"The most magical place on earth" lost some of its enchantment Thursday.
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For some passengers, the Jungle Cruise attraction became a true adventure in Disney World's Magic Kingdom. One of the ride's boats, "Bomokandi Bertha" began sinking into the water around 12:30 pm EST forcing all passengers on board to slush through murky ankle-deep water to high ground. The ride was shut down for nearly 2 hours as passengers were safely evacuated off the ride and the boat was towed away.
Although no one was injured, Thursday's accident with Disney's water system recalled memories for some of another water-related incident at the Orlando theme park.
In 2016, a 2-year-old Nebraska boy was eaten by an alligator at a The Grand Floridan beach resort hotel. In his book, "Ride of a Lifetime," Disney executive chairman Bob Iger ger called that event “the saddest day of my career.”
Disney World features "hundreds of lagoons and canals" Iger also wrote. Florida's alligators live in freshwater but since the death of Lane Graves, Disney has removed more than 100 gators from its properties, has placed signs, fences and rocks along the resort's water areas to protect visitors and has a permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to remove up to 400 alligators through April 2023.
According to FOX 35 (WOFL) in Orlando, Disney worked with guests from the "sunk" Jungle Cruise individually so that they could enjoy the rest of their day in at the theme park.
The Disney World web site declares that the Jungle Cruise is a "10,000-mile journey that you won't soon forget!" That was certainly true for Thursday's passengers.