(Previously published at Firstcomeswdw.com )


I’m not talking about tourists from a particular state or Animal Kingdom.

It’s time to be honest. You may encounter uncurated wildlife at WDW, whether it be an American Alligator sunning himself, a snowy egret fishing, or any number of other creatures.

There have been tons of funny books like Team Rodent (one of my favorites) but the truth is that WDW has pests like any other vacation destinations. Maybe you’ve encountered a Palmetto Bug, one of Remy‘s rat siblings, or a Contemporary Vulture.

Some of the animals are encouraged, like the cats (poor Remy!) in symbiotic efforts to keep the grounds clean. I’m a fan of both cats AND rats so I’m very confused about how to feel about this.

Some may–or may not–have been ‘discouraged‘ by the powers that be, like the vultures that Disney was long-ago accused of attempting to eliminate. Those same vultures spent hours entertaining my toddlers during our Bay Lake Towers stay, so hopefully they’ve all made their peace.

When my husband and I jetted down for a long weekend, we saw a little boy about 4 or so who was chasing tiny lizards around the Boardwalk’s pool. He was very friendly and approached me, saying “did you see these iguanas!?” I couldn’t resist– I had to tell the budding herpetologist that they were anoles. We later passed the same little guy telling his confused parents “I saw three canollis!” I stopped to explain so they wouldn’t discourage their young biologist’s ambitions.

If you’ve seen some real wild life down in the World, consider adding it to the list! I’ve heard, but not seen, that they have wild pigs too.

By Emily Honsa Hicks