Swimming in Bay Lake?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by I wanna go back, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. I wanna go back

    I wanna go back Mouseketeer

    Nov 16, 2007
    Many of the Disney resorts have beautiful white sandy beaches, but don't allow swimming in the lakes for obvious reasons (gators, etc.). But I'm curious - did they ever allow swimming in the lake in the past?

    When my parents took us to WDW in the 70's we stayed at the Poly and I seem to remember a small roped-off area in front of the beach where swimming was permitted in Bay Lake. Is this correct, or am I thinking of somewhere else?
  2. OllieDannyandMe

    OllieDannyandMe DIS Veteran

    Apr 20, 2003
    It's absolutely correct. I swam in Bay Lake in the 70's and early 80's. I am not sure when they closed the beach, but I do remember a little roped off area at the Contemporary Resort. Seems to me, if I went out as far as the rope would allow, it was over my head. I might be wrong, but I remember it being a real swimming hole and not just a place for wading. Of course, River Country was open back then, too, but this was most definitely on the shores of the Contemporary Resort. I miss those days, too.
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  4. safetymom

    safetymom Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2001
    There is an amoeba that lives in the lakes. If the amoeba gets in your system it can kill you. They may not have known this years ago.
  5. LAS321

    LAS321 When you wish upon a star...

    Jul 24, 2006
    :wizard: Our first trip to Disney was in '83. We stayed at the Polynesian and we all swam in Bay Lake. There was a small area on the beach that was roped off for swimming....ah, the good old days!
  6. I wanna go back

    I wanna go back Mouseketeer

    Nov 16, 2007
    Thanks! Good to know I'm not imagining things. I don't remember much about the depth of the swimming area at the Poly, but I do remember that outside of the roped area, the water was pretty murky and weedy. Even so, as a kid at the time, I enjoyed the beach & lake as much as the pool.
  7. Tink888

    Tink888 Wishing I Was At World Showcase

    Mar 24, 2008
    I also remember swimming in Bay Lake when we stayed at the Contemporary back in 77. That was my first trip to Disney - I have great memories of that vacation. :)
  8. Seahunt

    Seahunt DIS Veteran

    Jan 19, 2002
    Yep, due to the amoeba like safetymom posted. They have really made an effort down here to try and educate people about it, but it's still hard to convince kids to stay out of the lake water when it's so hot down here ;)

    Here's more info about the amoeba:

    ORLANDO, Florida (CNN) -- Something in the lakes around Orlando, Florida, has claimed the lives of three boys this summer.

    Will Sellars' family says he died after being exposed to a deadly amoeba on a Florida lake.

    "This thing is just there. It's lurking like some deadly thing in the water which can take our children's lives and we all have to be aware," said Orange County Health Department Director Dr. Kevin Sherin.

    The "thing" isn't a fish or alligator. It is so small it cannot be seen with the naked eye. The killer that lives in the hot, fresh water is a single cell amoeba that once exposed to the human brain through the nasal passages is almost always fatal.

    At first people exposed to the amoeba, naegleria fowleri, suffer from flu-like symptoms. Very quickly, in from one to 14 days, the symptoms worsen, Sherin said. "There's a downhill course. Folks lapse into a coma; there are abnormal movements of the eyes and a terrible cascade of events leading to the actual death of parts of the brain."

    Sherin said exposure to the amoeba can be detected by an MRI and it can be treated with antibiotics if caught early enough, but Sherin said he believes medical personnel are not in the habit of looking for the disease.

    That is because the amoeba is very rare. The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, has documented 24 cases in the United States since 1989.

    Health officials do not know what caused three cases in Orlando in one summer. Theories range from warmer temperatures to a drought that has lowered lake levels. Sherin said officials considered closing access to the lakes, but concluded they did not have the authority. Even if public lakes had been closed, private lakes would have remained open.

    So, at 15 parks and lakes around the city, warnings about the amoeba have been posted. The signs urge bathers to wear nose clips or stay out of water warmer than 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which can be a breeding ground for the amoeba.

