A Disney College Program participant (intern) became very uncomfortable after seeing a gator sign in a Walt Disney World break room less than 2 months after the death of a 2-year-old who was dragged into a lake. The sign asked employees to deny knowledge of gators in order to not scare guests.
“If a Guest asks if we have gators in the water around Tom Sawyer’s Island (or any other bodies of water), the correct and appropriate response is, “Not that we know of, but if we see one, we will call Pest Management to have it removed.” Please do not say we have seen them before. We do not want our Guests to be afraid while walking around Frontierland. As a reminder, this is a serious matter. Please do not make jokes with our Guests about this.”
The intern felt morally obligated to share the sign and so she tweeted it out. She told the Orlando Sentinel:
“I was very offended by it and I was pretty vocal about it. I think you need to be telling people to be cautious, letting them know this could happen.”
She was fired for the tweet on Thursday which resulted in the Orlando Sentinel reaching out to Disney for a comment later that night. Well, the next morning the VP of the Magic Kingdom was at her door offering the internship back. She accepted the position and was notified that the sign had been removed. Disney claims the sign was never authorized and that managers sometimes make their own signs with instructions for employees to follow, though they are not company sanctioned.