No more reptile jokes at Disney World after tragic alligator attack

by | Jun 29, 2016

Americans across the country were shocked and horrified when the news broke earlier this month of an alligator killing a toddler at Walt Disney World, and the theme park has decided to eliminate jokes and mentions of alligators or crocodiles from its attractions.

Two-year-old Lane Graves was staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, when an alligator pulled him off the beach into the lagoon, despite his terrified parents’ efforts to fight off the reptile. Sadly, the little boy’s body was recovered the next day.

According to WFTV-Orlando, changes include removing a line at the end of the Magic Kingdom’s Jungle Cruise that’s been commonly used since the 1960s where the boat captain warned parents to “watch your children, or the crocodiles will,” as well as no longer joking about dumping guests into a crocodile pit at Kilimanjaro Safaris at the Animal Kingdom.

The latter update is especially wise, considering that Animal Kingdom features live animals — including crocodiles — and parents are unlikely to find such macabre jokes funny so soon after the tragedy.

Orlando - Disney World - Magic Kingdom - Festival of Fantasy Parade - Peter Pan Float - Tick-Tock the Crocodile

Tick-Tock the Crocodile. Image via Flickr.

Hollywood Reporter reported that the character of “Tick-Tock,” the crocodile who menaces Captain Hook, still remained a part of the Peter Pan’s Flight ride, at least for now, but the Tick-Tock float had apparently been pulled from the Festival of Fantasy parade.

In addition to changing scripts and parades, Disney has also added barriers along the beach at the Grand Floridian and new signs that warn of “DANGER: ALLIGATORS AND SNAKES IN AREA,” as ABC News reported. Previous signs prohibited swimming but made no mention of alligators or other dangerous animals.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.


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