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Old 07-17-2006, 02:57 PM   #1
WDWstu
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Watch our for that cow!

I love Disney. We go there once or twice a year and wish we could go more. We just went in March and are now planning a second trip this year for Thanksgiving. But I have to get this story off my chest. It drives me crazy. I guess the moral of the story is that behind the curtain it is a big business. I kind of wish I hadn't pulled the curtain back. However that being said, I was afraid it would ruin the magic a bit for me, but it really hasn't. But here is just a warning for everyone.

The trip we took in March we went to Animal Kingdom for the first time. It was our just our second day there (we were down for 7 days). We took our daughter, 4yrs old, to the Affection Section (petting zoo). While there she brushed the goats and sheep. There was a fenced in area where a cow was housed. Its a metal fence with gaps big enough for children to reach in and pet the animal. There were other kids there with their parents that were attempting to reach the cow through the fence to pet it but were unable to reach him. My daughter approached the fence and put her arm through the fence up to her elbow to pet the cow. For some reason the cow attacked her. The cow turned on her and rammed her arm up against the fence pinning it against the metal. The cow then proceeded to ram her arm with its head over and over into the fence. She was screaming and crying and we would not get her free. No one from Disney came to help. We had to wrestle her arm free from the cow. By the time we got her arm out it was black and blue all the way around and was swollen to the size of a lemon. She was crying hysterically. I could not locate a cast member or Disney employee after the fact in the whole petting area. It was not until after we exited the petting area and came to the outside gate that we found a cast member. He was standing in the turnstile area for the petting zoo. I informed him what happened and showed him my daughters arm. At this point it was extremely swollen all the way around just under her elbow and very black and blue. He forearm had was swollen to the size of a lemon. He told me I could go to any of the stands in the park and just buy her some aspirin. He did not offer to help in anyway. He did not respond in anyway at all about the fact that the cow attacked her. I was shocked. Wouldn’t they want to monitor the cow or put it away incase there was a problem with it? Couldn’t he have offered to help in someway, maybe offer to get us to first aid? What if my daughter’s arm was broken? I asked him where first aid was and he directed me to take the train back to Africa then ask someone when I got off it and that was it. It took about 25 minutes or so of my daught cryng in pain and us running around the park but we were able to find first aid. After first aid we ended up leaving the park for the day and sitting in the room nursing my daughter for the day. She seemed ok and we went back to the park the next day. He arm wasn't broken or anything worse thankfully.

Here's what gets me though. I contacted Disney's customer service. They put me in touch with someone from the Executive Office. I wanted to let them know what happened and that maybe they should consider having a cast member in the actual area where the animals are walking around with the kids. I was very nice and pleasant about it. I also wanted to asked if I could be reiumbursed for that day since we had to leave the park at 11am and lost a whole day because of it. When I told her I thought a cast member should be present with the kids and animals her response to me was that she "wished more parents would pay attention to what their kids were doing". Can you believe that??? UMMM I agree with her sure, but what does that have to do with a cow in their attraction attacking my kid. I was standing right next to her and there was nothing I could do. And her answer to me about compensating me for the one day was "how can she tell that I left the park for the day." That was it. Unfortunately I bought my tickets separately from my room pass so they were not able to track when I came in and left the park.

So here is what I learned. As much as you should enjoy the magic, its also a good idea to protect yourself the best you can. Maybe its a good idea to purchase a room/tickets package so you have 1 card that they can tie to you that shows a history of where you go and what you do. Because if there is a problem the complete burden of proof is on you even in this case where they had a medical log of the situation. It didn't matter.

The whole situation almost ruined the magic for me. If you can imagine your little 4 year old getting hurt by and attracting there and then being told its not their responsiblity. But it hasn't still love Disney! Will just make sure I protect myself better next time!!

In the meantime... watch out for those cows!!!
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:07 PM   #2
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I'm so sorry that happened. It surprises me that WDW had no CM present at the "petting zoo". Animals are animals though so the CM probably couldn't have stopped it anyway. That being said, there is NO WAY you should of had to search for first aid for a crying kid. That's crazy.
My grandma fell and bumped her head at WDW recently (she stumbled off the sidewalk onto the street). They had a golf cart with first aid come to her in about 3 minutes, and they had her signing papers that they weren't responsible in about 10.
Most CM go above and beyond everyday. I hate it that you found one that wasn't more helpful. Better luck next time! You deserve a stress free trip
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Old 07-17-2006, 03:16 PM   #3
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I'll take that stress free trip!!!

