Walt Disney World may add signs to warn guests of alligators, reports indicate

Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World
A view of Tomorrowland as seen on June 9, 2015. Walt Disney World features vast amounts of water. The resort is looking to add signs warning guests of alligators in the water features after a 2-year-old toddler was killed by an alligator. (Photo by Todd DeFeo, reprinted with permission)

(defeo.biz) — Walt Disney World is apparently looking at adding signs to warn guests about alligators in waterways on resort property, according to published reports.

The potential addition comes after a 2-year-old toddler was snatched by an alligator from a beach at Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa near the Magic Kingdom.

It marks at least the second time an alligator has attacked a child at the resort. In 1986, an 8-year-old boy at Walt Disney World’s Fort Wilderness was bitten by a female alligator that measured 7 feet, 4 inch long, according to an Orlando Sentinel article from after the attack.

There are an estimated 1.3 million wild alligators in Florida. According to stats from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there have been more than 383 alligator bites of humans since 1948, 257 of which were considered major; at least 23 people have been killed in Florida by an alligator since 1973.

“We are conducting a swift and thorough review of all of our processes and protocols,” the Orlando Sentinel quoted Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler as saying in a statement. “This includes the number, placement and wording of our signage and warnings.”

A Fox News report citing The Wrap indicates cast members at Disney’s Polynesian Resort Village raised concerns about reports of guests feeding alligators.

“Disney has known about the problem of guests feeding the alligators well-prior to the opening of the bungalows,” The Wrap quoted an insider as saying. “With the opening of the bungalows, it brought the guests that much closer to wildlife. Or, the wildlife that much closer to the guests.”

Meanwhile, Walt Disney World is editing the Jungle Cruise script in the wake of the tragedy, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A line urging parents to “watch your children, or the crocodiles will” has been removed, the publication reported.

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