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Wildlife Wednesday: Turtles Take Off to Infinity and Beyond!

Dr. Mark Penning

by , Vice President, Animals, Science and Environment, Disney Parks

This past weekend, Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment and the Sea Turtle Conservancy hosted the 11th annual Tour de Turtles at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, which saw two loggerhead turtles take off on an adventure into the big blue world. With festivities themed to “Toy Story” to celebrate the opening of Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this fun, family-friendly educational event promotes sea turtle care and conservation. The “Toy Story” theme also inspired the two turtles’ names, Trixie and Mrs. Potato Head.

There were lots of pals along the shoreline for the turtles’ grand send-off, cheering them on as they made their way into the ocean, the beginning of a three-month long journey from their nesting beach to their foraging grounds. The turtles were outfitted with satellite transmitters to track their journey in real time.

So, what’s next for Trixie and Mrs. Potato Head? They could stay near the coast if they’re planning to lay more eggs, or they could take off to some of the places our turtles have traveled to in the past, including Naples, Fla., Key West, Cuba and The Bahamas.

Part of the fun of Tour de Turtles is trying to guess where the turtles will go next on their great migration. We’ve followed all of the turtles we’ve released as part of Tour de Turtles during the last 11 years at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, and each has traveled an average of 1,300 miles.

Loggerhead turtles are a threatened species, which means they are at risk of becoming endangered or extinct. As home to one of the most active sea turtle nesting sites in Florida, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort takes great care to protect these animals, and even has a dedicated conservation team on site. In addition, Disney is helping support cleaner nesting beaches and oceans for sea turtles through its conservation efforts and environmental actions. The company just announced a global commitment toward reducing its use of plastics, a move that we hope will inspire our Guests to make changes that positively impact sea turtles and other marine life.

You can follow Trixie and Mrs. Potato Head’s progress by visiting There, these Disney turtles will join other sea turtles in a race to see who travels the farthest. You also can relive the fun of the Tour de Turtles event by watching a rebroadcast of the livestream.