Walt Disney World Resort has taken certain steps to help ensure the safety and comfort of its guests in light of the recent tragedy at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa this week. The body of a two year old boy was recovered on Wednesday afternoon after he had been dragged into the Seven Seas Lagoon by an alligator and drowned the prior evening.
Out of an abundance of caution, all beaches throughout the Disney Resort have been closed since mid-morning on Wednesday. Disney has long encouraged guests to visit its beaches by providing lounge chairs and offering family movie night along with campfires at many of its resort hotels. The lounge chairs have since been removed and there is no word yet as to when the beaches will reopen. New fencing is currently being installed along the waterfront of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa as well as Polynesian Village Resort.
New Warning Signs
While there were “no swimming” signs located at all Walt Disney World Resort Hotel beaches, there was no indication that one of the reasons why is due to the presence of alligators. New signage warning about alligators and snakes will be posted on all resort waterways. “We are conducting a swift and thorough review of all of our processes and protocols,” Walt Disney World Resort Vice President Jacquee Wahler said in a statement Thursday. “This includes the number, placement and wording of our signage and warnings.”
Shades of Green, the U.S. Military Resort at Walt Disney World, already had signs posted by its small pond prior to the recent attack warning guests “do not feed or go near the alligators.”
All water transportation at Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake had been suspended during the search for the little boy. The ferry boat that transports guests from the Ticket and Transportation center to Magic Kingdom has since resumed operation along with the Fireworks cruises. Water taxis and all water recreation departing from the resorts are still suspended. Additional buses are being offered to the theme parks in the meantime.
Skippers on both the Disneyland and Disney World Jungle Cruise ride have been ordered not to tell any more jokes about crocodiles eating children after Tuesday night’s tragic event. There are rumblings online that Disney may even cut crocodiles and alligators from some of their attractions. Tick-Tock Croc from Peter Pan has not appeared in the Festival of Fantasy Parade and it’s uncertain if Louis the Alligator from Disney’s Princess and the Frog will be included in the new stage show, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire, that debuted today at Magic Kingdom.
Removal of Alligators
In the search for the alligator responsible for the attack, search teams captured and euthanized at least five alligators in the Seven Seas Lagoon. Nick Wiley, Executive Director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, stated “They have a full-time staff observing these waters and they have essentially an open permit system where any time they see an alligator or a complaint is called in, it can be taken out.”
Photo Credit: @TharinWhite, @Breaking911, cnn.com
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