Toddler dragged into water at Disney's Grand Floridian, feared dead

Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2016 10:29 AM | Contributed by gamerguy

A 2-year-old boy who was attacked and dragged into the water by an alligator on the shores of Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Tuesday night was still missing early Wednesday morning. Deputies are in the water and air, calling it a search-and-rescue operation.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016 1:37 PM
99er's avatar

I'm not putting blame anywhere as I mentioned in my first post, rather I just wanted to comment on the people I hear mentioning that it is possible to come to Florida without knowledge of gators. It is not in the front of my mind when I visit a park but it is if I am near any body of water anywhere in the south. There is lake behind my house and while I have never seen a gator myself, I know the potential is high and would stay a safe distance away. I do the same when I am around lakes and canals at Disney, any hotel, mall, etc. This thought process falls into the same category as my first post about those who thought something like this couldn't happen at Disney because its Disney and nothing bad happens there. But as you said, maybe I am the exception.

Last edited by 99er, Thursday, June 16, 2016 1:38 PM


Thursday, June 16, 2016 2:55 PM
matt.'s avatar

One of my immediate reactions was "Oh....there are alligators in there?" And then I thought "Oh....of course there are alligators in there." It seems completely obvious after I pondered it a moment, but when you have a family from Nebraska, on vacation, on (what looks like) a beach with sand and everything, at Disney World, one of the most artificial / fake places on earth....I can see why one would be surprised that there are gators in the water. If that means I lack common sense too then so be it, I'm cool with that.

Last edited by matt., Monday, June 20, 2016 5:12 PM
Thursday, June 16, 2016 3:22 PM

Yeah, I think folks are overestimating people's knowledge of a local environment. When I went to Italy several years ago I went mountain biking through a forest. I have no idea what dangerous animals might have been in that forest. Until I moved to Florida I had no idea that the Everglades ecosystem extended all the way from Orlando to the southern tip of the peninsula. I always assumed the Everglades was just in south Florida. I lived here for a decade before I knew we had crocodiles here.

If we are talking about a breach of a duty to care then I may actually side with Disney. Given their 40+ years in Orlando perhaps one could make a case that this incident wasn't foreseeable. (Although it has been reported that a teenager was attacked by an alligator in the Fort Wilderness campground in the 80s.) Conversely, Shades of Green felt it prudent to warn golfers and others of the possibility of gators in the lakes around that property.

I don't know that Disney should be compelled to pay out millions in a lawsuit. But, if it were to happen again then all bets are off. That is why I expect to see signage changes at the resort just a quickly as signs can be made. And, I would not be surprised if they reconfigure their waterfront areas in the future.

I do NOT think that the gators should be removed. They were here first. We (Floridians) chose to move into this environment and we need to coexist...not take over.

Thursday, June 16, 2016 4:11 PM
rollergator's avatar

Honestly, I don't think the gators COULD be removed....

It's their environment, they move readily across roads to get to any wetlands where there's food and less competition.

Probably as likely as getting rid of the mosquitoes and palmetto bugs....

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Thursday, June 16, 2016 5:08 PM

Gators CAN be removed...but Florida regulations are pretty clear. A "nuisance alligator" can be removed from a water body if it is over 4' long AND considered a threat to people, pets or property. A 6' alligator isn't automatically a nuisance. There would have to be some evidence that it was a threat (pets going missing, the gator getting too comfortable around people, etc).

I've had one gator removed in the 15 years I've worked in my community. It was over 7' long and it was regularly coming up on the shore of a heavily used park. I monitored it for several months and it was a difficult decision when I called the wildlife folks. (One of the Gator Boys actually came to that call.) But, I made the determination and they agreed with me that it was time to get it out of there.

And, there are more gators in that same lake. They are all over. I joke (but am somewhat serious) that it isn't the alligators I CAN see that concern's the ones I cannot.

Thursday, June 16, 2016 6:01 PM
rollergator's avatar

I wasn't arguing the legality, but the logistics.

If you have a body of water with a lot of food, every alligator removed makes that lake or pond even more attractive to other gators looking for a new home. Their extreme mobility and fast growth rate means that any body of freshwater of any significant size is going to have gators.

