Disney Pulls Plug on Program Allowing Disabled People to Go to Front of Line

Sep 25, 2013  •  Post A Comment

The Walt Disney Co. is pulling the plug on its program that allowed disabled people to go to the front of the line for attractions at its theme parks, partly because of abuse of the plan, reports Bloomberg.

Instead, guests with disabilities will be given appointment times based on current waiting times for the rides, the story says. Previously, disabled guests received a "guest assistance card" that allowed them to move to the front of a line. The new system will be go into effect Oct. 9.

Earlier this year, the New York Post reported that wealthy Manhattan parents were hiring disabled people to pose as family members, allowing their children to cut the lines at Disney World.

One mom who reportedly hired a disabled "guide" was quoted at the time saying: “My daughter waited one minute to get on It’s a Small World — the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours. … You can’t go to Disney without a tour concierge. This is how the 1 percent does Disney.”

One Comment

  1. So… in effect, nothing has really changed. Disney is just time-shifting, and disabled people will not be waiting in line like everybody else. Not sure how this will prevent or do away with so-called “abuse”.
    This move sounds like a Disney PR move to deal with any hue and cry of “unfairness” by jealous proles, who regard anyone better of they are as a personal insult.
    As for me, I don’t take this “abuse” as something personal. Are there really so many people doing this that it causes a cascade effect in wait times and makes them noticeably longer? No. Those lines exist from the sheer volume of people attending, not because a few (relatively speaking and disabled or not) are “cutting in line”.
    Life is “unfair”. Deal with it… between your ears, where it really needs to be dealt with… not with rules, regulations and laws that make life even more unfair and difficult for everyone else… including those with disabilities.
    Disney’s biggest PR as regards disabled guests is this… every year we’ve attended their policy has gotten worse in terms of how helpful it is to the disabled.
    As a parent with a disabled person, I can tell you that Disney has tinkered with their disabled guest policies so much over the three decades we have visited Disneyland and WDW, that I don’t think we have encountered the same policies twice in a row.
    Now we haven’t gone every year, let alone every other year or three or four, but a few times we managed twice a year. Something changed every single time we went… and never for the better as far as helpfulness or convenience for the disabled was concerned. I always got the impression from the policy changes that Disney was trying to nip something in the bud. Like they were more concerned about people abusing their system than being helpful to disabled guests and their families.
    Over the past couple of decades I’ve experienced similar disabled services issues at other venues… most noticeably at the San Diego ComicCon.

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