When you go to Disney World in Florida, you expect many things. Exciting rides, overpriced food, lots of fun characters to meet, long lines, and maybe some memory-making with friends and loved ones. What you likely don’t expect to see is a big ol’ bear—a real, wild one, not a Country Bear Jamboree animatronic—walking around the park. But that’s what happened Monday in the happiest place on Earth.
On the morning of September 18, as reported by Entertainment Weekly, a bear was spotted in a tree inside Disney World. After discovering the unwanted animal invader, Disney temporarily closed down at least 10 rides and attractions in the areas of Frontierland, Adventureland, and Liberty Square. NBC further reported that rides in Fantasyland and Main Street were also closed later in the day.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told EW that biologists with FWC’s Bear Management Program and FWC law enforcement officers were working together to capture and relocate the bear. The same officials explained to the outlet that the wild bear was likely moving through the famous theme park and resort in search of food.
According to the My Disney Experience app, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad were some of the rides closed on September 18 as a result of the rogue bear.
What happened to the bear?
NBC reported that at around 1 p.m. EST, Disney World re-opened areas of Frontierland and Adventureland. Around 15 minutes later FWC officers and officials were seen removing the bear from the park.
According to the FWC, the adult female black bear was captured alive and is being transported to an area near Ocala National Forest.
As pointed out by EW, back in July, a smaller and less dangerous animal was spotted in Disney World. On July 12, a wild squirrel ran onto the stage of the Carousel of Progress ride located in Epcot with multiple guests recording the rodent as he explored the classic attraction. As for the bear, no update on whether Disney World is going to charge the bear for her free day in the park.