A Shark at Disney World!?!?

Shark at Disney World

Ah Florida! Home to many species of wildlife that you just won’t see anywhere else. From alligators to snakes, Florida’s waters are rife with potentially dangerous animals. Are sharks one of them? Well…off the coast sure but others are claiming to have seen sharks on Disney Property.

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Maui Shark Mystery

Credit: NatGeo

In case you need a refresher, Orlando is about 60 miles inland. Sharks…aren’t really a thing here. Nevertheless, the rumor mill has started up that Bay Lake is home to a shark. The rumor started on the infamous satire site, Mouse Trap News, but users have taken to social media claiming to verify that they have in fact seen a shark fin on the Bay Lake. Fact-checking site Snopes has even gotten involved.

Let’s ignore Disney’s distance from the ocean for a second and discuss the other elephant in the room (or should I say shark in the water?). Bay Lake is a freshwater lake. That means saltwater marine life cannot survive there. It simply isn’t possible. National Geographic explains, “Sharks must retain salt inside their bodies. Without it, their cells will rupture and cause bloating and death. Given this requirement, most sharks cannot enter fresh water, because their internal salt levels would become diluted.”

Baby Sharks National Geographic

Credit: NatGeo

Related: Shark Fest Added to Disney+ 

“But I’ve heard of a shark that can live in freshwater,” you might be thinking. Yes, technically there is elone: the Ganges Shark. However, it resides in India. A Ganges Shark has never been found in North America. It’s also true that sharks have been known to get lost and end up where they don’t belong but that typically involves inlets and tidal pools where the water is brackish (slightly salty, found in places where fresh and saltwater meet). They don’t survive long in brackish water and certainly wouldn’t survive the 60 mile trek to Orlando.

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Jaws Ride

Credit: New York Times

We can safely put this rumor to rest. It’s just another case of a satire piece growing a mind of its own and snowballing. No sharks have decided they suddenly need a churro and gone to Disney World. The Great White was at the other park but even they’ve gotten rid of it (cue Jaws theme).


About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.