Just two weeks after the tragic alligator attack that took a 2-year-old boy's life at Disney World, the theme park is doing what it can to keep its patrons safe. Not only did staff erect temporary barriers around beaches and lagoons on resort property, but they also updated signage to more clearly indicate where wildlife – like alligators – might be present.
The latest initiative, however, isn't so much about safety as it is about sensitivity: simple references to both alligators and crocodiles throughout the parks are slowly being removed.
According to the Miami Herald, the famous Tic Toc Croc from Peter Pan, best known for hunting villainous Captain Hook, was removed from the Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom, and the trumpet-playing alligator from The Princess and the Frog was supposed to be a part of a new castle show, but the character was pulled before it debuted. In addition to visual representations, spoken references to the predators have also been cut. On the Jungle Cruise, which has a script that has been unchanged since 1962, the employees were stopped from making the joke, "If you don't watch your children, the crocodiles will."
Although it makes sense that officials at Disney are looking to remove anything that would detract from a family's positive experience in "the happiest place on Earth," is this move going too far?
It's unclear if these changes are temporary or will become permanent, but with plenty of other depictions of animals – many of whom are predatory, like bears from Jungle Book and lions from The Lion King – on display, is there a point at which all of our once-beloved characters will become censored from public viewing?