In June of 2016, the Graves family, from Nebraska, was visiting a Walt Disney World Resort on vacation. Unfortunately, this vacation was one that they would never be able to forget, not because of the fun that they had, but because of the tragedy that struck.
Lane Graves, a 2-year-old boy, was on the beach, playing in the sand at Disney’s resort when an alligator reached out of the water to grab the boy’s head. Matt Graves, Lane’s father, jumped into the water to try to save his little boy, but was unsuccessful in his attempt to free his son from the animal’s grip.
A witness of the event said that he saw the boy and the alligator in the water, the alligator started splashing around, and then both the alligator and the boy went under the surface as the alligator continued to drag the boy farther out.
A search party was formed and the boy’s body was found in less than twenty-four hours, his body was intact. He died from drowning and neck injuries.
Disney immediately closed several of their beaches following the attack. Alligators were hunted at the lagoon and six were humanely removed from the area. It is believed one of the six is responsible for the attack, however, there is not enough evidence to say for certain.
Warning signs that use to line the resorts premises were replaced with new signs that acknowledge the danger of animals in the area, where once all the signs said was “no swimming”. They also added to the number of signs that they had placed.
Something that most people don’t know because of the attack is the change on the jungle Cruise. As stated on Disneyexaminer.com- “The line, “watch your children, or the crocodiles will,” has been used in the script since 1962. Since the incident, the line has been removed from the ride indefinitely.”
In my opinion, I think Disney took the right safety measures following the incident but I am disappointed in their reaction to the family. The Graves received an outpouring of support throughout the world and Disney did call and give their condolences. However, when asked if they were contributing to the foundation they set up, the Lane Thomas Foundation- where funds are donated to charities and organizations, Disney sent a statement that said they would continue to support the family. I wanted to know more and see more of what they were doing for the family who not only lost their two-year-old boy but also agreed not to sue Disney. I wonder if there was more that could’ve been done in a case like this.
The public seems to be taking the case as it is and realizing it was all a horrible, tragic, accident.
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