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Disneyland pays tribute to victims of Florida's dual tragedies


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The opening of Disney's Shanghai Park and Resort has undoubtedly been overshadowed by the far more pressing news of the tragedies in Florida recently.

Last week, two year old Lane Graves was killed whilst paddling in the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Grand Floridian Resort in Walt Disney World Orlando, as an alligator pulled him into the water.

But alongside this was also the backdrop of the US’ worst mass shooting in recent history, as 49 civilians in a LGBT nightclub were killed – also in Orlando.

The massive Disney corporation has taken it upon itself to pay tribute to all these victims.

In regards to the alligator attack on its resort, an eye witness claimed Disney did everything they could do to help, as lifeguards moved everybody out of the water and emergency services arrived almost immediately. 

Disney's CEO Bob Iger expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family of Graves, saying: "As a parent and grandparent, my heart goes out to the Graves family at this time of devastating loss", and the parks have since made several changes out of sensitivity and "an abundance of caution."

One of Disney's most popular attractions, the Jungle Cruise has also undergone changes, as its castmembers have been instructed to remove a joke about keeping an eye on children in case of crocodile attack from their script out of respect, a change that is thought to remain indefinite.

The parks also immediately closed all of their beaches and installed obstruction fences around the water, with signs warning against paddling, swimming and alligators. 

The Disney corporation has also reached out to the victims and victims’ families of the Pulse nightclub shooting with a 'Kiss Goodnight' Memorial Vigil. Cinderella's castle at Walt Disney World was illuminated in rainbow colours and music was muted to allow a moment's silence to remember those who lost their life.

Photographers encouraged guests to pose for photos by making a heart shape with their hands, and a sea of people stood before the castle to pay their respects, holding candles and flags. Guests were handed free Disney collectors' pins adorned with hearts and the rainbow flag as a show of solidarity. 

The 'Happiest Place on Earth' went the extra mile to offer their condolences for the victims and all affected by recent tragedies this month, at a time which should have been one of the most exciting in Disney’s history.

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