‘Aggressive’ Alligators Heading to Disney World

in Disney, Disney Parks, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Wild Florida Airboats & Gator Park

Credit: Wild Florida Airboats & Gator Park

Anyone who has been to Florida knows that any body of water could have alligators, which can make swimming in those waters dangerous.

Walt Disney World has had a number of gator sightings in the waterways around the theme parks and resorts, and there was even a fatal incident with gators.

Alligator Loki soaking in a kiddie pool
Credit: Marvel Studios

In 2016, two-year-old Lane Thomas Graves was building a sandcastle on the beach of the Seven Seas Lagoon outside of the Grand Floridian Resort. The Seven Seas Lagoon separates the Magic Kingdom from the Transportation and Ticket Center and is home to three Disney Deluxe Resorts: the Grand Floridian, The Contemporary, and the Polynesian Village Resort.

According to reports from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Graves bent down near the water’s edge to collect sand. A seven-foot alligator jumped out of the water and bit his head.

Graves was dragged under the water and killed by the gator. Divers recovered his body after a 16-hour search.

Despite the incident at Disney World, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has only recorded 450 gator attacks, 30 of which were fatal, since 1948.

An alligator shown in a lake next to a picture of the Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World.
Credit: Inside the Magic

However, in the coming weeks, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has an urgent warning for anyone at the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s gator mating season, and the animals have begun their “courtship,” which means we will be seeing more gators, and they will be “aggressive.”

The city of Oviedo, which is just northeast of Orlando, wrote on its Facebook page:

Alligators will start being more aggressive as the mating season starts, so we urge our residents to be aware of their surroundings, especially by the water. Kids and pets should not play at the water’s edge. 

To help protect people, Oviedo city officials posted these tips: 

  • Never feed alligators — it’s dangerous and illegal
  • Keep pets on a leash and never walk them at the edge of a body of water
  • Never swim outside of posted swimming areas and swim only during daylight hours
  • Closely supervise children when they are playing in and around water
  • Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of possible presence
  • If you see a baby alligator, know the mother is close by watching. Never handle the babies — they are not pets

Disney Alligator saying hi
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If you happen to see an alligator while you are at the Walt Disney World Resort, immediately alert a cast member. If you cannot find one, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Nuisance Alligator Hotline at (866) 392-4286.

Under no circumstances should you try to approach or feed the gator. They will most likely leave you alone if you do the same.

Have you ever seen a gator at the Walt Disney World Resort? 

in Disney, Disney Parks, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

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