The Disney Wilderness Preserve provides rare birds and other wildlife for visitors to enjoy in Orlando, Florida. Sandhill cranes, red shouldered hawks, wild turkeys and more are often seen from the parking lot. In April of 2012 this facility will celebrate 20 years of operation. There are 18 natural communities within the preserve for guests to explore.
The preserve is in south Orlando and comprised of 12,000 acres, which are part of the Everglades ecosystem. The preserve borders cypress bordered Lake Russell. This is one of the last places in Florida without developed lake front property. The area offers 1,000 species of plants and animals to study and learn about. The site was begun as a place for an offsite Disney wetlands project in the 1990s.
Walt Disney Company purchased 8,500 acres of land to become part of the Conservancy. Walt Disney World developed the project with funds from the company in order to restore and monitor wildlife. Hiking is the top thing to do at the Disney Wilderness Preserve. The park is open from 9am to 5pm. The preserve may have limited access during certain times of the year due to flooding or restoration. All areas of the park are monitored for research.