In all fairness, we still had a great week. How could you not. And I was mad for a while about it all. And my daughter still talks about how horrible it was. I was furious when the CM said to that I could just buy her some child aspirin at one the stands. The type of reaction that you got with the golf cart is what I expected. The woman I spoke to from the Executive Office agreed with me that the CM's response was unacceptable, but she also said "if that is how it happened." Again discounting my honesty about the situation.

I don't think I was asking her for anything unreasonable. Its wasn't like I was trying to pull something over on them or threaten them in anyway. I just asked to be compensated for the one lost day....
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:22 PM   #4
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I am sorry that happened to your daughter!! Cows are powerful animals, and I am sure it was a scary experience for your family.

There was no excuse for the CM dismissing you like that.....clearly he needs to be dealing with the animals and not the guests!

Whenever we have been in the affection station there have been several CMs patrolling the area, as much for the animals saftey as the children (some kids have no "clue" around animals and seem to think its okay to treat them not so nicely, pulling hair, smacking them......) I would think that would be standard protocol to have someone stationed inside at all times. (They also walk around cleaning up after them!)

I do remember that cow well, as she had quite and ATTITUDE on one visit. I suspected it was close to feeding time that day - but sounds like she is not such a nice cow!!!
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Old 07-17-2006, 04:25 PM   #5
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How awful for your poor daughter. I have heard several horror stories about petting zoos and kids getting sick or injured. I won't even let mine go to them anymore - not even at Disney (I haven't told her about the one at AK; hoping she won't notice).

I agree there should ALWAYS be a CM present in the petting area - one but even better two. Not only could animals harm a child, as what happend in your case, but it is also possible that a child could harm an animal.

I hope there were enough happy memories to erase this one bad memory in your 4-year-old's mind. I also hope she is doing better
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Old 07-17-2006, 07:06 PM   #6
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OP I am sorry about what happened to your daughter, I am glad that it was not more serious and did not totally ruin your vacation. The skeptical attitude you received from WDW customer service would have upset me also. It sounds like you were not trying to put the blame all on them, but just trying to let them know about some potential dangers and asking about the loss of time in the park. Seems fair to me.

I am a big animal lover and I went the petting zoo attractions long after most kids outgrew it, but in all honesty I think that they are mostly a bad idea.

Unless they are more like a guided tour with restricted, supervised, groups, too many animals are abused and too many children get injured.

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Old 07-17-2006, 07:19 PM   #7
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I would have demanded that the first CM you talked to get emergency help right away. I would not take no for an answer.
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:48 PM   #8
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Yikes, what a horrible thing to have happen!

Glad your dd's doing better.
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:53 PM   #9
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Wow, that is awful. I hope your DD recovered quickly, physically and emotionally. (she probably won't want to get near any cows for awhile..)..Can't part of your proof be paperwork from when you finally got someone to look at her arm? I don't know, I guess I am a "customer satisfaction " kind of person..I demand it. I would have kept calling, and possibly dropping the word lawsuit here and there. Your "executive" has a boss, and they have a boss, too. I am sure they are familiar with this cow's attitude, and they DEFINITELY know that there was no staff in the area at the time. I hope you try again and have some luck, this sounds to me more like a free vacation than just a remimbursement for one day's park entry.JMO.
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Old 07-17-2006, 10:34 PM   #10
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So sorry to hear... I can't believe WDW CM acted in such a way.... I will watch out next time when I go there
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Old 07-18-2006, 08:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrh_disney_queen
Wow, that is awful. I hope your DD recovered quickly, physically and emotionally. (she probably won't want to get near any cows for awhile..)..Can't part of your proof be paperwork from when you finally got someone to look at her arm? I don't know, I guess I am a "customer satisfaction " kind of person..I demand it. I would have kept calling, and possibly dropping the word lawsuit here and there. Your "executive" has a boss, and they have a boss, too. I am sure they are familiar with this cow's attitude, and they DEFINITELY know that there was no staff in the area at the time. I hope you try again and have some luck, this sounds to me more like a free vacation than just a remimbursement for one day's park entry.JMO.
I tried all that. Got no where. I could have kept up with it. Believe me it took several calls, emails and a letter to get a response. When I did, it was this woman from the Executive Office and she basically told me to prove it. She said the fact that I didn't flip out at the park shows to her that this wasn't that big of a deal. She said the the records that show that I went to first aid don't prove anything other than we went to first aid. They don't prove that we have to leave the park. I didn't make a big deal out of it because I figured it was such a bad incident that the company would recognize it and compensate me for the day. It never occured to me how ruthless they would be about it. She literaly told me that we should have been paying more attention to our daughter and that we have no way to prove to them that we lost time at the park because of this. So much customer service. Again I love Disney and this won't stop me from going, but with the money I spend there over the years I was shocked that they couldn't give up ONE day at the park to compensate us.

