Walt Disney World is a place where people go on vacation to enjoy rides, shows, attractions, food, good and all around good times with famous characters. Sometimes, there can be some unexpected magic come their way in a number of different fashions, but no one could have expected this. Guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge were approached by an unknown woman late in the night and handed a newborn baby without explanation.
UPDATE – 2:30 p.m. EST on November 5, 2018
WFTV has received updated information on the situation from Animal Kingdom Lodge this weekend, and it has taken a strange turn. The woman who said she was just handed a newborn baby by a random woman outside of the Disney Resort actually ended up being the child’s mother.
Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Jeff Williamson said that authorities have located the woman and interviewed her. She was transported to a facility to receive “evaluation and treatment.”
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According to WFTV, a guest walked into the lobby of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and approached a cast member working inside. She let the Disney employee know that an unknown woman walked up to her while she was standing inside and just handed her a newborn baby before walking away.
The woman admitted that she has no idea who the woman was or why she brought the baby to her while they were outside of the resort. There were no reports of threats or anything violent from the woman.
Firefighters from Reedy Creek Emergency Services responded to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to attend to the situation at hand. The firefighters picked up the newborn baby and took the child to nearby Celebration Hospital where the child was found to be in good health.
A guest at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge was handed an abandoned baby early Sunday, according to authorities. https://t.co/L8F7k3CRWj
— Spectrum News 13 (@MyNews13) November 4, 2018
The incident is still under investigation by the Department of Children and Families along with the Sheriff’s Office. As of Sunday afternoon, there had been no word on whether the parents of the newborn baby had been found or identified.
Police have also not said if there is any surveillance footage of the woman as she was around Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at any time.
According to Online Sunshine, Florida Safe Haven laws are in place and do allow a parent to drop off a newborn infant at any fire station, emergency medical services station, or hospital in the state. There will be no questions asked upon doing so and the parents do not have to sign papers of any kind when doing so.
Nowhere in the statutes does it list that a location such as a hotel or a resort are acceptable locations to drop off the child. The law does state, though, that this form of abandonment will terminate any parental rights.
“There is a presumption that the parent who leaves the newborn infant in accordance with this section intended to leave the newborn infant and consented to termination of parental rights.”
The investigation is still ongoing and authorities are going to continue investigating what exactly is going on with this newborn baby. The guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge had no idea that someone would come up to them at 2 a.m. and hand them a baby before just walking away. Strange things do sometimes happen at Walt Disney World, and this is certainly one of them.