PHOTOS: Grand Floridian and Polynesian Beaches Get Permanent Fences

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After the recent alligator attack, we figured Disney would do something, and we speculated on what exactly it would be on this week’s WDW News Tonight show on Wednesday night. Well, now we know: permanent rope fences have been installed along the waterfront at the Grand Floridian and Polynesian beaches. The signs warn of alligators and snakes in the area. 

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About the author

Jason Diffendal

Jason has been a lifelong fan of the Disney parks since his first visit at age 2. His biennial pilgrimages during his childhood accelerated into semi-annual visits by the year 2000, when he also Joined the Disney Vacation Club. Luckily, Jason’s bride-to-be was also a Disney fan, which allowed his infatuation with the Disney parks to continue, and ultimately culminated in their wedding at Disney's Wedding Pavilion in September 2003. Early in 2007, Jason began his involvement with the planning for what became Celebration 25, the unofficial fan gathering to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Epcot®. Soon thereafter, Jason met Tom Corless at a pin trading meet in New Jersey, and became part of the WDW News Today podcast starting with Episode 17. Jason has been involved with the WDWNT Network ever since, and can't seem to escape no matter how hard he tries.
Contact Jason at [email protected]


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  • Sounds like Jason is a fear Mongerer. Let’s be safe and not even go to Disney. Then we won’t be exposed to the nature surrounded by it. It’s sad when someone doesn’t use common sense to stay awa from danger. I have always enjoyed the beach and respected nature at the same time there. It’s insulting to assume I can’t use common sense over indulgence to determine my stay. How dare jason dicey my personal choice.

      • No “otherwise” about it, Justin’s a moron.
        Or more likely, a 12 year old whose just learning to type.

        In any case, the fence (permanent or temporary) looks fine.
        It takes very little away from the view.
        A wise move by Disney.

  • Someone else is still going to think that doesn’t pertain to them and go over. Still wouldn’t be Disney’s fault. People need to take responsibility for their own actions. I feel for that family and their loss. Their lives will be forever changed. But the fact still remains that no means no. And rules/signs are meant for everyone. You don’t pick and choose which ones you should follow.

      • You mean that old early 90s shot with the sailboat from before they closed the lake to swimming and paddle boats that keeps going around? Care to make a list of all the things people thought were ok 20 years ago that we know were incorrect now with me?

        Pretty sure no one in that family or any other that have been getting close to the water saw that picture and used it to rationalize ignoring the no swimming signs.

        I’m still not sure why people can’t just see it as a rare accident that it was without trying to assign blame one way or the other. No one meant for it to happen, and even with lots of gators around, attacks are extremely rare. Even though there were tragic results this time, it’s easy to see why the parents, wildlife officials, and Disney were not expecting this to happen.

  • Yes, this should have been done a long, long time ago. The only signs before said No swimming and nobody was swimming that horrible night. It didn’t say “don’t stand near the water at night”. I wish there would have been something in place sooner instead of waiting for something tragic to happen.

  • You don’t think a gator can’t sneak under that fence and snatch some other unsupervised child? Give me a break. Humans are too stupid for their own good. It’s always someone else’s fault except their own. Parents are to fault, not the lack of signs. See the “no litter” signs on the side of roads and near by lakes? Yep… Those signs don’t stop that people who disobey those now do they? Watch your kids, or don’t have any. Ruining it all for the rest of us…

    • The little boy was supervised. His parents were right there with them. This was nobody’s fault. That why it’s called an accident. Very tragic accident.

      • There is nothing accidental about an alligator hunting. This was unfortunate tragedy, but no more accidental than a bear attacking a camper. It was a known issue that the land owner (Disney) failed to convey clearly to guests, nor did they put up any barriers to indicate the water was off limits.

        I’m not calling the parents names, they were just unaware of the danger. Fences everywhere seems to be the way to tell the general population when there’s an area that is off limits.

        Wishing peace upon Lane’s family and all involved and/or affected.

      • Duh, it’s not enough of enhancement to keep toddlers out. Any just why do parents bring tiny babies to Disney? They sure won’t remember it, and it’s NOT child safe as they try harder to make customers believe, than actually providing good safety and service. It’s a dog and pony show. Not pointing this out to be rude…but in hope for positive change from a company that has gotten very poor at the product and it’s safety, and shifted all their attention on image alone.

