Yes, there are plenty of exotic animals on display at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom theme park, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about.
When you’re vacationing at Disney World, it’s a near certainty that you will encounter some real-life animals in the theme parks and resort grounds. Over the years I’ve run across lizards, snakes, rabbits, squirrels, deer, fish, turtles, and several bird species including ducks, egrets, turkeys, seagulls, and even hawks. Many of these creatures are entertaining to look at, but they’re not part of the show.
Here are some things to think about as you pass live animals in your travels around Disney World:
- Do not feed the animals. Feeding human food to wild animals is not ideal for their health. Artificial food sources also change animal habits that may have negative repercussions.
- Do not allow animals to feed on your food when you’re not around. It’s fine to leave many non-valuable items in your parked stroller while you’re off on the rides, but please make sure that any food is wrapped up tightly. If there is easily accessible food in or on your stroller, a squirrel or bird will find it.
- Be wary of eating near seagulls. The seagulls at Disney World, particularly in the EPCOT resorts area, can be quite aggressive. I’ve seen one take an ice cream cone right out of a woman’s hand. If you’re in an area with many gulls, consider eating indoors.
- Do not chase the animals. Would you want to be chased around all day?
- Do not hold or attempt to hold the animals. Depending on the species, you or the animal are likely to become injured.
- Do not litter. Foreign objects can pose danger to wild creatures. Trash bins are plentiful at Disney World; please try to use them.
- Pay attention to warning signs. When Disney posts warning signs, they’re doing so for a reason. There have been a few human/animal encounters at Disney World that have had tragic consequences.
What wild animals have you seen at Disney World? Tell us about your experiences.