Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, has gone into damage control since the tragic death of 2-year-old Lane Graves following an alligator attack at its Grand Floridian Resort & Spa last month. 

New signs warning of alligators on-site have rightly been erected near almost every body of water, while the character of the Tic Toc Croc from the Festival of Fantasy Parade at Magic Kingdom was also quietly removed.

The company has come off looking somewhat disingenuous, though, after firing an intern who tweeted a photo of sign that reads a lot like staff are being asked to mislead guests when it comes to the presence of alligators at the park – and then rehired her when it blew up in their faces.

Shannon Sullivan, who was working in the Magic Kingdom restaurants as part of Disney World’s College Program, said she felt compelled to share the picture of the sign – stuck up in the staff room – because what it asked of staff went against her morals.

“At this point it became my morals and my integrity and what I believe in. I thought if I lose my job because of that, it’s worth it to me,” she told the Orlando Sentinel. “I think you need to be telling people to be cautious, letting them know this could happen.”

The sign told employees the correct response to a guest enquiry about whether alligators lived in the park’s waters was to say: “Not that we know of, but if we see one, we will call Pest Management to have them removed.”

And yet it’s no secret that staff are well aware of the presence of gators in and around the park – there are even disturb YouTube videos that show park attendants swatting the lake lizards away from various rides.


Sullivan was shown the door by management for sharing the sign but – when the online backlash began – was personally visited at her house by the park’s VP Dan Cockerell and invited back (she’ll continue to work until the end of the month, when her internship is up).

For its part, Disney says the sign was unauthorised and goes against company policy.

Disney Fires Intern For Sharing Dodgy Gator Policy, Rehires After Backlash

Source: Orlando Sentinel

Photo: Twitter / @SandraPedicini).