Disney World has started removing references to alligators and crocodiles in its shows and attractions in response to the alligator attack that killed a two-year-old boy in early June.
Just days after Lane Graves was dragged to death by an alligator in a lake near the Seven Seas Lagoon Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa on June 14, the staff of Disney World has started setting up alligator warnings and temporary barriers at the resort’s beach locations.
Walt Disney World Resort vice president Jacquee Wahler told Washington Post that they removed crocodile references “out of respect for the family” of the two-year-old boy who died from the alligator attack last June.
‘”We did this two weeks ago immediately following the incident,” she said through email.
Walt Disney World Resort announced that it was going to ramp up security measures in response to criticisms about not putting up alligator warning signs that could have prevented the death of Lane Graves.
“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.
According to the Miami Herald, cartoon crocodiles and alligators have been dropped from shows and parades. The Tic Toc Croc, the crocodile character known for chasing down Captain Hook in Peter Pan, was removed from the Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom, according to show guests.
Louis, the trumpet-playing alligator from 2009 film The Princess and the Frog, was reportedly removed from the Friendship Faire castle show at Magic Kingdom a few days before the show’s June 23 premiere, according to a Disney staff member who requested to remain anonymous to prevent his job from being compromised.
The Jungle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom reportedly removed a 50-year-old popular line that warns parents to watch their children or “the crocodile will,” which was routinely narrated at the river adventure ride since 1962.
Guides on Kilimanjaro Safari ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom have also pulled out any mention of predators. According to Daily Mail, the ride had removed the crocodile pit that served as one of the ride’s attractions for many years.
According to TMZ, some fans claim that the House of Mouse just removed crocodile and alligator animations from the park.
Representatives at Disney World refused to divulge any information as to when the alligator and crocodile references will be brought back to the resort’s shows and attractions.
However, both fake and real crocodiles and alligators are still on display at the Epcot zoo exhibit.
The Walt Disney World Resort Vice President also announced last week that they are providing additional wildlife training to employees of ESPN Wide World of Sports, whose ponds get a regular visit from crocodiles and alligators.
The body of the young boy who was dragged to death by an alligator in early June was recovered intact 17 hours after the tragic incident. After the autopsy, it was ruled that the alligator likely drowned Lane and abandoned the body at the bottom of the lagoon.
According to reports, while there were no alligator signs installed at the lake front when the alligator struck, “no swimming” signs have been posted at the particular location.
During the search, wildlife officials caught and cut open five alligators before they were able to find the killer.
Do you think it was necessary for Disney World to remove references to crocodiles and alligators from their shows and attractions? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Disney UK/YouTube]