Lighthouse Sculpture To Be Installed at Walt Disney World To Honor Toddler Attacked By Alligator

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Wednesday, June 14 marks the one-year anniversary of the date when an alligator living in the Seven Seas Lagoon attacked two-year-old Lane Thomas Graves at the water’s edge at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.

The family has since founded the Lane Thomas Foundation to honor Lane and to support families the way others have supported them. The foundation’s mission is “to serve as a beacon of hope in the depths of despair, to create a strong base of support for families in crisis.”

Disney has released a statement from George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort: “To provide continued awareness of the foundation and its mission, we’ve commissioned an original sculpture of the lighthouse the foundation uses as a symbol of love and hope, to be installed on our property this summer.”

It is not known exactly when or where the sculpture will be installed.

Since the incident, Disney has added warning signs along many of the lakes and canals across property. A rock wall was constructed along the edge of the Seven Seas Lagoon to discourage guests from entering the water. The Graves family did not sue Walt Disney World or the Walt Disney Company over the incident.

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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Decker
Guest
Decker

A sculpture of love and hope sounds nice and very Public Relations like for Disney. They have meanwhile still never re-hired the team that monitored the alligator and snake issues, nor the behind the scenes safety/anti-terrosim cut backs. Disney has kept it’s PR and bottom line costs wayyyy above safety of guests. While this was a terrible incident, it wasn’t an accident, it had never happened in Disney’s (or other Florida theme parks/attraction areas) in the past because companies put in adequate resources for actual prevention. The Thomas family received a confidential settlement to not take this case further. Disney… Read more »

Jay
Guest
Jay

You have no clue what you are talking about and have no real knowledge of the security procedures in place at WDW. Your assumptions (seemingly based on what you’ve gleaned as a customer with no insight into actual company procedures) are bad enough, but to then tack on fear mongering that comes only from your own personal insecurities is reckless and does nothing but spread misinformation.

Care to back any of that up with facts, numbers or real information?

Andres
Guest
Andres

Sadly, I belive Decker. And I’m glad this site voices and allows the truth…most media sites are tightly under reins from Disney to not report anything that puts them in a negative light. I’m a cast member and the cut backs obvious to guests are somewhat noticeable to those who have visited over the years, you can imagine what they are behind the scenes. For example, none of us are ever screened, for anything, except taking food or anything that would cost Disney money. We can be fired for calling 911, all emergencies go thru a Disney number, and they… Read more »

Ron
Guest
Ron

Its not the truth, wake up! You cannot control wild animals, just a very unfortunate accident. God rest his soul

Please troll elsewhere.

Peterj
Guest
Peterj

Ron, WAKE UP, they used to have teams to monitor and remove large gators, snakes, and other hazards. Disney has ELIMINATED these services a decade ago as a cost saving measure. This child died as a result of this. There’s no way you can call that an accident. Sure, something can happen, but they remove large gators like that from all over Florida, but it requires resources that Disney has cut.

Jay
Guest
Jay

So you find this company detestable and are made to do things that seem against your personal values (all of which have never been proven) and yet you still work there?

Sorry, I’m not buying it.

Andres
Guest
Andres

Nobody honestly care’s if you ‘buy’ it. If you think that anything possible to be done for safety, why don’t you go talk with Lane’s parents. Of Chase’s (bus driver killed him after working mandatory overtime double that of DOT). Or the family of Justin (Monorail pilot who was killed cuz disney cut staff from 12/shift to 2, and the one left to go to Dennys, oh yea, his manager was let go for costs too). These are just a few, there’s hundreds that Disney pays dearly so suckers like you can live in their own naivety. Just because they… Read more »

Yolanda
Guest
Yolanda

They had a spot that looked like an inviting beach. They don’t have procedures in place for wildlife. Heck Epcot is teaming with rats, and we are told to tell guests when pointed out, even if they hold it up to our face that ‘we don’t see them, but will have our manager investigate’ To think that WDW give 1 penny to safety beyond ‘image of safety’ isn’t fear mongering Ray, it’s delusional tbh. Sorry this family had to learn on one of Disney’s cut backs with such a terrible ending.

Viv
Guest
Viv

Yolanda the troll is back!

Jay
Guest
Jay

You’ve been proven to be a troll and have presented false information on numerous occasions on this site.

Nice try though.

Andres
Guest
Andres

Neither Viv nor Yolanda have trolled the boards that we can see. This Jay guy does. Sounds like Disney PR, or just a sucker.

JJ
Guest
JJ

God Bless you Lane, you are never forgotten. RIP

The Boxing Guru
Guest
The Boxing Guru

As someone who has lost a child to an accident, I know how much a memorial like this means.

RebeccaMcK
Guest
RebeccaMcK

RIP Lane. I left my own little temporary memorial/tribute to him when I was there in December. Just left a flowered lei from the Polynesian on one of the lagoon’s fence posts at the GF on Christmas Day, and I scattered some of the flowers as far as I could over the rocks without going past the fence posts or ropes myself.

jedwa
Guest
jedwa

To be fair it is Florida. I read a statistic that there are five alligators for every one person in Florida. While its good to monitor areas, you cannot prevent them from appearing.

WWWD (What Would Walt Do?)
Guest
WWWD (What Would Walt Do?)

Well done Disney

Lets Be Real
Guest
Lets Be Real

Yes, well done Disney. NOT! You have erected a monument to your lack of staffing to control a known hazard which has left this family without their son. A total slap in the face, considering the other cut backs you do in safety, and never hired management to take care of this very common issue in Florida. This was a known hazard, and still is. The answer (fences) less expensive than hiring wildlife management teams back. Yes, something to be proud of. Not making the safety and experience of guests more important to the bottom line, and then erecting a… Read more »

Disneynut
Guest
Disneynut

I have been to disneyworld 50+ times. At no time in twenty years did I ever let my daughter on those beaches or near that gross water at any resort I stayed in. I never even let her stick a toe in. Never let her get close that is what the pools are for. I didnt need signs or someone else telling me. I never expect disney to keep me safe around water. That is my job. The state is one big swamp. Even Walt cant fix the gator problems especially when people feed them. When all of the ducks… Read more »

Chris more
Guest
Chris more

That is a very good and kind gesture of Disney world to honor the little boy to be remembered by for it was a very sad day that happened. I cannot imagine what the park was knowing of what happened that night unexpectedly. But sad for the parents to see their son get killed at the happiest place on earth. Knowing the family should not have gone near there to start with but there should of been a guard on duty to stop them. In a way it may be the parks fault but the parents fault too for they… Read more »

JVP70001
Guest
JVP70001

Reading some of these comments pain me, Disney does have a wildlife management team that works hand in hand with Florida’s fish and wildlife commission. Yes they may of had cutbacks several years ago, but for some of you that say Disney does not care are flat out wrong. I personally have seen a team on bay lake looking for Wildlife at night with a spotlight. I do however believe this is partially the parents fault for ignoring the No swimming signs all around Bay lake. Maybe if the signs would of stated stay out of the water, would that… Read more »