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.”

Disney World Discovery Island - November 1987 - Restored VHS Home Movie


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  2. Incredibly sad; the animal “mishandling” on this island went way deeper than vultures, hawks, and egrets. Other animals were found emaciated, abused, restrained, and deceased. They did not receive proper care for years and Disney was highly negligent. Only a few animals were relocated to the “animal kingdom” feature, the rest were either left there (some locked up and abandoned) and the adorable capuchin monkeys were tragically sold to labs for experimentation. Disney is definitely NOT what it seems.

    1. I would love any information you have on the animals left behind and/or sold to labs! Happy to tell the full story on our site (but avoid rumors) so anything you have that can prove that would be great!

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