In the wake of a tragic alligator attack at a Disney World hotel that left a 2-year-old boy dead, Disney World has begun to make changes — even to decade-old attractions.
Within days after 2-year-old Lane Graves was snatched by an alligator near the Seven Seas Lagoon Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa on June 14, Disney World staff was installing temporary barriers and new signs warning about the alligators.
And now, references and appearances to the predators in the parks have begun to disappear.
“We continue to evaluate processes and procedures for our entire property, and, as part of this, we are reinforcing training with our cast for reporting sightings and interactions with wildlife and are expanding our communication to guests on this topic,” Walt Disney World Resort vice president Jacquee Wahler said in a statement last week.
Louis, the trumpet-playing alligator from the 2009 film The Princess and the Frog, was supposed to be a part of the Friendship Faire castle show at Magic Kingdom, but got pulled just days before the show premiered on June 23, according to a Disney employee, who asked to remain anonymous because of job security. The alligator was supposed to play trumpet during the show.
The Tic Toc Croc from Peter Pan, known for hunting villain Captain Hook, was also removed from the Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom, park guests reported.
The Jungle Cruise has also changed its scripts, stopping employees from making jokes like “but remember, folks, if you don’t watch your children, the crocodiles will,” as they narrate an adventure ride through rivers across the world, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The script, known for its puns, has been in place since 1962.
Guides on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom have also removed references to the predators, the Daily Mail reported. Staff no longer claim the tour bridge could dump them into the crocodile pit below.
The alligators inside Epcot’s Living with the Land attraction — both fake and real —still remain. It is unclear if other changes will be made to the park attractions over the coming weeks.
The employee said additional wildlife training is now required for employees at ESPN Wide World of Sports, which has a lot of retention ponds with alligators inside.
Since 2006, 240 alligators have been trapped and killed at Disney across the 25,000 acre property.