Alligators and Snakes

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by lynnzrae, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. lynnzrae

    lynnzrae Mouseketeer

    Feb 27, 2018
    Good Evening Everyone,

    I am taking a shot in the dark that this is the appropriate board. If it is not, please move accordingly...

    We have a family trip planning for September. My DH is terrified of snakes and is very worried of alligators and snakes. So much so that I am afraid it will ruin the trip for him. I tried to Google information that could help alleviate his anxiety over this and only found a story on the snake that they trapped at MK and the amount of alligators they catch every year (with a reflection on the poor family who lost their 2-year-old to an alligator a few years ago).

    Neither of these are stories I want to share with him for obvious reasons. Does anyone have tips, advice, thoughts on the matter that I could share with my DH to help ease his anxiety at all?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. KeepCalmAndCarryOn

    KeepCalmAndCarryOn charfinntastic

    Jan 8, 2012
    I can't share any information that is based on hard facts, only that I am also beyond scared of snakes (to the point that I spend a lot of time LOOKING for them) and have yet to see one in all my trips to Disney. We just returned from a trip with three kids under two, and my one rule was NO BUSHES! because I was terrified of snakes hiding, and even with my one person vigilante crusade, nothing. That doesn't mean that they aren't there, that doesn't mean common sense about the swamp lands of Florida shouldn't be used, but truly, I am looking and haven't seen.
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  4. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

    Dec 27, 2003
    In over twenty years we have only encountered one snake. I'm not sure of the kind but it was on our patio at Saratoga Springs. My father in law spotted it and scared it away. We've seen a couple gators when Discovery Island was still around but that's it. I would put it out of your head and enjoy your trip.
  5. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

    May 19, 2016
    You're making a really big deal out of nothing. Yes, there was a horrible tragedy not all that long ago, but it was an extremely isolated incident. In fact, I think it was only the first or second time it has happened since WDW opened in 1971. You will not encounter alligators walking around the property, nor will you encounter snakes. The only time you'll see them is if you go on the Safari ride or some of the walking trail exhibits have snakes (in cages).
  6. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

    Oct 27, 2011
    What kind of info were you hoping to find with Google? Honestly, I'm not surprised that didn't turn up anything "helpful" to convince him - as the "bad" news is always what's reported. Millions of visitors go to WDW each year, and the vast majority never see a snake or an alligator. Do they exist in Orlando? Absolutely. But the likelihood of encountering one on your vacation is very low. Where do you live? Can you relate "snakes and alligators" to a wild animal that is in your area? Black bears or coyotes or something that has a natural habitat in your area but never appears in your backyard. We all tend to be comfortable with the risks we know (the local predators) but worry about those with which we aren't familiar (snakes and alligators). Hopefully that can put it into perspective for him; he may still be anxious until the first day or two passes with no incidents.

    Enjoy your vacation!
    ilovevacation and PollyannaMom like this.
  7. Crystal824

    Crystal824 DIS Veteran

    Feb 23, 2008
    I've been to WDW many times for vacations over the past 20 years. I've also done the College Program twice where i lived in Orlando for more than 3 or 4 months at a time. I've only ever seen one snake. It happened to crawl up in our line at Flights of Wonder one day while I was working there. I've only seen two alligators. One was in the water near Tom Sawyer's Island, and people were trying to catch it at the time. The other was in the lake at Coronado Springs Resort. Of course this is other than the animals they have on display at Animal Kingdom.

    You will more than likely not see either during your trip.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
    KenHutch and DoryGirl1963 like this.
  8. LilacGarden

    LilacGarden Earning My Ears

    Nov 14, 2017
    I have taken several trips to Florida (not just Disney World). The only time that I saw and alligator was at a Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel. Otherwise, they have been contained in zoos, etc. Never saw a snake. Now little lizards (about the size of a chameleon) and turtles - different story. We saw the lizards all over (AKL, Epcot, MK). My daughter was fascinated with them. Also happened to see a small turtle or tortoise just hanging out in one of the garden areas by Cinderella's castle.
    sponica likes this.
  9. marcyleecorgan

    marcyleecorgan DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2017
    In Florida, all humans are temporary tourists. Wildlife, including snakes and alligators, are living there permanently for the long term. ;) But they avoid humans for the most part.

    You might see some. You might not. If suddenly spotting either of them is going to be a dealbreaker for your vacation, I would really advise against visiting Florida in general. I didn't see any dangerous snakes, but I saw a few grass-dwellers and a LOT of lizards (but then again I was looking for them!).

    I mean.... the likelihood that getting within 50 ft of a gator at WDW property is pretty small, UNLESS you are playing at the water's edge. Don't do that. The ONLY bodies of water you should be getting anywhere near in FL is in a swimming pool! As soon as Fish/Wildlife spot the Disney gators, they will remove them and re-locate or cull, depending on the season and population.

    Snakes though... ummmm... they can even come indoors sometimes, and you just have to know NOT to be scared of them and how to handle a dangerous snake IF that's the one you've found ;) Or run screaming for help, that works too!

