A black bear infiltrated Walt Disney World on Monday, forcing the Central Florida theme park to close Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Adventureland.
It seemed like a Frontierland classic from the Country Bear Jamboree had come to life when reports of a bear in a tree near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Br'er Bear from Splash Mountain may have returned.
Walt Disney World said that FWC biologists and law police were capturing and transporting the bear. FWC said it retrieved the animal at 2:45 p.m. and will move it “in or around the Ocala National Forest.”
FWC: “In most cases, bears should be given space and move along on their own. But a bear may confront crowds at a major theme park, requiring a different approach.
Fan favorites including Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Big Thunder Mountain were among 10 attractions temporarily blocked on the My Disney Experience app Monday morning
In the afternoon, Walt Disney World said it will reopen Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Adventureland with the FWC.
Black bears are endemic to Florida and widespread in Orlando, even in cities. The FWC estimates that there are 1,200 black bears in Central Florida, although habitat degradation due to construction and successful conservation initiatives have increased public bear sightings during the previous decade.
After a 20-year break, the Florida FWC briefly resumed bear hunting in four regions in 2015, but it has since closed. This time of year, bear sightings increase.
“During fall, bears are more active as they search for food to pack on fat reserves for winter,” the FWC added. “This bear was likely searching for food.” Magic Kingdom, home to Cinderella's Castle, is one of four theme parks and two water parks in Walt Disney World near Orlando.