My only complaint or concern about Disney

This has been bugging me ever since I got home

I realise there are alligators in the waterways throughout th Disney area

I’m not sure every oveseas visitor realises though. In fact I know full well they dont

What staggers me is despite the poor child that got killed by an alligator whilst paddling on a beach at the Grand Floridian last year that there are still parts of the waterways where children or adults could still walk right to the edge of the water etc?

There are signs warning you not to do so due to “dangerous wildlife” (I think they should make it clear there are alligators in the water by the way with pictures as that would sober a few people up who don’t realise) but I am genuinely staggered that in a world where health and safety is paramount and in a resort for young children that it’s even possible to be put into a situation where you are at danger from alligators

If I went to a zoo with alligators or crocodiles I know full well I can’t get to them and they can’t get to me. A zoo wouldn’t ever allow it to happen. In disney I’m sure most people don’t know the alligators are in the water and there’s nothing in many places to protect people

I believe there should be fence or walls ALL around the waters

When the child was taken at the Grand Floridian five larger alligators were captured and taken from the waters near there the next day. The smaller ones were left in there. They can’t stop others from getting in there the very next day as all the waterways are linked around the disney area from what I understand. And obviously alligators are part of the natural wildlife around there.The beach areas were all temporarily closed but are now all open again. The alligators are still there. Only some have fences. Most don’t from what I’ve seen.

I read detailed stories of what happened to the young child and it was horrific. Taken whilst paddling following a beach movie at the Hotel.

I’m still upset thinking it could ever happen at Disney and that it actually happened but as far as I can see could easily happen again?

What do you guys think? Aren’t people in Florida as scared of alligators as we are? Do you look upon them like dogs etc?

For me it’s my only real concern about what happens at disney

I think even if the signs include a drawing of an alligator, people will still ignore them. That’s human nature. I also think fences would be unsightly in areas that conjure up the feeling of being on the beach. I do however, understand your concern.


After the tragedy at Grand Floridian I believe they put a white picket fence all around the edge of the beach to show a response?

I just can’t understand why that’s not been done everywhere else. We stayed near the boardwalk and the only “protection” in many of the Hotel’s around there are signs warning you not to go too close to the water. There are young kids in resort who won’t even be able to read them etc if they wandered off. It’s not too unsightly IMO to have fences and I struggle to think any family would object to fences to be protected from alligators in the very rare instance they try to take a child etc

I know when I’ve researched what happened that many guests had no idea there were alligators in the water at the time, I know they can’t prevent them being in the water and I know my family didn’t believe me when I told them that’s what the signs were warning them about on this holiday

Maybe US residents know more about alligators than overseas guests like us and their kids know not to go near the edge of the water instinctively. For our UK kids it’s natural to just run to a beach and paddle there. They’ve not been brought up thinking the edge of the beach can be an unsafe area.

My kids honestly thought I was pretending about alligators in there just to try and scare them when I told them to stay clear of the waters edge

On the night the young child was taken I read that one of the Hotel guests warned the Reps who were supervising the beach movie that there were two alligators near the beach

The response was “don’t worry - they are our resident pets”

I’m just shocked the whole risk of alligators appears to just be taken so lightly when you expect health or safety to be so careful

Especially at Disney of all places?

This was a terrible accident that happened on Disney property. This could have happened, and probably has happened at other locations in Florida. The victim’s family braved this in an amazing fashion, even forgoing a law suit.

I do recall in the initial news reports that guests had indeed mentioned to cast members that alligators were present. Unfortunately, up until this incident, WDW had been complacent in assuming that their signage was adequate.

I personally would never consider dipping a toe into any body of water that wasn’t clearly intended for swimming/playing. At WDW or anywhere. I’m an overly cautious person by nature and kind of assume there could be anything in the water.

GF and the Beach Club both added piles of rocks, thick ropes (to blend in with the overall look of the “beach”) and the fencing. I’m hopeful that this, and the signage, is all enough to deter future accidents.

Since this is weighing on you, you may consider contacting guest services or management to convey your concerns.


I live in an area where there are many alligators. It is extremely rare for them to attack humans, though occasionally there are tragedies like this one :frowning:

Its not a good idea to enter the water if it is not marked specifically for swimming. Not only are there alligators in pretty much any decent sized body of freshwater in the Gulf Region (including golf course ponds), but also it is swamp water, full of algae and muck, dangerous viruses, bacteria and parasites.

Alligators are easy to avoid, by not going into the water except pools. Fences might help keep people out, but kids have gotten into zoo enclosures and such that have fences, so not foolproof.


