Half of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Florida is closed today after an employee spotted a black bear in a tree at the park. Magic Kingdom is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World, including Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom.
“The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is aware of a black bear reported in a tree on Walt Disney World property at the Magic Kingdom,” said the FWC in a statement. “Biologists with the FWC’s Bear Management Program, as well as FWC Law Enforcement officers, are on scene. In most cases, it is best for bears to be given space and to move along on their own, but given this situation, staff are working on capturing and relocating the bear.”
It's Unusual for This Many Ride Closures at Once at Walt Disney World
Fox 35 News in Orlando reports that while it is not uncommon for WDW rides to temporarily close throughout the day, it is unusual to have this many attractions down at once. As of 11 a.m. EST, here are the rides currently closed at Magic Kingdom:
- Under The Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid
- Walt Disney World Railroad – Fantasyland
- Walt Disney World Railroad – Frontierland
- Walt Disney World Railroad – Main Street, U.S.A.
- Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- The Hall of Presidents
- Haunted Mansion
- Jungle Cruise
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Liberty Square Riverboat
- Tom Sawyer Island
An employee spotted the black bear in a tree near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland. The Mirror reports, “Disney has an exhaustive animal control program, which is designed to handle situations with local wildlife – as snakes and other creatures are often spotted at the resort. It wouldn't be the first sighting of natural Floridian wildlife on park premises. There have been alligators spotted near Splash Mountain and in restroom stalls, according to the blog WDWMagic.com, and squirrels have previously wreaked havoc on carousel rides.”
The American black bear is the smallest and most widely distributed bear in the United States. Thick forests are these omnivores preferred habitat, but they will venture into populated areas in search of food. No word if the Magic Kingdom gate crasher checked out Country Bear Jamboree, which currently has no line.
The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST.