A Look Back at Discovery Island at Walt Disney World

Boat to Treasure/Discovery Island at Walt Disney World 1970'sEven before I moved near Disney World in Orlando I was fortunate enough to visit often.  This allowed me time to see the extra and little known attractions like Discovery Island.  The natural-made island located in Bay Lake was originally called Treasure Island. I thought it would be fun to take a look back at Discovery Island at Walt Disney World.

The 11.5 acre pirate-themed island opened in April 1974 as a place to observe wildlife. It even had a shipwreck. The island could only be accessed by water launch or by a narrated Word Cruise side-wheeler which included refreshments.

Later the island was renamed Discovery Island when it was recognized as a zoological park. During this time Disney was using ticket books for entry to attractions. In fact, viagra buy prostate I still have an original Discovery Island ticket!

In Discovery Island’s heyday, you could see such areas as Monkey Colony; Trumpeter Springs (trumpeter swans); North Falls; Swan’s Neck Falls; Parrot’s Perch; Discovery Island Bird Show; Bamboo Hollow; Primate Point (lemurs); African Aviary; Toucan Corner; Crane’s Roost; Avian Way (largest walk-through aviary in world); Pelican Bay (for injured birds); Flamingo Lagoon; Tortoise Beach; Alligator Pool; and Eagles Watch.

Map of Discovery Island at Walt Disney WorldThe island had several different areas with 140 species of animals and 250 species of tropical plants. When the island closed in 1999 many of the animals were transferred over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom while others went to zoos. The Safari Village hub area at Animal Kingdom was renamed to Discovery Island.

Even though the original Discovery Island is no longer accessible, it’s visible from the dock at the Contemporary Resort. Also, if you take a boat launch from Magic Kingdom to Ft. Wilderness you’ll pass right by it (on your left). Still to this day, whenever I see the island I can still remember walking through the lush tropical foliage, seeing all the birds in the aviary, and jumping every time an alligator moved.

F. G. Mama

About the author…F. G. Mama, Katie McDill, has been in love with Walt Disney World since first entering the gates in 1976. After her two kids went off to college, she moved from Georgia to the backdoor of the Magic Kingdom in Florida. She worked several years at Walt Disney World performing as Fairy Godmother in day parades, the “Best of Disney” castle stage show, and the original Electric Light Parade. For the last ten years, she along with daughter and family, have enjoyed “living the dream” in Celebration (the town that Disney built) just across the bridge from Disney World. During this time she has collaborated with son-in-law Jimmy in several production projects including Orlando Attractions Magazine-The Show, The Mindy Mouse Show and FunaticsTV. Her other career included being a writer, artist/designer, special events creator and coordinator. Now she is enjoying the good life of Anna Maria Island, Celebration, Disney World and, of course, sharing magic at FUNaticsTV!

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