Last night I was at Disney’s BoardWalk and I saw something that was pretty alarming. There was a little girl there who couldn’t have been more than 18 months old. She was there with a man who I presume was her father. We were watching one of the street performers. There was a rope down to create a line that is not supposed to be crossed unless the performer invites someone in. The little girl crossed the line and stood in the middle of the performance area as her father did something on his cell phone. The show stopped (it’s a safety issue) and everyone waited, but the father didn’t even look up from his phone. Finally, another audience member picked up the girl and placed her next to her dad. He barely noticed that a stranger had just taken care of his child.
A few minutes later it got worse. The same man went into the Screen Door General Store. The problem was that he didn’t take his daughter in there with him. He left her outside on the BoardWalk, with no one watching her! She danced happily by herself until he exited the store and took her by the hand. We kept an eye on her from a distance, as did another family. All seemed to be fine, but I will never be able to fathom how someone could leave a small child alone like that.
Some people seem to think that there is a Magical Disney Bubble. They act as if nothing bad can happen while on Disney property. It’s as if they pass under the main gate and suddenly they are protected from all harm. That just isn’t the case. Bad things can and do happen at Walt Disney World.
There was little chance of the child being kidnapped yesterday. The security at Walt Disney World is fantastic, and if someone tried to grab a child they would not get far. But there were things that could have happened that security would not have been able to stop. The first thing that came to mind for me is that she could have been hit by a surrey bike. I’ve been hit by one, and I’m five foot ten. It hurts! Some drivers let the bikes get out of control, and those things are heavy and hard to stop. I doubt that most people driving them will be on the lookout for an 18 month old without an adult around.
Another thing that could have happened is that she could have ended up falling into Crescent Lake. I’ve seen several people almost fall in, there is a railing but it isn’t high and the slats are not all that close together. Kids that age can squeeze into tight places, it’s not a stretch to think that she could have ended up in the water.
My point is this. Be careful. Keep an eye on the kids. Watch your step. Drive safely (I’ve seen plenty of accidents). Don’t assume that nothing bad can happen, and use your common sense. There is no Magical Disney Bubble to protect you, so don’t act like there is. Be smart, and have a safer time.