Black Bear Captured Inside Disney’s Magic Kingdom

in Walt Disney World

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Credit: @Bioreconstruct, @ScottGustin

A crisis has been averted in the Magic Kingdom!

Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster at Disney World
Credit: Disney

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The Walt Disney World is famous for a lot of things, but live animals are not one of them. Sure, guests wanting to get up close and personal with animals can head over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for some breathtaking experiences involving real-life animals, but the majority of the attractions found inside Walt Disney World focus on the imagined rather than the real. This is most evident with rides like Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR, and the entirety of Pandora – The World of Avatar.

Each one of these experiences focuses on nature and our relationship with animals, each told in a unique way with a lot of liberties. For a more down-to-earth experience with animals, we recommend Kilimanjaro Safaris, also at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

However, this all changed early Monday morning when an actual black bear was spotted inside the Magic Kingdom, wreaking havoc on the iconic theme park’s operations. Guests are used to spot smaller animals at Disney World, like snakes, alligators, and lizards, but a bear is a whole other thing. These types of animals are present at EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and every other location at the resort, but bears are not (aside from country bears).

Guests look on inside the Magic Kingdom besides the Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue, Partners, at Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

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Magic Kingdom is by far the busiest Disney park at the Walt Disney World Resort, meaning thousands of guests had their vacations halted when they decided to visit Magic Kingdom earlier this morning. As guests disembarked their buses, cars, and Monorails in anticipation of a grand day at “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” the truly unexpected happened: a wild bear was spotted.

That’s right, an actual, real-life black bear was roaming Magic Kingdom, causing all kinds of headaches for Disney World cast members and guests alike. Over ten different rides and attractions were forced to close as a result of the situation, including classics such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Other attractions that were shut down include Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, The Hall of Presidents, and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.

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Credit: Inside the Magic

Entire sections of Magic Kingdom were closed off, like Frontierland and part of Adventureland, causing huge backups across the park. Wait times skyrocketed for the rides and attractions that remained open, such as Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Peter Pan’s Flight. Thankfully, the bear was located and was removed from the park. Frontierland features Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the Frontierland Shootin’ Gallery and, ironically, The Country Bear Jamboree. Guests visiting prior to 2023 also used to find Splash Mountain here, but this ride closed forever in January. Disney is working on its replacement quickly, however, which will be inspired by The Princess and the Frog. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed that a bear was found near a tree close to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad area in Frontierland. At the time of publishing this article, Disney has not issued a formal statement regarding the incident, but we are glad that everyone remained safe, including the bear. With Magic Kingdom park featuring the Country Bears, we guess it’s fitting a wild bear made its way into the park.

We do not know specifically where the bear was spotted or who initially spotted it, but the bear has been captured and relocated. A video of the rescue mission is linked below from Wesh.com:

This just goes to show you that you never truly know what a day at “The Most Magical Place on Earth” will look like.

Stay tuned here for further updates!

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