Opening in April of 1974, Discovery Island (originally referred to as Treasure Island) was a roughly 11-acre island located in the middle of Bay Lake used as a wildlife preserve. Guests wishing to visit the island boarded a vessel for a short trip to the dock where they could purchase tickets for entry. The island featured a host of animals found not only in natural habitats, but all over the island wandering freely (with the exception of the netting over the island in some areas).
In early 1999 the majority of the animals on the island were relocated to Disney’s newest park, Animal Kingdom. Since that time the island has been left dormant, but continues to be a home to many native birds and other species.
No longer accessible to guests, the island was essentially abandoned with only the dock itself being removed. As a result, while traveling the waters of Bay Lake, guests can still see much of the island along the coastline, including the buildings used for ticketing, pathways, habitat areas, netting, and what’s left of the “ship” run aground on the beach referred to as the “Walrus.”