“Urban” Exploring Disney

Do you remember Discovery Island? 

History of Discovery Island…

In 1974 Disney took an 11 1/2 acre island on Bay Lake, and named it “Treasure Island.”  There was a pirate theme that they followed for some time.  In 1978 the island was renamed “Discovery Island”.  The island finally closed in 1999, and it is said that the animals were relocated to Animal Kingdom.  Speculation to why is based on the low admission sales, and also the Animal Kingdom opening.


I am not one to condone illegal activity, but reading a recent news story made me remember “Yesteryears” of Disney.  A guy went over to Discovery Island to see what was there, and took some photos.  While this was a dangerous, and yet bold move I must reiterate that it was illegal, unsafe, and selfish.  It was closed for a reason, and there is no real reason in going there.

Here is copy of the news story…


One online blogger calls it re-discovering an abandoned attraction, Walt Disney World calls it trespassing.A local man’s visit to the old closed-down Discovery Island is creating a buzz with the park. It’s part of a growing online subculture called Urban Exploring.

Explorer Shane Perez recently bragged on a blog and posted pictures about a secret trip to the old zoological attraction.

Discovery Island shut down in 1999.

Perez said he and some friends swam to the island, discovering abandoned buildings, cages, preserved snakes in jars, even old employee photos.

“It’s a certain visceral experience you can’t really define,” Perez said. “It’s exploring your environment anything urban, anything manmade.”

Disney said it may ban Perez for life from all of its properties.

While we are exploring this topic I will say that I did some searching of the WWW, and what I found amazed me.  I found a site that had video of their “Explorations” of the Horizons Pavilion in Epcot.  Basically these people hopped out of the ride vehicle, and went below the ride, and also went other places.

This kind of activity is not something I promote.  Disney has probably raised the security bar in light of some of the things that you can find other people have done.  Keep in mind that Disney can prosecute someone that is trespassing, or has trespassed if they have enough evidence. 

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