    The warnings provide little solace for Steve Sellars.

    Health investigators said they believe Sellars' 11-year old son, Will, was exposed to the amoeba during an August weekend spent learning to wakeboard on Orlando's Lake Jessamine.

    "You think it won't happen to me, it won't happen to my family." Sellars said. "You're wrong"

    "[Will's] symptoms were like a flu bug," Sellars said, "We rushed him to the hospital and two days later he's passed away. It's like a nightmare."

    A month later, a 10-year-old boy died from exposure to the amoeba. Investigators have not determined where he was exposed. The death of a 14 year-old boy in June in the Orlando area also is being blamed on the amoeba.

    As he investigates the deaths of the three boys from the amoeba, Sherin is concerned these type of deaths may be underreported. Health departments in Florida are not required to report amoeba infections to the state. The illness is so rare, he said, it may be commonly misdiagnosed in the United States and internationally.

    He said anyone who exhibits flu-like symptoms who has been in a lake recently should see a doctor immediately.

    Speaking in Will's old bedroom, which Steve Sellars has decorated with photographs of his son, Sellars said he hopes he can help get the word out. He does not want anyone to lose a family member as quickly and mysteriously as he did.

    "It's the worst thing we ever had to go through and I hate to see any other parent go through this and another child lose his life," Sellars said.

  9. enchantingodin

    enchantingodin You may have noticed that I'm not all there myself

    Jul 7, 2008
    Yep I used to swim in the lake all the time as a child on the Fort Wilderness Beach.
  10. isabelleB

    isabelleB Mouseketeer

    Feb 12, 2008
    oh , this is not nice
    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    I will not leave my children even put their feet in the water at the polynesian beaches

    but, how comes waterski, parasailing, boating is still permitted in disneyworld......
    for each of these sports, you are facing water.....

    I do not understand
    :scared: :scared: :scared: :scared: :scared:
  11. edcrbnsoul

    edcrbnsoul DIS Veteran

    Aug 17, 2003
    From what I understand the reason you can waterski and the such is because the ameoba lives in the silt towards the bottom of the lake and swimming off the shore stirs them up, jumping off a boat in the middle of a lake you are not stirring up that silt.

    ETA I also used to swim those lakes all the time.
  12. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Seeing isn't Believing, Believing is Seeing.

    Aug 8, 2000
    But, Disney still has the triathlon athletes swim in the lake.
  13. spiceycat

    spiceycat dvc-blt

    Oct 26, 2000
    with protection.

    yea use to swim at the Polyn too.

    those days are gone.

    in those days don't think the amonia was there.

    disney use to warn people not to swim without protection - some people ignored it and then probably tried to sue Disney.

    so now NO swimming period. blame it on the people who didn't listen or couldn't read then wanted somebody else to blame for their stupidity.
  14. LuvsTinker

    LuvsTinker DIS Veteran

    Jan 3, 2008
    My older son use to swim in the lake at CBR back in the early to mid 90's

    That amoeba sounds scary :scared1:
  15. dmccarty

    dmccarty DIS Veteran

    Jan 30, 2008
    The key thing about the amoeba is that it can be in any warm fresh water lake/pond. Not just in FLA. If someone goes swimming in said water when its warm, comes down with flu like symptoms let the doc know about the amoeba. Its treatable with antibiotics.

    The article said the kid caught the amoeba while wake boarding.

    I would not hesitate to take my kids to the lake in Kissimmee. I think its Lake Tohopekaliga. I used to go to there as a kid. My dad and his siblings used to swim there as kids as well. It sure is safer than going to the ocean. The lake had slides, swings, and a merry go round in the water. :thumbsup2 It was the only water park I ever as a little kid. I don't think my kids would be impressed. :lmao:

    I was surprised that WDW still has the beaches and the ropes in the water when we stayed at CBR last year. It just screamed attractive nuisance to me.

  16. TXYankee

    TXYankee <img src=http://photopost.wdwinfo.com/data/500/cgr

    Aug 17, 2006
    Don't swim in the darned lakes!

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