Disney World Resort hotel became the scene of a tragedy when a 2-year-old boy went missing during a movie night at the resort’s which included a firework show. On June 16, 2016, USA Today reported that divers discovered his body had been found in murky water. His body was found intact. Authorities believe he had drowned after being dragged into the lagoon. His parents were identified as Matt and Melissa Graves from Elkhorn, Nebraska.
The boy had been dragged into the Disney Resort’s Seven Sea Lagoon by an alligator at about 9:30 p.m. EDT, on June 14, 2016, at the Disney’s Floridian Resort and Spa in Orlando, Florida, according to, “USA Today.”
The 2-year-old boy went missing during what was supposed to have been a movie night on the beach, while he and his family were wading in the Disney Resort Lagoon. It was believed an alligator around 7-to-8 foot long had probably attacked the young child before dragging him into the lagoon.
It had been a long search for the missing toddler, of the Disney Resort’s lagoon. The young child’s father had rushed to his aid, trying to wrestle with the alligator in an attempt to save his son. It is also reported by, “USA Today” that the 2-year-old’s mother tried to help her husband in saving the toddler’s life. When they were unable to rescue him they quickly called 911. A man from Twitter named Christian wrote, the buzz around the Disney resort was about the father and how he tried to wrestle with the gator to free his son.
The child was missing for 17 hours, according to the “Daily Mail.” Authorities continued to search the Disney Resort’s Lagoon for the missing 2-year-old boy until they located him. There were around 50 wildlife specialists on the grounds searching for the child. The Sheriff of Orange County, Jerry Demings, said that the search efforts had turned from a rescue operation to a recovery operation. The sheriff also stated that they know being submerged as long as the boy had been, was not survivable, but they vowed to continue the search for as long as it takes.
The search at the Disney Resort had been divided into a grid pattern so that the searchers were able to see the alligator’s eyes in the dark. They also used sonar to scan the water, as reported by “USA Today,” that the lake has canals that feed into the water which made the search more tricky.
Nick Wiley, who is the executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC), stated that the gator was most likely hungry and confused the young toddler with small animal like a dog or possibly a raccoon, as reported by “USA Today.” He also stated that alligators typically do not view human’s as a source of food, that even a small human is not their typical prey.
Disney has said that they are closing all of their beaches at its resort out of precaution due to alligator presence. Several patrons of the resort expressed their concerns for the family and the missing 2-year-old boy who was dragged into the lagoon by the alligator. The Disney Resort Hotel is one of three luxury hotels in the area, and close to the Magic Kingdom.
By Tracy Blake
Edited by Cathy Milne
Daily Mail: Toddler, two, is dragged into a lagoon by an ALLIGATOR near Disney World’s flagship Grand Floridian Resort in Orlando after a movie night and fireworks on the beach
Womanista: Gator Drags 2-Year-Old Into Water Near Disney’s Grand Floridian
USA Today: Sheriff: Toddler’s grim ordeal with alligator ‘not survivable’
USA Today: Sheriff: Body of toddler found after Florida alligator attack
Image Courtesy of Jeffery Zeldman’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License