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Disneyland Article
Real Reason Disney Parks Have Feral Cats And Other Wild Animals You Might See At The Happiest Place On Earth

Disneyland Railroad
Jessie Quinn
March 29, 2018
March 29, 2018
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Animatronic animals aren't the only "furry" friends who get to enjoy Disneyland and Disney World. In fact, Disney parks are home to a variety of different species. Including, an abundance of feral cats that have free range of Main Street, Tomorrowland, and all other areas of the parks.

Want to know why Disney keeps these feral felines around? We share the real reason for the cats of Disneyland , plus the terrifying creatures that call Walt Disney World home and other types of wild animals that can be found at the happiest place on Earth, next.

1. They have been there since Disneyland first opened

Legend has it, just after Disneyland opened, Walt and some Imagineers took a look inside Sleeping Beauty's Castle to see what kind of attraction they could make out of it. Once inside, they were greeted by a number of feral cats.

Disney officials knew they couldn't just leave the cats there (or worse: get rid of them) without proper care and purpose, so they devised a plan .

2. There are about 100 of them

While guests may only spot a couple of feral cats roaming around the happiest place on Earth, there are actually about 100 of them.

3. Disney spays and neuters them

To keep from adding more cats to their pack, Disney has a special group of cast members dedicated to the spaying and neutering. They also tend to various medical needs, including vaccinations.

4. They have secret feeding areas

Don't worry, Disney takes excellent care of its cats. In fact, they have various hidden feeding areas and shelters throughout the park that the feral cats can enjoy.

5. They come out and play at night

Unfortunately for cat-lovers, the best time to spot a Disneyland cat is after hours, since cats are nocturnal. That said, many guests have been able to spot some cats on the cliffs of Big Thunder, near Main Street Station, and White Water Snacks during the day.

6. They use Twitter sort of

What does Donald Trump and the cats of Disneyland have in common? They love to tweet! That's right, the cats of Disneyland have a large online following and love to share funny thoughts and Disneyland cat sightings with fans.

Although Disney doesn't run (or endorse) the account, we appreciate their online presence and get a kick out of their banter.

7. They're used as pest control

All jokes aside, the cats of Disneyland are considered cast members and have serve a great purpose. The real reason Disney keeps these feral cats around is to help with pest control. Rather than set up traps or poison, they prefer to keep things old fashion - and non-toxic - by employing cats to catch mice, rats, and other small critters. Watch out, Mickey Mouse!

8. Snakes

Pest control at Walt Disney World looks a bit different - okay, a lot different. Instead of furry feral cats, Disney World casually deploys snakes to take care of its rats and other rodents. That said, the park ensures only non-poisonous snakes - such as, Black Racers - are allowed on the premises.

9. Ladybugs and other insects

It really is a bug's life at Disney World! With millions of plants, flowers, and shrubs, the park needs help protecting the plants from pests and pesticides don't always cut it. That's where the ladybugs come in. To control things like mites, whiteflies, thrips, and other plant-eating insects, the park releases ladybugs into its planters.

In addition to ladybugs, Disney World also utilizes the help of other insects - such as big-eyed bugs and minute pirate bugs - to help with pests like caterpillars and other bug species that might destroy the gardens.

10. Chickens

Contrary to what you might think, mosquitos aren't a problem for Walt Disney World. No, it's not because the parks have an invisible shield protecting them from the summer pests - it's because the parks have chickens! Like cats and snakes, chickens can be used as pest control to keep mosquitos at bay.

11. Lions

While these giant cats aren't exactly used as pest control (could you imagine?), they are still a necessary addition to Disney's Animal Kingdom. After all, what kind of animal kingdom would it be without its kings and queens?

While on board the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction at Animal Kingdom, guests can take a tour of the lions' habitat and catch a glimpse of the gorgeous felines.

12. Turkeys

Ever wonder what happens to the president's pardoned turkeys after Thanksgiving? They take an all-expense paid for vacation to Disneyland and Walt Disney World (though, they don't have a say in what park they go to).

13. Reindeer

Want to meet Santa's reindeer in real life? Once a year - during Christmas time, of course - Disneyland hosts the magical guests until their Christmas Eve departure.

14. Butterflies

Get this: Disney World is home to nearly 20,000 butterfly species. And, you don't have to go anywhere special to view these fluttering beauties. Many of the parks' butterflies can be found in the planters, fueling up on flower nectar.

Fun fact: While the butterflies are free to flutter throughout any Disney garden, the parks also have specific gardens that are meant to attract them!

15. Horses

In addition to exotic animals, feral cakes, and - lest we forget - snakes, Disney parks are also home to horses! Some of them pull carriages, and others can be ridden by guests! But, don't worry, Disney treats its working horses with great care.
Attractions Referenced

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Disneyland Railroad

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Lands Referenced

Main Street U.S.A.


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