Are Disney Bears Just Humans in Costumes? Viral Video Raises Questions

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger with "Spoiler Alert" symbol
Credit: Disney / Canva Editing

It has recently been reported that a Chinese zoo is under allegations that it has a bear that is actually a human in disguise.

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The Viral Video

Located in the Zhejiang province is the Hangzhou Zoo, where many Guests captured an interesting encounter with the bear in question. In a viral video, a Sun bear stands on its hind legs and waves to the crowd. Then he quickly goes on all fours and returns to…being a bear.

However, many people have speculated that the China Zoo is actually gaslighting its visitors. Many people have questioned whether the bear is a real bear or a person in a bear suit. This scrutinization has even developed into people examining the buttocks of the animal (named Angela) and determining whether folds near her posterior are fat or fabric.

Zoo officials have had to come out and deny the claims made on social media. Native to Southeast Asia, Malaysian sun bears are one of the smallest bear species.

What About Disney?

This interesting story has led some of us at Disney Dining to wonder…. when will Walt Disney World come out and finally admit what we all know to be true? When will they confirm once and for all that the bears in their theme parks are really just people in bear costumes? We already know that they dress people up as Baloo, Winnie the Pooh, and the members of the Country Bear Jamboree. How different or hard would it be for Disney to pull one of their Disney College Program participants, stick them in a fur bear costume, and force them to walk around Kilimanjaro Safaris?

Big Al at Country Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom

Credit: Disney

It could happen…maybe…

And if not in Florida or California, it may happen in China. It stands to reason that humans walk around in a fur bear suit at Shanghai Disneyland, right? Maybe one of them found their way to the Hangzhou Zoo?

winnie the pooh face character

Credit: Disney

Maybe it’s Bob Chapek?

Bob Chapek

Credit: Disney

Or maybe we’ll never really know…because the truth is just too …unBEARable.

Country Bear Jamboree at Magic Kingdom

Credit: Disney

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About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)