A real-life bear visits Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, causing a mess of temporary closures

Park guests watch a musical show in front of the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Fla.
A black bear was spotted Monday at Disney’s Magic Kingdom near Orlando, Fla.
(John Raoux / Associated Press)

Everyone knows Winnie the Pooh, Baloo and, of course, the bears from the Country Bear Jamboree, but a new bear might be trying to join the Disney family.

That black bear was spotted at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park near Orlando, Fla., on Monday afternoon, leading to temporary closures in multiple sections of the theme park.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was notified that the bear had been spotted in a tree at the park.

The bear’s stomach was clogged with human trash, including food wrappers, wipes and paper towels that kept the bear from consuming food that would have sustained the animal.

Sept. 18, 2023

“Biologists with the FWC’s Bear Management Program, as well as FWC Law Enforcement officers, have safely captured the adult, female bear,” an FWC spokesperson said in a statement to The Times. “In most cases, it is best for bears to be given space and to move along on their own, but given this situation, staff have captured the animal and are relocating the bear out of the park to an area in or around the Ocala National Forest.”

The spokesperson noted that bears tend to be more active during the fall as they look to increase their fat reserves in preparation for winter hibernation. “This particular bear was likely moving through the area searching for food,” the representative said.


According to the My Disney Experience app, which monitors the status and wait times for rides across Disney parks, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise and Thunder Mountain Railroad were temporarily closed. Overall, the Frontierland, Liberty Square and Adventureland sections of the parks were closed as a result of the incident but have since reopened, according to the Washington Post.

Lane Graves bent over to scoop wet sand into his small plastic bucket when the alligator struck.

Aug. 22, 2016

Representatives for the Walt Disney World Resort did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.

This is not the first time wildlife has caused a scene on Disney property.

In 2016, a 2-year-old boy was attacked and killed by an alligator on the beach at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa near Orlando. Since the incident, Disney has removed over 250 alligators from its Florida properties.

‘Succession’s’ Crystal Finn recalls the nightmare experience of being attacked by river otters in Northern California and getting bitten on her butt.

Aug. 18, 2023

An 8-year-old boy was attacked by an alligator at Disney World’s Fort Wilderness in Florida in 1986 while vacationing with his family. He was injured but survived the incident.


In a much lighter situation earlier this year, a squirrel was captured on video crashing Disney World’s Carousel of Progress ride in comic fashion.

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