    • Completely Agree. Do not procreate if you are not fit to be a parent.
      Alligator warning signs, and a rope fence, would not stop the same irresponsible parents from doing the same thing.

      The new “child proofed” beach looks completely idiotic! It’s embarrassing that there has to be a physical fence up, for adults to not venture into a lagoon.. or keep their unattended children from going into it.

  • I hope they post signs at the Beach and Yacht club next. If they are going to make it look like a beach, people are going to try to wade in the water. I have seen alligators in the water at Epcot.

    • I agree. A total stupid Disney move, again, to provide public relations that they’re doing something. They CUT OUT their wildlife management programs, as well as MANY behind the scenes safety positions and resources. It’s obvious from a family that goes to the park a lot, that Disney has cut to the bone in their service and done away with anything possible. They only care about image. They didn’t cause the alligator to attack, or parents to bring a 2 year old to an unsafe park and area, but Disney sure as heck have blood on their hands, as a cost savings, disabled programs that would have prevented this. A few more incidents, Disney may increase ACTUAL safety and guest experience enhancements. Right now, it’s about public relations and making best bang for the buck at the very lowest expense.

  • I hope that the new barrier doesn’t encourage people to go over and just leisurely rest there, right on the ropes. I’m not saying barbed wire would be a good solution or anything like that, but the new fenced view looks pretty enticing to me, in a classic “red button” sort of way.

  • I simply do not get why they did not have gator warning signs before. There are millions of visitors from all over the world you would *never* think of gators when they see a no swimming sign. Not everybody is from Florida…

    • It says to keep out of the water. It’s simple. If parent’s are irresponsible, and decide to disobey rules, then it’s not the company’s fault. If it was safe to go in the water, then the signs wouldn’t exist. What if the water was e.coli ridden? Do they have to explicitly state that on the sign? It says don’t go in the water, so JUST DON’T.

      If parent’s don’t have any common sense, don’t have kids.

      What is the point of that dinky fence? It’s not keeping alligators or humans from crossing over. It’s only ruining the esthetics of the beach. Retarded adults without common sense will do what they please, regardless of a roped fence. Children, who should be the responsibility of intelligent adults, should be looked after properly.

      I am from Canada, not from Florida, and I was aware that there are alligators in Orlando. It’s the same as if you were traveling to Australia, and should be aware of the dangerous wildlife, or Africa, India, etc. Educate yourself.

      • All very true, but people are simply more inclined to head a warning when they know *why* sth is forbidden. So no, they do not have to state the reason, but it would help them achieve their goal (to keeo people out of the water) *without* any negative side effects. I also have a feeling that, especially in the lawsuit crazy US, it is sometimes necessary to make people aware that there is a *real* danger, as opposed to sth that the legal department came up with.

        A couple of years ago, I was walking toward the entance of DL Paris in a horrible downpour. In the midst of that crazy deluge, a cast member was positioning signs that read “Caution! Wet Floor”… So I guess people do sometimes ignore warning signs just because there are too many of them, because they think the sign is just there to protect somebody legally. Because of that, i think that an alligator warning could have helped to make it clear that “stay out of the water” is to be taken seriously. (Another example for a pretty strange safety warning is the “lower your head, watch your step, put one foot in front of the other without falling over, keep inhaling and exhaling in order to avoid suffocation” – spiel — do they still have that on the monorail?)

        However, I did not mean to say or imply that Disney was to blame. I was simply astonished there were no gator warnings.

  • This is all very tragic but the truth is… We have all seen people swimming and water skiing in lakes across FL and think nothing of it so when you see a no swimming sign you know there is a real reason besides the fact there are no life guards. Lake water in FL besides having wild life in it can also have very high bacteria counts and amebas in them which can also kill you. So when a body of water has a no swimming sign you need to know its not just there because someone doesn’t want to pay a life guard. If I travel any where I heade the signs as I assume they are there to keep me safe. You can’t let your guard down just because you are on vacation or because you think you are safe or that person doesn’t look like he will hurt me or that dog looks friendly. No on else is responsible for your safety, ultimately it is you.

  • Can’t imagine that fencing keeping a gator out or child from getting through. Too little too late.

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