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| Grewal Law, PLLC

Alligator attacks causing death are rare, but they do happen

If such an attack happens in the US, it’s going to happen in Florida.  Last night a 2-year-old boy was grabbed and dragged back into the Seven Seas Lagoon at Walt Disney World.  The child and his father were wading in less than one foot of water just outside Disney’s prestigious Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, when the attack occurred at dusk on Tuesday night.  The family was vacationing from Nebraska.  And yes, there were visible “No Swimming” signs by the lagoon – so what!  That is not good enough, Disney!!  What does that mean?  It doesn’t mean “don’t go anywhere near the water, large alligators can attack and kill you.”  Disney had to know about this – if they didn’t, they should have.  This beast is estimated in size to be 4-7 feet long.

How do you avoid an alligator attack?

Move to Michigan and enjoy our freshwater lakes.  Aside from that, property owners must do a better job of making visitors aware of the danger.  While the risk is low, in Florida you must have an increased awareness of the possibility.  Things you can do:

  • Don’t go too close to the water’s edge
  • Don’t crouch down (you look like prey to gators or crocs)
  • Don’t walk your dog next to the water’s edge
  • Definitely don’t feed alligators
  • If you are attacked, get aggressive – fight back, make noise, hit, kick, and poke its eyes

Disney is responsible for this lack of warning

Disney does many things very well.  They provide entertainment.  They move people.  They make money.  But they let this family from Nebraska down in the most tragic way.  They didn’t live up to an acceptable duty of care.  You can’t put a beach area where children can play in proximity to potentially lethal hazards and not be accountable.


  1. Gravatar for Juan Simplething
    Juan Simplething

    Jerry Reed wrote a song about this issue, its called Amos Moses....Check it out on YouTube.

  2. Gravatar for Lisa Clark
    Lisa Clark

    Agreed. There is no excuse for this. Everyone who has lived in Florida knows that alligators live in almost every body of water; someone from Nebraska doesn't. This is so sorry for the family.

  3. Gravatar for brandon keairns
    brandon keairns

    What happened to that boy & family is tragic. That being said, if there are signs that say "No Swimming" that literally means NO Swimming. If you are in the water, then you are swimming. Wherever I have traveled, whether it be Orlando, California, the Smoky Mountains, I have ALWAYS done research, to see any potential dangerous wildlife, & their behavior, as well as research any shady parts of town or neighborhoods. That being said, I find it ironic that the author if this article blames Disney, yet says that people in orida "must have an increased awareness of the possibility", for example, "Don't get too close to the waters edge".

  4. David Mittleman

    1st I want to offer my heartfelt condolences to the Graves family on the loss of their Son Lane Graves. My post was written before the family's names were released and conformation of their tragic loss. Now Brandon Keairns, thank you for taking the time to read my post, however your finding of my blame with Disney to be "ironic" is misplaced. I am glade to hear how well you research your vacation destinations. My providing safety tips after the fact does not excuse Disney from allowing this to happen. 1st, I have recently heard that Disney was put on notice as recently as 1 week before of this or another alligator on this man made beach. 2nd even if they hadn't they certainly were aware of alligators in this lagoon, so there should be NO access to this water. 3rd the warning sign is completely inadequate considering the hazard. Disney is responsible for this tragic loss. I am sure this beach will be closed permanently or adequate barriers installed to protect visitors, appropriate warning signs installed and a better method of eliminating the hazard by removing all alligators that have the possibility of attacking people or snatching young children. Disney and only Disney owns this responsibility and accountability.

  5. Gravatar for Carolyn Huff
    Carolyn Huff

    I agree with this post, and believe Disney to be 100% at fault. Ithese parents no doubt would have kept their children from the waters edge had they know the real danger. If I had seen a No Swimming sign in that environment (and dint know about the alligaators) o might have assumed it was there to warn people that there were no lifeguards present. Disney imported this pretty white sand to create a beach, put out chairs for their Movies Under the Stars, where they play Disney movies. They place the chairs out there in the beach. If the child, who was not actually awimmimg, was on the sand by the water, he still would likely have been attacked because alligators are known to leave water and warm themselves on lakesides and I know two people who were called by neighbors and told not to go out their front doors because alligators were there. Other hotels have alligator warning signs, so why couldn't Disney have these?? In my opinion, it is because it would ruin their fantasy image and ruin the fantasy that this was an actual "beach" that was safe... it is actually the edge of a man made lake with canals allowing real and large and dangerous reptiles. I just learned from your article what duty of care means, and I agree that they did have a duty of care.

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