A new report says wealthy Manhattan mothers are using people with disabilities to avoid waiting in long lines at Florida’s Disney World.
“Some wealthy Manhattan moms have figured out a way to cut the long lines at Disney World — by hiring disabled people to pose as family members so they and their kids can jump to the front,” the New York Post reports. The piece says the “black-market Disney guides” work for $130 an hour, or $1,040 for an eight-hour day.
One mom, who reportedly hired a disabled guide through Dream Tours Florida, is quoted as saying: “My daughter waited one minute to get on It’s a Small World — the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours.”
She reportedly added: “You can’t go to Disney without a tour concierge. This is how the 1 percent does Disney.”
“The woman said she hired a Dream Tours guide to escort her, her husband and their 1-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter through the park in a motorized scooter with a ‘handicapped’ sign on it. The group was sent straight to an auxiliary entrance at the front of each attraction,” the Post reports. “Disney allows each guest who needs a wheelchair or motorized scooter to bring up to six guests to a ‘more convenient entrance.’”
The scam was reportedly uncovered by Wednesday Martin, a social anthropologist, while doing research for an upcoming book, “Primates of Park Avenue.”
Said Martin: “It’s insider knowledge that very few have and share carefully.”
She added: “Who wants a speed pass when you can use your black-market handicapped guide to circumvent the lines all together? … So when you’re doing it, you’re affirming that you are one of the privileged insiders who has and shares this information.”
Disney World also offers something called VIP Tours, with a VIP guide and fast passes, the report notes. But at $310 to $380 per hour, this service is more expensive than the “black market” disabled guides.
“Passing around the rogue guide service’s phone number recently became a shameless ritual among Manhattan’s private-school set during spring break,” the story reports. “The service asks who referred you before they even take your call.”