A look at recent Walt Disney World tragedies

The Magic Kingdom (Photo by Todd DeFeo, used with permission)

(defeo.biz) — A 2-year-old toddler died after he was snatched Tuesday night by an alligator on a beach at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa near the Magic Kingdom, according to published reports.

The tragedy was the latest in a rough week for the Orlando area. Singer Christina Grime was gunned down on Friday night following a show, and a terrorist early Sunday morning killed 49 and injured dozens more at a club.

While Walt Disney World has a reputation for being the happiest place on Earth, it has experienced a number of tragedies over the years. Here are a few high-profile tragedies in recent years:

  • Dec. 26, 2010: A pedestrian was struck and killed by a Walt Disney World Resort bus near the Port Orleans Resort. The Florida Highway Patrol ruled that the bus driver was not at fault. The victim — later identified as a 69-year-old man — was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he late died.
  • April 1, 2010: A boy was killed after his bike ran into the side of a bus at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The child was apparently dragged under the bus’s right-rear tire.
  • July 5, 2009: A 21-year-old cast member was killed after two monorail trains collided near the Ticket and Transportation Center. The cast member was piloting a monorail that crashed into a second train monorail. Authorities said the second monorail was backing up at the time of the crash, the driver perhaps thinking he was backing onto a spur track. The cast member who was killed tried to reverse the train to avoid the collision.
  • Nov. 5, 2000: A 37-year-old man was killed after he tried to exit the Splash Mountain attraction while it was in operation. The man was struck by a ride vehicle and later died at a local hospital.
  • June 29, 2000: A man took his 4-year-old son and a waiter hostage at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn. The hostage standoff, apparently sparked by the man’s pending divorce, lasted about 11 hours and no one was injured. Some guests were apparently relocated during the standoff.
  • Feb. 14, 1999: A 65-year-old custodial cast member died after he fell from the Skyway attraction near the Dumbo ride. According to authorities, the cast member was standing in the path skyway gondola and apparently grabbed a vehicle as it passed in an attempt to save himself.

Editor’ Note: This is not a complete list.

Sightseers’ Delight
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Sightseers’ Delight started publishing in June 2016. The site, published by The DeFeo Groupe, collects and curates content about places where historical events large and small happened. The site builds off the legacy of The Travel Trolley, which launched in June 2009. The site aimed to be a virtual version of the trolley tours offered in so many cities.