The trouble with fences is that alligators can climb them. Then again, so can people. Your point is taken, though. It should be explicitly stated that there are alligators in the water. Then again, don’t they have jet skiing or something in that lake?

I’ve never seen anybody doing any water sports or swimming or anything in the water near the epcot hotels

All I have seen are the large boats that ferry you between parks etc

When I read up on the tragedy I read that on average one person is killed by an alligator every 3 years in Florida as a whole and this was the first time someone had been killed by an alligator on a Disney property

So I accept it’s very rare for this to happen.

But it must have been so upsetting and worrying for everyone at Disney when it did happen that I am just so susprised that in some parts around the water they purely rely on signage to warn guests

Not everywhere have they put the fences or the rocks

Which is my concern.

They do have water sports in that lake. Apparently in the US, or I guess particularly in Florida, no swimming means don’t go near the water. I got a lot of abuse on chat when I said that no swimming doesn’t mean don’t paddle or don’t get water from the lake in a bucket for your sand castles, both of which I know people did until this tragedy.

I knew there had been alligators on Disney property, but I never dreamt that they were roaming free in all the water where there were beaches with children playing, and where people encourage you to go to watch the fireworks, especially since there was no mention on the signage. I just assumed, naively obviously, that Disney did something to stop them.

Disney built on swamps that were home to the alligators. They have been seen out of the water too.

Yes they have. And there is no way anyone could get to the water now without a clear intent to ignore obvious barriers (I guess except maybe that kid that went for a dip at Epcot on Saturday, or someone like him).


They do round them up on a regular basis. But they can’t catch them all, every day.


I realise that, and it’s really not a criticism of them. Wildlife is going to be wild! Not knowing anything about alligators, I thought there was maybe some kind of fence or barrier in the water keeping them away from the beaches. I didn’t know they could climb.


I have seen the rocks and fences in places which is a great solution IMO. If a person chooses to ignore the signs and climb over these obstacles then there’s not a lot more can be done

My concern was the rocks and fences aren’t used throughout the resorts. There were numerous areas around the yacht and beach club and swan and dolphin where all I could see that would stop me walking to the edge of the water and getting in was a sign warning me not to do so

Which I why I told my own kids not to go close due to alligators etc as above

Which they didn’t believe at first

I have nothing against wildlife or alligators. I just think every possible method should be used in every potential risky area to prevent unsuspecting tourists to get close to potential alligator risk

And I didn’t see that on my visit in July this year

Unless there were things under the water that weren’t visible etc

I just didn’t want you thinking they just let the alligators proliferate without any intervention whatsoever.

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No I’m aware of that

What I read was exactly what you said. They do try and manage the alligators but the issue is that all the waterways in that area are linked and many of them are beyond Disney’s control etc so they have no way of preventing any alligators coming in or out as they please on a daily basis

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While I agree that Disney could have probably done more, I think the average person has nothing to worry about as far as animal attacks go on Disney property. It’s scary to think of what could be lurking in the water in Florida but as we all know, WDW is a massive property that doesn’t have fences. I think when that tragedy happened, a lot of people had something like the Magic Kingdom in mind and so the immediate thought was “How could they let this happen??” but in all actuality, it’s very similar to being mauled by a bear in Yosemite National Park and then asking what more the park service could have done. I’ll keep my opinions about the whole situation to myself as I think this is still somewhat of a hot issue but I definitely don’t think you have to worry about an alligator or python coming to get you at Disney as long as you are staying clear of any water that isn’t designated for swimming.


Is this a good time to mention venomous snakes? There are probably a lot more of them lurking about the property than gators…


Horrible horrible incident - however I think to a certain degree people need to take responsibility. Where is the limit?!? You are basically in a swamp - a very nice, very expensive, but still very much - swamp. Wildlife is everywhere. Snakes, alligators, and I am sure all sorts of other things. People should know that these things can be and are basically everywhere.

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I think the point is, that many visitors don’t know this and Disney doesn’t tell them. If there was a sign by the water saying “there are alligators in here” that little boy’s dad wouldn’t have let him anywhere near the water. I’ve always heard you can’t swim in it because of some kind of brain eating amoeba, never had a clue it was full of alligators.


I find it inconceivable that the incident happened just after a “movie on the beach” night in the hotel.

Little kids should have been nowhere near beaches where alligators were in the water nearby. Let alone having organised activities on the beach.

It’s the Hotel that organised the beach activities at night for the kids club

It wouldn’t happen in the UK if we had the same issues to face

Luckily we dont

But our health and safety people would be all over stuff like this

I just assumed US and Disney would be equally careful with all the litigation you guys face

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