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It’s hard to believe there wasn’t a single sign of danger before!
After a two-year-old boy was dragged to his death at the Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the resort is finally taking steps to protect guests from wildlife attacks.
It’s almost more upsetting now that you see the stark difference between the old signs along the property and the new ones (see below). In a matter of days, and at very little expense, guests could have been protected and a little boy could be alive. Why did it take this?
The world-renowned resort’s posh appearance made it impossible to tell that there was any danger to resort-goers. The connection between gators and Florida notwithstanding, people from all over the world come to this place to be immersed in fantasy and adventure. The very purpose of Walt Disney World is to create a grand illusion. There is no way for guests to know that this Disney-created lagoon, surrounded by expensive hotels is not safe. The modest signs only said “no swimming.” There was no shred of warning about dangerous wildlife at these properties.
Some are praising the company for moving so quickly, and maybe they deserve that, but when you see what the new signs convey, compared to the old, you get the sense of how utterly irresponsible it was not to have them in the first place.
Take a look:
Visitors saw no inconvenience late in the week, but it was hard not to notice uniformed guards at every entrance to the beachfront, a temporary measure put in place until late Friday afternoon, when construction workers began building a small fence as a barrier to the water.
— Attractions Magazine (@Attractions) June 17, 2016
In a statement on Friday, resort officials announced they were working on “permanent, long-term solutions,” to keeping the alligator-infested area safe.
— Amanda Castro (@AmandaNCastro) June 17, 2016
The Grand Floridian was opened in 1988, and joined other resorts around Disney’s signature body of water, which is openly connected to other area canals, and known for gators.
Unbelievably, until now, there was not a single sign that read “BEWARE OF GATORS.” The signs, instead, politely read “no swimming, please,” giving no warning of possible danger.
This is the old sign:
This is the new sign:
You can take a behind the scenes tour of Walt Disney World ( for a price, of course ), where they drill you on the 4 principles of the company: safety, courtesy, show and efficiency. They are said to always be in that order. In this case, they put show before safety and it sure seems like it was a calculated risk.
The child, Lane Graves, was pulled in by an alligator in this exact spot that resort-goer Jennifer Vendetti said she had visited with her son Channing, saying the last thing she was thinking about was alligators.
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