Bob Iger shares how an Orlando tragedy overshadowed Shanghai Disney’s opening

in Disney, Shanghai Disneyland

Bob Iger, Shanghai Disney

Credit: ABC/Shanghai Disney

In a recent interview on ABC’s “The View,” Bob Iger sat down and discussed a tragedy in 2016 at the Walt Disney World Resort that he says overshadowed what could have been a major opening for the Shanghai Disney Resort.

For most Disney fans, when they think of Disney history and the year 2016, they think of the horrific tragedy that took place near Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. A tragedy–which ended in a young boy being killed by an alligator while on vacation with his family. However, as sad as this event was for not only the family of the young boy but also the company–what also took place the same exact day was the grand opening of Shanghai Disney Resort.

Lane Graves
Source: CNN – Lane Graves

“Here we were trying to celebrate something, and all I could think about was that incident and that family,” Iger said. “I called the parents…As a father and a grandfather, I couldn’t fathom what they were experiencing. [I] wanted to assume responsibility, accept responsibility from a person instead of an unnamed corporate executive.”

The young boy who passed in the incident was two-year-old Lane Graves. The boy was visiting from Nebraska and drowned after an alligator dragged him into a lagoon. Months later, in honor of the boy, the Walt Disney World Resort erected a memorial by the lake near where the incident took place.

During the interview, Iger revealed that in the same day he had gone from the emotional call to the family of the boy to the celebratory experience of cutting a ribbon to open the park. “It’s still something that I have a hard time fathoming,” said Iger.

The Ride of a Lifetime
Credit: Amazon

Iger stopped at the ABC show to promote his upcoming memoir, “The Ride of a Lifetime.” In the book, Iger shares his ideas and values he embraced while trying to reinvent The Walt Disney Company to what it is today. “The Ride of a Lifetime” is now available on Amazon.

Source: Orlando Sentinel 

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