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See the Tour de Turtles at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

See the Tour de Turtles at Disney's Vero Beach Resort Vero Beach

There is a tradition at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort that you might not have heard of called Tour de Turtles, and it is worth taking a few moments to learn more about. The event, which is sponsored by Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) and Disney Cruise Line, follows select turtles as they begin their migration journies from the shore of Vero Beach Resort all the way to The Bahamas and beyond. Last year, we enjoyed seeing Neytiri and Ronal, named after characters from the film Avatar: The Way of Water, as they made their way down the sands. This year, all eyes were on Madame Leota and Harriet, named after Haunted Mansion characters portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis and Tiffany Haddish. Take a look at the beginning of the 16th annual celebration and read more about the program below:

Beyond co-hosting the Tour de Turtles event, Disney has supported sea turtles for 20 years, and our team has recorded more than 20,000 sea turtle nests on our survey route since the program began, resulting in more than 1.5 million sea turtle hatchlings that have taken their first flipper strokes on our beaches. And 2023 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for sea turtles along this stretch of beach – while the team typically studies an average of 1,500 nests during the March through October season, they have counted more than 2,200 nests already this year!

This is an incredible conservation milestone made possible by 20,000 hours of surveying the five-mile stretch of beach at the Vero Beach Resort, connecting thousands of guests and the public to sea turtles in responsible and impactful ways, participating in a statewide network committed to standardized data collection, and conducting innovative research exploring our relationship with sea turtles and how to best protect them into the future.

The data collected during Tour de Turtles helps researchers, conservationists and governing agencies make more informed decisions about sea turtle conservation methods and policies across Florida. Since 2008, STC and Disney have studied 29 sea turtles outfitted with satellite transmitters and released from Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Since 1986, Disney’s animal care teams have nursed more than 300 endangered sea turtles back to health and returned them to their home in the ocean.

To date, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed more than $5.1 million to sea turtle conservation efforts around the world. This support has helped leading nonprofit organizations collaborate with communities to grow appreciation and awareness for sea turtles, reduce threats to their survival and empower a global network to take actions to protect sea turtles in the future.

Disney Parks Blog
See the Tour de Turtles at Disney's Vero Beach Resort image

Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.

Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.


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