Disney Wipes Itself of Reptile Characters After Tragedy

Crocodile, alligator references, jokes dumped by theme park after toddler death
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2016 11:04 AM CDT
Disney Wipes Itself of Reptile Characters After Tragedy
In this June 17, 2016, photo released by Walt Disney World Resort, a new sign is seen posted on a beach outside a hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.   (Walt Disney World Resort via AP)

A tragedy at Orlando's Disney World last month has led the theme park to get rid of references to the reptile that caused a toddler's death, the New York Daily News reports. Two weeks after 2-year-old Lane Graves was dragged to his death outside of the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (and one week after the alligator that killed him was euthanized), references to alligators and their close relatives, the crocodiles, have been yanked out of Disney shows, parades, and rides. That means visitors to the park won't see Louis the alligator from The Princess and the Frog movie, who was supposed to appear in the "Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire" show that debuted June 23, the Miami Herald reports.

Tick-Tock the Croc from Peter Pan has been cut from a daily parade in Magic Kingdom, while Animal Kingdom's Kilimanjaro Safaris ride no longer references a crocodile pit, Inside Edition notes. Perhaps the most disturbing reptile remark was nixed almost immediately after Lane's death, per the Hollywood Reporter: Cast members are no longer allowed to tell a joke usually relayed on the popular Jungle Cruise ride in Magic Kingdom, in which the captain of each boat tells passengers to "watch your children, or the crocodiles will." Disney VP Jacquee Wahler tells the Washington Post that the decision to rid the park of these reptilian reminders was made "out of respect for the family." (More Disney World stories.)

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