The gator tragedy

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horizons1
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The gator tragedy

Post by horizons1 » Jun Wed 15, 2016 2:49 pm

With today's news of the toddler attacked by an alligator at Grand Floridian last night, it occurred to me that Disney might temporarily close the Jungle Cruise out of sensitivity. According to the My Disney Experience app I see it's currently open and has a 45-minute wait.

What are your thoughts on whether or not this would be something they "should" do. I am aware, at this moment, the boy is still missing and Disney is not telling guests what happened. But if closing the ride is not appropriate should they, at a minimum, discreetly leave out all the gator jokes for a short time?

Also, I worry about what this event will do to the shore lines at the resort. Will we see more signs? Fences?
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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by Wizzard419 » Jun Wed 15, 2016 3:34 pm

Why would they close an unrelated attraction? If it depicts a graphic scene of someone being eaten by a gator they might.

It isn't Disney's place to discuss the death, which is why the police have been doing the talking. Also, they have noted it is no longer a rescue, it is simply a recovery, which probably won't bring back much.

The only time it is appropriate to shutter or update a ride after an accident or whatever, would be if it were considered in poor taste. So, for example, there were a joke about how gators like to eat babies because they don't have to spit out the bones, then it would probably need a change.

In the immediate, I would imagine they are moving the movies on the beach events to other locations until they understand what happened and if there needs to be a policy change. The bigger concern is that if the death was the direct result of a cutback (less staff/resources devoted to animal control/monitoring), then it is probably going to be a bigger problem.

They have been having quite a bad week, and it was only Tuesday that they had the death, a mass shooting in Orlando with reports that the shooter also thought of targeting Disney Springs because it was a soft target as well.

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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by horizons1 » Jun Wed 15, 2016 5:08 pm

Yeah, Wizz, I am not thinking they should close it, just thinking about what decisions I might make if I was running things. You have to admit anybody who rides the Jungle Cruise today after knowing what happened may cringe if one of these jokes comes up (just pulled from scripts online, not all of these are in use):
See those crocodiles over there we have trained the to stay perfectly still so you can take better pictures.

Do you know what the difference between the crocodiles and alligators are. The crocodiles are made of plastic and the alligators are made with fiberglass.

You know the crocs are always looking for a hand out.

And for all you serious bird watchers, over there is a serious hornbill, in serious trouble. If he's not careful, he's going to wind up a tasty lunch for those crocodiles!

On the other side is my favorite jungle resident, Old Smiley, one of the laziest crocodiles in these parts. I do suggest that you keep your hands inside the boat because Smiley is always looking for a hand out.

And here we have some killer crocodiles. Don't worry though, they've been bolted/super glued to the rocks for their/your protection.
Possibly the one that would be in bad taste:
Make sure you have all personal belongings with you... cameras, purses, small children... anything left on board will be thrown screaming to the crocodiles.
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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by Wizzard419 » Jun Wed 15, 2016 5:59 pm

I would say that they hire people smart enough to have a filter for that, but odds are they had to post a memo.

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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by Amy » Jun Thu 16, 2016 4:53 pm

I saw something today that they did indeed remove any jokes related to the alligators in the Jungle Cruise. I wonder how long they will keep them out?

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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by Wizzard419 » Jun Thu 16, 2016 8:28 pm

My guess, two weeks. That is usually how long it takes to forget.

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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by zhoover » Jun Fri 17, 2016 7:55 am

Wizzard419 wrote:My guess, two weeks. That is usually how long it takes to forget.
You think? Have you seen a pink or a purple monorail running around Walt Disney World lately?

