|Seven Seas Lagoon|
Cinderella Castle, as viewed from Seven Seas Lagoon
|Location||Bay Lake, Florida|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Managing agency||Reedy Creek Improvement District|
(Walt Disney Parks and Resorts)
|Built||c. mid-to-late 1960s|
|First flooded||c. late 1960s|
|Max. depth||14 feet (4.3 m)|
|Settlements||Bay Lake, Florida (see also Bordering resorts)|
The Seven Seas Lagoon is a man-made lake at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando. Located south of the Magic Kingdom theme park, the Seven Seas Lagoon serves as a natural buffer between the Magic Kingdom and its parking lot and connects with the adjacent Bay Lake. The lake reaches a depth of 14 feet. The lagoon is used mainly for recreational boating, as well as by the resort's three Disney Transport ferryboats that transport guests between the Magic Kingdom and the Transportation and Ticket Center.
The Seven Seas Lagoon is used for boating activities at the resort. Fishing was not allowed in the Lagoon until the mid-1990s, some 25 years after Walt Disney World's opening. However, the plan had existed from the start and fish were set free in the lagoon in 1973. Swimming was originally allowed, but has since been prohibited for safety reasons due to the operation of the rental boats. The lagoon is also the site of the Electrical Water Pageant. The lagoon, despite being man-made, is home to native Florida species such as alligators, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, and turtles.
The Seven Seas Lagoon was originally configured for artificial waves, tall enough to allow surfing. The machine began operation with the opening of the resort in 1971. However, it was soon disabled after causing severe beach erosion to the Polynesian Village Resort, for which the machine was installed.
At around 9:15 p.m. on June 14, 2016, a two-year-old boy wading in the Seven Seas Lagoon, where it was posted not to go into the water, at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa was grabbed and mauled to death by an alligator. His parents tried to intervene, but they were unsuccessful. The boy's intact body was discovered at the bottom of the lagoon at approximately 1:45 p.m. the following afternoon; he was found near where he went missing 12 to 15 yards (11 to 14 m) from the shore in about 6 feet (1.8 m) of water. The medical examiner ruled that the child died of "drowning and traumatic injuries." Reuters reported that the resort would put up signs warning guests about alligators and five of them were earlier killed in the search, to examine their stomachs. Since the incident, Disney has removed several references to alligators and crocodiles from various attractions throughout Disney World.
Three resorts border the Seven Seas Lagoon, all of which have beaches. These hotels are the only hotels on Walt Disney World property that are directly serviced by the Walt Disney World Monorail System, allowing full monorail access from these hotels to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and the Transportation and Ticket Center.