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Fences up on beach at grand floridian - why the temp fix may be permanent

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  • Fences up on beach at grand floridian - why the temp fix may be permanent

    With all the talk of alligator attacks and what wasn't done, we now have to look forward to what Disney can and will do in the future.

    As seen, Disney has installed what they call "temporary" fencing on resort beaches. They consist of "wood and three lines of rope". We are told as of this time that this is a temporary solution while they look for permanent solutions.

    A more permanent change would be to install enhanced fencing underwater. Based on Disney history of spending money, we can't see them actually doing this. The cost to benefit ratio doesn't make sense and if you do it at one resort you need to do it at all of them. Furthermore, such a solution may not even be effective. Any further barrier below the water could easily be breached and would be nearly impossible to maintain and inspect on a 100% basis. You need boat access as well and where those access points are would be breaches.

    A cheaper solution would be to do what they have already done, build a passive system to keep guests away from the water. Although the current fence was put up at lightning speed, it actually looks rather good in relation to the rustic nature of most resorts. It also fits into any nautical (think rope knots) theme as well. It pretty much covers all the themes at once. In fact, looking at pictures even a few days after their install, I can't really see any huge visual issue. As long as they keep the poles straight and maintain them, it is pleasing to the eye. We can see them painting the poles white to match the Grand Floridian.

    Now, as for protections, we have to consider a few things. The more complicated the system to prevent attacks, the more complex the legal situation Disney faces if such a system were to fail. From a legal standpoint the most basic systems cover them easiest:: There is a fenced barrier -- it is easily seen -- do not cross it.

    Does the current fence create an effective barrier? Somewhat. Alligators attack in a specific manner. They are smart and when prey is on the banks of the water they are in the perfect position. The SLOPE of beaches face downward and anything they go after has a hard time going backward when rushed. In most cases, prey is knocked down when surprised. The fence keeps people away from that edge which is the primary strike point. So the fence isn't really to keep animals away, it is to keep people from being in their stroke zone.

    The holes between the three lines of rope are very large however. An attack could occur between them. To combat this, rocks may be the solution. A line of rocks even a foot deep at the water's edge would disrupt an alligator's ability to charge. They are most effective when they are charging from flat land. They try to maintain stealth by looking for easy opportunities.

    It is impossible to keep animals out of Disney property due to its size and scope, so they will always be there. The only thing Disney can do is try to keep people away from them.





  • #2
    (photo via WDWmagic.com)

    As we can see from a new photo of the shoreline, Disney has indeed done exactly what we predicted they would do.

    Mesh is now installed between the ropes AND rocks are being installed in front of the barriers.

    As our analysis above indicated, the best way to disrupt an alligator attack is to deny them access to a straight charge. They are conditioned to attack prey at the point of minimum resistance, using stealth to charge out of the water. This is accomplished by attacking on flat and level land, ideally when the pray is inclined towards them. Climbing over rocks and then back down (even of 1-3 feet) negates that advantage. They would rather find other areas to hunt rather than risk themselves in an indirect attack.

    As constituted, the current barrier being constructed would not need any other additions to be effective.

    It should also be of note that this barrier system should also benefit the ecology of the area as well by allowing the grass to spread along the shoreline again for the first time since these resorts were constructed.

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