    On a lighter note, POFQ has fun statues of the Fantasia gators :)
  10. BalooFan

    BalooFan Mouseketeer

    Feb 7, 2015
    I can only share my personal experience. I saw an alligator once while I was on a bus, but the alligator was in an area where guests would have no reason to be. I have never seen a snake. I have no doubt that both are around, but I generally don’t even think about them. As a PP said, there are little lizards everywhere.
    Crystal824 likes this.
  11. sponica

    sponica DIS Veteran

    Oct 16, 2017
    I joke that those lizards are like squirrels...

    That being said, I can probably count on one hand the number of gators I've seen in the disney area. And basically if you were hanging out where the gator was, you were somewhere you weren't supposed to be.

    I don't think I've ever seen snakes, but I also don't go looking for them (again they're probably somewhere I don't wanna be)
    marcyleecorgan likes this.
  12. Kristian

    Kristian Mouseketeer

    Apr 10, 2012
    We have only ever encountered one snake in all our trips.

    We were walking into the Wilderness Lodge from the buses for a quick dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe and happened upon a snake that was making its way across the sidewalk to the grassy area. Maintenance was present for guest safety as well as the snakes safety and handled the matter well.

    I have seen an alligator in the water near Tom Sawyer Island.

    I think just being mindful of the possibility of snakes and alligators and taking precautions such as not getting in the water in the lakes, etc. is your best bet.

    As others have pointed out, lizards are everywhere.
    I see them constantly in the flowerbeds and scurrying about on the sidewalks....our daughter gets a kick out of them.
    PollyannaMom and marcyleecorgan like this.
  13. loves to dive

    loves to dive DIS Veteran

    Aug 21, 2011
    I can only tell you in over 30 years of going, I have never been close to either one. I have seen gators every once in a while from the bus in the run off areas but have never actually seen one at a resort or a park. I've never seen a snake at all. I'm aware they are there and don't get close to the lakes and watch when I'm walking along the paths.
  14. ElenaRN

    ElenaRN DIS Veteran

    Jul 24, 2011
    We have been there at least once a year for the past 19 years. I have never seen a gator. I have seen two small snakes. One was in the grass along side the walkway to the parking lot of AK. The other was making its way from one grassy area to another in the area between BLT and the Contemp.

    He really doesn't need to worry but a fear is irrational so good luck! LOL
    PollyannaMom likes this.
  15. KevM

    KevM Mouseketeer

    Apr 5, 2018
    I’ve never seen a snake down in WDW.

    I saw an alligator once, but that wasn’t even on WDW property. It was when I was a little kid and we were on a bus going to Kennedy Spcae Center.

    As others have said, there are plenty of small harmless lizards that run around.
  16. MrsDuck

    MrsDuck DIS Veteran

    Sep 2, 2011
    We've been going to Disney World for the past 27ish years - typically 4-5x a year. I've never seen a snake or an alligator on property.

    The lizards are everywhere. They are gross but they don't want to be near you - if that's any consolation.
  17. wdwjeffc37

    wdwjeffc37 DisneyWorldFan

    Jan 18, 2013
    We've seen a couple of alligators in the lake at Coronado Springs. People were feeding them by the lobby. And we have seen a couple in the ponds while riding the buses to and from the parks. Nothing to worry about.
    I have seen a snake only once, also at Coronado, in the grass by the edge of the lake. Again nothing to worry about.
    We're from south Louisiana and these things are not that unusual. Not in the city but anywhere there is water in the country.
    P.S. We have seen turtles, rabbits, raccoons, armadillos, rats and mice (not the Mickey kind) in WDW. Cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    marcyleecorgan and kilroy1966 like this.
  18. monorailsilver

    monorailsilver DIS Veteran

    Jun 20, 2002
    I was just in SW FL for 10 days with a night in key largo and west palm.

    The only gator I saw was the small one in the pond behind my sisters house. My dh saw another on the road. I am sure there were more but we didn’t see them. We took 75 across and didn’t see any (year before we took 42 across...don’t ever take him on that! But it was amazing the amount of gators we saw). Dh saw one small snake as well.

    I can tell you I have never seen a gator in Disney, not sure about a snake but probably a few small ones that still make me freak out. That’s not to say they are not out there.
  19. stsomewhere

    stsomewhere DIS Veteran

    Mar 13, 2008
    I have never seen a snake but my husband and son saw a gator at one of DIsneys
    golf courses.
  20. Dis703

    Dis703 DIS Veteran

    Aug 24, 2010
    I grew up in Florida and saw many alligators in that time. They were always in the local lake near the playground and bus stop. They never bothered the people and preferred to keep away from them. Considering the number of alligators and people in the state of Florida it's a very very rare occurrence to actually have an attack by one. That said, in the 15+ times I've been to Disney I've never once seen an alligator there even though I know they are around. Same for snakes. Stay out of the bushes and the water and you have nothing to worry about.
  21. disneydeal

    disneydeal Go to Disney every other year.

    Jan 15, 2012
    2 years ago we was walking on the sidewalk at the resort and a 4 foot black snake came slithering out from bushes onto sidewalk in front of us... we went up to 2nd level to look down and observe, he kept going back and forth and twice checked out an exterior room door for food. Housekeeping called maintenance who came by after 10 minutes and couldn't locate it in bush.... he's waiting for YOU on your next trip...

    Only 2nd or 3rd floor rooms for me. Thanks

    As far as alligators we saw a few in water near splash mountain while on ride.
    marcyleecorgan likes this.

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