The problem I ran into was that I couldn't figure out where to go from there.
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Old 07-18-2006, 09:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWstu
I tried all that. Got no where. I could have kept up with it. Believe me it took several calls, emails and a letter to get a response. When I did, it was this woman from the Executive Office and she basically told me to prove it. She said the fact that I didn't flip out at the park shows to her that this wasn't that big of a deal. She said the the records that show that I went to first aid don't prove anything other than we went to first aid. They don't prove that we have to leave the park. I didn't make a big deal out of it because I figured it was such a bad incident that the company would recognize it and compensate me for the day. It never occured to me how ruthless they would be about it. She literaly told me that we should have been paying more attention to our daughter and that we have no way to prove to them that we lost time at the park because of this. So much customer service. Again I love Disney and this won't stop me from going, but with the money I spend there over the years I was shocked that they couldn't give up ONE day at the park to compensate us.



The problem I ran into was that I couldn't figure out where to go from there.
I see why you gave up..what an ugly way for them to deal with this..Actually, WDW probably gets a quite a few threats for lawsuits (the groping Tigger incident for example) so they know just how to get out of things..But surely they would consider since this incident is quite outstanding, and they MUST know about this "Mad" cow. Anyway, sometimes it IS just best to give up for the sake of your blood pressure. I thank you for sharing this, because you can bet if anything like that happens to me or my kids from now on, I am going to raise holy heck ON THE SPOT..

I'm glad this doesn't dampen your spirits on Disney, it does take just a speck of sparkle from the pixie dust cloud....

Thanks for sharing...
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Old 07-18-2006, 10:48 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for giving me a place to vent a bit about it. I was afraid I might get attacked as an anti-Disneyite or something. Cause I am not at all. Like I said it hasn't ruined Disney for me. Though the first couple of weeks after the conversation it kind of did. Then I decided to let it go and walk away with the lesson that if something goes wrong cry fowl right then and there and go straight to custer service and make your demands. I guess my mistake was I was just trying to be a nice guy about it expecting Disney would do the right thing. So enjoy the magic! Love the place! But just keep in the back of your mind if there is a problem get proof of it right away. Like I should have taken a picture of my daughter's arm afterwards! But who thinks about that kind of stuff.

The best part about it is that I really learned something about my daughter.. or maybe I learned something from her... After the incident, I told her I was sorry that the mean cow did that to her. And she replied "No Daddy, the cow didn't do it on purpose, it was just an accident, right?"

Anyway, after all this, we are now planning our second trip this year for thanksgiving weekend!
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Old 07-21-2006, 07:21 AM   #14
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I dont get it. Whenever Im there, there are CMs around. Plenty of them. And another thing I dont get is I have never seen a cow there before. As for the excutive person you know what I would have said, "what if the situtation was reversed and I was the one who got hurt and not my DD. Would you still think that someone needs to watch over me?" It doesnt matter if there is a parent near by or not. What matters is that disney needs to take better control of the animals. There should be 1 CM at each area. One for the lambs, 1 for the cow, etc. IMHO if any animal goes and attacks anyone weither it be a child or an adult that animal needs to be removed immediately and get check out. Fars we know that could have been a mad cow. And if there is something wrong with it, its better for the guests, the CMs and for the animal to just be put to sleep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWstu
I love Disney. We go there once or twice a year and wish we could go more. We just went in March and are now planning a second trip this year for Thanksgiving. But I have to get this story off my chest. It drives me crazy. I guess the moral of the story is that behind the curtain it is a big business. I kind of wish I hadn't pulled the curtain back. However that being said, I was afraid it would ruin the magic a bit for me, but it really hasn't. But here is just a warning for everyone.

