He told police it "looked like a tropical paradise."

By Cailey Rizzo
May 04, 2020
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A 42-year-old man was arrested after quarantining on what used to be known as Discovery Island in Disney World, which is currently closed.

When Richard McGuire was discovered last week, he told police “that it looked like a tropical paradise,” according to The Associated Press.

He had been camping on the island for three or four days and had planned to stay one week. McGuire said he didn’t hear deputies searching for him by air, land, and sea because he was asleep in a building on the island. He remained on Discovery Island despite police telling him to leave over a loudspeaker system.

McGuire has been banned from all Disney properties and charged with a misdemeanor for trespassing.

Discovery Island is a former 11-acre zoo in Disney’s Bay Lake, where plenty of “no trespassing” signs are posted and people are not allowed to pass its two closed gates.

The attraction used to be known as Treasure Island and has been closed to the public since 1999. Treasure Island opened in 1974 as a pirate-themed island and place where people could see exotic birds and wildlife. It became Discovery Island a few years later.

The island continued to grow until Animal Kingdom opened in 1998, with a very similar concept. The animals that had been on Discovery Island were transferred to the new park and the island was left abandoned. It has since grown over into a mysterious rainforest, complete with buildings and roped-off exhibits left standing from the ‘90s.

A few urban explorers have wandered onto the island since its closure in 1999. Some say they’ve spotted graffiti on the abandoned island, leading them to believe there have been several trespassers over the past 20 years.

Disney World in Orlando, Florida has been closed since March 15.  Reservations are currently available at Disneyland and Disney World for June 1, 2020 and later.