Real Wild Animals at Disney World

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Animal Kingdom Header

Long before the opening of Animal Kingdom there was facinating animal viewing on Disney WOrld property. With the opening of Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World brought animal viewing to new heights, but Walt Disney World is a very large place and is still filled with wild animals and birds roaming and flying free.

Its a great place for creature watching! What animals have you seen?

Animals

Cottontail Rabbit

  1. Rabbits can be seen thoughout Walt Disney World. My wife and I have seen them inside the Magic Kingdom near the Jungle Cruise and back behind Big Thunder Mountain; all around Epcot; and in the Studios Backlot. In the parks, the best viewing times are at dusk or at night when the crowds are smaller but sometimes you can even see them in the day. We have also seen them at Dixie Landings, Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge and on the nature trails around Disney World.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
    I've seen bunnies at Epcot, Carribean Beach and Port Orleans
    CONFIRMED: Melanie Emmons
    CONFIRMED: Robert Niles 24 JAN 96
    CONFIRMED: John, Amy, JB, Karrie and Robbie Cholnoky 27 DEC 98
    We saw a bunny near the T&TC and another near the Mad Tea Party.
    CONFIRMED: Kyle5555 07 AUG 99
    There is a wild brown bunny that we see around dinner time every time we have dinner at the Crystal Palace (about once a month)usually between 5&6pm. The bunny comes out to eat in the grass in front of the Crystal Palace. We have seen it on both sides of the water. We also see it anytime we are in the park that time of the evening.
    CONFIRMED: Tim Bell 17 AUG 99
    Saw four at night near the cast member parking garage at the Studios and a couple around the Hud at Magic Kingdom
    CONFIRMED: Tom and Renée Shaw 06 DEC 99
    In Canada
    CONFIRMED: Sdj284 21 JUN 00
    I also saw a bunny hopping loose in Germany at Epcot.
    CONFIRMED: Allison 15 OCT 00
    We happened to stumble across the Disney bunny today while we were at the park too! Right next to Cinderella's castle on the side of the Legend of the Lion King there is a little area right before you cross a bridge that is designated for smokers. As we were standing there today we saw that little bunny down below by the water.
    CONFIRMED: Harry, Brad, and Shannon 17 JAN 01
rabbit

Red Fox

  1. Red Foxes are in the Walt Disney World area. My wife and I have seen a family of a mother and 3 cubs near Animal Kingdom trotting across a field near dusk. In fact, a family of foxes kept entering the Animal Kingdom animal areas after being removed so often that animal handlers decided to let them stay. We have also seen a lone red fox crossing one of the golf courses in the early morning.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
red fox

Deer

  1. Deer are all over the Walt Disney World area. My wife and I have seen deer from the monorail to Epcot, from Disney Busses, on nature trails, at the waters edge on Bay Lake and some of the canals, from our car driving around ant at Wilderness Lodge, Carribean Beach, Port Orleans, Dixie Landings and from the Tree Houses. Like Animal Kingdom, the best time for viewing is in the early morning or late in the afternoon. However, we have seen deer at all times of the day.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
    I've seen deer several times on the road that runs past the entrance to Fort Wilderness (and the golf course that's there).
    CONFIRMED: Melanie Emmons
    CONFIRMED: Brad McKay
deer

Gray Squirrel

  1. Gray Squirrels are all over the Walt Disney World area. My wife and I have seen them everywhere - in the woods, in the parks. Tom Sawyer's Island is a good place to enjoy squirrels but you can see the almost everywhere at the parks, at the resorts and around property. They are real fun to watch.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
pict from hiddenmickeys.org

Bobcat

  1. Traveling on Disney bus between Transporation Center and Downtown Disney the bus was treated to a sighting of a bobcat crossing the road. Made for some interesting conversation as to whether it was real or was it Disney?????? He did make it across 4 lanes of traffic.
    REPORTED: Jane Hiller 09 AUG 01
peacock