The trip we took in March we went to Animal Kingdom for the first time. It was our just our second day there (we were down for 7 days). We took our daughter, 4yrs old, to the Affection Section (petting zoo). While there she brushed the goats and sheep. There was a fenced in area where a cow was housed. Its a metal fence with gaps big enough for children to reach in and pet the animal. There were other kids there with their parents that were attempting to reach the cow through the fence to pet it but were unable to reach him. My daughter approached the fence and put her arm through the fence up to her elbow to pet the cow. For some reason the cow attacked her. The cow turned on her and rammed her arm up against the fence pinning it against the metal. The cow then proceeded to ram her arm with its head over and over into the fence. She was screaming and crying and we would not get her free. No one from Disney came to help. We had to wrestle her arm free from the cow. By the time we got her arm out it was black and blue all the way around and was swollen to the size of a lemon. She was crying hysterically. I could not locate a cast member or Disney employee after the fact in the whole petting area. It was not until after we exited the petting area and came to the outside gate that we found a cast member. He was standing in the turnstile area for the petting zoo. I informed him what happened and showed him my daughters arm. At this point it was extremely swollen all the way around just under her elbow and very black and blue. He forearm had was swollen to the size of a lemon. He told me I could go to any of the stands in the park and just buy her some aspirin. He did not offer to help in anyway. He did not respond in anyway at all about the fact that the cow attacked her. I was shocked. Wouldn’t they want to monitor the cow or put it away incase there was a problem with it? Couldn’t he have offered to help in someway, maybe offer to get us to first aid? What if my daughter’s arm was broken? I asked him where first aid was and he directed me to take the train back to Africa then ask someone when I got off it and that was it. It took about 25 minutes or so of my daught cryng in pain and us running around the park but we were able to find first aid. After first aid we ended up leaving the park for the day and sitting in the room nursing my daughter for the day. She seemed ok and we went back to the park the next day. He arm wasn't broken or anything worse thankfully.

Here's what gets me though. I contacted Disney's customer service. They put me in touch with someone from the Executive Office. I wanted to let them know what happened and that maybe they should consider having a cast member in the actual area where the animals are walking around with the kids. I was very nice and pleasant about it. I also wanted to asked if I could be reiumbursed for that day since we had to leave the park at 11am and lost a whole day because of it. When I told her I thought a cast member should be present with the kids and animals her response to me was that she "wished more parents would pay attention to what their kids were doing". Can you believe that??? UMMM I agree with her sure, but what does that have to do with a cow in their attraction attacking my kid. I was standing right next to her and there was nothing I could do. And her answer to me about compensating me for the one day was "how can she tell that I left the park for the day." That was it. Unfortunately I bought my tickets separately from my room pass so they were not able to track when I came in and left the park.

So here is what I learned. As much as you should enjoy the magic, its also a good idea to protect yourself the best you can. Maybe its a good idea to purchase a room/tickets package so you have 1 card that they can tie to you that shows a history of where you go and what you do. Because if there is a problem the complete burden of proof is on you even in this case where they had a medical log of the situation. It didn't matter.

The whole situation almost ruined the magic for me. If you can imagine your little 4 year old getting hurt by and attracting there and then being told its not their responsiblity. But it hasn't still love Disney! Will just make sure I protect myself better next time!!

In the meantime... watch out for those cows!!!

Last edited by Disney8704; 07-21-2006 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:10 PM   #15
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You know, that was something that really bothered me about the whole situation. It was one thing for the CM we found outside the gate to tell us to just go buy some aspirin for her. But I couldn't believe he didn't react in anyway about the cow itself. I certainly would have thought that maybe they would put the animal away incase it dind't want to be bothered and hurt another kid.

But after we walked away with my daughter to find first aid. He just stayed where he was and didn't do anything.

You make another good point too. I was so mad that she suggested we should watch our kid more. What could I have possibly done?? I was standing right next to her as she pet the animal and then it just turned and started to ram her. Nothing I could do. I wonder if Disney told the parents of the boy who died on the Roller Coaster if they should have been more responsible about him too? It really really made me mad. But that was their answer to why there were no CMs in the area. Because they felt that parents should be more responsible for their kids.
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