Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa: 2-Year-Old Boy Attacked By Alligator On Disney Property

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is easily the most luxurious hotel on Disney property. Thousands of people stay at this resort each week, calling it “home” while enjoying their vacation in Orlando, Florida.

On Tuesday, however, the grounds at the Grand Floridian turned into a nightmarish scene. Emergency crews flooded the area after a 2-year-old boy was attacked by an alligator at Seven Seas Lagoon, which hugs the Disney resort, washing up on sandy beach areas.

The waters of the Seven Seas Lagoon touch other Disney resort areas that are close to the Grand Floridian. Disney’s Polynesian Hotel and Disney’s Contemporary Hotel also have areas sitting on the lagoon.

According to CNN, the child was on vacation with his parents and his sister. The Nebraska family of four were hanging out around 9:30 p.m., relaxing by the water when the unthinkable happened. An alligator came out of the lagoon and latched on to the child, dragging him into the water. Despite heroic efforts by the boy’s father, his body was not recovered. At this time, many fear that the alligator may have swallowed the child.

“The sad reality of it is it’s been several hours, and we’re not likely going to recover a live body,” said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa makes it very clear that no swimming is allowed in the lagoon. Authorities say that the child was not swimming, but rather “wading” in the water. Even still, the child fell victim to the gator, which came up out of the water and snatched him up.

The boy’s father wrestled with the gator but was unable to save his son. As the reptile disappeared (presumably back into the lake), the child’s mother rushed into the water, trying to find her little boy. But he was gone.

As of Wednesday morning, several people are involved in the search and rescue effort at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, but the child has not been found. According to WESH, Florida Fish and Wildlife units have been called to the Grand Floridian to trap alligators in and around the lagoon. So far, authorities do not believe any of the gators caught were involved in the attack.

“As of 6:30 a.m., four alligators had been retrieved from the lake, euthanized and examined for possible involvement in the attack. So far, no evidence has been found that any of the four were involved.”

Personnel at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa are doing everything they possibly can to help this family during this devastating time. As the clock hours tick by, hope dwindles. Those involved are determined to find the boy, his body, or the gator that attacked him.

The Vice President of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa released the following statement.

“Everyone here at Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident. Our thoughts are with the family and we are helping the family and doing everything we can to assist them,” said Jacquee Wahler.

Grand Floridian and other Disney guests are all very concerned and can’t believe that something like this could happen. However, the Grand Floridian staff can’t do too much to keep gators out of the waters near the hotel. The “no swimming” signs, however, may not be enough to warn Disney visitors that alligators may be in the waters (it’s unclear if there are any gator warning signs).

It is unknown if the family were guests of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Other families who have stayed at the Grand Floridian know the area where these children were playing and know that their kids have played there too. It’s all very frightening and heartbreaking.

The Grand Floridian may end up closing the beach areas following this tragedy, regardless of whether the boy is okay.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

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