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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by cy1229 » Jun Fri 17, 2016 9:02 am

Wizzard419 wrote:My guess, two weeks. That is usually how long it takes to forget.
Two weeks seems a little short to me, but I don't think it will be that long before the crocodile jokes return, probably a month or two. I doubt people will forget, per se, but I do think the shock and horror will wear off relatively quickly for the general public. The people who witnessed the event, the law enforcement officials, and any other involved persons beyond the family will need more time. But that's a reasonably small group of people.
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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by Wizzard419 » Jun Fri 17, 2016 1:17 pm

For the public? It takes roughly two weeks (after the last major outlet stops reporting) for people to forget. Unless something is keeping it at their attention, it fades. The mug is actually a great example of it, other than hardcore fans, no one probably would have noticed the purple mug. Obviously the layers of brand management had no recollection of it, and the average park guest also wouldn't. But the better question is, did normal (fans do not count here) guests complain that the purple mugs were in poor taste? I am doubting that.

Again, I am not talking about people directly impacted by it, just the regular people who have zero ties to the events. What probably will help keep the story from going wider is that there was the worst mass shooting in US history in the same city just the day before. So, it is almost like the gator story got a reverse version of Gary Condit.

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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by cy1229 » Jun Fri 17, 2016 2:30 pm

I, for one, wouldn't have thought anything about monorail purple or pink. I'm not sure I even remember the story at all. But that was 7 years ago, not 7 weeks ago. And, in my defense, 2009 was a super busy year for me. Yeah, that sounds good.
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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by Wizzard419 » Jun Fri 17, 2016 2:52 pm

Since we are talking about products that do have a long lag time to produce (create concepts, get designs approved, send work off to China for fabrication, wait for it to get shipped to the US, ship it to WDW, etc.) Lets say they were in shops when the accident happened, would it be best practice to pull them from the shelves? What if they had a release date planned a month after the accident? In either case, it probably wouldn't be any better or worse to keep it or remove it since the average guest or worker would have no context for it.

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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by zhoover » Jun Mon 20, 2016 11:27 am

Wizzard419 wrote:But the better question is, did normal (fans do not count here) guests complain that the purple mugs were in poor taste? I am doubting that.
I'm positive you're right, but in the social media age it only takes one person who DOES remember the monorail accident to write a post accusing Disney (or any company/school/governmental body) of showing poor judgment by putting the mugs out (or whatever the other company/school/governmental body did), and for that post to get a bunch of clicks and shares.

The person writing the post doesn't even need to actually be offended by the mugs - they just need to understand what gets clicks and shares. In a sense, social media has created a profit-motive for being offended by microagressions.

It's a fascinating/terrifying era to be involved in public relations...
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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by Wizzard419 » Jun Mon 20, 2016 2:08 pm

Depending on the company, it may have been a non-issue. Theme parks/mass media companies have to be concerned with what potential paying customers think of them. So they will often be forced to react once it crosses a threshold. It looks like they also placed barriers on all the beaches along with signs warning of snakes and alligators (and not to feed them).

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I am wondering if they are going to be removing the beaches from the resorts in the near future?

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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by Blackie Pueblo » Jun Wed 22, 2016 10:50 pm

So much of this whole situation bothers me. I wont get into a whole ramble about it but what does scare me is my wife and I use to walk by the water all the time, often putting our barefeet in the water as we walked from The Grand Floridian to The Polynesian, or vice versa when we resort hopped. Many times we would be all alone out there so to think this could have happened to us is a rather disturbing thought.

As far as removing the Jungle Cruise jokes, Im worried how far will it go? What about the scene where the crocodile is trying to eat Captain Hook? I know I'm sounding like a smart mouth here, but I'm really not. Will other things suffer due to this horrible tragedy?

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Re: The gator tragedy

Post by horizons1 » Jun Sat 25, 2016 6:34 pm

Wizzard419 wrote:It looks like they also placed barriers on all the beaches along with signs warning of snakes and alligators (and not to feed them).

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I am wondering if they are going to be removing the beaches from the resorts in the near future?
That's certainly not a surprise. I would also not be surprised if they made the shoreline (wherever guests can walk) raised like they have over along the path between Boardwalk and Epcot. Then they could do some decorative stone- or brick-work that would fit each resort's theme and have a nice railing along the top. Much better than this obviously temporary solution.
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