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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

BREAKING: Bear Found Inside Disney’s Magic Kingdom — Lands Closed Around Tom Sawyer Island

Prior to opening Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World this morning, Disney cast members discovered a black bear in the vicinity of Tom Sawyer Island, a source familiar with the matter has told Mickey Views.

The bear was discovered during a pre-opening check of the Magic Kingdom.

According to our source, the bear was first found in the caves on Tom Sawyer Island. Shortly thereafter, animal control received a report of the bear seeking refuge in a tree behind the island.

A WESH 2 News helicopter captured footage of crews carrying the captured bear out of the forested area behind the Haunted Mansion show building.

Below are the official statements, aerials, and updates on this developing story.

1:15PM UPDATE: Frontierland has now reopened with the exception of Tom Sawyer Island. The Walt Disney World Railroad is also closed, which normally traverses the woods behind Tom Sawyer’s Island.

1:00PM UPDATE: Disney has finally issued an official statement:

We are working with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and have made the decision to reopen Frontierland, Liberty Square and Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park. As shared by the FWC, staff are on site and working on capturing and relocating the bear.

12:45PM UPDATE: Parts of Adventureland, and Liberty Square have reopened after over three hours of downtime. Frontierland attractions still closed.

View of opened attractions as of 12:45PM EST. All attractions in Frontierland and some in Liberty Square remain closed. (Map ©Disney)

12:20PM UPDATE: The sighting, first reported here at 10AM this morning, has been confirmed in a statement from The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is aware of a black bear reported in a tree on Walt Disney World property at the Magic Kingdom. Biologists with the FWC’s Bear Management Program, as well as FWC Law Enforcement officers, are on scene. In most cases, it is best for bears to be given space and to move along on their own, but given this situation, staff are working on capturing and relocating the bear.

12:15PM UPDATE: The WESH 2 News copter has captured animal control personnel combing the woods behind Tom Sawyer and Big Thunder.

This in-park bear discovery prompted Disney to adjust the opening procedure for the park, opening only the right side of the Park while crews removed the furry friend and ensured the only bears in the park are the Country Bear characters in Frontierland.

Country Bears dancing with guests in Frontierland. Taken August 2023.
Half of Magic Kingdom was closed for three hours on Monday, September 18th, 2023. (Map ©Disney)

The closure of half the Magic Kingdom has resulted in double the wait times across the rest of the park. Information collected by Thrill Data indicates that typically by 12:20PM, wait times are an average of 38 minutes. Today, the average was over an hour due to the in-park bear.

Cast members stationed at the entrances to Liberty Square and Adventureland told guests the areas were closed due to “technical difficulties.” It’s barely possible there was something not-so-technical behind the delayed opening of the lands!

Adventureland and Liberty Square reopened at 12:28PM EST. Frontierland, with the notable exception of Tom Sawyer Island, opened shortly thereafter.

Brayden
Brayden
Brayden produces quality Disney news commentary videos at Mickey Views. He is also working on feature-quality documentary films at "Address Unknown."

7 COMMENTS

  1. Absolutely not going to be a brown bear, unless it escaped from a nearby park. Must be a pretty small black bear, too, if it’s fitting into Tom Sawyer Island’s cave system.

    • You are correct! According to a new statement from The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the bear reported at Magic Kingdom was indeed black bear! We have updated the story.

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