Why the "no swimming" rule in Disney water?

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SpaceAce's picture
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Why the "no swimming" rule in Disney water?

You can't swim in any Disney body of water. Does anyone know why? It can't be chemicals, as they have bass fishing in almost all of their lakes (I would guess the bass can't live if there're too many chemicals).

Alligators maybe?

No lifeguards?

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I believe it is because there is a type of bacteria (or amoeba?) in the water that can travel to the brain and kill you. This is apparently true of all freshwater bodies of water in Florida. And perhaps elsewhere, for all I know.

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eek

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Whoa! I've heard of some freshwater places getting an overly high concentration of the bacteria, but believe me, it's not prevalent in every Florida body of freshwater.

Now alligators, on the other hand.... here in Florida we teach our kids that any body of water bigger than a bathtub is likely to have a gator in it.

It's likely liability though. Swimming in a natural body of water (or even a man-made natural body of water as opposed to a swimming pool) just presents so many more risks than swimming in an area where lifeguards can look down at the bottom of the pool every so often to make sure no one's down there.

I don't know for sure... that's just my best guess.

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Well, Hypermommy, the mere thought of alligators is enough to keep me out of bodies of water on Disney property. Every once in awhile there will be a discussion about it, and everyone's all "Oh don't worry, the Disney staff remove them once they're 4 feet long". eek I got news for you, I wouldn't want to tangle with a baby gator either--if they're anything like my late cat, they've got sharp little teeth. And lots of them!

But no seriously, it's a bacteria thing. There has been much discussion about it on other Disney boards. Imagine the liability issues if some kid got this on Disney property and died. I believe the problem is when the water gets too warm (as is likely to happen in a hot state like Florida), and how would you monitor something like that? It's just easier to steer people toward the pools. With all the chlorine in pools these days, ain't nothing gonna grow in them.

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Wow! I know the bacteria exists, but I didn't think it grew to dangerous levels normally. But I guess you're right... it's just too much of a liability. Especially with all the highly chlorinated pools around.

And don't you worry about them baby gators... they ain't nothin'.
(that's my standard Floridian answer... but I'm with you... I don't want to mess with 'em at all anyway)
yay

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Probably hiring the appropriate number of lifeguards would be a bummer too. Where can i get more info on this bacteria?!?

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I remember back in the dark ages of the 70's and 80's we could hop right INTO that Lagoon! Was a fun time.

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I remember fondly the days when we swam in any lake without worrying about what might gobble us up, when we rode bikes without helmets (kids today will never know the feel of the wind in their hair), and when one of the most fun things to do was ride in the back of the truck on the way to the store. Ahhhhh..... kids today are much safer for sure, but are they really living?

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Here's an article from the Orlando Sentinel, May 2008:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/orl-amoeba1508may15,0,5588761.story

It's very rare for someone to get this and die, but they probably don't want to take any chances (bad PR and all).

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All right, so three more questions:

1. How do gators get into a Disney World Lake when they weren't there originally? (Are there gators just hitchhiking from lake to lake?)

2. Kids ARE allowed to wade and play in the lagoon/lake water at the beaches (Poly, Wilderness Lodge, etc.). What's the difference between that and the whole hog swimming?

3. How did people EVER survive [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney's_River_Country]River Country?[/url]

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Sorry, I can't answer any of those questions.

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Well maybe that's the answer to #3, because Amoebas were eating brains!

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SpaceAce wrote:
All right, so three more questions:

1. How do gators get into a Disney World Lake when they weren't there originally? (Are there gators just hitchhiking from lake to lake?)

2. Kids ARE allowed to wade and play in the lagoon/lake water at the beaches (Poly, Wilderness Lodge, etc.). What's the difference between that and the whole hog swimming?

3. How did people EVER survive River Country?

Well, it is a bit of an exaggeration, what we tell the kids about the bodies of water bigger than a bathtub. But actually, the gators do walk from one body of water to another. From what I understand they cross the road enough on Alligator Alley (in the Everglades) that you have to be somewhat careful driving. I've even seen at least one on the road and several on either side of the road (in the water) on the road between Disney and Kennedy Space Center.

Don't have an answer for #2

As for #3 see my earlier post lamenting the loss of some of the magic of childhood... although I certainly have required my kids to wear helmets. I guess ignorence really is bliss.

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Thanks for the article SoloFriendly. While I really feel for the families of those lost children (and believe me I absolutely love children in case my name doesn't give it away), there's another paragraph in this article that makes me understand why I haven't paid it much mind:

Even so, last summer's three infections were unusual. The state has
documented just 30 cases of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, or
PAM, since 1962. Sherin said 16 of them have occurred in Orange County.

I was just about ready to say my kids couldn't swim at summer camp! LOL But after reading this I'll let them swim. I can't protect them from everything.

