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MAZ

Jan 30, 2014
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I never thought such a thing could happen at a resort on the doorstep of the Magic Kingdom. But it has.
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/deputies-gator-drags-child-into-water-near-disney%e2%80%99s-grand-floridian/ar-AAh40fF?li=BBnb7Kz

Update: According to several tweets, the child was on the beach for a 'movie night' event when the incident occurred.
 
Sep 5, 2010
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RICHMOND
I have been to Disney World four times. I lived in Orlando for three years. I have been to Disneyland twice, just to see the place that inspired Disney World. I have read books and blogs, watched documentaries and had long discussions about the resort. I love the place, and know more about it than most people.

And I had no idea that there were alligators in the Seven Seas Lagoon.

If I had no idea, then the parents (who are from Nebraska) almost certainly had no idea.
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
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I was thinking the same thing. I was also thinking about all of the water sports they offer in Bay Lake. So glad I didn't reserve anything at Sammy Duvalls in May...
 
Dec 18, 2011
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Chesapeake, VA
In central Florida, alligators are going to be around just about every corner. There's even been one spotted in the pool around Splash Mountain (it's true! On YouTube last I checked). I'm so sad that yet another tragic event has happened in the greater Orlando area this week. I'm wondering what is Disney's vulnerability here from a legal standpoint. Seems like concerning business invitees, they would need to ensure the area would be safe and would need to think ahead about this kind of thing.
 
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Apr 29, 2011
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Brandon said:
In central Florida, alligators are going to be around just about every corner.

This!

It is common knowledge down in Florida that if you see a body of water, and one of the significant size of the Seven Seas Lagoon, there are most likely alligators in it.
 
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Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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I totally agree that alligators come with the territory in Florida. In fact, there are signs around LEGOLAND warning people about them, as well. That said, I would have expected Disney to attempt to move them to other lakes (or whatever) for legal reasons, if nothing else.
 
Sep 29, 2009
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I have a friend that lives near Tampa. If I visit her house at night, I never walk out the back door. She has all kinds of animals like that. To her, this would seem like common sense. Most visitors (maybe even myself) probably wouldn't expect to see alligators on what appears to be "human territory".

If this were any other company, I would say they have no chance in court. Good or bad, Disney will probably just skate by. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
Advisory Panel
Feb 12, 2011
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^Why would Disney be liable? I don't blame the parents in this event either, but there are signs all around the lagoon that say guests may not enter the water.

But this is still horrific. In light of the terror attacks in the Orlando club last weekend, it couldn't have happened in a worse place at a worse time either. What an awful week for Orlando.

I can't even imagine putting myself in the place of the parents or siblings of the child. It sounds like a nightmare. It would be almost as devastating to be one of the many witnesses on the beach at the time. The whole event sounds like something out of a horror movie... and at the "most magical place on Earth," too.

Praying that this is the last tragedy that hits us for a while.
 
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Apr 29, 2011
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Nicole said:
That said, I would have expected Disney to attempt to move them to other lakes (or whatever) for legal reasons, if nothing else.

Easier said than done.

While Disney does their best to monitor and remove the gators that are deemed to be nuisance, they can not police every single one on property, especially given the size of the entire WDW resort which is essentially built on wetlands and swamp. There are way too many of them there.
 

The Hessian

MSG. Co. E, Cherokee Regiment of Rifles.
Nov 30, 2015
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To tell the truth considering the region where talking about I'm suprised this doesn't happen more often, cosidering its seems how much some parents are complete morons these days.
 
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Zimmy

Nessie is lonely.
Silver Donor
Sep 28, 2013
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Virginia Beach
I kinda always assumed gators are in every body of water any where south of North Carolina. Hell we have them up here in VA again.
 
Sep 5, 2010
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RICHMOND
A lot is being made of these "No Swimming" signs and limiting Disney's liability. I have a couple issues with that.

1) I am a rule follower. I don't try to find ways to get past the rules, generally, or to violate them in spirit even while not breaking them literally. That said, though, even I would not interpret "No Swimming" as "don't touch the water with your foot." I don't think the signs are adequate for the danger. If you had an electric fence, you would have a big bright sign that said "DANGER: 40,000 VOLTS!" not a nice, happy looking sign that said "No Climbing, Please."

2) I lived in Orlando. My brother lived in Pensacola. I know there are gators in Florida. However, the whole selling point of Disney World is that it's an imaginary, artificial environment where only good things happen. I think there's an expectation among guests, and one that is specifically cultivated by Disney, that Disney has "though of everything" and taken care of all foreseeable issues. That's why it's so surprising to me that, even though it's Florida, there are alligators in the lake and Disney doesn't do more to either get rid of them or protect guests.

Look at it this way: for a flat ride that has no really dangerous elements and can't hurt you in almost any conceivable way, there is still a height req., a seatbelt, someone to come check your seatbelt, a sign warning you about heart conditions, a camera monitoring the action, etc., etc., BUT, for the alligator infested deathtrap, there's a sign that says "don't swim" and a man-made sandy beach front where they host movie nights.

Love Disney, don't want to see them get bad publicity or for anyone to "stick it to them", but I think they shoulder some blame, here.
 

Zimmy

Nessie is lonely.
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Sep 28, 2013
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I have no love of Disney. That is no secret. But perhaps it is not realistic to assume even the great and all powerful mouse can keep mother nature at bay. Here is my question, they found the child, but I have not heard what the cause of death was. Have they confirmed that it was a gator?
 
Sep 5, 2010
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RICHMOND
Speaking of other crocodilians...Nile Crocodiles are being found in Florida swamps, and that's a whole different animal (if you'll excuse the pun).

If crocs become widespread, then Disney doesn't have a choice. They must do something to prevent their access to the resort's lakes/bodies of water. Crocodiles aren't as docile as alligators.
 
Dec 18, 2011
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Chesapeake, VA
I've been thinking a lot about the false sense of security that WDW seems to lure guests into. Especially when you're staying on site, you feel cut off from the rest of the world and it seems like the entire experience is one elaborate production where every element of safety has already been verified. That being said, it's amazing the ways that people have died in Disney parks property over the years. There have been some truly bizarre and tragic incidents.
 
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