UPDATE: Reedy Creek Firefighters May Have Fed Gators In Weeks Leading Up To Attack

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Apparently, RCID FD firefighters at Walt Disney World were warned to stop feeding alligators at just two months before the alligator incident took place.


According to emails obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, Reedy Creek Emergency Services officials were upset with firefighters for feeding at least one of two alligators at a station less than a half-mile from where the incident took place just a few weeks ago.

RCFD Fire Station 3, located behind the Magic Kingdom just off Floridian Way, is the station where the alligators were allegedly being fed.

The email stated that employees were afraid after a gator was spotted near the parking lot and they asked officials to remove it. Reedy Creek District Administrator John Classe said Disney’s animal-control department had been contacted but he did not know whether either alligator was ever actually removed.

A Disney spokeswoman said it was “unclear whether the gator had been removed”.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]


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  • I’m not surprised that people feed/were feeding the gators, but I am absolutely shocked to hear that people in a profession that’s obsessed with prevention and safety were doing it.

    • Most firefighters aren’t Disneys. Disney could not care less about safety or prevention. Their own Reedy Creek Fire Department as well. It’s ALL about making profit and image. Nothing about a personal experience or safety. Have an major event at one of the parks and you will see, the RCFD won’t start CPR on you in sight of the guests, bad image. They’ll quickly usher you behind scenes, but in events where seconds count, your seconds are not as important as Disney’s image.

      • Definitely not my experience with the company when I was a cast member there. Granted, that was years ago and the company is likely more profit-focused than it was back then, but safety of the guests was always drilled into our heads, early and often. Freak accidents will still happen. I don’t see the gator incident being in any way related to profit-seeking. And if they’re so very concerned about image, don’t you think they wouldn’t want something like this to happen?

      • Disney is one of the most safety conscious companies I’ve ever seen. I don’t understand when people know absolutely nothing about the safety processes and procedures at Disney make blanket statements that they could careless is completely untrue. The reason why they take guests backstage who have an emergency is out of respect for the guest. If they are critical they will do what they need to do immediately but if they can move them they do it for privacy of the guest. I’ve seen on more than one occasion where a guest has collapsed and the EMT’s are there immediately and the encircle the guest by cast members for privacy. And if you think Disney is greedy, don’t go, don’t read stories on this website and don’t troll around posting rediculous comments about things you know nothing about!

        • David, and Temco, I’ve been a cast member for 12 years, albeit not with Reedy Creek. You are ill informed to say Disney is actually safety conscious beyond ‘show’.

          Things are MUCH different now than they were 10, or even 5 years ago. They preach “Safe-D first” to cast members, but quite honestly, our safety issues fall on departments ears that have mostly been laid off once they get past our coordinator. All lip service. I have been reprimanded for pointing out safety issues past the first time. Told NEVER to call 911 or give specifics. If there’s an incident, we are to block sight and videos best we can by circling victim, this has ZERO to do with privacy, all to do with image. Disney is aware patrons spend less if see tragedy. We are not in intervene with first aid, we have special number in house to call which media doesn’t have access to. I have seen CPR delayed 4 minutes by Reedy Creek after they arrive to the scene because they don’t want to do anything in front of guests, again, image. If you take a CPR class, Disney is killing these guests by this delay.

          My friends and I strive to provide the VERY BEST experience for guests I am allowed. This is NOT encouraged. I love working for Disney, as most, I’m a die hard fan, but it’s all about efficiency and how many I can cram in my attractions or shows, and how fast. If there’s an inch between people in my section, I’m reprimanded. If a guest refuses to comply, my coordinator is to be advised, and they can be ejected from the park for ‘noncompliance and efficiency degradation’.

          To read the staff is feeding alligators is no shock. There’s a lot of passive aggressiveness ‘off stage’. We don’t like how much a money only factory it’s become any more than guests do. It’s a sitting duck for terrorism, gator attacks, and many other issues from cut backs which behind stage are more egregious than you see when they only have 2 turnstiles open on a busy day, or half a restaurant closed with a line out the door. The guests actual experience and safety come far after public relations and profit in todays Disney theme park division. Sorry if this comes as surprise. It shouldn’t if you frequent the parks the last few years.

    • No obsession about safety at Disney, but their hard work to fool guests like yourself pays off.

      The wildlife management team that helped track and reduce gators and snakes was cut a few years ago for costs. If there’s safety things behind the scenes that was there before, it’s been reduced to bare bones or gone.

      They added metal detectors for random guests who want to go thru them to make guests ‘feel safer’. Funny how kids, strollers, or any guest saying no permitted to bypass them. Silly.

  • Disney, has always gone out of ther way to help me, even during a hurricane they parked large trucks on each side of my new truck. Disney is very safety orient

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