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SpaceAce wrote:

2. Kids ARE allowed to wade and play in the lagoon/lake water at the beaches (Poly, Wilderness Lodge, etc.). What's the difference between that and the whole hog swimming?

Well, based on the article, you've gotta get the water up your nose to have the effect! Just don't let the kids put their faces under, and you're ok!

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I've never been big on lake swimming anyway, but I see a big plus in keeping that kind of water out of your nose anyway.

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MouseTraveler wrote:
I remember back in the dark ages of the 70's and 80's we could hop right INTO that Lagoon! Was a fun time.

Ok, But do you remember when they put a wave machine in the 7 Seas Lagoon for Surfing?

Also, Who else thinks River Country should be fixed up as a themed pool for Fort Wilderness?

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marzyar wrote:
MouseTraveler wrote:
I remember back in the dark ages of the 70's and 80's we could hop right INTO that Lagoon! Was a fun time.

Ok, But do you remember when they put a wave machine in the 7 Seas Lagoon for Surfing?

Also, Who else thinks River Country should be fixed up as a themed pool for Fort Wilderness?

It seems like they should do something with it. Although I don't know how much of it is reusable. Is there no pool for Fort Wilderness?

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As far as I know there is 1 simple pool. Nothing like some of the themed pools of the other resorts.

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marzyar wrote:
As far as I know there is 1 simple pool. Nothing like some of the themed pools of the other resorts.

Have you stayed at FW?

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I'm not a camping person. I visit that resort for the Wagon rides and walking (I like the woods I just don't want to sleep there). I also verified with the 2009 Passporter Guide (has resort maps) and online before making the post.

(I try to be accurate...)

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marzyar wrote:
I'm not a camping person. I visit that resort for the Wagon rides and walking (I like the woods I just don't want to sleep there). I also verified with the 2009 Passporter Guide (has resort maps) and online before making the post.

(I try to be accurate...)

Adequate research is key on the Internet. So far no false information has been put anywhere on this web and we need to keep it that way.

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Sad to hear this, Beach is one of the beautiful attractions in Disney. I just remembered two years ago, I had swam their for our triathlete swimming training. It was one of the most wonderful experience I had during my stay on US.

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Brad wrote:
marzyar wrote:
As far as I know there is 1 simple pool. Nothing like some of the themed pools of the other resorts.

Have you stayed at FW?

I've stayed at FW and I loved it. I've never been camping, but they have the Cabins too.. it was like a lil house in the woods! a bedroom with a queen bed a twin bunkbed.. also a murphy bed in the living room. full kitchen.. 1 full bathroom. also a deck with a picnic table, and a bbq. I really enjoyed how it felt like you werent even at WDW.. quiet, peaceful.. far enough away from your neighbors.. we never heard them once. If you dont rent a golf cart, you have to rely on the buses which can be a bummer.
I believe there's two pools.. our cabin was near one.. and yes.. it's very basic. a square with water in it.

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I thought they closed River Country because of the baceteria problem, they could no longer keep it under safe levels.

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katrina1122 wrote:
I thought they closed River Country because of the baceteria problem, they could no longer keep it under safe levels.

That is the understanding that I have also. From what I understand the bacteria is present in all unfiltered bodies if water in FL. My most vivid memory of River Country is standing in line at the snack bar building, (whatever it was called) and looking up and seeing a LARGE snake coiled up around one of the posts and NO it was NOT an animatronic one. eek Can you say BYE BYE snack bar.

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Vettelover wrote:
katrina1122 wrote:
I thought they closed River Country because of the baceteria problem, they could no longer keep it under safe levels.

That is the understanding that I have also. From what I understand the bacteria is present in all unfiltered bodies if water in FL. My most vivid memory of River Country is standing in line at the snack bar building, (whatever it was called) and looking up and seeing a LARGE snake coiled up around one of the posts and NO it was NOT an animatronic one. eek Can you say BYE BYE snack bar.

Gasp! No kidding! How creepy would that be?! I am certainly glad that the only woodland creatures I've come across in Fort Wilderness are deer, bunnies, and ducks!

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And don't forget the ever present Armadillos, I have spotted quite a few of those. I used to like to watch the Peacocks that hung around the Hoop-de-Doo review building but I understand they had to remove them as they were getting quite aggressive.

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Vettelover wrote:
And don't forget the ever present Armadillos, I have spotted quite a few of those. I used to like to watch the Peacocks that hung around the Hoop-de-Doo review building but I understand they had to remove them as they were getting quite aggressive.

Armadillos indeed. They're everywhere over there. Never saw the peacocks; they must have been pretty. Seems like all Disney birds get aggressive eventually.

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I posted a link back when I first started here that was a blog post when two dudes swam over to River Country and took pictures of it now and it was just run down and freaking scary!!

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