July 18, 2016 Update!
Look at who has returned to the Magic Kingdom yesterday, one month after the gator attack!
July 20, 2016: Parents of Lane announced today that they will not sue Disney for negligence over his drowning death. Read more:
July 1, 2016:
In the wake of a tragic alligator attack at Disney World’s Grand Floridan hotel that left a 2-year-old boy dead two weeks ago, Walt Disney World has made some changes throughout the parks.
* All water recreation departing from the resorts, including boat rentals, has been suspended for now.
* All resort beach areas remain closed to guests. Previously, the caution signs said “No Swimming”, but many guests waded in the shallow, warm lagoon water.
* Temporary barriers and new signs warning about the alligators are now in place at all resort beaches.
* The beach lounge chairs have been pulled from the beaches and extra chairs have been placed out by the pools.
* References to and appearances by the gators in the parks has disappeared.
* Louis, the trumpet-playing alligator from the 2009 film The Princess and the Frog was supposed to be a part of the new Friendship Faire castle show at Magic Kingdom, but got pulled just days before the show premiered on June 23, 2016. The alligator was supposed to play trumpet during the show.
*The Tick Tock Croc from Peter Pan, known for hunting villain Captain Hook and eating his hand (hence the hook he wears) was removed from the Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom.
* The alligator is gone from the nighttime water light parade in front of the Polynesian.
* The Jungle Cruise has also changed its script stopping employees from making jokes like “but remember, folks, if you don’t watch your children, the crocodiles will,” as they narrate an adventure ride through rivers across the world.
* Guides on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom have also removed references to gators. Staff no longer claim the tour bridge could dump them into the crocodile pit below.
*Some guests have even commented that they don’t like the gator in the Haunted Mansion’s stretching room!
“We continue to evaluate processes and procedures for our entire property, and, as part of this, we are reinforcing training with our cast for reporting sightings and interactions with wildlife and are expanding our communication to guests on this topic,” Walt Disney World Resort vice president Jacquee Wahler said in a statement last week.
The Grand Floridan has seen a huge surge of cancellations and requests to be moved to other resorts. There have also been a larger than normal request of refunds for guests choosing not to visit at all due to the events on property and off in Orlando this month.
Since 2006, 240 alligators have been trapped and killed at WDW across the 28,000 acre property.
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by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
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