The beaches at Walt Disney World in Orlando have reopened for the first time since an alligator attacked and killed a 2-year-old boy on June 14. Employees now will staff the shores, but the beaches will be closed at night. Resort guests now will be able to use them only from an hour after sunrise until an hour before sunset.
The Disney World shoreline has been closed since an alligator grabbed and drowned young Lane Graves of Nebraska at the Grand Floridian Resort’s Seven Seas Lagoon water park. His body was found intact the day after the attack. Disney had fenced off the lagoon after the attack, and posted signs warning of the danger posed by alligators and snakes. The fences remain, but guests again can walk the beaches at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts.
Meanwhile today, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said they believe they have caught the animal that killed the boy. The commission also released records showing that 240 nuisance alligators have been trapped on Disney World property during the past 10 years. The records had been requested by the Orlando Sentinel, which reported that 15 gators have been caught there this year. The paper also said the commission has suspended alligator-trapping activities in the area of the lagoon; trappers had removed and euthanized six alligators from the area since the attack.