Armadillo

  1. I saw one on the side of a road leaving the Wilderness resort. There is also sometimes the occasional "in" the road if you know what I mean.
    REPORTED: Brett 11 APR 99
    Hi this is in conformation of the Armadillo sightings on Disney Property. I saw an Armadillo at the Coronado Springs Resort when I last visited the Parks. It was the first that I had ever seen.
    CONFIRMED: Michael Remy 22 APR 99
pict from hiddenmickeys.org

Rodents

  1. You can sometimes see field mice running near the forested areas near the resorts. They're really cute.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
  2. My family and I were enjoying a beautiful and final day at Disney's Animal Kindom. We were walking on the path from Asia to Africa when we saw something stirring in the bushes. I went over and "bat around the bush", as did my father. With that, a huge rat ran out from the bush, to the other side of the path. It happened to run in front of a lady with a stoller, and she started screaming at the top of her lungs! Even though the one rat ran across the path, there where still several in the bush. I've heard about cats in Disneyland, but this is rediculous!
    REPORTED: Meredith 30 MAR 99
    My father happened to notice a rat while strolling in Africa. I noticed it too, but my mom missed it (I think she likes it that way!). My dad happened to mention the sighting to a Cast Member while we were traveling through the Pangani Exploration Trail. The Cast Member blushed a little and replied "They aren't native to Africa." I almost died with laughter!! What Disney goes through to cover up things! P.S. I happened to see another rat in the Marketplace near the eating area next to Ghiradelli's.
    CONFIRMED: Jessica L 28 JUN 99
    About the rodents at AK, there is nothing to worry about with them as they won't hurt you.
    UPDATE: Indiana Jones 06 JUL 01
  3. I would like to set the story straight for the rats in Animal Kingdom. I know first hand that there are big rats in Animal Kingdom and there are in the rest of the parks. Because there is so much vegitation in the park it is extermly difficult to control the rats. Disney has traps that are located throught the park and the traps are checked twice daily.

    REPORTED: anon 17 SEP 99
  4. When our family went to Disney May 3, 2001 my mom & I had quite a humorous experience. We were shopping in Downtown disney when we were headed to Planet Hollywood. These two youung women were headed to Pleasure Island when this huge rat ran out of the bushes and across their feet! They screamed while my mom & I stood there in shock my mom yelled " I saw it too!!!" so we were all standing there laughing. So when at Downtown Disney watch out for the rats!
    REPORTED: Brittany 12 JUN 01

Reptiles

American Alligator

  1. American Alligators are in the Walt Disney World area. My wife and I have seen alligators in the canals, basking on the shore of Bay Lake, swimming in the lake you can see from the monorail on your way to Epcot, and even once basking on the warm asphalt of one of the smaller roads on property. DOn't worry. Alligators are docile, solitary creatures and are usually not easy to see.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
    Tom Sawyer Island hosts have encountered even alligators while roaming the island. Two alligators once even delayed the opening of the attraction when they decided to spend the morning lounging on Tom Sawyer Island's main raft dock. Cast Members have to capture the alligators and other critters that might scare guests so that pest control can take them outside the park and release them elsewhere on property. (Well-worn Cast Member in-joke: Critters can stay if, any only if, they present you with a valid World Passport. Otherwise, the slimy freeloaders have to leave.)
    CONFIRMED: Robert Niles 24 JAN 96
    My family was taking a waterskiing trip on Seven Seas Lagoon and in the middle of the trip we stopped to dive in and cool off. As I dove into the water, I asked the boat driver if there were any "gators" in the water. He replied with, "Yep, we pulled an eight footer out last week!" I laughed, b/c I figured he was teasing me while I was swimming, and he replied again with a serious,"No, Really, we pulled an eight footer out last week!" I quickly swam back into the boat, however he reassured me that they are timid animals and are generally scared by the boats, but they do keep metal screening installed before the shorelines to weed out any of the gators from getting into the swimming areas or onto the resort shores. We also were chased by tiny baby gator while trying to retrieve a golfball from the Magnolia Course water.
    UPDATE: anon 27 SEP 00
alligator

Snakes

Garter

  1. Garter snakes are found all around the Walt Disney World area. Garter snakes are non poisonous and are good for the environment.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
    Tom Sawyer Island hosts have encountered rabbits, ducks, squirrels, mice, snakes and even alligators while roaming the island. Garden snakes are the most common.
    CONFIRMED: Robert Niles 24 JAN 96
garter snake

