey ears? Yes, please.

a photo of Cinderella's castle inside of Magic Kingdom at Disney World
Credit Walt Disney World Resort

But being attacked by vicious hornets? Now, that is not something many people expect.

At Walt Disney World Resort, guests have access to nearly everything they need at their fingertips (literally, My Disney Experience can help you accomplish nearly anything you need). There are four incredible theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT, as well as two water parks: Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, and the currently closed Disney’s Blizzard Beach, as well as Disney Springs. That is all just scratching the surface because guests can also enjoy the 25+ resorts on property, golf, mini golf, visit ESPN Wide World of Sports, and so much more. The large theme park mogul is plotted on a size of land that is equivalent to San Francisco — which means the theme park is truly its own functioning city.

Mickey Mouse in front of the Cinderella Castle inside the Magic Kingdom with a couple of children
Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

Lately, the talk of disease infiltrating Florida has been a huge topic of discussion.

First we discussed a new virus that has been found in Florida, and it is caused by a bug bite. Florida health officials are warning residents about the risks of mosquito-borne illnesses after five cases of dengue fever were reported this month in a part of the United States where locally acquired cases are rare.

As we have reported, “Dengue is a viral infection found mostly in tropical and subtropical climates, and mostly in urban or semi-urban areas. It is transmitted by female Aedes mosquitoes that have bitten a person infected with the virus.”

There are four dengue viruses listed by the CDC, and a person can be infected with dengue four times over their lifetime as the post-recovery immunity is type-specific. A second infection with a different stereotype of the virus than the first increases the risk of severe illness. (A possible fifth dengue virus has been reported, but not confirmed.)

Disney Mosquitoes
Credit: Disney

If bit by a mosquito carrying the virus, symptoms will show up within a couple of days. Normal symptoms include fever, nausea, headaches, vomiting, muscle and joint pain. There are also more severe cases which will result in internal bleeding, shock and organ failure. It is sometimes called break-bone fever because of the severity of the muscle spasms and joint pain it can cause.

Although Dengue does not typically cause death, it can, much like we saw with COVID-19. The virus is not common in the United States, but with cases popping up slowly, it seems that these mosquitos are, unfortunately, taking a liking to the hot climate that surrounds Disney World.

When we reported our last update, there were 11 cases in Florida. Now, just three days later, that number has jumped to 215. About 500 million people in the Americas, including Costa Rica and Cancun, are at risk of dengue in 2023.

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Credit: Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

As if this virus was not terrifying enough, just near Disney World, flesh-eating bacteria is being discovered.

Fox News stated, “Five people are confirmed dead in the Tampa Bay area because of a flesh-eating bacterium known to lurk at beaches, Florida officials reported.” Tampa Bay is located just a short drive away from Walt Disney World Resort and is home to Busch Gardens. The city serves as a popular tourist destination for travelers, and does have some of the closest beaches to Walt Disney World, making it a frequently visited location for Guests with their own cars.

It seems, “the vibrio vulnificus bacterium’s natural habitat is in warm, brackish seawater because it requires salt to live. The bacteria typically grow more quickly in warmer months. Infections are rare, but health officials say those with open wounds, cuts or scrapes should stay out of the water.”

The publication continued, “Five people have died this year from reported bacterial infections, including two in Hillsborough County and one each in Pasco, Polk and Sarasota counties. There have been 26 reported cases of vibrio vulnificus infections in Florida since January, officials said.”

Typhoon Lagoon
Credit: Disney

Now, the Sun Sentinel is reporting that a hornet attack is heading to Florida.

The publication reported, “Earlier this month, a backyard beekeeper in Savannah spotted two yellow-legged wasps, a species dreaded by beekeepers across the world.

Authorities swooped in and confirmed the finding to be the first live, wild specimen of the yellow-legged hornet detected in the U.S. The state quickly issued a rather stern warning: “It is imperative that these invasive pests are tracked and eradicated.”

close up shot of an invasive hornet
Credit: CNN

Officials are worried because “the invasive hornets love to eat honey bees and their larvae, as well as other pollinator insects that are crucial to the state’s large agriculture industry”. Savannah is just 120 miles from the Florida border, and now Florida officials are worried, too.

These “murder hornets” are over one inch big and love to hunt. It seems they like to attack bees, but if a human got in the way, you bet that they will be leaving their mark there as well.

As we have shared in the past, Disney does do a good job keeping out a lot of bugs from the theme park, including mosquitos, but there are always tons of bees in the flower beds. Considering bees are the prey for these social hunters, it may cause for a little concern from guests if they make it through the gates of Walt Disney World Resort.

What do you think about this possible hornet infestation?

If you are looking to visit Walt Disney World Resort for a magical vacation, the Walt Disney World Website can be a great tool to begin planning your trip! You can begin exploring their theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT. You can also take a look at their water parks where you can splash around in the chill of Disney’s Blizzard Beach (alongside new Frozen characters, Anna, Elsa, Sven, and Kristoff), or hit the waves at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. When you get hungry or want to go shopping, Disney Springs is the place to be, especially with World of Disney there ready to help you pick up some souvenirs! You can also begin looking for your Disney World Resort! If you are looking to stay at a Deluxe monorail Resort like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa or a Value Resort where you can hop on the Skyliner like Disney’s Pop Century Resort, it is always fun to begin looking for a room that would best suit you and your party. Plus, it has all the information you need to know on Disney Genie+ so that you will be ready to go on your My Disney Experience app once you download it! Click here to check it out today.

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