You can take out *a* gator, but really, this (FL south of the panhandle) is their home, and we're just living in it.

Do you remember which one of the Gator Boys came out? That's a little too "thrilling" for me, LOL...

Last edited by rollergator, Thursday, June 16, 2016 6:03 PM

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Thursday, June 16, 2016 6:07 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

The stupidity is strong.

...and if I have to see another dumbass, pathetically average, middle of the road, uninteresting soccer mom post a picture of her snot nosed kid "playing in the same area just one (minute, hour, day, week, month, year, lifetime) before the incident happened," I'm going start throwing punches.

Thursday, June 16, 2016 8:38 PM
birdhombre's avatar

If only that family had been armed with a jaguar, this wouldn't have happened.

Thursday, June 16, 2016 9:07 PM
sws's avatar

Is that an automatic or semi-automatic jaguar?

Thursday, June 16, 2016 9:45 PM

The family was from a suburb of Omaha and the child's picture is all over the news here in Lincoln. Honestly, it's tough to watch.

Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.
Friday, June 17, 2016 12:51 AM
kpjb's avatar

Yeah, it's hard enough to hear about this, but when you see that kid's picture... that's rough. It makes it real.

I can't imagine what that kid's dad is going through after he jumped in to save him unsuccessfully. It's looking like a ****ty father's day weekend. I really don't know if I could deal if that was my kid. Horrible.


Friday, June 17, 2016 7:47 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

bigboy said:

I'm not sure how you can really put the expectation of wildlife danger on a mountain hike on the same level as when you visit a resort in a (relatively) urban area.

I don't think he was saying the two issues are equivalent. More that when he goes to hiking, the possibility of a bear or other wild animal is a possibility; and when he goes to Walt Disney World, which is mostly undeveloped property, the alligators were there first.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Friday, June 17, 2016 10:11 AM
Jeff's avatar

The amount of effort being poured into blaming anyone is staggering. No one is content to simply see this as the freak accident that it is. I want to punch the people who are blaming the parents, and double punch the dip****s who are like, "How could there be an alligator in Disney?" It's built in a swamp in Central Florida!

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Friday, June 17, 2016 10:44 AM
birdhombre's avatar

Yeah, I don't understand the instant need to blame someone. That seems to be another of those "society today" things. It's almost like they want to be blame-hipsters, just in case the parents sue Disney for the lack of a "thar be gators" sign on the beach, and they can get their jollies knowing they formed an opinion before it was cool. Congrats... I guess?

Friday, June 17, 2016 11:47 AM

For some people on some level (subconscious often times), I think the "find blame" concept is rooted in control. Its more comfortable to think the parents did something wrong so that I am less worried about something bad like this happening to one of my kids (because I am a "good" parent and wouldn't let that happen). Or that Disney is at fault because that means they can do more to prevent things like this from happening. Saying that some things are just out of our control (though true) is not a comfortable place for many people to do. Though in this case, I think it is where we are. The control concept is an appeal of religion for some people.

Friday, June 17, 2016 1:25 PM
rollergator's avatar

Tend to think the "find blame somewhere" idea is tied to our hyper-litigious society.

People find it inconceivable that we shouldn't either: a) Sue Disney, or b) charge the parents with a crime.

Just because something bad happened, doesn't necessarily mean someone should end up in court. IMO...

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Friday, June 17, 2016 1:34 PM

Opinions are like... well, you know what... But everybody's got one.

Friday, June 17, 2016 1:50 PM
birdhombre's avatar

^^ P.S. thar be Gator. ;)

Friday, June 17, 2016 2:07 PM

It doesn't have to be either/or. It can be a situation where it was a tragic accident...AND Disney could do more to warn guests. And, it sounds like that is exactly what they are doing now as it is being reported that they are putting in signs specifically warning of alligators.

Friday, June 17, 2016 9:06 PM
Pete's avatar

While this was a freak accident, and I'm certainly not blaming Disney, I can certainly see how someone from an area with no alligators would not be aware of the threat. Especially guests from Europe. It would probably be beneficial if Disney put a flyer in each room educating guests on alligators in Florida and that they may be on property or in the water. If nothing else, some people might learn some interesting facts.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.


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