Black Racer

  1. Black Racer snakes are found all around the Walt Disney World area. Black Racers are non poisonous and are good for the environment as then keep the rodent population down.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
    CONFIRMED: Steve 06 MAY 01
black racer

Cottonmouth

  1. Tom Sawyer Island hosts have encountered snakes roaming the island. Garden snakes are the most common, but cottonmouths and other large poisonous snakes occasionally have been seen on the island.
    REPORTED: Robert Niles 24 JAN 96
cottonmouth

Lizards

  1. I was surprised that in the Walt Disney Wildlife section nobody wrote in about the lizards. They range from about 2inches to 5 inches long and are VERY cute. They can be seen in bushes and are often sunning themselves during the early morning before there is a lot of traffic at the resorts. They are my favorite animals in Disney and I wanted to let everyone know about them.
    REPORTED: Shandra 02 FEB 02

Birds


CONFIRMED: Bob Thomas 06 SEP 99

Anhinga

  1. A bird commonly seen in and around Walt Disney World lakes and waterways is the Anhinga or "Snakebird". This unique bird actually swims completely submerged while hunting for fish. While in the water, the anhinga will stick its long slender head and neck above the water while the body remains beneath the surface making it look like a snake in the water; hence the name "snakebird". Unlike most birds, the anhinga doesn't have oil glands to repell water from its feathers. When not in the water, anhingas can usually be spotted on the banks with wings fully spread allowing their feathers to dry in the sun. Picture taken on the banks of Pleasure Island right in front of Fulton's Crab House.
    REPORTED: Larry Fellure
anhinga

Wild Turkey

  1. Wild Turkey can be seen thoughout Walt Disney World. My wife and I have seen them at Dixie Landings, Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge, Carribean Beach, on the side of the road near the forest and on the nature trails around Disney World. Usually you see turkeys in large groups with a few Toms and hens. Early morning or dusk are the best viewing times.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
wild turkey

Heron

  1. Herons can be found all around Disney World. Both Great Blue Herons and White Herons abound. You can see them hunting in the shallows and walking over the grounds. At night the roost in trees.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
    CONFIRMED: Bryan Yeager 30 JUN 99
blue heron

Egret

  1. Like Herons, Egrets abound all around Disney World. You can see them hunting in the grass and walking over the grounds. At night the roost in trees.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
cattle egret

Ducks

  1. Anywhere there is water, ducks can be found all around Disney World. During wintertime, many nother birds winter here. Mallards, loons and more abound during the winter months. You can see them swimming in water everywhere.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
    About 5 Years ago, my family had dinner plans at the Narcoose's Resturaunt on the Grand Floridian grounds. Upon our arrival at our reservation time, we opened the door to walk in and were followed by a mother duck and 3 duckings. They were so cute, and were scurried out, in a nice fashion, by the hostess. Well, upon traveling back to Disney 3 years later, I was telling my husband about the duck encounter at Narcoose's, and we had plans to eat there again, and this time we came across 4 grown up ducks all standing around the front door of Narcoose's! This leads me to believe it could have been the same friendly ducks, hanging out for the excellent cuisine!
    UPDATE: anon 27 SEP 00
    CONFIRMED: Steve 06 MAY 01
mallard

Sea Gull

  1. Sea Gulls can be found all around Disney World. You can see them everywhere, in the parks, around the property, swimming in the lakes and canels and at the resorts. Many people feed them. In fact, if your staying at a resort bring some bread with you and you can even have them perch on your balconey!
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
sea gulls

Cardinal

  1. Cardinals are beautiful birds. Both local as well as winter resident cardinals can be found all around Disney World. Take a walk around your resort or on a nature trailand look in the trees. More than likely you will see a cardinal during you walk.
    REPORTED: Tom and Renée Shaw
cardinal

Peacock

  1. The peacocks roaming Ft. Wilderness Campground make good alarm clocks!!!
    REPORTED: Jane Hiller 09 AUG 01
peacock


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